Physical Therapist Assistant

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

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.

According to CAREERwise, the median hourly pay as a Physical Therapist Assistant in the state of Minnesota is $24.74 per hour. The employment outlook through 2024 is expected to grow approximately 23.6%, a very high-growth career.

Program Courses

View semester schedule by campus: East Grand Forks

Required Courses

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

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 credits
SPCH 1103 Interpersonal Communicati 3 credits
G4: Math/Logical Reasoning Electives
MATH 1106 Trigonometry 2 credits
MATH 1110 College Algebra 3 credits
MATH 1113 Pre-Calculus 5 credits
MATH 1131 Applied Calculus 3 credits
MATH 2203 Statistics 4 credits
MATH 2231 Calculus I 4 credits
MATH 2232 Calculus II 4 credits
MATH 2233 Calculus III 4 credits

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