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Physical Therapist Assistant A.A.S.

  • An occupational therapist helps a patient use the parallel bars

    Physical Therapist Assistant A.A.S.

    Help people move and function in their daily lives to reach short- and long-term health and fitness goals. The University of Alaska Anchorage offers the only accredited physical therapist assistant program in Alaska that prepares students for national licensure.

Explore the physical therapist assistant associate degree program at the University of Alaska Anchorage

To help address the shortage of qualified PTAs in Alaska, this accredited associate degree program prepares undergraduate students to sit for the National Physical Therapy Examination for Physical Therapist Assistants. All states require PTAs to be licensed or certified.

Physical therapist assistant scholarships and financial aid
Visit the UAA Office of Financial Aid for details on program, department, university and private scholarships you may qualify for.

Student advising and support
Program faculty advisors, as well as academic advisors in the School of Allied Health, help you stay on track with the admission requirements to apply for physical therapist assistant school and the degree requirements to earn your associate degree from UAA.

Student clubs and activities
  • Alaska Physical Therapy Association
The class of 2016 was honored by the Foundation for Physical Therapy as having the best fundraising for a new PTA program.

Physical Therapist Assistant A.A.S.

Degree Type:

  • Associate

Program Length: Two years

Availability:Anchorage campus

Accredited by: Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education

Did you know..

Our program’s students have earned the highest score possible on the National Physical Therapy Examination for Physical Therapist Assistants.

What can you do with a physical therapist assistant degree from UAA?

Preparing you for entry-level employment as a licensed physical therapist assistant, UAA’s program offers a variety of pathways to opportunities for independent practice and career advancement.

Related programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology
  • Doctor of Occupational Therapy
  • Bachelor of Science in health sciences, pre-professional track with an emphasis in physical therapy

Physical therapist assistant careers

  • Hospitals
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Nursing homes
  • Home and public health agencies
  • Schools
  • Private practices
  • Military services

By the numbers..

The job placement rate of alumni who passed the national physical therapist assistant licensing exam.
UAA School of Allied Health
The median annual wage for physical therapist assistants.
U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, May 2016

Physical therapist assistant associate degree program highlights

Get real-world experience interacting with patients, families and other health care professionals and responding to the changing dynamics of health care systems.

  • Gain 15 weeks of on-the-job-training at clinical sites in Anchorage and throughout Alaska. You’ll complete three clinical rotations — a one-week experience in the spring and two seven-week rotations in the fall — with clinical instructors who provide hands-on instruction in patient care.
  • Learn from program faculty who have advanced training and experience in physical therapy. Led by the Alaska Physical Therapy Association president, program faculty are all licensed to practice in Alaska. Their specialties include orthopedics, ergonomics, lymphedema, cardiopulmonary and vascular systems, acute care and ICU, psychosocial adaptation to disability and differential diagnosis.
Runners at the starting line

As a valuable member of a health care team, physical therapist assistants 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.

A critical health care profession
Two students assist a patient fit an arm brace

UAA’s physical therapist assistant program has its own dedicated PTA lab with physical therapy equipment and resources.

Practice in top-notch facilities
Two blue 2kg hand-weights.

Highly successful in preparing students for the National Physical Therapy Examination for Physical Therapist Assistants, UAA’s accredited physical therapist assistant degree program boasted a 100 percent pass rate in 2016.

Preparation for national licensure

Physical therapist assistant associate degree program curriculum

With a focus on evidence-based practice, as well as ethical, legal and regulatory standards, UAA’s physical therapist associate degree program explores principles of physical, biological and behavioral sciences as they relate to clinical practice.

You’ll learn to conduct exercises for mobility, coordination and strength. You’ll also develop skills in manual therapy and physical agents like electrotherapy, heat or cold, and learn to train clients to use assistive devices such as crutches and walkers.

Top classes for physical therapist assistant majors

  • Kinesiology and Biomechanics
  • Psychosocial Aspects of Health Care
  • Therapeutic Exercise