Your new career as a PTA is possible
- Program length: 20 months
- Transfer up to 54 approved credits
- Open enrollment with rolling admissions
- Brand new PTA lab and modern state of the industry equipment
- Pathways to continue advancing your education (BS, MBA)
Features of the Herzing PTA program curriculum at our Minneapolis campus:
- Complete your general education requirements prior to starting core coursework.
- Clinical experiences include four integrated clinical experiences and a clinical practicum prep course prior to starting your first full-time terminal clinical.
- Multiple licensure preparatory resources and assessments are interwoven throughout the PTA program coursework. This includes several industry resource guides and two mock exams!
All courses, 45.00 semester credit hours, are required.
Required Support Course
8.00 semester credit hour is required.
General Education Prerequisites
The following general education prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of C (70%) or better for a student to be continued in the PTA program: Anatomy and Physiology I and Anatomy and Physiology I Lab Anatomy and Physiology II and Anatomy and Physiology II Lab All other general education courses must be passed with a grade of D (60%) or better to be continued in the Physical Therapist Assistant program. A student who is dropped from the PTA program for failing to achieve the minimum grade specified in the general education courses, but who otherwise meets the academic standards of the University, may transfer to another Herzing degree program and/or may reapply to this program in a future cycle.
Required Courses in General Education
Students enrolled in this associate degree must complete a minimum of 24.00 semester credit hours in general education (◊includes 6.0 credit hours from Anatomy and Physiology listed in above required) distributed among the following disciplines. Refer to the General Education section of this catalog for Herzing University courses that would satisfy these requirements.* 9.00 Semester Credit Hours in Communications 3.00 Semester Credit Hours in Humanities (must include 3 semester credit hours of cultural diversity) 3.00 Semester Credit Hours in Social or Behavioral Science 3.00 Semester Credit Hours in Mathematics ◊Science Semester Credit Hours are satisfied through Anatomy and Physiology requirement listed above. * Transfer students may transfer courses that are within 1.00 semester credit hour of the courses listed above to meet these discipline requirements. Any resulting deficiency in the total of 24.00 semester credit hours required in general education may be made up with general education electives from any of the listed disciplines.
Personal and Professional Development Courses
2.00 semester credit hours are required.
There are a few requirements to satisfy to start your career as a physical therapist assistant. The biggest prerequisite for practicing as a PTA is earning your associate degree.
To become a physical therapist assistant, you’ll need to take these steps:
- Education - enroll in a PTA degree program. You will need to earn an associate degree from a program like Herzing’s to be eligible for certification/licensure.
- Gain experience in a clinical environment. As part of the program, you’ll need to participate in hands-on clinical and laboratory experiences to prepare for real world practice.
- Become certified. After graduation, you are required to pass the National Physical Therapy Exam for physical therapist assistants (NPTE-PTA) before practicing as a PTA in Minnesota.
- Find your first job! Upon earning your certification you’ll be ready to start your new career.
Herzing’s goal is to empower you to earn the education you need to not only earn your first job—but truly thrive in your new career as a physical therapist assistant in Minnesota.
Frequently Asked Questions
You may complete general education and other core coursework online. However, the most important part of the program is your hands-on training with experienced faculty supporting you every step of the way.
The clinical and laboratory portion of the Herzing associate degree program curriculum is crucial to building the real-world skills necessary to succeed as a physical therapist assistant.
Herzing’s goal is to best prepare you for career success, and we pride ourselves on delivering a personal, individualized education to help you flourish as a practicing PTA.
The Herzing University physical therapist assistant program takes 20 months to complete as scheduled full-time.
After earning your associate degree you’ll need to sit for the NPTE-PTA exam to earn your certification/license and truly become a physical therapist assistant. There are typically 4 test dates per year – you may view future exam dates for the NPTE-PTA here.
If the timing is right, you may be able to earn your degree and get certified in around 2 years.
According to 2019 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, physical therapist assistants across the US earn an average salary of $58,520 per year ($28.14 per hour).
Pay can vary depending on where you practice, your level of experience and the type of medical facility you work for. Discover more about how much physical therapist assistants make, including a state-by-state breakdown.
If you are a good communicator, are a passionate learner, and love to inspire and motivate other people, you could be an excellent physical therapist assistant.
Learn more about what makes a great physical therapist assistant from a physical therapist who’s worked in the industry for many years.
Classes as part of the Herzing curriculum include topics in:
- Anatomy & Physiology
- Therapeutic exercise
- Orthopedic patient care
- Neurologic patient care
- Principles of practice
- Basics of patient care
- Specific population care
- Clinical preparation
- Clinical placements
For a full list of required classes, you may view the course sheet for the PTA program curriculum.
General education is also a requirement in an associate degree program, including courses in English, Science, Mathematics and Humanities (you may be able to transfer prior college credit).
When compared to the average United States occupation, physical therapist assistants are in very high demand.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), from 2018-2028 the projected increase in PTA employment is 27% - compared to the national average of 5% across all occupations. The BLS notes there should be many job opportunities in nursing homes, home healthcare facilities and outpatient orthopedic facilities.
Given the above average projected increase in employment, now is a great time to earn your degree, get certified and enter a rapidly growing field in healthcare.
Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) work under the direction of a physical therapist to help people return to daily activity which may encompass movement related recreational pursuits, work, or sports. PTAs also offer patients injury prevention strategies related to fitness and movement.
Choose a PTA program if you are comfortable with physical contact, have the strength to support a patient’s full bodyweight if needed, and can be a strong motivator for patients completing challenging or uncomfortable exercises.
Occupational therapy assistants (OTAs) work under the direction of an occupational therapist to help people of all ages who have a disability, condition or injury which interferes with their ability to carry out daily self-care, school or work tasks. OT/OTAs work on cognition as well as the physical aspect of care.
Choose an OTA program if you love to work with patients of all ages, can solve problems creatively, and enjoy helping people regain their independence and build confidence. Learn more about our occupational therapist assistant program in Minneapolis.
Discover further detail on the primary difference between an OTA vs. PTA.
Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs) work with patients of all ages, from newborns to the elderly, who have injuries or health-related conditions that limit their ability to move and perform daily activities. The PTA works under the supervision and direction of the physical therapist (PT) to implement a treatment plan that will help those individuals regain their functional abilities and live healthier, fuller lives.
Find out more about what a physical therapist assistant does and what you can expect in your career as a PTA.
Accreditations & Disclosures
1. The Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant program at Herzing University Minneapolis is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314, telephone: 703-706-3245; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: www.capteonline.org. If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call Tamara Felegy, Program Chair, at (763) 231-3181 or email email@example.com.