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Program Overview

I.  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, Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

II.   Admission Procedures and Requirements

1.              Academic Requirements

a.              Acceptable scores on the College Placement Tests for Writing, Mathematics and Reading clearance or deficiencies removed.

Completion of ENGL 100 or equivalent. 


1. Completion of MATH 80 or equivalent.

2.     For other options, see your counselor

c.            Anatomy and Physiology 150 & 151or equivalent course with a grade of “C” or higher. An equivalent is any combined anatomy/physiology course of 5 units or more or separate courses of 8 units total. All courses must include a laboratory component. 

d.            All deficiencies in academic requirements must be removed.  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 and required course.

Applicants who have not completed 1a-d will not be considered for admission.

2.              Health

a.              Applicants must present evidence of physical fitness and ability to perform tasks required of a physical therapist assistant.  Lab, x-rays and immunization records meeting hospital standards must be completed after acceptance into the program.

III.  Selection Procedures

 1.             Academic Evaluation

a.           All required documents, including transcripts, test scores, work-in-progress reports, and work verificaiton from a physical therapist employer must be in the Health Occupations Division Office by April 15.

b.           No student whose college grade point average is below 2.0, who has a “D” or “F” in any general education class, or who has not cleared Writing, Math, or Reading deficiencies can be considered.  These are considered minimum standards of academic preparation. 

c.           Additional consideration will be given for work experience in the field of physical therapy or related areas, and for students who have completed additional medical or science related classes.

IV.  Expenses

Students are expected to purchase a student body card.  Enrollment fees, project fees, uniforms, books, and supplies will cost approximately $3,500.  Students are responsible for their own living accommodations, uniform laundry, and transportation to selected hospitals and clinics. 

V.  Attendance and Scholarship  

All students are expected to observe the attendance requirements of the College and of the Physical Therapist Assistant Program.  To remain in the program, the student must maintain a “C” or higher in each required and general education course.  Lab coats are required in all hospital lab classes (PTA 126, 236, and 246).

Procedures for Application (To be completed in order as listed) 

1.           Complete application to the program.  This can be obtained in either the Health Occupations Division (562) 860-2451, extension 2550, or Counseling Office, extension 2231 or downloaded from\ho  All applications and information must be returned by April 15.  Accepted applicants will start in the Fall Semester.

2.           Submit official transcripts of all college work to the Health Occupations Division with the program application..

3.           Submit assessment test scores for English, Reading and Math with your application by April 15.  If you have not taken these tests, proof of clearance by course work must appear on your college transcript.  If you do not have course work or test scores to submit, apply to Cerritos College, obtain a student number, take the assessment test battery at the Assessment Center and record your test date on your program application by April 15. 

4.           It is advised that you make an appointment with a counselor to review test scores and college work.  To make an appointment with a counselor, call (562) 860-2451, extension 2231. 

5.           As soon as all of the above material is received and reviewed, you will be notified of acceptance or non-acceptance after June 15.  However, if you are completing admission requirements during the spring session, a work-in-progress report must be submitted to the Health Occupations Division by April 15. 

6.           If you are accepted into the Physical Therapist Assistant Program, you must present a valid CPR card for Basic Life Support Course Level “C”, offered through the American Red Cross prior to the first hospital experience (PTA 126).  Card must be valid throughout the program.

7.     Background checks are required and drug-screening may be requsired.

**    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.


        Pre-requisites: A&P 150 & 151, satisfactory scores on Assessment Battery Test or proof of course completion to remove deficiencies.  Cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or better and at least a "C" or higher in each general education and required course.  Current certification in CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation-Basic Life Support) required prior to first hospital experience (PTA 126).

PTA curriculum
FIRST YEAR Course Name Units
First Semester    
PTA 110 Introduction to Physical Therapy 4
PTA 120 Kinesiology 4
Second Semester    
PTA 125 Pathology 3
PTA 126 Clinical Practicum I 4
PTA 127 Soft Tissue Interventions 1
PTA 128 Physical Therapy Aspects of Growth, Development 3
PTA 235 Neurology 3
First Semester    
PTA 230 Therapeutic Exercises 4
PTA 233 Prosthetics and Orthotics for Allied Health Professionals 2
PTA 236 Clinical Practicum II 4
PTA 129 Aging and Integumentry Managmement 1.5
Second Semester    
PTA 240  Activities of Daily Living 2
PTA 245  Advanced Modalities 3
PTA 246 Clinical Affiliation 4
PTA 250 Licensure Examination Preparation 1

See Cerritos College Graduation Requirements



general education requirements
Course number Course description Units
ENGL 100
Freshman Composition
MA 161
Medical Terminology
PSYC 101
General Introduction to Psychology
SPCH 100
SPCH 130
Fundamentals of Oral Communication
Fundamentals of Speaking
Natural Sciences 
US History or Political Science
Social Science
Humanities or Fine Arts

VII. Program Specific Data


Clinical placements are a mandatory component of the curriculum and may 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.  


Each year the program accepts 32 students from a pool of 300-350 applicants.  Once accepted into the program, the class to class success rate varies between 84-100%.  Graduation rates vary between 80-100%.  Employment for the last three years has been 95% or higher.  National Board pass rates for first time takes have varied between 70-95% with an ultimate pass rate varying between 83-100%.  Employment opportunities are readily available and are offered in Physical Therapy Departments located in in-patient, out-patient, rehabilitation, geriatric, and pediatric centers.


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Last Update: 7/16/2019