Apr 22, 2024  
2019-2020 Catalog 
2019-2020 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physical Therapist Assistant, AAS

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107 Credits

This degree program awards an Associate in Applied Science degree and is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy education. Once students begin PTA classes, they typically complete the program in two years with 107 credits, depending on previous college work. PTA program courses must be taken in sequence and are only offered to students who are accepted into the PTA Program. The program admits a class of 32 each fall quarter. Admission is by application and applicants are evaluated based on academic preparation and familiarity with physical therapy.

PTA program students must earn a minimum of 2.0 in all required courses. After graduating from the program students are eligible to apply for licensure and sit for the PTA licensing examination, which is given nationally. Most states require licensure of PTAs, and may have requirements in addition to the licensure examination. Washington State requires PTA licensure.

The PTA, under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist, treats individuals with physical limitations to relieve pain and restore function. Physical therapist assistants work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, school systems, private physical therapy practices, home health care agencies, and sports medicine facilities. Prospective students must complete the admissions prerequisites and apply for the Physical Therapist Assistant program.

Application Requirements:

Please refer to the PTA program website at www.instruction.greenriver.edu/PTA for the most current information about application requirements or register for an information session at www.greenriver.edu/infosessions.

The required prerequisites are as follows:

  • Human Anatomy and Physiology 1 and 2
    The prerequisite requires 10 quarter-credits (or equivalent) of human anatomy and physiology with a lab. The minimum courses meeting this requirement at GRC are AP 103  and AP 104 . BIOL& 241  (AP I) and BIOL& 242  (AP II) also meet this prerequisite. These courses should be completed within 7 years prior to applying to the program and completed at the same institution. Please be advised that AP 103  and AP 104  may not transfer as well to another institution.
  • Communication Studies
    The courses meeting this requirement at GRC include: CMST 100 , CMST& 210 , CMST& 220 , CMST& 230  or CMST 238 . Equivalent communication/speech courses with less than 5 quarter credits should be verified with the pre-PTA program advisor.
  • English Composition I
    This requirement may be completed by taking either English Composition I (ENGL& 101  or equivalent transferable course).
  • Math
    Any college-level MATH course (most math courses numbered 100 or higher).

The required supporting course is as follows:

Students who satisfy the above requirements will be selected based on academic preparation, placement scores, GPA, and familiarity or experience with physical therapy or closely-related field requirements. Please access the website http://www.instruction.greenriver.edu/PTA/ or consult the Pre-PTA Program Advisor for the most current information.

The PTA program complies with the “Child/Adult Abuse Information Act,” RCW 43.43.830 through 43.43.840. Authorization for background check is required of each applicant. Some convictions may disqualify students from clinical placements and therefore program completion and licensure. Some clinics require additional background checks and drug testing. Individuals whose background checks identify a record of convictions will be required to meet with a faculty member to discuss the findings prior to admission into the program.

Information Session Sign up: greenriver.edu/info-sessions

Program Website:

Physical Therapist Assistant | https://www.greenriver.edu/students/academics/degrees-programs/physical-therapist-assistant/

Program Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this program will be able to:

  1. Implement plans of care developed by physical therapists.
  2. Provide care in a safe, legal and ethical manner.
  3. Communicate effectively and appropriately with patients, families, physical therapists and other care providers both verbally and non‐verbally including accurate written communication and documentation.
  4. Instruct patients, families and other health care providers using techniques consistent with the level of the audience.
  5. Function as integral team members and participate in the team process.
  6. Transition to successful employment as PTAs.


First Year

Second Year

Related Instruction Requirements

Satisfies related instruction requirements.

Written Communication


  • MATH - Any college-level MATH class 100 or higher Credits: 5


* Central Washington University courses (EXSCI 350, EXSCI 350Lab, EXSCI 351 and EXSCI 351Lab) and Washington State University courses (KINES/MVTST 262 and KINES/MVTST 380) meet the AP 103  and AP 104  PTA degree requirement at GRC.

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