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

This is a draft edition of the 2024-2025 catalog. Information contained within is subject to change.

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 comprise 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 to one cohort of twenty students every fall.  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. Application information is available online at Application deadline is March 1st.

Missouri Western’s Physical Therapist Assistant Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).

The PTA program is a competitive entrance program. Application to the program is made separately from application for admission to Missouri Western.

Application requirement information can be found at Requirements include a completed application via PTA-CAS, ACT or TEAS scores, three forms of recommendation, high school and college transcripts (if applicable), twenty-four hours of observation, and answers to two short essay questions.

One cohort of 20 is accepted every year. Deadline for application is March 1st for the following fall start.

Students who choose this associate degree program will have no more than 6 years from admission or subsequent declaration to meet the requirements listed below. If certification, accreditation or statutory requirements change and additional requirements become effective during this time, the new requirements take precedence.  

Note: Students pre-admitted into the associate degree program (pre-major) have three years to meet admission requirements before moving to the overall 6 year time-frame allowed to complete the program requirements.
General Studies
Students must complete General Studies courses15-19
Major Requirements
ALH 106Medical Terminology2
BIO 101Principles of Biology4
BIO 250Anatomy and Physiology5
EXS 304Physiology of Exercise3
PSY 101General Psychology3
PTA 100Introduction to Physical Therapy1
PTA 110Patient Care Skills3
PTA 120Modalities3
PTA 130Functional Anatomy2
PTA 140Measurements and Procedures3
PTA 165Principles of Therapeutic Exercise2
PTA 185Clinical Education I3
PTA 210Professional Issues2
PTA 251Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation2
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

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

  1. Earn an overall GPA of at least 2.0 and a major GPA of at least 2.0.

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.