Physical Therapist Assistant Associate in Applied Science (Associate in Applied Science, 2020-2021)

Program Info

Year Established
Program Code
Degree Type
Associate in Applied Science

Program Description


Prepares individuals for employment as entry-level Physical Therapist Assistants. Students in this program will have learning experiences in the classroom, laboratory and in local physical therapy facilities. The final semester is spent in full-time (40 hrs/week) clinical externships.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate the knowledge base and technical skills to provide care as an entry level Physical Therapist Assistant.
  2. Recognize and demonstrate professional behaviors appropriate for practice as an entry level Physical Therapist Assistant.
  3. Demonstrate behaviors that comply with legal standards and adhere to the ethical standards established by the American Physical Therapy Association for Physical Therapist Assistants.
  4. Demonstrate safe, efficient, and compassionate care for patients in a variety of settings as Physical Therapist Assistants.
Career Opportunities

The Profession

Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs) are skilled health care providers who assist in providing planned patient care under the direction and supervision of a Physical Therapist. As members of the rehabilitation team, PTAs perform treatments designed to relieve pain, promote healing, and improve functional ability. Once a treatment plan is designed by a physical therapist, the PTA may be responsible for carrying out this treatment plan.


Opportunities for PTAs are excellent at this time and are projected to increase through at least the year 2024. PTAs may choose to practice in a variety of settings including hospitals, rehab centers, sports medicine clinics, public and private schools, outpatient physical therapy clinics, nursing homes, and home health settings. Information about career placement and job success is available through either the Health Careers Office or the Career Services Office.

Occupational Exposure/Risk

In physical therapy, both in school and on the job, exposure to infectious diseases may be minimal to moderate depending on the work setting. This is an occupational risk. Proper education and strict adherence to well established infection control guidelines, can further reduce the risk. Thorough education in infection control procedures is a part of the physical therapist assistant program of study.

Latex Allergies:

Early recognition of sensitization to natural rubber latex (NRL) is crucial to prevent the possible occurrence of life-threatening reactions in sensitized healthcare workers. The program faculty strongly advise that students sensitized or allergic to latex consult a physician for guidance on the merits of continuing in a health care career. NRL sensitized students who choose to continue in the physical therapist assistant program are to notify the program director.

OTHER INFORMATION The information represented here is for the current catalog year, If you were admitted prior to this year, please check your requirements under the Program Evaluation section of WebAdvisor.

The College continuously attempts to improve each program and as a result, courses and/or requirements may be modified. Curriculum, course content, and admission criteria are subject to change by action of the College faculty and administration.


  • Graduation Rate: Percentage of students who began and completed the technical portion of the PTA program
    • 2020: 74.1%
    • 2019: 64.0%
    • 2018: 95.8%
  • Licensure Ultimate Pass Rate:
    • 2020: 76.5%
    • 2019: 77.8%
    • 2018: 90.9%
  • Licensure First Time Pass Rate: Percentage of candidates who took and passed the NPTE on the first attempt.
    • 2020: 70.6%
    • 2019: 61.1%
    • 2018: 63.6%
  • Employment Rate: Percentage of graduates who sought employment and were employed as a PTA within one year of graduation.
    • 2019: 92%
    • 2018: 100%
    • 2017: 100%

PTA Program Complaint and Compliment Policy:

The Henry Ford College Physical Therapist Assistant Program wishes to be responsive to any substantive complaints or compliments regarding the program, its students, faculty or graduates.

Registry / Certification / Licensure Exam Information

Successful passage of the PTA Licensure Exam is required to practice in the State of Michigan. Students who are graduates of this program do qualify to sit for the National Physical Therapist Assistant Examination. Further details regarding this exam will be given as the student nears graduation.

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Henry Ford College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria Virginia 22305-3085; telephone: 703-706-3245; email:; website: If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 313-317-6576 or email

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements and Eligibility

Students who meet all admission requirements are considered qualified and are admitted to the program once per year in the fall semester on a “first-qualified, first-admitted” basis. Acceptance into the college does not constitute nor guarantee admission to the program. Final approval to enroll in the program comes from the Physical Therapist Assistant Program Director.

Program Admission Requirements

  1. College GPA of at least 2.80 or higher for a minimum of 12 academic credits excluding lower than 100 level courses.
  2. Accuplacer Next Gen (255+) Reading Score.
  3. Eligible for placement into ENG 131.
  4. Eligible for placement into MATH 110.
  5. Successful completion of BIO-233: Anatomy and Physiology I, or equivalent, with a B- or better, within five years of admission.*
  6. Successful completion of AH-100: Medical Terminology, or equivalent, with a B- or better.
  7. Twenty hours or more of observation in a physical therapy setting observing a PTA at work with a letter of confirmation from the supervisory PT or PTA (submit document to Health Careers Student Success Navigator in the Welcome Center).

*There may be other pre-admission coursework the student needs to complete based on results of placement tests and/or high school coursework.

The Program Admission Process

Our Health Career programs are limited enrollment programs with specific admission requirements. In order to get on the qualified list, you must complete the Health Careers Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) application found at the Health Careers Admissions Process site and all the PTA admission requirements. It is recommended that students interested in a health career meet with the Health Careers Student Success Navigator located in the Welcome Center Advising area. Make an appointment with the Health Careers Student Success Navigator early in your planning process. This will allow you to discuss program options and create an academic plan to qualify for the selected program.

Due to the number of credit hours required for program completion and the intensity of the program, students are encouraged to complete as many of the Required Support Courses as possible prior to entering the program. The first courses that a student should complete are those required for program admission followed by the other Required Support Courses.

Courses Required for Admission
Credit Hours: 8
Additional Program Requirements

Prior to starting the program Qualified students are invited and must attend an informational meeting scheduled by the Program Director for Physical Therapist Assistant

Health Appraisal

Potential students must have an interest in working with the ill and disabled. Good physical strength, observation skills, and communication skills are just some of the abilities required for this job. A more detailed sample job profile is available through the Health Careers Office 313-845-9877. Each student must pass a basic physical examination prior to entering the program and a more detailed examination (including checking blood titers for immunity, vaccinations required by health care community, tuberculosis screening) prior to the start of clinical externships. Any students requesting special accommodations for program admission and progression should contact the Assisted Learning Office at 313-845-9617.

Criminal Background Check and Drug Screen

Consistent with Section 20173 of the Michigan Public Health Code and the requirements of our clinical affiliates, a Criminal Background Check and Drug Screen clearance (on first test) is required for all students in PTA program prior to beginning clinical assignments. The cost for this test is in addition to the basic tuition and fee schedule. For questions regarding this policy, contact the Health Careers Office.

Students who are not cleared for clinical through the health appraisal, criminal background check and have not passed the drug screen on the first test will not be able to complete the PTA program.

Program Deposit

At the time of formal admission to the program, each applicant is required to pay a $100 fee to secure a position. One month after classes start in the fall, the $100 fee is refunded to the student if the student is still active in the program. Required core courses can be taken only after acceptance into the PTA Program through the School of Health and Human Services.


Students must maintain a valid American Heart Association (AHA), Basic Life Support for Healthcare Provider card throughout the Clinical Externships. May be fulfilled by taking AH-105: Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers

Program Requirements


All PTA courses taken at HFC must be successfully completed within three consecutive calendar years. A minimum of a C grade is required for PTA courses.

Minimum Total Credit Hours
Requirements are subject to change. The information represented here is effective starting Fall 2018 and applies to the current catalog year. If you were admitted prior to this year, please check your requirements under the My Progress section of HFC Self Service.