Physical Therapist Assistant, A.S.

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. 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.

*Submit PTA supplemental applications to Dr. Jan Edmisten at


  • 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.


  • Accreditation Information

    Graduation from a physical therapist assistant education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100. Alexandria, VA 22305-3085; phone:703-706-3245; is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states.

    The Physical Therapist Assistant program at California Baptist University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100. Alexandria, VA 22305-3085; telephone: 703-706-3245; email:; website: If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call Dr. Jan Edmisten, PTA Program Director, @ 951-343-4539 or email:


  • 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

    For admission, a two-step application process is required as follows:

    • Submit application to the university and all required admissions documents.
    • Submit the supplemental application to the PTA program. Application deadline is April 1 each year to be considered for a May interview. 
    • Minimum High school GPA of 3.0 or University/college GPA of 2.5. To begin the program, students must have graduated from high school or equivalency.
    • **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.
      • **Changes for applicants to the Fall 2021 cohort ONLY
        • 10 or more clinical observation hours will meet the hours requirement to apply to the program and the clinic must complete the hours form; 
        • 2 letters of recommendation are still acceptable if one is written by a PT or PTA; 
        • If the applicant is not able to get any hours or has less than 10 hours, they may submit a typewritten assignment (no page requirements) in place of the clinical hours form addressing a career as a Physical Therapist Assistant. The typewritten assignment should at least include the following topics: What do PTAs do? What types of settings do PTAs work? Who do PTAs help? What other professionals do PTAs work with?  In this case, the applicant may not have access to a PT or PTA for a letter or recommendation.  It is then required that the applicant submit 3 letters of recommendation with at least one being an educator who can speak to the applicant's abilities as a student. 
    • 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
    • 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 submit completed 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). The link to this application is included in the email letter that you receive after inquiring about the PTA program.
    • 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 non-refundable deposit will be applied towards tuition once the program starts.
    • 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: Cohorts will begin classes every fall semester on the CBU undergraduate schedule.
  • Cost of the PTA Program
    The following is the estimated cost of the program using the 2019-2020 tuition/fee schedule:
    • Tuition costs per unit: $1,267; $16,471 for 13-18 units
    • Units required for the PTA program (not including general education courses*): 45
    • Application fee: $45
    • General fees per semester: $750
    • PTA Program fees per semester: $100 for lab supplies, materials, etc.
    • Cost for PTA program (not including general education courses*): $62,613.00
    • *For those who have not completed general education courses required for the degree, up to 33 units may be required to meet the Associate of Science degree. If the courses are taken at CBU, the same tuition fee of $1,267 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 130 Functional Kinesiology & Therapeutic Exercise (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) 4 units
    PTH 140 Basic Clinical Skills (with lab) 3 units
    PTH 150 Preparation for Clinical Practice 1 unit
    PTH 170 Physical Agents (with lab) 3 units
    PTH 230 Pathophysiology for the PTA 3 units
      Total Units 17 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 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
    PSY 213 General Psychology (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


  • Student Learning Outcomes

    Evidence of Student Learning

    1. PTA students will demonstrate the ability to practice under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist in a manner consistent with legal standards, ethical guidelines, and standards of the profession.
    2. PTA students will perform the duties of a physical therapist assistant in a safe manner that minimizes risk to patients, self, and others.
    3. PTA students will implement and adapt a comprehensive treatment plan developed by a physical therapist promoting optimal outcomes for patients across the lifespan.
    4. PTA students will contribute to the community and advocate for the patient with a service-minded approach to care.
    5. PTA students will communicate in a culturally competent manner with other members of the health care team, patients, and their families, and the community.
    6. PTA students will demonstrate a commitment to professional growth and lifelong learning.


    You can view CBU’s pass rates on the FSBPT website at


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

Feedback regarding the PTA program or the PTA program graduates should be addressed to the Dean of the College of Health Science at for dissemination to the appropriate level of review. Complaints that are unable to be resolved at the program or division level will be routed back to the Dean of the College of Health Science for further action. All complaints will be documented, including the projected outcome, and kept on file with the PTA program. Complaints regarding Accreditation of this program should be addressed to the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education @ 111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; phone: 703-706-3245; email: