Physical Therapist Assistant

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 PTA Program Outcomes

 Graduation Year 2015   2016 2017  2018
 Graduation Rate  92%  100%  100% 100%
 Licensure Pass Rate  100%   100%  100%  100%
 Employment Rate  100%  100%  100% 100%

Program Overview

  • 60-credit Associate of Applied Science degree.
  • Competitive, annual selection process for full-major program.
  • The PTA program selects students each fall semester to start PTA courses the next spring semester (January).
  • Can be completed in five (5) academic semesters in full-time enrollment.
  • Full-time enrollment on the UAA Anchorage campus required for full-major program.
  • Graduates are eligible for the NPTE exam.

What is a PTA?

PTAs help people of all ages who have medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their ability to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives.  Some of the care provided by a PTA may include teaching patients or clients exercises for mobility, strength and coordination, training for activities such as walking with crutches, canes or walkers, using manual therapy, physical agents and electrotherapy such as ultrasound.  PTAs also observe the patient's abilities and report their observations to the physical therapist. 

Message from the Director

Welcome to the UAA Physical Therapist Assistant Program! We are excited to offer this program at UAA. The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) is an integral part of the health care team that implements a physical therapy treatment plan under the supervision of a Physical Therapist (PT).

This program is a combination of classroom and hands-on lab experiences. Although this program is rigorous, it is set-up for students to be successful in the clinical environment as entry level Physical Therapist Assistants.

PTA students are taught critical thinking processes and skills such as therapeutic exercise, orthopedic and neurological interventions, therapeutic modalities, and the art of patient care. In addition to patient treatment courses, students study the basic sciences of anatomy, physiology, clinical pathology, and kinesiology. Clinical experiences are integrated throughout the curriculum in a variety of clinical settings under the supervision of a Physical Therapist or Physical Therapist Assistant and offer students many opportunities to practice techniques. The ultimate goal of physical therapy is to aid patients and clients in their return to maximal function.

Graduates are eligible to sit for the National Physical Therapist Assistant exam through the Federation of State Boards in Physical Therapy after successful completion of the curriculum. State licensure is required to practice as a PTA.


Jodi Pfeiffer, PTA, MHA

Program Director