PTA Curriculum


The physical therapist assistant (PTA) program is at the Associate in Science Degree level, which requires completion of 70-76 semester units of courses. These include prerequisites (14.5 units), PTA courses (33.5 units), Allied Health courses (3 units), and specific general education courses required for the program (9 units). Students must also take additional courses to meet graduation requirements of the college. PTA courses are offered Monday through Thursday in the evenings, and are scheduled sequentially for four semesters and one summer session. Supervised clinical work experiences are integrated throughout the program. Introduction to Clinical Practice (PTA 122) requires one full day per week during the second semester of the program. Clinical Practicum I and II (PTA 142 & 152) are each 6-week full-time clinical affiliations, at the end of fall and spring semesters of the second year.

Recommended Preparation:

High school college preparatory courses including algebra, biology, chemistry, physiology, and physics are recommended. Volunteer work or observational experience in a physical therapy clinic is recommended in order to assist students in making a career decision. Medical Language (AH 110) is advised prior to enrollment in the program.

Required Program:

Prerequisite Courses:
PTA 100, Introduction to Physical Therapist Assistant (1.5 units)
Biology 430, Anatomy/Physiology (5 units) or equivalent course within the past 10 years
Biology 431, Anatomy/Physiology (5 units) or equivalent course within the past 10 years
English 300, English 488, or ESL 340, College Composition (3 units)
Eligibility for English 310 (Prose Analysis and Interpretation, as determined by the reading assessment process), English 110 (Composition Strategies and Vocabulary Development for College), or ESLR 310 (Intermediate-High Reading), for all applicants who do not have an associate’s degree or higher

Physical Therapist Assistant Courses:
PTA 110, Kinesiology for PTA students (3 units)
PTA 111, Kinesiology Lab for PTA students (2 units)
PTA 120, Beginning Procedures – Physical Therapy Modalities and Procedures (3.5 units)
PTA 121, Disorders I – Selected Disorders Commonly Seen in Physical Therapy (3 units)
PTA 122, Introduction to Clinical Practice (3 units)
PTA 130, Intermediate Procedures – Physical Therapy Modalities and Procedures (1 unit)
PTA 140, Therapeutic Exercise – Exercise Programs, Protocols and Procedures (3 units)
PTA 141, Disorders II – Nervous System Disorders (2 units)
PTA 142, Clinical Practicum I (4 units)
PTA 150, Functional Activities and Gait – Activities of Daily Living and Gait Training Techniques (3 units)
PTA 151, Advanced Procedures – Advanced Modalities and Treatment Procedures (1 unit)
PTA 152, Clinical Practicum II (4 units)
PTA 153, Professional Issues (1 unit)

Allied Health Courses:
AH 106, Communication for Allied Health Careers (2 units)
AH 100, Professional Ethics of Health Team Members (1 unit)

General Education Courses Required for PTA Program:
Psychology 370 or FCS 324, Human Development: A Life Span (3 units)
Sociology 300, Introductory Sociology (3 units) or Anth 310, Cultural Anthropology (3 units)
NUTRI 300, Nutrition (3 units) or FCS 340, Nutrition (3 units) or HEED 300, Health Science (3 units)

Graduation Requirements:
Social Sciences – American Institutions (3 units)
Ethnic Multicultural Studies (0-3 units) Note: A selected 3 unit history course may fulfill both the American Institutions and Ethnic Multicultural Studies requirements.
Humanities (3 units)
Languages and Rationality – Communication and Analytical Thinking (3 units)
Living Skills – Physical Education (1 unit)
Competency in Basic Skills – Math and Reading (0-6 units)