Physical Therapist Assistant Major

The Associate of Applied Science Degree

Contact Information
Dr. Jane David
(731) 424-3520 ext. 50214
jdavid@jscc.edu

Program and Career Description

Students completing the Associate of Applied Science Physical Therapist Assistant Major will be able to start a rewarding career of helping individuals return to function after injury or disease. Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) provide physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of a licensed physical therapist. PTAs help people of all ages who have medical problems, or other health-related conditions that limit their ability to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives. PTAs work in a variety of settings including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health, nursing homes, schools, sports facilities, and more.  The PTA program combines general education courses, physical therapy courses, and clinical education experiences in area healthcare facilities. The PTA educational curriculum is a 5 semester on-ground program of study (beginning in the fall of each year) that prepares graduates for taking the National Physical Therapy Examination for Physical Therapist Assistants and entering the field of physical therapy with the required knowledge, skills, and behaviors for a PTA.  Licensure is required in most states to work as a PTA. 

The PTA program is organized in a 2-year integrated format which is common in allied health education.  In this format accepted students (see Admissions Information) begin the program in the fall semester.  Program coursework then continues consecutively for a total of five semesters (the third semester occurs during the summer term).  Due to the sequential nature of the didactic and clinical coursework of the program it is not possible for a student to vary from this format.  A sample schedule is provided below.        

Estimated Salary Range
Career Beginning Salary Range with AAS Experienced Salary Range
Physical Therapist Assistant $38,795 $60,772

Data provided by Jobs4TN.gov. Salaries are not guaranteed.

Program Requirements

(Students may require additional Learning Support courses.)

Communication Requirement
ENGL 1010 English Composition I

Choose One Humanities Course
ARTH 2010 Survey of Art History I
ARTH 2020 Survey of Art History II
ART 1030 Art Appreciation
COMM 1851 Intro to Film
ENGL 2111 American Lit: Pre-Colonial - 1865
ENGL 2121 American Lit: 1865 - Present
ENGL 2210 British Lit: Beginnings - 1785
ENGL 2220 British Lit: 1785 - Present
ENGL 2310 World Lit: Beginnings - 1650
ENGL 2320 World Lit: 1650 - Present
HUM 1010 Introduction to the Humanities I
HUM 1020 Introduction to the Humanities II
MUS 1030 Music Appreciation
PHIL 1030 Introduction to Philosophy
PHIL 2110 Introduction to Ethics
THEA 1030 Introduction to Theatre

Social and Behavioral Science Courses
PSYC 1030 General Psychology

Natural Science Course
BIOL 2010 Human Anatomy & Physiology I

Additional Required Courses
BIOL 2020 Human Anatomy & Physiology II
PSCI 1010 Survey of Physical Science I
SPCH 1010 Fundamentals of Speech
(Any of the previous courses may be taken prior to admission to the PTA Program.)

Physical Therapist Assistant courses PTA courses are taken after formal admission to the PTA Program.
PTA 105 Introduction to Physical Therapy
PTA 115 Physical Therapy Procedures I
PTA 120 Physical Therapy Procedures II
PTA 140 Functional Anatomy
PTA 170 Seminar I
PTA 190 Clinical Education I
PTA 200 Musculoskeletal Conditions and Treatment
PTA 230 Neuromuscular Conditions and Treatment
PTA 250 Medical & Surgical Conditions & Treatment
PTA 270 Seminar II
PTA 290 Clinical Education II

The Associate of Applied Science Physical Therapist Assistant requires 66 college level credits. This is a career program which was granted an exception to the 60 hour limit requirement reached through Tennessee Board of Regents consensus. The exception was granted due to additional hours needed to adequately cover the necessary learning outcomes and/or to meet national accreditation agency requirements. Some courses have prerequisites and co-requisites.

HSC 111 Medical Terminology is recommended but not required.

Sample Schedule

Fall, First Semester
Number Course Name Credits
BIOL 2010 Human Anatomy & Physiology I 4
PSCI 1010 Survey of Physical Science 4
PTA 105 Intro to Physical Therapy I 1
PTA 115 Physical Therapy Procedures I 4
PTA 140 Functional Anatomy 4
  Total Credits 17
Spring, Second Semester
Number Course Name Credits
BIOL 2020 Human Anatomy & Physiology II 4
ENGL 1010 English Composition I 3
PTA 120 Physical Therapy Procedures II 4
PTA 200 Musculoskeletal Conditions & Treatment 4
PTA 170 Seminar I 2
  Total Credits 17
Summer, Third Semester
Number Course Name Credits
PTA 190 Clinical Education I 3
SPCH 1010 Fundamentals of Speech 3
  Total Credits 6
Fall, Fourth Semester
Number Course Name Credits
PTA 230 Neuromuscular Conditions and Treatments 4
PTA 250 Medical/Surgical Conditions and Treatments 4
PSYC 1030 General Psychology 3
  Humanities Course 3
  Total Credits 14
Spring, Fifth Semester
Number Course Name Credits
PTA 270 Seminar II 2
PTA 290 Clinical Education II 10
  Total Credits 12