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Program Overview

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The Physical Therapist Assistant is a skilled technical health worker who performs physical therapy interventions under the direction of a Physical Therapist.  This program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; telephone: 703-706-3245; e-mail:; website:

Length and Kind of Program

The program is four semesters in length.  General education and Physical Therapist Assistant classes are scheduled on the college campus.  Correlated clinical experiences begin the second semester and continue throughout the program.  These experiences take place at selected hospitals and clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, Ventura, and San Bernardino counties usually during regular business hours. 

Admission Requirements (Pre-requisites):

  1. General Education Requirements
    1. Completion of ENGL (English) 100 or equivalent with a grade of “C” or higher or satisfactory completion of the English Placement Process.
    2. Completion of MATH 80 (Intermediate Algebra) or equivalent with a grade of “C” or higher or satisfactory completion of the Math Placement Process.
    3. Meet Reading proficiency requirement for AS degree.  *Note: If an applicant has completed and Passed at least 12 units of college-level courses with a “C” or higher, this requirement will be considered to be met.*
  2. A&P 150 – Human Anatomy and A&P 151 – Human Physiology or equivalent 4-unit courses with labs, earning a grade of “C” or higher.  *Note: A five-unit minimum combined anatomy and physiology course with a lab can be substituted to meet this requirement.  However, eight units of anatomy and physiology with lab is preferred.*
  3. An overall grade point average of 2.0 must be attained prior to admission to the Physical Therapist Assistant Program, and a grade of “C” or higher must be attained for each general education course.
  4. Courses in progress at the time of application must be verified by a work-in-progress report from the instructor showing a grade of “C” or higher.  Those courses must then be completed with a grade of “C” or higher and verified by official transcript for admission to the program.

Application and Acceptance Procedures:

  1. Complete application to the program.  The PTA application instructions and forms can be found online at   The application and all supporting documentation must be submitted by April 15.  Incomplete and/or late applications will not be considered.
  2. Submit unofficial transcripts of ALL college work as part of your application PDF file. Electronic application packets need to be submitted via email by no later than April 15 at 11:59pm.  DO NOT send official transcripts with your application.  You will be asked to provide official transcripts directly to the Admissions & Records Department once you have been admitted to the PTA Program.
  3. Work-in-progress reports from the instructor are to be included in the application packet.
  4. If you would like a counselor to review your transcript (optional), please make an appointment with the counseling department at (562) 860-2451, extension 2231.  Many questions can be answered by e-mail or virtual visit appointment through the online counseling link,
  5. All work experience as a physical therapist aide must be verified by a letter on letterhead from your employer stating you are / were a paid employee, giving your job title, and dates of employment. Work experience in related medical fields must also be verified in the same way.  To receive credit for volunteer work, documentation from the site must show at least six months of volunteer service.
  6. Application packets will be evaluated after April 15.  Documents to be reviewed include the application, unofficial transcripts, work-in progress reports, and work verification.  Clearances are verified and/or points are assigned using the following considerations:
    1. Admission requirements (completed pre-requisites)
    2. GPA in prerequisite courses
    3. Work / volunteer experience in the field; or work experience in related medical fields
    4. Additional coursework in medical and science classes
    5. Overall grade point average
  7. Notification of acceptance or non-acceptance will be mailed after July 1.

After Acceptance and Prior to Enrollment:

  1. Official Transcripts – Admitted students must provide Official Transcripts to the Cerritos College Admissions & Records Department to verify all completed coursework and grades.
  2. CPR for Healthcare Provider – You must present a valid CPR card for Healthcare Provider offered through the American Heart Association prior to the beginning of the program.  Card must be valid throughout the duration of the program.
  3. Health Clearance – Admitted students must present evidence of physical fitness and ability to perform tasks required of a physical therapist assistant.  Physical exam, labs, x-rays, and immunization records must be cleared and verified after acceptance into the program.
  4. Criminal Background Check – Clinical placements are a mandatory component of the curriculum and will require clearance of a criminal background check.  Students who do not clear agency requirements are not eligible for clinical placement and will, consequently, be ineligible to continue in the program.  If there is any concern regarding clearance of a criminal background check, please contact the Health Occupations Division for additional information.
  5. A drug screen may be required depending on the internship site (determined during the clinical placement process).
  6. If admitted to the program, failure to present the required documents described above by the deadline may result in reversal of acceptance or dismissal from the program.


Enrollment fees, lab fees, physical exam/immunizations, background check, books, and supplies will cost approximately $4,200 over the four-semester program.  Students are responsible for their own living accommodations, any additional on-boarding fees for clinical experiences, uniforms, and transportation to selected hospitals and clinics.  Upon successful completion of all program requirements, the student will be eligible to receive and wear the Physical Therapist Assistant pin, which is given at a graduation ceremony.  The cost of the pin is the responsibility of the student.

Attendance and Scholarship

All students are expected to comply with the attendance requirements of the College and of the Physical Therapist Assistant Program.  To remain in the program, students must maintain a “C” or higher in all courses.


Successful completion of the Physical Therapist Assistant Program and Associate in Science Degree qualifies the graduate to take the National Examination for Physical Therapist Assistants (NPTE) and the California Laws Test for Physical Therapist Assistant licensure.  The California Physical Therapy Board requires all licensure applicants to provide a valid U.S. Social Security Number.  Additional information regarding licensure requirements, fees, etc. can be found on the PT Board of CA website.

Program Progression / Completion

Successful completion of all course work is necessary for completion of and graduation from the program of study.  In order to complete the program, students must maintain a grade of “C” or higher; whether enrolled in combined lecture/lab courses, practicums, or clinical experiences.  When content is tiered, each level must be completed according to identified criteria.  Upon successful completion of all program requirements, students are eligible to receive the Associate in Science degree.


The following pre-requisite courses and general education requirements must be completed to qualify for the A.S. Degree:

Course Number Course Name Units
A&P 150 Human Anatomy 4
A&P 151 Human Physiology 4
ENGL 100 Freshman Composition 4
MATH 80 Intermediate Algebra 3
MA 161 Medical Terminology 3
PSYC 101 General Introductory Psychology 3
COMM 100 Fundamentals of Oral Communication 3
  US History or American Government 3
  Humanities or Fine Arts 3

The following are required courses to be taken within the PTA Program to complete the A.S. Degree:


Fall Semester

Course Number Course Name Units
PTA 110 Introduction to Physical Therapy 4
PTA 120 Kinesiology 4

Spring Semester

Course Number Course Name Units
PTA 125 Pathology 3
PTA 126 Clinical Practicum I 4
PTA 128 Physical Therapy Aspects of Growth and Development 3
PTA 130 Soft Tissue Interventions 1
PTA 235 Neurology 3


Fall Semester

Course Number Course Name Units
PTA 230 Therapeutic Exercise 4
PTA 233 Prosthetics and Orthotics for Applied Health Professionals 2
PTA 236 Clinical Practicum II 4
PTA 129 Physical Therapy Aspects of Aging & Integumentary Management 1.5

Spring Semester

Course Number Course Name Units
PTA 240 Activities of Daily Living 2
PTA 245 Advanced Modalities 3
PTA 246 Clinical Affiliation 4
PTA 250 Licensing Exam Review 1

**    The program has made every reasonable effort to determine that everything stated in the information sheet is accurate.  Matters contained herein, are subject to change without notice by the administration of the department for reasons related to student enrollment, level of financial support or for any reason at the discretion of the Program.  The Program further reserves the right to add, amend, or repeal any of the rules, regulations, policies and procedures, consistent with applicable laws.

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