Associate of Science - Physical Therapist Assistant

The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) is a skilled healthcare provider who, under the supervision of a physical therapist, provides treatment to improve mobility, relieve pain, and maximize functional capacity. California Baptist University is currently developing a program* to offer the AS in PTA. CBU’s Physical Therapist Assistant program is designed to graduate service-minded physical therapist assistants who have the essential knowledge, technical skills, and professional conduct to become contributing members of the physical therapy profession and the community with a sense of purpose and compassion for others. If approved, this program will begin in Fall of 2018.

*This program is pending CAPTE accreditation. See accreditation information below for more details.

  • Why CBU?

    CBU provides new, state of the art facilities and an opportunity to excel in learning based on low student:faculty ratios. The faculty have varied expertise and specialties which provides the student with the most relevant and up-to-date learning opportunities pertaining to the field of physical therapy. The CBU PTA program is a two year, five semester program that includes theory, application, and clinical experiences in preparation for taking the National Physical Therapy Exam (physical therapist assistant version)*. Clinical experiences are offered in a variety of settings including outpatient orthopedic, hospitals, and skilled nursing facilities.

    *This program is pending CAPTE accreditation. See accreditation information below for details.

  • Accreditation Information

    Graduation from a physical therapist assistant education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; phone:703-706-3245; is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states.

    California Baptist University is seeking accreditation of a new physical therapist assistant education program from CAPTE. CBU was denied candidacy to begin the program in Spring 2018. CBU will submit a reconsideratoin document to CAPTE in March 2018. Completion of this process does not assure that the program will be granted Candidate for Accreditation status. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status is required prior to implementation of the technical phase of the program; therefore, no students may be enrolled in the technical courses until Candidate for Accreditation status has been achieved. Further, though achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status signifies satisfactory progress toward accreditation, it does not assure that the program will be granted accreditation.

    A decision for candidacy status will be made during the CAPTE meeting at the end of April 2018.  If approved, this signifies satisfactory progress toward accreditation and the ability to begin the program in Fall 2018, but does not assure the program will be granted accreditation.

  • Program Design and Career Opportunities
    2014-2024 Among the Fastest Growing Occupations: Physical Therapist Assistant
    Location Employment Employment Employment Change Income
    Nationally 2014 (in thousands) 2024 (in thousands) Percent change Annual
      78.7 110.7 40.6 $56,610
    Riverside, San Bernardino, Ontario 2014 2024 Percent change Hourly
      410 550 34.1 $30.12


  • Admission Requirements

    The application deadline for the PTA program is April 2, 2018. Those invited for an interview will be notified in late April for May interviews.

    The admissions process requires the following:

    • Separate application to the university and then the PTA program
    • High school graduation or equivalency
    • Minimum High school GPA of 3.0 or University/college GPA of 2.5
    • Clinical observation hours (minimum of 60 total - it is recommended to gain hours from more than one facility) - use this form.
    • 2 letters of recommendation (one must be from a PT or PTA clinician) - use this form.
    • Comprehensive essay-at least 500 words that include the following: (typed and double spaced):
      • why you want to become a PTA
      • background and/or experiences related to the field
      • short and long term professional goals
      • reasons for choosing CBU
    • Interview with PTA faculty (not all applicants are invited for an interview)
  • Steps to PTA Admissions for Class of 2019 (first cohort)
    • Step 1: Successfully apply to California Baptist University and select the PTA program as your area of interest. Submit official transcripts and all other documents needed to meet university requirements.
    • Step 2: Successfully complete the supplemental PTA program application process. This will include the comprehensive essay, clinical hours, and letters of recommendation (see link for clinical hours and recommendation forms).
    • Step 3: Qualified candidates who are selected by the faculty for an interview, will be notified and scheduled for an interview. All materials must be submitted in order to qualify for interview consideration. (not all candidates will be interviewed)
    • Step 4: The interview process is a face-to-face interview with several faculty, including the PTA program director and PTA clinical coordinator.
    • Step 5: Invited candidates who accept a seat in the program must submit a $250 tuition deposit within 2 weeks of the notification of acceptance or they may lose their seat. This deposit will be applied towards tuition once the program starts. This is non-refundable unless the program is unable to begin on the planned start date of Fall 2018.
    • Step 6: As part of the program, students must undergo and successfully pass a drug test, background check, and immunization and health screening requirements. The student must also agree to meet the technical standards of a physical therapist assistant.
    • Step 7: If the program is given candidacy status by CAPTE, accepted students begin classes in Fall 2018.
  • Cost of the PTA Program
    The following is the estimated cost of the program using the 2018-2019 tuition/fee schedule:
    • Tuition costs per unit: $1,218; $15,834 for 13-18 units
    • Units required for the PTA program (not including general education courses*): 49
    • Application fee: $45
    • General fees per semester: $665
    • PTA Program fees per semester: $100 for lab supplies, materials, etc.
    • Cost for PTA program (not including general education courses*): $58,685
    • *For those who have not completed general education courses required for the degree, up to 29 units may be required to meet the Associate of Science degree. If the courses are taken at CBU, the same tuition fee of $1,218 is applicable.
  • Curriculum

    Course Requirements

    Semester 1 (Fall)

    BIO 153 Anatomy & Physiology I (with Lab) (GEN ED)                          4 units
    ENG 113 Composition (GEN ED) 3 units
    GST 100 Focus 1 unit
    PTH 110 Medical Terminology for the PTA 1 unit
    PTH 100 Introduction to Physical Therapy 3 units
    PTH 140 Basic Clinical Skills (with lab) 3 units
      Total Units 15 units

    Semester 2 (Spring)

    ENG 123 Intermediate Composition (GEN ED) 3 units
    BIO 163 Anatomy and Physiology II (with lab) 3 units
    PTH 130 Functional Kinesiology & Therapeutic Exercise (with lab) 3 units
    PTH 150 Preparation for Clinical Practice 3 units
    PTH 170 Physical Agents (with lab) 3 units
    PSY 213 General Psychology 3 units
      Total Units 18 units

    Semester 3 (Summer)

    PTH 255 Clinical I (First 4 weeks) 3 units
    GE      Art or Music (GEN ED) 3 units

    Math (GEN ED)

    (Intermediate Algebra 115 or Survey of Math 123)        

    3 units
    GE Communication Arts 3 units
      Total Units 12 units

    Semester 4 (Fall)

     PTH 230 Pathophysiology for the PTA 3 units
     PTH 200 Special Topics in PT (with lab) (11 weeks) 3 units
     PTH 240 Advanced Clinical Skills (with lab) (11 weeks)                       3 units
    PTH 260 Orthopedics (with lab) (11 weeks) 3 units
    PTH 270 Neurology (with lab) (11 weeks) 3 units
    GE  Christian Studies (GEN ED) 3 units
      Total Units 18 units

    Semester 5 (Spring)

    PTH 265 Clinical II (First 6 weeks) 5 units
    PTH 275 Clinical III (Second 6 weeks) 5 units
    PTH 280 Professional Integration (Hybrid – full 15 weeks)                 3 units
    GE History, Philosophy, Political Science (GEN ED) 3 units
      Total Units 16 units


If you are interested in the program, fill out the request information form on this page.  If you have further questions, contact the program director, Dr. Jan Edmisten, at or 951-343-4539.