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
ART 2000 Art History Survey I
ART 2020 Art History Survey II
ART 1035 Intro to Art
COMM 1851 Intro to Film
ENGL 2110 Early American Literature
ENGL 2120 Modern American Literature
ENGL 2210 Early British Literature
ENGL 2220 Modern British Literature
ENGL 2310 Early World Literature
ENGL 2320 Modern World Literature
HUM 1010 Early Humanities
HUM 1020 Modern Humanities
MUS 1030 Introduction to Music
PHIL 1030 Introduction to Philosophy
PHIL 1040 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 Principles of Physical Science
COMM 2025 Fundamentals of Communication
(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.
PTAT 2200 Introduction to Physical Therapy
PTAT 2460 Patient Care Skills for the PTA
PTAT 2440 Biophysical Agents for PTA
PTAT 2410 Kinesiology for the PTA
PTAT 2370 Professional Development for the PTA
PTAT 2492 Integrated Clinical Education
PTAT 2510 Musculoskeletal Conditions and Treatment for the PTA
PTAT 2520 Neuromuscular Conditions and Treatment for the PTA
PTAT 2530 Medical & Surgical Conditions and Treatment for the PTA
PTAT 2280 Seminar for the PTA
PTAT 2493 Terminal Clinical Education I
PTAT 2494 Terminal Clinical Education II

The Associate of Applied Science Physical Therapist Assistant requires 66 college level credits (effective Fall 2018 the program will be increasing to 70 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

First Year, Fall Semester
Number Course Name Credits
BIOL 2010 Human Anatomy & Physiology I 4
PSCI 1010 Survey of Physical Science 4
PTAT 2200 Intro to Physical Therapy 2
PTAT 2460 Physical Therapy Procedures I 4
PTAT 2410 Kinesiology for the PTA 4
  Total Credits 18
First Year, Spring Semester
Number Course Name Credits
BIOL 2020 Human Anatomy & Physiology II 4
ENGL 1010 English Composition I 3
PTAT 2440 Biophysical Agents for PTA 4
PTAT 2510 Musculoskeletal Conditions & Treatments for the PTA 5
PTAT 2370 Professional Development for the PTA 3
  Total Credits 19
First Year, Summer Semester
Number Course Name Credits
PTAT 2492 Clinical Education I 4
COMM 2492 Fundamentals of Communication 3
  Total Credits 7
Second Year, Fall Semester
Number Course Name Credits
PTAT 2530 Medical/Surgical Conditions and Treatments for the PTA 5
PTAT 2520 Neuromuscular Conditions and Treatments for the PTA 5
PSYC 1030 General Psychology 3
  Humanities Course 3
  Total Credits 16
Second Year, Spring Semester
Number Course Name Credits
PTAT 2280 Seminar for the PTA 2
PTAT 2493 Terminal Clinical Education I 4
PTAT 2494 Terminal Clinical Education II 4
  Total Credits 10