Physical Therapist Assistant - AAS

St. Catherine University's physical therapist assistant (PTA) program prepares students to work as skilled clinical practitioners who perform physical therapy interventions and related duties under the direction of licensed physical therapists. PTAs perform interventions intended to help people of all ages recover physical function lost through diseases, injury or other causes.

St. Kate's physical therapist assistant program was the first of its kind in the nation and offers a careful blend of theory and practice for students to master physical therapy concepts and techniques.

As part of the educational process, students will have a variety of clinical experiences that may include acute care, skilled nursing facility/rehabilitative, or outpatient settings. The program has an extensive clinical network in the immediate Twin Cities area, the state and nationally. The PTA program and the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program are housed together, providing opportunities for collaborative learning through activities such as blended tutorial learning, cadaver lab reviews, joint service learning courses and joint co-curricular activities. These provide PTA and DPT students with invaluable learning of each others' roles in the clinical setting.

See also: Doctor of Physical Therapy (graduate catalog)

This major is offered in the College for Adults only.

In addition to the program-required courses, students must complete the LIFE general education core curriculum.

The A.A.S. PTA program requires a minimum of 63 credits.


Required Physical Therapist Assistant Courses (minimum grade of C required)
PTA 1010Patient Handling Techniques2
PTA 1020Physical Therapy Intervention Techniques2
PTA 1040Musculoskeletal Anatomy and Measurement Techniques3
PTA 1050Orientation to Physical Therapy/Role of the Physical Therapist Assistant2
PTA 1170Foundation, Pathology and Application of Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy6
PTA 1310Clinical Experience I2
PTA 1350Healthcare Delivery System1
PTA 2000Physical Therapy Intervention Techniques III8
PTA 2010Introductory Concepts in Pediatric Physical Therapy1
PTA 2020Concepts in Geriatric Physical Therapy1
PTA 2100Clinical Experience II3
PTA 2210Clinical Experience III3
PTA 2260Learning and Service Through Immersion1
PTA 2410Capstone Seminar and Project2
Prerequisite to professional courses (minimum grade of C required)
BIOL 2400General Anatomy and Physiology with Lab 14
Supporting Courses (minimum grade of C- required) 1
BIOL 2420Human Disease2
PSYC 1000General Psychology4
PSYC 2020Lifespan Developmental Psychology4
PHILXXXXHealthcare / Biomedical Ethics4

These courses, with the exception of PSYC 1000, must have been completed no more than five years prior to entering the University to be considered for transfer.