Physical Therapist Assistant PTA - Associate Degree | Hodges University

Associate in Science in Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA)

Program Delivery: On Campus
This is a hands-on program offered on the Naples campus.

The Associate in Science in Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program is designed to provide students with entry-level skills and knowledge to work under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist in the rehabilitation of patients with musculoskeletal and/or neuromuscular deficits, disease or disorders. 

CAPTE LogoGraduates of the program will be eligible to take the national licensing board exam required to practice in the field of physical therapy. Students will be considered biomedical sciences majors prior to applying and being accepted to the PTA Program. Students not accepted into the PTA program may continue toward a degree in biomedical sciences or other related majors.

Is a Career as a Physical Therapist Assistant Right for Me?

If you have a desire to help people, are looking for a position in health care and are looking for a career that includes a component of physical activity, a position as a physical therapist assistant might be right for you.

Physical therapist assistants typically exhibit the following qualities:

  • Compassion - You will work with people who are in pain and should be able to empathize.
  • Dexterity - You should be comfortable working with your hands to provide manual therapy like massage and therapeutic exercises.
  • Physical Stamina - You will spend much of your time on your feet and should enjoy physical activity.
  • Strong Interpersonal Skills - Working with people is the most important part of a physical therapist assistant position. You should be able to communicate treatment programs, listen to patients concerns and educate your patients.
  • Strong Analytic and Observational Skills - A physical therapist assistant should be able to think critically and make appropriate decisions in order to provide safe and effective care. 

What is the Physical Therapist Assistant Career Outlook?

Employment of physical therapist assistants is projected to grow 41 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.


What Can I Do with This Degree?

Physical therapist assistants help licensed physical therapists provide care to patients. Under the direction and supervision of physical therapists, they treat patients through exercise, massage, gait and balance training, and other therapeutic interventions. Physical therapist assistants record patients’ progress and report the results of each treatment to the physical therapist.

Physical therapist assistants typically do the following:

  • Observe patients before, during and after therapy, noting patient status and reporting it to a physical therapist.
  • Help patients do specific exercises as part of the plan of care.
  • Treat patients using a variety of techniques, such as massage and stretching.
  • Use devices and equipment, such as walkers, to help patients.
  • Educate a patient and family members about what to do after treatment.

What Will I Learn?

A full-time student, 12 semester hour credits per term or typically three courses per term, can complete this program in approximately two years.

The Associate in Science in the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program is a hands-on program offered on the Hodges University Naples campus only and is a day program – Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. The PTA program also includes two internships consisting of 40 hours a week for seven weeks in Summer Term B and eight weeks in Fall Term B.

The PTA Core is a full-time, day program. Students will attend class or internships five days a week for three consecutive semesters and must complete the coursework together as a cohort. 

Click on the Catalog to view the PTA course list.

Catalog Cover

How is Hodges University’s Physical Therapist Assistant Program Different?

Our Program is Accredited

CAPTE LogoThe Associate in Science in Physical Therapist Assistant program at Hodges University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; Phone: 703-706-3245; email:; website:

You Can Complete the Program in Two Years or Less

Our PTA program is the only one in the area that can be completed in two years or less.

Our Professors and Program Chair

Our instructors have practical experience and are dedicated to providing individualized personal attention. Dr. Cynthia Vaccarino, the PTA program chair, has worked as a physical therapist in a variety of settings including acute care, outpatient, neurology, orthopedics, trauma, skilled nursing facility and home health. She has designed, developed and taught the annual Post-Acute Stroke Symposium for Lee Memorial Health Systems and continues to be a resource to the health system and the community. She is an active member of the Florida Physical Therapy Association (FPTA) and the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).

Get Started Today and Apply Now!

Complete a Hodges University Application

PTA Admissions Requirements

  • Prerequisites must be completed or in process at the time of application deadline to the entry-level PTA program.
  • A cumulative GPA of 2.75 and a science GPA of 2.75 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
  • Twelve hours of observation hours under a licensed PT or PTA must be documented and submitted by application deadline.
  • Official transcripts must be on file from all other educational institutions attended.
  • Application and acceptance to Hodges University.

PTA Admissions Procedures

Applications will be accepted beginning June 1, 2017 for January 2018 admission.

Need More Information?

You may also contact us to speak to an admissions coordinator who will guide you through the application and admissions process. To speak to an admissions coordinator call us at 1-800-466-8017 (Naples) or 1-800-466-0019 (Fort Myers), use our contact form, email or schedule a one-on-one visit to tour one of our campuses.

Your Admissions Coordinator will:

  • Help you complete the applications, obtain necessary transcripts and schedule your admissions test (if necessary).
  • Coordinate the Financial Aid process with a Financial Aid Professional and refer you to your Academic Advisor for class scheduling.
  • Give you information regarding your orientation. 

    We look forward to welcoming you to the Hodges family!

    Program Outcomes

    • Graduates will demonstrate the ability to provide safe, competent physical therapy services under the supervision of the licensed physical therapist.
    • Graduates will demonstrate the ability to interpret and implement the physical therapy plan of care to meet the goals in a safe, effective manner.
    • Graduates will demonstrate the ability to communicate both written and verbally in an effective and appropriate manner.
    • Graduates will demonstrate the ability to educate others concerning physical therapy, interventions, wellness and prevention.
    • Graduates will exhibit the ability to provide safe, competent physical therapy services under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist.
    • Graduates will demonstrate the ability to recognize individual differences and respond appropriately.
    Hodges PTA Program Graduate Data:

    Number of students accepted into the PTA Program  10 1119  
    Number of PTA students graduated  10 1018  
    Graduation rate 100% 91% 95%    
    Percent of students who sat for the national boards and passed  88.8% 87.5% 100%    
    Number of graduates licensed as PTA's 8 7 17   
    Percent of licensed PTA's employed 100% 100% 100%   

    Your Faculty Members

    Cynthia Vaccarino
    Program Chair, Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA)
    Jeanne Csuy
    Assistant Professor
    Sharon Dickmann
    Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education, Assistant Professor
    Spotlight on Success
    Lisa Perry 300x200
    Lisa Perry , Physical Therapist Assistant 2016
    I am thankful for the quality of education I receive at Hodges and the caliber of instruction I have received.

    Request Information

    Build the Future You.

    Start by requesting information about Hodges University. Learn about admission requirements, academic programs, financial aid, and more.

    Permission to Contact:
    Yes you may contact me. I understand that by submitting this form, I may be contacted by Hodges University or its representatives by phone, SMS, email or postal mail.
    Data rates may apply.