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Physical Therapist Assistant students on a treatment tool at Eastern Florida State College.

Physical Therapist Assistant Associate Degree Program

Train to work with various patient populations in different healthcare settings in the rapidly growing field of physical therapy.

Physical Therapist Assistants help promote movement, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. As a Physical Therapist Assistant, you’ll deliver physical therapy treatments and interventions to patients while working directly with and under the supervision of a physical therapist.

At Eastern Florida State College, our accredited Physical Therapist Assistant Associate degree program focuses on preventative care and overall wellness with compassion, so you’ll also be prepared to work with individuals to prevent loss of mobility by developing fitness- and wellness-oriented programs that encourage a healthy, active lifestyle.

Offered by the Health Sciences Institute at Eastern Florida, our limited access, cohort program is highly competitive, with a strong reputation for the professionalism and preparation of our graduates.

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Eastern Florida State College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave, Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; Phone: 703-706-3245; Email: If needing to contact the program directly, please call 321-433-7115 or email

Physical Therapist Assistant Associate Degree Program

Program Overview

Degree Type
Associate in Science (A.S.)
Delivery Method
Total Credit Hours
Academic Community
Health Sciences
Contact Information

Health Science Advising 
Email Advising 


Physical therapist assistant A.S. CURRICULUM

With CAPTE accreditation, in-depth coursework, and clinical internships, our Physical Therapist Assistant Associate in Science degree program fulfills requirements for you to become eligible to sit for the national licensure exam, which most states, including Florida, require for physical therapist assistant jobs.

While earning your associate degree to prepare for a career as a physical therapy assistant, you’ll benefit from the following:

You’ll also apply your knowledge and practice physical therapy skills during three different six-week, 240-hour clinical internships in varying clinical environments. Clinical sites are located throughout Brevard County, Florida, providing opportunities to gain hands-on experience while working with various patient populations.

Physical Therapist Assistant Admissions Information

This is a limited access program, which means that applicants must complete Eastern Florida's general admissions process plus all of the steps in the program's specialized application process and submit all application materials by the annual May 15th deadline:

  1. Review Selection Criteria and Meet with a Health Sciences Advisor: This step is critical to ensure program eligibility and that you fully understand the Selection Criteria Point System used to select a cohort of 16 students from the pool of applicants. The program begins each Fall Term.
  2. Apply for admission. Interested students must complete the customized  PT Assistant Application Process. Completed application files are due by May 15th to the Health Science Admissions Office on the Melbourne Campus.
  3. Attend the optional Physical Therapy Panel Discussion/Open House. Events for the May 15, 2024 application were held in March and early April. Contact a health sciences advisor if you missed the Open House and have questions. You can also review the program's Frequently Asked Questions as you prepare to apply.
  4. Complete an interview if invited. The top PTA program candidates are selected for a video interview submission. If you’ve advanced to this step in the selection process, you’ll be contacted by EFSC with more instructions.
  5. If selected, complete accepted student requirements. After the video interviews are completed, the top 16 applicants are sent letters of acceptance by email and should begin completing post-acceptance requirements. All applicants, regardless of their status, will receive a letter with the admissions decision. Acceptance will not be confirmed or denied over the phone.

Applicants who were interviewed but not accepted may be placed on a list of alternates. If an admitted student declines their acceptance, alternate candidates may be admitted no later than a week after classes start.

Physical Therapist Assistant Program Costs & Financial Aid

Estimated expenses, including tuition and fees, for EFSC’s accredited Physical Therapist Assistant Associate degree program total approximately $10,000 — a fraction of the cost for other physical therapist assistant schools and programs. You may also be eligible to receive financial aid and scholarships that can decrease your out-of-pocket costs to attend PTA school.

College Courses You Will Take

Learn basic physical therapy assessment practices such as goniometry, manual length tests, and manual muscle tests. Discover the origin, insertion, and action of all major muscles in the body. Apply medical and orthopedic pathologies in treating patients using various physical therapy techniques and exercises. Practice advanced rehabilitation techniques using orthotics, prosthetics, home assessments, and functional capacity evaluations.

The program coursework builds upon your knowledge and skills, so you’ll be well prepared for working with physical therapists and patients during each of your clinical internships — and in your career. Here are just some of the courses you will take as part of the curriculum:

Physical Therapist Assistant Program: Additional Information

Program Mission

To meet the needs of students and the community by offering quality instruction using theory and evidenced-based practice to achieve academic excellence and success as a Physical Therapist Assistant. Through compassionate care, EFSC students will provide the local community with competent care to restore function through physical therapy interventions.

Program Objectives
  1. Communicates verbally and non-verbally with the patient, the physical therapist, health care delivery personnel, and others in an effective, appropriate and capable manner.
  2. Recognizes individual and cultural differences and responds appropriately in all aspects of physical therapy services. 
  3. Exhibits conduct that reflects a commitment to meet the expectations of members of society receiving health care services. 
  4. Exhibits conduct that reflects a commitment to meet the expectations of members of the profession of physical therapy. 
  5. Exhibits conduct that reflects practice standards that are legal, ethical and safe. 
  6. Communicates an understanding of the plan of care developed by the physical therapist to achieve short and long term goals and intended outcomes. 
  7. Demonstrates competence in implementing selected components of interventions identified in the plan of care established by the physical therapist. 
  8. Demonstrates competency in performing components of date collection skills essential for carrying out the plan of care. 
  9. Adjusts interventions within the plan of care established by the physical therapist in response to patient clinical indications and reports this to the supervising physical therapist. 
  10. Recognizes when intervention should not be provided due to changes in the patient's status and reports this to the supervising physical therapist. 
  11. Reports any changes in the patient’s status to the supervising physical therapist. 
  12. Recognizes when the direction to perform an intervention is beyond that which is appropriate for a physical therapist assistant and initiates clarification with the physical therapist. 
  13. Participates in educating patients and caregivers as directed by the supervising physical therapist. 
  14. Provides patient-related instruction to patients, family members and caregivers to achieve patient outcomes based on the plan of care established by the physical therapist. 
  15. Takes appropriate action in an emergency situation. 
  16. Completes thorough, accurate, logical, concise, timely and legible documentation that follows guidelines and specific documentation formats required by state practice acts, the practice setting, and other regulatory agencies. 
  17. Participates in discharge planning and follow-up as directed by the supervising physical therapist. 
  18. Reads and understands the health care literature.
Clinical Practicums

All accepted physical therapist assistant students are required to participate in three, six-week clinical practicums. Students will be required to travel to different clinical facilities. ALL costs associated with clinical practicums (i.e. food, housing, travel, parking, etc.) are the responsibility of the student. The program will try to assign students to a clinical site closest to their geographical area. Please note, each practicum will require the student to be at the facility 40 hours per week. The schedule will be at the discretion of the clinical affiliate. 

Student Outcomes

Graduation rate, licensure examination pass rate and employment rate are averaged over the most recent two years. 

Graduating Class of 2023

Grad Rate: 83.3%
Licensure First-time Pass Rate: 100%
Licensure Ultimate Pass Rate: 100%
Employment Rate: 100%*

Graduating Class of 2022

Grad Rate: 75%
Licensure First-time Pass Rate: 81.8%
Licensure Ultimate Pass Rate: 100%
Employment Rate: 100%*

Two-Year Average

Grad Rate: 79.15%
Licensure First-time Pass Rate: 90.9%
Licensure Ultimate Pass Rate: 100%
Employment Rate: 100%*

*Only able to report on students who have been in contact with the program.

Acceptance and Matriculation Rates

55 students applied by the May 15, 2022 application deadline. 16 students were accepted into the fall Physical Therapist Assistant cohort.

Related Healthcare Programs

If an advanced degree is part of your plan, the Physical Therapist Assistant Associate degree prepares you to move on to EFSC’s Applied Health Science Bachelor of Applied Science degree. Graduates from that BAS program have successfully moved on to Doctor of Physical Therapy programs. EFSC also offers other health sciences programs you can explore as you make your educational and career decisions.