Choosing Physical Therapy Assistant Schools

There are many factors that affect how to choose which school out of the many physical therapy assistant schools will work best for you.

How much will the program cost? How much education is required for admission?  Looking to physically attend classes or complete the coursework online? These questions and more are answered by doing a comparison of some of the best schools available.

Physical Classes vs. Online Classes

Your first decision when selecting a school is whether you want to attend classes in a classroom or take online courses.

If you decide you want to attend a local school, 47 out of the 50 states have several options to choose from. CAPTE is the accrediting body for physical therapy education courses, so the best online resource to learn about these local schools is the CAPTE website, which is

It allows for quick and easy comparison between the schools, and it provides a link to the school’s website for more in-depth information about all school.

Most schools also offer online courses in the PTA program. When choosing an online school, it is crucial to make sure its accredited by an accepted accrediting body; otherwise, your degree may not be respected enough to earn you a job in your field.

Physical Therapy Assistant Schools Tuition and Fees

PTA schools

PTA schools

The average cost for in-state students ranges from $125 to $150 per credit hour in most states. Costs for out-of-state students ranges from $225 to $275 per credit hour.

It is important to keep in mind that these tuition costs do not cover textbooks, miscellaneous fees, medical exams or immunizations, housing, or insurance.

Most PTA programs, including required general studies, take two years to complete. Most semesters include an average of nine to twelve credit hours, so be sure to include that in your financial calculations.

Most schools offer financial aid in the form of scholarships (which you do not have to pay back) and loans (which you do pay back). Depending on your current financial situation, you may also quality for a Pell Grant or other state-funded grants and scholarships.

Required Education

Because most of these programs culminate in an associate degree, they usually do not need more than a high school diploma or GED for admission into the school of your choosing.

Before being accepting into the program itself, you typically must have completed a certain amount of general studies coursework. After being accepted, in addition to specific courses, you will also have to complete an amount of clinical experience hours; this number varies by school.

Other Information to Consider

In addition to the criteria already mentioned when choosing a school, it is also important to look at graduation rates and employment rates. The graduation rates give you an idea of the quality of education you will receive from each school, as well as how challenging the curriculum is.

The employment rates help you gauge the demand in your area for your chosen profession. If the employment rate is between ninety and one hundred percent, you know that you are highly likely to get a job after graduation.

Jobs in this field are often rewarding, so more and more people are becoming interested in pursuing these jobs. To choose the school that will work best for you, you must consider the costs, admission requirements, and type of classes you want to attend. By doing your research, you can have confidence in a strong start for your future.