Physical Therapist Assistant (AAS)

Program Description

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program is offered at the Quad-Cities Campus with clinical practice available throughout a large regional area. The program admits 24 students for each incoming class, which begins each fall. 

 New students applying to Black Hawk College should select the AAS/General Occupational and Technical Studies (GOTS) until such time as they have been officially accepted by the department into this program.

The Associate in Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant prepares students to perform physical therapy procedures under the supervision of a physical therapist. Physical therapist assistants are primarily employed in hospitals, extended care and nursing home facilities, and in private practices.

Employment of Physical Therapist Assistants is expected to grow much faster than average for all occupations through 2024.

Admission Requirements:

    1. High school graduation or equivalent.
    2. A physical examination prior to any clinical coursework.
    3. The program admits 24 students for each incoming class.
    4. How to apply to the PTA program: Please refer to the program website for more detailed information and guidelines on the application process.
    5. Applications are available online by clicking here.
    6. Male Physical Therapy Student with Teacher Looking at a Leg DiagramInterview with PTA selection committee. The interview is part of a written and oral selection process.
    7. Minimum of “C” average in courses previously completed at Black Hawk College and any courses transferred from other colleges.

Students must also successfully document and need all health and background checks required by academic departments and/or clinical sites prior to admission to program and/or courses.

Students completing this program will be able to:

  • Demonstrate behaviors that provide patient safety and appropriate critical thinking skills commensurate with the practicing health care environment.
  • Demonstrate safe and evidence-based treatment interventions, competence in data collection commensurate with conditions and diseases in today’s health care environment.
  • Demonstrate ability to practice under a supervising physical therapist and adhere to the policies and procedures bestowed upon the PTA in that health care environment.
  • Demonstrate behaviors appropriate for the delivery of physical therapy services showing respect to individual and cultural diversities, including verbal, non-verbal and written communication skills that ensure patient, family, and healthcare comprehension and safety.
  • Participate in progression and development in individual careers based upon personal interests, practicing environment, and self-assessment needs that facilitates life-long learning.
  • Demonstrate adherence to Standards of Ethical Conduct established by the APTA and represent the highest expectations from the physical therapy profession.
  • Demonstrate clinical critical thinking skills by identifying when to modify patient treatments within the plan of care established by the supervising physical therapist.


This program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314


In-district cost:
Tuition (72 hours x $149) = $10,728
Lab fees ($75/credit hour in core classes) = $3,225
Books (four semesters) =     $1,500
Parking tags (two years) =    $100
Approximate overall cost:      $15,553


Graduation rate
2014: 100%
2015: 92%
2016: 88%
2017: 88%
Cumulative last four years: 92%

Overall pass rate (National Physical Therapy Examination)
2014: 100%
2015: 91%
2016: 100%
2017: 95%
Cumulative last four years: 96%

Employment Rate (six months after passing National Physical Therapy Examination)

1994 – present: 100%

Physical Therapy Students Working on Exercises We welcome input from our supporting communities in our effort to enhance Black Hawk College’s Physical Therapist Assistant Program. Any community member may provide comments or critique BHC’s PTA program and the program’s current students or graduates. Comments must be submitted to in writing to the program director and signed by the author.

CAPTE has a mechanism to consider formal complaints about physical therapy education programs. Please refer to the CAPTE website:


If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 1-309-796-5393, or email The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Black Hawk College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email:; website:

Suggested Courses

Course (Credit Hours):

First Semester

BIOL 145 Anatomy and Physiology I (4)
BIOL 150 Medical Terminology (3)
ENG 101 Composition I (3)
PTA 100 Introduction to PTA (3)
PTA 113 Physical Agents I (2)
PTA 201 Kinesiology (4)

Second Semester

BIOL 146 Anatomy and Physiology II (4)
PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychology (3)
PTA 202 Physical Rehabilitative Techniques (3)
PTA 203 Pathology (2)
PTA 204 Practicum I (3)
PTA 207 Massage (1)

Third Semester

PSYC 200 Human Growth and Development (3)
PTA 205 Physical Therapy Science (2)
PTA 208 Therapeutic Exercise I (3)
PTA 214 Practicum II (3)
SPEC 114 Interpersonal Communication (3)

Fourth Semester

MATH 108 Statistics for General Education or
CS 100 Introduction to Computers (3)
PTA 209 Therapeutic Exercise II (4)
PTA 213 Physical Agents II (3)
PTA 290 Clinical Seminar (2)
SPEC 175 Intercultural Communication (3)

Fifth Semester

PTA 280 Clinical Internship I (4)
PTA 281 Clinical Internship II (4)


Upon completion of this course of study, students will be eligible to take the board examination to become a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant. (The student is bound by the Illinois Physical Therapy Act: Paragraph 4257/Section 7 and Paragraph 4258.1/Section 8.1).

Minimum total hours required for degree: 72