Physical Therapist Assistant

  • Credits: 72
  • Degree Type: A.A.S.
  • Campus: East Grand Forks

Physical Therapist Assistant's perform various physical therapy services specified in the plan of care developed by the Physical Therapist.

Program Overview

Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs) work under the direction and supervision of a Physical Therapist. PTA's perform various physical therapy services specified in the plan of care developed by the Physical Therapist. These services include data collection, treating patients with exercise and other treatment procedures, administering physical agents/modalities, and reporting patient responses to the Physical Therapist. The 72-credit curriculum consists of: basic science coursework, technical coursework, including laboratory activities and practice, and clinical education experiences in a variety of healthcare settings.


PTA's are employed in a wide variety of settings, including hospitals, physical therapy clinics, rehabilitation centers, pediatric facilities, home health agencies, schools, and long-term care facilities.

The employment outlook for graduates of the Physical Therapist Assistant program is excellent. From 2008-2018 there is a projected 33% increase in employment for PTA's nationwide. The median income for PTA's was $46,140 in 2008.

The employment outlook for physical therapist assistants in the state of Minnesota from 2010 to 2020 is 34.5%, a very high growth career.

Potential Job Titles

Start Your Career in Physical Therapist Assistant!

Get started today by talking to a Northland Admissions Representative about connecting your educational goals to a Physical Therapist Assistant career path.

Call Admissions at 1.800.959.6282 or Email Us.

Program Course Listings

View semester order by campus: East Grand Forks »

Required Courses

Course # Course Name Credit(s)
HLTH 1106 Medical Terminology 2
PTAS 1101 Introduction to PTA 3
PTAS 1105 Fundamentals of PTA 4
PTAS 1108 PTA Pathophysiology 2
PTAS 1110 Physical Agents 4
PTAS 1114 Clinical Kinesiology 3
PTAS 1116 Therapeutic Exercise I 2
PTAS 1120 Clinical Introduction 1
PTAS 1130 Clinical Education I 4
PTAS 2101 Orthopedics for PTA 2
PTAS 2105 Neurology for PTA 5
PTAS 2111 Therapeutic Exercise II 3
PTAS 2115 Advanced Techniques 4
PTAS 2125 PTA Ethics and Issues 2
PTAS 2140 Clinical Education II 5
PTAS 2150 Clinical Education III 5
PTAS 2160 Professional Integration 3
BIOL 2252 Anatomy & Phys I 3
BIOL 2254 Anatomy & Phys II 3
ENGL 1111 Composition I 3
PSYC 1105 Intro to Psychology 3
  G1:Communication Elec ( *See Elective Options Listed Below ) 3
  G4: Math/Logical Elective ( *See Elective Options Listed Below ) 3

Area of Interest Elective Course Options

For this particular pathway, NCTC recommends a student explore further coursework in the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum areas listed below. Need help? Schedule an appointment with a Northland Academic Advisor for assistance in selecting courses.

Course # Course Name Credits
G1: Communications Electives
SPCH 1101 Intro to Public Speaking 3
SPCH 1103 Interpersonal Communicati 3
G4: Math/Logical Reasoning Electives
MATH 1102 Contemporary Math 3
MATH 1106 Trigonometry 2
MATH 1110 College Algebra 3
MATH 1113 Pre-Calculus 5
MATH 1131 Applied Calculus 3
MATH 2203 Statistics 4
MATH 2231 Calculus I 4
MATH 2232 Calculus II 4
MATH 2233 Calculus III 4

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Program Specific Requirements

1. Completion of the admissions application to NCTC.
2. Completion of the PTA Program Application.
3. 40 hours of volunteer, observation or work experience in a physical therapy department (Documented on the Clinical Observation Form).
4. All required developmental courses must be completed before applying to the PTA program.
5. TEAS V for Allied Health (AH) adjusted individual total score of at least 50%. FAQ about TEAS V for AH and program admissions.
6. Current CPR certification. CPR for Health Care Providers (American Heart Association) or CPR for the Professional Rescuer (Red Cross) prior to enrollment in PTAS1120.
7. All required courses for the program must be completed with a grade of C or better.
8. Completion of the College Health Screening & Immunization form prior to enrollment in PTAS1120.
9. Completion and approval for clinical participation of the Minnesota Department of Humans Services Licensing Division Background Study prior to entering PTAS 1120. Completion and approval for clinical participation of a National Background Study through Verified Credentials cost $50.


  • Health and Human Services students must comply with both Minnesota law and clinical facility requirements related to immunizations and background screenings.
  • Students who do not comply with the required health and immunization requirements may not be permitted to attend clinical which WILL affect program progression and completion.

Program Accreditation

Northland Community & Technical College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

The Physical Therapist Assistant program at Northland Community and Technical College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) of the American Physical Therapy Association, 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virgina 22314; telphone: 703-706-3245; email:; website:

Northland Accreditation »

Program Faculty

  • Justin Berry
  • Physical Therapist Assistant Program Director
  • Campus: East Grand Forks
  • Tel: (218) 793-2565
  • Toll Free: 1.800.959.6282
  • Shelley Koerber
  • Physical Therapist Assistant Instructor
  • Campus: East Grand Forks
  • Tel: (218) 793-2598
  • Toll Free: 1.800.959.6282

Why Choose Northland?

Northland offers a multitude of opportunities, whether you're beginning your degree or returning to college. We're affordable, convenient, and flexible. Northland Community & Technical College – it’s more than just a great education. It’s about making a career out of what you love to do. Thinking about a new career? Think Northland!

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