Physical Therapist Assistant (Associate of Applied Science, A.A.S.)

The physical therapist assistant performs patient rehabilitation under the supervision of a physical therapist. PTAs treat neurologic, orthopedic and cardiopulmonary dysfunctions, providing pediatric, athletic, and geriatric rehabilitation, treatment for wounds and burns, and more.

The PTA program includes didactic and laboratory preparation, extended opportunity to practice and apply learned skills in affiliated clinical settings, and education necessary for graduates to sit for required state licensing examinations and to function competently as entry-level practitioners.

Four semesters and two summer sessions compose the program. Upon graduation, students receive the Associate of Applied Science degree. PTA students are encouraged to consider the advantages of obtaining a bachelor's degree from Missouri Western.

Admission to the program is limited and must be made independently to the university and to the PTA program. Admission to the university does not guarantee admission to the program.  Selection is competitive and is based on applicants' grades, ACT (or TEAS or SAT) scores, completion of the Missouri high school core program or equivalent, science and math preparation, letters of recommendation, personal essays, and observation of physical therapy in practice.

One class is admitted each year in the fall semester. Applications are available online at with the application deadline of March 31st.

General Studies
Students must complete General Studies courses15
Major Requirements
PTA 100Introduction to Physical Therapy1
PTA 110Patient Care Skills3
PTA 120Modalities3
PTA 130Functional Anatomy2
PTA 140Measurements and Procedures3
PTA 160Clinical Kinesiology2
PTA 165Therapeutic Exercise2
PTA 185Clinical Education I3
PTA 255Clinical Orthopedics3
PTA 260Clinical Neurology4
PTA 265Diseases and Dysfunctions3
PTA 270Psychosocial Aspects of Physical Therapy1
PTA 280Clinical Rehabilitation3
PTA 285Clinical Education II5
PTA 290Clinical Education III5
PTA 295Clinical Seminar1
BIO 101Principles of Biology4
BIO 250Anatomy and Physiology5
PSY 101General Psychology3

 NOTE: The above is expanded upon in the Physical Therapist Assistant handbook that has been developed for use by students.

University Graduation Requirements

  1. Earn a minimum of 62 credit hours (100 level and above, maximum of 6 CED credit hours applicable).
  2. Earn 20 of the last 30 credit hours at MWSU in institutional course work (exclusive of credit by examination).
  3. Participate in required departmental and campus wide assessments. 
  4. Fulfill the Missouri Constitution requirement.
  5. Successfully pass the Missouri Higher Education Civics Achievement exam.