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Physical Therapist Assistant

Villa’s PTA program has a high licensure exam pass rate and 100% job placement rate for those who pass their exam. 

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Physical Therapist Assistants, often times called PTAs, help patients who have suffered from an injury or illness recover, manage pain, and regain full motion, strength, and function. Working under the supervision of a physical therapist, PTAs play a vital role in the successful rehabilitation of patients of all ages.


The road to success as a PTA begins by exploring all aspects of the career. At Villa, you’ll be immersed in several of the various settings you could work in: hospitals, community health centers, nursing homes, sports facilities, rehabilitation centers, pediatric centers and more. You’ll practice interacting with patients, families and other healthcare team members in each of these fields so you can decide where you feel most comfortable and where you want to build your career.

Small Class Size

Villa’s PTA program boasts a 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio for classrooms and a 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio for lab work, so you can count on getting individualized attention here. This unparalleled level of accessibility to professors mean that you get the education you need to succeed in your specialty area and, whether you have a question in class, after class or on the weekend, someone will be there to help you find your answer. The accessibility of facilities and equipment mean you don’t have to spend hours waiting in line to get your lab time in.


A Physical Therapist Assistant plays a very important and hands-on role in a patient’s recovery. As such, you’ll need all the practical experience you can get before you start looking for your first job. At Villa, we prioritize the “hands-on” part of a PTA student’s experience, giving you an advantage over other candidates when you’re competing for a job. You’ll leave Villa with real-world experience, which will help you build the confidence you need to stand out in the workplace, too.

Work Opportunities

Villa Maria College’s PTA program boasts a 100% job placement rate of all graduates who passed their licensure exam. This accomplishment is credited to our long-standing faculty members who guide students through an elite program, help them prep for licensing exams and remain in touch as they become professionals in the field. If you want to gain the knowledge and experience you need to work as a PTA, Villa is the place for you.

PTA Major Career Paths

See for yourself.

Physical therapist assistants belong at Villa. The human body is one powerful instrument, but accidents and injuries can compromise its power. At Villa, you’ll learn how to get patients back to their best selves using assessment and treatment techniques from our long-standing faculty. In recent years, this elite program has posted a 100 percent job placement rate for grads who passed their licensure exams.

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Our Faculty 

Associate Professor, Physical Therapist Assistant
James Kelley

[email protected]

Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education
Lindsay Klaus

[email protected]

Our Facilities

As a PTA student, you’ll have exclusive access to two laboratory rooms that provide you with the opportunity to practice the clinical skills you learn about in class. These labs allow you to practice patient assessment and treatment techniques, including gait devices, exercise equipment, and state-of-the-art physical agents (electrical stimulation, ultrasound, laser, traction, biofeedback, diathermy, and compression).

In addition to the labs, PTA students gain experience by volunteering in the Felician Sisters Health and Wellness Center, a long-term care facility located on campus.

Career Potential

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is very strong demand for physical therapist assistants  in the current economy. Work for PTAs is projected to grow by 31% in the next decade, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. Demand for physical therapy is expected to increase in response to the healthcare needs of an aging population and individuals with chronic conditions, such as diabetes and obesity. According to US News, physical therapist assistants rank #1 in best health care support jobs and #13 out of 100 best jobs. The median income for a PTA is $61,180.

Individuals aspiring to be a Physical Therapist Assistant must graduate from a CAPTE-accredited PTA program and licensure or certification is required in all states in which a PTA works.

Choosing Your Specialty

As you complete your degree, you’ll begin to consider what field you’d like to dedicate your career to. Completing an internship can help give you an idea about which area you feel most passionate about. To date, our students have worked in the following fields:

  • Orthopedic
  • Neurological
  • Burns
  • Pediatrics
  • Sports Medicine

Potential Job Placements

  • Acute Care
  • Sub Acute Care
  • Rehab
  • Extended Care Facility
  • Nursing Home
  • Skilled Nursing Facility
  • Outpatient Clinic
  • School / Pre-School
  • Wellness / Prevention
  • Sports / Fitness
  • Home Health
  • Hospice
  • Industrial / Workplace / Other Occupational Environments
  • Local / State / Federal Government
  • Research Center

Real World Experience.

Practice makes perfect, and perfect is important when you’re dealing with a person’s physical well being. There’s no better way to practice than with an internship. As a graduation requirement for PTA students, you must complete three full-time internships to help you gain hands-on experience in the field you want to work in.

All work must be completed under the direction of a licensed Physical Therapist or Physical Therapist Assistant.

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Testing Your Talent.

You’ll be exposed to all aspects of a PTA job through your supervised internship, and you’ll be asked to complete a variety of tasks so you can get a complete experience of the job. Below are additional details for PTA students.

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Villa Maria College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: [email protected]; website; If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call Jim Kelley: 716-961-1835 or email: [email protected].

Admission into the PTA program is competitive. A high school average of 85 or higher and/or a college GPA of 2.8 or higher is required for direct admission into the program. Applicants for PTA are required to take biology, and either chemistry or physics (physics preferred) in high school or college. They must also have completed BIO 103 Human Anatomy & Physiology I or BIO 103L Human Anatomy & Physiology I Lab or their respective equivalents prior to enrollment in the program.

Those who have not met these requirements may alternatively enroll in the LBG/PTA track. Applicants who lack appropriate science coursework may be required to take an additional one to two semesters to complete the PTA program.

In order to work as a PTA, you’ll need your degree and you’ll need to pass a licensing exam. After helping you succeed in the classroom Villa’s long-standing professors will help you prepare to pass your licensing exam, too. We offer licensing exam review classes and in-lab preparation exclusively for our PTA graduates. This extra support from our faculty will help you to be more prepared and feel more confident when you sit for the licensure exam.

  • You are required to attain a grade of C+ or better in all PTA courses. If you fail to achieve a grade of C+, you may re-take that course. You may only retake one PTA course before dismissal from the program.
  • You must have an annual physical exam, PPD or Mantoux test for TB, and have a Hepatitis B immunization or a signed waiver of immunization prior to placement in a clinical internship.
  • You must be CPR-certified prior to placement in a clinical internship. The PTA program provides a CPR course for students on a yearly basis. You are responsible for fees for this course.
  • You must be a member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). Fees for membership are included in course fees for PTA 105 and PTA 205.
  • Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Physical Therapist Assistant Curriculum Requirements

PTA graduates will be prepared to demonstrate entry-level competence and professional behaviors in a variety of clinical settings under the direction and supervision of a Physical Therapist (PT) including the objectives below.

Download a PDF of the full list of minimum skills required by the American Physical Therapy Association.


  1. Demonstrate effective and appropriate verbal and non-verbal communication with patients/clients, family members, supervising PT, health care team members and others in the classroom, laboratory, and clinical settings.
  2. Adhere to all established and accepted legal, ethical, and professional standards as they relate to their role as a PTA.
  3. Demonstrate entry level skill in data collection procedures delegated by the supervising PT.  Students will use information gathered to modify or progress interventions within the plan of care and goals established by the PT, and use the information to communicate patient status to the supervising PT and other appropriate members of the health care team.
  4. Perform interventions, monitor patient response, and modify interventions within the plan of care established by the Physical Therapist. Students will effectively communicate patient response to the supervising PT and appropriate members of the health care team.
  5. Recognize and analyze clinical and personal strengths and challenges through an ongoing process of self-assessment, and utilize this information to develop a plan for lifelong professional growth.

2020 – 2021

2021 – 2022

Licensing Exam Passing Rate 85% 88.8%
Employment Rate
Six months after licensing exam


Employment Rate



Graduation Rate



Villa Maria College
Physical Therapists Assistant Program
Financial Fact Sheet
The data applies to students experiencing the program in academic year 2023 – 2024. (All cohorts enrolled from Fall 2023 – August 2024)

Length of Program which includes all student instruction/interaction (including classroom, laboratory, exams, and clinical  education). Include the total number of weeks where either full or partial attendance is required.

Length of Program in Weeks excluding breaks:  ___60_______
Length of Program in Weeks including breaks: ____60_______

Clinical Education

Does this program have a requirement for all students to complete at least one clinical education experience for which the students need to seek alternative housing or travel accommodations to attend
 ____Yes      __X__No

Note: Students are responsible for costs associated with housing, travel, and food during clinical education. Programs should add any additional comments about
clinical education here.

Students may have 45-minute commutes to internship sites.

Student Costs

Note: These are costs experienced by students in the Fall 2023 – August 2024 academic year. Annual costs are estimates and subject to increases. Students should contact the program for further information related to costs

  Year 1 Year 2 Total
Annual Tuition Public Institution, In-district, or In-state Student:      
Annual Tuition Public Institution, Out-of-district, or Out-of-state student:      
Annual Tuition Private Institution Student: 27,530 28,355 55,885
Annual institutional fees for a full-time student in the technical phase
of the program[Includes general institutional fees, i.e., health insurance,
recreation, etc.]
1,090 1,090 2,180
Total expected cost of other program- related expenses
[Includes: required texts, laboratory fees, and other program costs for the
entire technical program.]
500 600 1,100
Total Cost of the Program  [Includes: tuition, fees, other program costs for the entire
technical program
29,120 30,045 59,165


Note: We encourage students to explore the cost of living for areas where they may choose to live. One possible website:

The institution offers financial assistance specific to PTA students. _____Yes    __X___ No

The program/institution offers scholarships specific to PTA students. ___Yes    __X___ No

The program offers federal work-study positions specific to PTA students. _____Yes    __X___ No

Note: Other opportunities may exist at the institution for FINANCIAL SUPPORT-please contact the program for further information.

We encourage APTA student members to visit the APTA Financial Solutions Center at

Student Debt Summary

(CAPTE does not require programs with ten or less graduates in calendar year 2023 to complete this section.)

Average student debt from the PTA Program technical phase for students who graduated in calendar year 2023. _$14,000______________

Average student debt after completing the PTA program for students who graduated in calendar year 2023. Includes federal student post-secondary loan debt. Include any private loan debt if available. ____$22,345_______

Download this sheet here.

Alumni Spotlight

Celebrating 25 years of the Physical Therapist Assistant Program.

Join the family.

There’s a lot of pressure to know what’s next. We’re here to say, it’s OK if you’re still figuring it out. In fact, it’s great. Villa is a place where that kind of continual discovery is prized. Because going to college isn’t about having it all figured it out. It’s about inventing who you’re going to become. You’ll see.

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