Physical Therapist Assistant

Degree Type
Associate of Science

This Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program at River Valley Community College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email:; website: If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 603-542-7744 x5434;

The PTA program prepares students to work under the direction and supervision of a licensed physical therapist. The program also prepares students for the PTA licensure examination in the student’s respective state or jurisdiction. Job opportunities for PTAs can be found across the country and include a variety of different settings such as hospitals, outpatient clinics and long term care facilities. 100% of our PTA graduates report having a job within one year of passing their licensing exam.

RVCC’s PTA program includes coursework focused on passing the national licensure examination. 100% of 2022 RVCC PTA program graduates successfully passed the national licensing exam on their first try compared to the nationwide average of 80%.

Application deadlines: The PTA program requires supplementary application materials. Applicants must meet all requirements for consideration before entering the program. While there is no deadline, space is limited and applicants should be prepared for a competitive selection process. Full details are available at the college website:

Requirements for application consideration: Acceptance is contingent on demonstration of a set academic standard. Refer to the PTA application packet (URL above) or admissions office for details.

Technical Standards: Students must meet motor, sensory, communication, behavioral, and critical thinking standards for admission to the program. These standards are in accordance with the rigors of the field. For more information, please refer to the PTA Program Application Packet (URL above).

Transfer Options: RVCC has transfer agreements with Plymouth State University and Franklin Pierce University which allows students to apply their work at River Valley Community College towards a Bachelor’s degree. Students would then apply to the Doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT) graduate program.  An Associate Degree in PTA is considered terminal, and is not a stepping stone to a DPT degree.

Special Requirements: The PTA program requires students to take technical and liberal arts courses. All technical courses for the program are offered exclusively at RVCC’s Claremont campus. The liberal arts courses availability is more flexible; courses may also be offered at our satellite Academic Centers or online. PTA Students are required to keep pace with the class schedule and must take courses in sequential order. Students must meet technical, dress code and grade standards as well as additional clinical education requirements including, but not limited to, immunizations, CPR certification, liability insurance, health insurance, a Criminal/Sexual Offender Records Information check and/or drug test. Students are responsible for those expenses. All liberal arts courses in the PTA program must be passed with a minimum grade of “C” in order to progress. All PTAC and AHLT courses must be passed with a grade of B- or higher. At selected points in the program, students must pass a comprehensive examination in order to progress.

The PTA program combines classroom and laboratory work at the college with two full-time (8 weeks and 10 weeks) supervised clinical education experiences. The Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education works with each student to assign appropriate clinical sites. Assignments depend on the availability of clinical sites. Students should plan to travel an estimated 90 minutes one way to their clinical sites or to temporarily relocate.  A car is required for personal transportation to all clinical education experience assignments. 

Once matriculated into the PTA program, all courses must be successfully completed within 3 years unless special permission has been obtained from the Program Director to continue for a fourth year. The testing of competencies is required after a leave of absence or a prolonged period of study. 

Graduates must pass a national examination and satisfy licensing requirements in most states in order to practice legally under the supervision of a physical therapist.



* For many AHLT and PTAC courses: must be matriculated in professional program or receive special written permission from the Program Director or instructor.

* Many courses have co/prerequisites. See course descriptions for requirements. 

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