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Physical Therapist Assistant (AS)

Professor Mark Fransen helping a student in class.

Why study to be a physical therapist assistant?

Our associate degree program in Physical Therapist Assistant Studies will prepare you to launch your physical therapist assistant career in as little as 2 years! The 4-semester course of study blends academics with extensive hands-on experience. You’ll start applying what you’ve learned in your first semester as you perform clinical experiences in our dedicated PTA and high-fidelity simulation labs. Your next 3 semesters include 4 clinical experiences, selected from our 100+ clinical sites.

Upon graduation, you’ll be eligible to take the National Physical Therapy Exam for physical therapist assistants. USF has a 93% pass rate!

Options to Go Farther

Get a Bachelor’s Degree

You can incorporate your physical therapist assistant degree into a bachelor’s in Health & Exercise Science or Health Services.

Get your Doctor of Physical Therapy degree

Graduates of our program have attended 6 different DPT programs! USF has articulation agreements with Midwestern University & Trine University, meaning you can apply for dual-accept status.

Take the first step:
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Career Outlook & Success


of our physical therapist assistant graduates who seek employment are hired into professional positions.


Expected job growth for physical therapist assistants by 2026 - much faster than average


Median pay (per U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Professor teaching a class with the human skeleton.

How You’ll Learn

Our professional curriculum will give you the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to build your career. You’ll practice your technical and patient care skills in our on-campus PTA and SIM labs. There, you’ll perform the tests, measurements, observations, interventions, and documentation that you’ll do as a physical therapist assistant.

You will be taught and mentored by outstanding faculty who are experts in the field: physical therapists & clinicians. Their years of experience and professional connections add value to your learning.

I love the way the program works. We learn a lot of material and it’s fast paced but working in the SIM lab and working on actual case studies brings the information to life in a way that makes it easier to learn. By the time we get to clinicals, we have confidence in our abilities. I just finished my first clinical in a skilled nursing facility and it was really cool to put what I’m learning into practice.

Shayna Temple ’20
Physical Therapist Assistant and Health & Exercise Science major

Professor Mark Fransen helping a student in class.

Clinical Experience

You will rotate through 4 different experiences — all selected to match your interests and schedule. Clinicals include:

  • Acute patient care, in-patient
  • Out patient
  • Skilled nursing

The fourth clinical can be an additional site from the previous experience or a subspecialty of choice (examples: wound care, burns, pediatrics, homecare, etc.)

USF has more than 100 clinical sites throughout Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, and beyond.


If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call Beth Shutt at 260-399-7700, ext 6916 or email

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at the University of Saint Francis is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)
1111 North Fairfax Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
Telephone: 703-706-3245


Program Outcomes

2-Year Graduation Rate* Average: 38/46 = 82.6%

Class Year Pass Rate
Class of 2018 16/22 = 73%
Class of 2019 22/24 = 92%

2-Year Employment Rate (those seeking employment)**: 100%

Class Year Pass Rate
Class of 2018 100%
Class of 2019 100%

2-Year Licensure Pass Rate***: 97.5%

Class Year Pass Rate
Class of 2018 15/15 = 100%
Class of 2019 21/22 = 95.5%

* Graduation rate is defined by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) as the completion of the program with the cohort group with which a student started or at least within one semester of that cohort. Additional information about graduation rates can be requested from the Chair of the Department of Physical Therapist Assistant Studies.

** Employment Rate does not include graduates who did not seek employment as licensed physical therapist assistants including those who continued their education either completing bachelor’s degrees or enrolling in DPT educational programs.

*** The source for the program ultimate pass rate for the 2017 and 2018 classes is the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT).

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Academic Plan

An academic plan is a general blueprint showing how one might complete the degree, semester by semester. Get an idea on what each semester could look like.

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