Director of Physical Therapist Assistant
Jessica Niemann, PTA, M.Ed.
PH 402.552.2868  TF 800.647.5500


The Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant (AS PTA) degree program prepares students to carry out customized rehabilitative care plans tailored to their patients’ individual needs. The program offers two options: an on-campus, 24-month (6 semesters) traditional track for first-time college students or those who want to take courses at a slower pace; and a hybrid, 16-month (4 semesters) transfer track for individuals who have an associates degree or higher or have earned at least 35 credit hours from an accredited college or university. 

Content for the traditional track is delivered with an in-person mode of delivery for all PTA coursework. Content for the transfer track is delivered with a hybrid mode of delivery. Students in the transfer track access online, asynchronously lecture and lab videos, and attend four on-campus skills weekends (Fri/Sat) per semester for the first three semesters (12 total skills weekends).

Successful completion of the PTA program leads to an Associate of Science degree, making students eligible to sit for the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) to obtain a PTA license. 

PTA graduates can take their career to a new level by enrolling in the dual Associate and Bachelor of Science in PTA degree program. After earning the Associate of Science in PTA degree, students begin the Bachelor of Science in PTA degree completion program. The dual degree in PTA option will open doors for career growth through advanced skills in clinical decision-making, multi-system interventions, and leadership within the profession and community to earn a Bachelor of Science in PTA. 

The PTA traditional track degree requirements are listed below. 

Program Specific Competency Goals

Upon completion of the Associate of Science degree in Physical Therapist Assistant, graduates will:

  • Work within the legal guidelines and professional standards for the physical therapist assistant in the delivery of high quality health care under the direction and supervision of a licensed physical therapist.  (Professionalism)**
  • Implement treatment plans and PT interventions under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist. (Technology)**
  • Show sensitivity to cultural, ethnic, gender and lifestyle differences and promote justice, equity, diversity, and belonging. (Diversity)**
  • Possess the ability to effectively translate theory into practice in order to meet the demands of a dynamic health care system. (Critical Thinking)**
  • Contribute to the advancement of the profession by participating in research, teaching, continuing education and serving on professional organizations. (Professionalism)**
  • Exhibit good moral and ethical judgment in health care practice and uphold confidentiality of all persons at all times. (Communication)**

Faculty will:

  • Engage in professional associations to contribute to the advancement of the profession, stay current with legislation, and teach contemporary practices. (CC.02 Critical Thinking)**

Program will:

  • Integrate service learning in coursework to serve community needs and prepare students for interactions with various populations. (CC.04 Diversity)**
  • Review student feedback of general education and PTA curriculum for each semester in areas including methodology, organized and integrated learning experiences, student and faculty performance and achievement. (CC.01 Communication))**

**Categories denoted in the parentheses represent relationship to the Clarkson College student success skills, which are our institutional student learning outcomes, and include Communication, Technology, Critical Thinking, Diversity and Professionalism. 

Admission Policies

Enrollment in Clarkson College degree programs is limited through a selective admissions process. Admission policies and procedures are available from: the Admissions Department, College website or Academic Policies & Procedures section (AD-1).

Curriculum Requirements

In order to complete an Associate of Science degree in PTA degree at Clarkson College, students must successfully complete a total of 74 semester hours. Students are required to attend year round, with all PTA courses completed in the sequence, as shown in the sample curriculum. The semester hours must be distributed as follows:

  • Clarkson College Core Courses = 9  semester hours
  • General Courses = 16 semester hours (eight semester hours of the General Education hours includes the support courses of Anatomy and Physiology)
  • PTA Major Courses = 49 semester hours

Program requires Health and Safety – View Health and Safety Information

Healthcare Core Courses: 9 semester hours

Core Curriculum Courses may be taken anytime during the program. These courses must be taken at Clarkson College.

Course Semester Hours
◊ Intercultural Communication Healthcare Core - IC 200 Developing Cultural Competence OR IC 210 Patient Engagement, Medicine, and Mass Media, OR IC 220 Communicating Confidently Across Cultures 3
Humanities Healthcare Core - HU 200 A Cultural History of the Healing Arts OR HU 205 The History of Science, Technology and Medicine OR HU 210 American Social Movements OR HU 215 Academic Travel Abroad Humanities OR HU 220 World Religions 3
Ethics, Empathy and Advocacy Healthcare Core - EA 200 Healthcare Ethics OR EA 205 Death and Dying OR EA 210 American Poverty and Healthcare OR EA 215 Abnormal Psychology 3
  Total 9

Curriculum Plan

The following curriculum plan for an Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant degree has been provided to guide students in preparing a degree plan. Students should seek the advice of a PTA advisor to customize a degree. All semester hours of PTA major courses must be completed at Clarkson College. In addition, once a student enrolls at Clarkson College, all general education coursework must be completed at the College.

Service Requirements

Service reflects a holistic view that focuses on how individuals provide high quality, ethical and compassionate service in the field of health care and the community at large. Students will become familiar with service agencies, connect learning with practice and engage in civic service activities to live and demonstrate the Clarkson College Values of Learning, Caring, Commitment, Integrity and Excellence.

All students are required to complete designated service courses as a component of their program of study. Successful completion of service experiences is required to pass the designated service courses. Designated service courses are identified using the following symbol: 

PTA Required Courses Traditional Track (24-month option)

The following curriculum plan for an Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant degree has been provided. Below is the lock-step outline of the program’s curriculum to guide students.

First Year

First Semester

Course Name Semester Hours
BI 211 (BIO 211) - Human Anatomy - Lecture and Lab 4
EN 101 (ENG 101) - English Composition I 3
GEN 105 - Medical Terminology 1
PTA 105 - Functional Anatomy for the Physical Therapist Assistant 3
PTA 106 - Introduction to Physical Therapy 2
GEN 251 - Wellness for the Healthcare Professional 1
IPE 301 - Interprofessional Education 0
Total Semester Hours 14

Second Semester

Course Name Semester Hours
BI 213 (BIO 213) - Human Physiology - Lecture and Lab 4
IC HU EA (ICC HUM EEA) - Healthcare Core Courses 3
PTA 107 - Documentation for the Physical Therapist Assistant 2
PTA 110 - Basic Skills in Physical Therapy 3
PTA 115 - Therapeutic Exercise I 3
Total Semester Hours 15

Third Semester

Course Name Semester Hours
IC HU EA (ICC HUM EEA) - Healthcare Core Courses 3
PTA 122 - Therapeutic Modalities 3
Total Semester Hours 6
Second Year

First Semester

Course Name Semester Hours
PTA 205 - Pathophysiology 3
PTA 111 - Clinical Readiness 2
PTA 215 - Therapeutic Exercise II 3
PTA 222 - Therapeutic Interventions 3
PY 101 (PSY 101) - Introduction to Psychology 3
Total Semester Hours 14

Second Semester

Course Name Semester Hours
PTA 211 - Clinical Practicum I 3
IC HU EA (ICC HUM EEA) - Healthcare Core Courses 3
◊ PTA 213 - Professional Leadership Seminar 1
PTA 230 - Advanced Procedures 3
PTA 235 - Therapeutic Exercise III 3
Total Semester Hours 13

Third Semester

Course Name Semester Hours
PTA 241 - Clinical Practicum II 6
PTA 246 - Clinical Practicum III 6
Total Semester Hours 12

Total Semester Hours - 74

Last updated: 06/23/2023