Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant

Mercy College of Health Sciences

Program Description

Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant

Mercy College of Health Sciences

Become a Physical Therapist Assistant. A physical therapist assistant (PTA) uses a variety of exercise and equipment to help people with conditions limiting their ability to move and perform activities. As a PTA, you’ll work under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist.

Our Program

Our five-semester associate degree program includes classroom instruction, practice in skills lab and clinical experience. You’ll learn the art and science of therapy treatment. You’ll have the knowledge, skill, and attitudes needed to help physical therapists provide treatment to improve and restore mobility, relieve pain and prevent or lessen physical disabilities.

Graduates are eligible to sit for the Physical Therapist Assistant National Physical Therapy Exam. Licensure is required in Iowa and most states.

Once you successfully complete this program, you have the opportunity to advance into the Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration or Health Science degree programs at Mercy College.

How to Apply

College Admission First

The first step in the admissions process is to apply using the Mercy College Application. Early application is encouraged. Students admitted to the College may enroll in Liberal Arts & Sciences (LAS) courses prior to admission to any academic program.

Program Admission Second

Following College admission, students will receive instructions to complete an Acadmic Program Application in order to begin the process. Once all requirements have been satisfied, the applicant’s file is considered complete and will be given to the program chair for consideration. It is the applicant’s responsibility to complete the professional program application process.

The program chair will begin reviewing completed files by the program admission deadline. Admission to this professional program is limited and competitive. Selection is based on the most qualified applicants.

Clinical Experience

You will experience direct patient contact during your clinical experience at Mercy Medical Center and its affiliates. You will also receive clinical education at many other leading healthcare providers in central Iowa to gain hands-on learning throughout your course of study.

Program Outcomes

Outcomes are reported using a three-year average from 2012-2014.

  • Graduation rate: 72,5%
  • Licensure examination pass rate: 100%
  • Employment rate within 6 months of passing the licensure examination: 100%

Job Outlook

Once you have completed your PTA degree and passed the licensure examination, you’ll have the knowledge and experience needed to become qualified for employment as an entry-level physical therapist assistant. Job prospects for physical therapist assistants are expected to be very good as consumer demand increases. For more details and statistics about specific roles and job opportunities go to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics website.

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to the Physical Therapist Assistant Associate Program, applicants must be admitted to Mercy College (See Admissions section) and meet the criteria listed below. Admission to the College does not guarantee admission to a professional program. Upon being granted general College admission, students may enroll in Liberal Arts and Science (LAS) courses in the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Students are encouraged to take LAS courses at Mercy College to meet any unmet program requirements below.

  1. First-time College Students:

a. Earn a cumulative GPA of 2.7, and

b. Minimum ACT composite score of 20 or higher.

  1. Transfer Students:

a. Earn a cumulative GPA of 2.7 or higher on a 4.0 scale at the last college attended (minimum of nine (9) credits), and

b. Complete nine (9) college credit hours specific to the Mercy College ASPTA Curriculum, achieve a grade of “C” or higher (not “C-“) in each course.

  1. Demonstrate completion of one year of high school or one semester of college-level coursework with a grade of at least a 2.0 (“C” not “C-”) on a 4.0 scale in each of these required courses: Algebra I, Biology, English, and Physics.

  2. Provide documentation of a 40-hour observation in a physical therapy department(s) with a minimum of at least two levels of care (e.g. acute hospital, skilled nursing facility, school setting, and out-patient physical therapy clinic). Equivalent work experience in rehabilitation may be accepted to fulfill observation experiences required. Observation forms will be provided by the Program Chair. Documentation of observation must be received by the Program Chair prior to the applicant being scheduled for an interview.

  3. Provide two letters of recommendation: one letter from an academic resource and one letter from a clinical resource (PT or PTA). Forms are provided. Letters must be received prior to the applicant being scheduled for an interview.

  4. Achieve an interview score of 80% or higher with the Selection Committee. This interview is scheduled after all other documents have been received.
This school offers programs in:
  • English
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2017
5 semesters
Full time
USA - Des Moines, Iowa
Start date: Sept. 2017
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2017
USA - Des Moines, Iowa
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info