Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA), AAS

Room: E-Building, E-300

Phone: (718) 482-5774

Program Accreditation

The Physical Therapist Assistant program at LaGuardia Community College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).

Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education
3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100
Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085

telephone: 703-706-3245

If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 718-482-5943 or email

The City University of New York – LaGuardia Community College
Student Achievement Data 2020, 2021, 2022

Summary Performance for the School by Graduation Year Summary Performance for All U.S. Accredited Candidates by Graduation Year
Graduation Year Group Number of Candidates Number of Passing candidates Pass Rate Mean Scale Score Confidence Interval of the Mean Pass Rate Mean Scale Score Standard Deviation Scale Score
2022 First Time
2021 First Time
2020 First Time

2023 PTA student financial worksheet


The Physical Therapist Assistant program develops students to be ethical, knowledgeable, and responsible rehabilitation professionals that are ready and willing to serve the patients, the profession, and to positively influence the health of society. A PTA must be a diligent worker and a strong communicator.

Program Requirements

Students interested in applying to LaGuardia Community College should contact the Admissions Office. New students selecting PTA as their major are considered to be in the pre-clinical phase.

Progression to the technical phase of the program is competitive and is by acceptance into candidacy. Students must apply for candidacy and be accepted in order to enter the technical phase. Successful candidates are scheduled to begin the technical phase in Session II of the following semester (six months after notification of acceptance into the technical phase) Candidates will forfeit their seat in the program if they are unable to begin as scheduled.

Pre-Clinical Phase

The pre-clinical phase of the PTA program consists of all required general education and elective courses, including Key Courses. Pre-clinical students are considered candidates for the technical phase.

Students must first complete, or be in the process of completing, the four key courses with a minimum GPA of 2.50 in the semester they are applying for candidacy.

Eligible students are then ranked according to a scoring system of grades in Key Courses and any pre-clinical courses taken up to the end of the candidacy semester. Learn more about the scoring system and additional candidacy requirements in the PTA Admission Handbook.

All Pre-Clinical courses must be completed prior to the start of the first Clinical course.

Physical Therapy Assistant Information Sheet

Physical Therapist Assistant Program Proof of Residency Requirement

Beginning the fall 2016 semester all students applying for candidacy in the LaGuardia Community College Physical Therapist Assistant Program must provide documentation in one of the following categories, in addition to meeting the program’s candidacy requirements:

  • U. S. Citizenship
  • Permanent Residency
  • International Student with F1 Status
  • Deferred Action Status by the U. S. Government Granted Asylum, Refugee Status, Temporary Protected Status, Withholding of Removal

Students who are interested in pursuing a health career and are unable to provide documentation in one of the categories listed above are urged to contact the Office of International Student Services located in Room M166 or call (718) 482-5143 to schedule an appointment. In addition, the City University of New York provides free counseling and assistance to all CUNY students through the CUNY Citizenship and Immigration Project. Further information can be located at the following CUNY website:

Candidacy and the Technical Phase

  1. In order to apply for PTA candidacy (progression to the technical phase of the PTA Program), you must be a PTA Major.
  2. To apply for candidacy, students must register for “Intent to PTA” PTA000.4499 in the first three weeks of a 12 week term.
  3. All four of the Key Courses must be completed by the end of that same term that you have registered for “Intent to PTA”.
  4. If you are completing a Key Course in the same term that you have registered for “Intent to PTA” and decide to withdraw from the Key Course, you must also withdraw from “Intent to PTA” prior to the official withdrawal date.
  5. If you received a grade of C-, D, F or WU for any of the Key Courses and have repeated the course, all grades for the Key Course will be used in evaluating your candidacy.  If you received a grade of C- or below on any of your pre-clinical courses, the course can be repeated with the permission of the Health Sciences Chairperson.
  6. Results of the candidacy evaluation will not be available until all grades for the 12-week session have been submitted and the Registrar’s Office has completed the calculations. You will then be notified by the PTA Program with information as to when and where you may obtain the results.
  7. If you are not accepted into the technical phase, you may repeat the registration for “Intent to PTA” one more time unless your GPA for the Key Courses is below 2.5 in which case you are no longer eligible to reapply. A student has two attempts for PTA candidacy.
  8. Be certain that you are taking the correct courses and see a faculty advisor in E 300 prior to registering. PTA faculty office hours are posted in E 300 each session.

Are You Interested In...

  • Working closely with people?
  • Training/teaching?
  • Healthcare and being part of a team?
  • Helping people with multiple medical needs?
  • Facing the challenge of uncertainty?
  • Challenging yourself mentally and physically?
  • Life-long learning?
  • Wellness and fitness?

Skills You Will Learn

  • How to work with patient/client in healthcare settings
  • Physical assessment and health monitoring
  • Manual therapy and mobility training techniques
  • Use of biophysical agents such as electrical stimulation and mechanical traction, and exercise equipment for strength and functional training

What makes this major unique?

PTAs work closely with other rehabilitation professionals in the same clinical environment and with the same patient/client population. Physical therapy places heavier emphasis on manual therapeutic intervention and physical training to address patient/client’s functional limitations and pathology.

The main difference between occupational therapy and physical therapy is that OT focuses on improving a client’s ability to perform activities of daily living and PT focuses on improving a client’s ability to perform a particular movement of the human body. In other words, OT takes a holistic approach to make sure a client is adjusted and able to perform daily tasks, whereas PT seeks to effectively treat a specific biomechanical problem.

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Career Possibilities

The PTA program is not designed to prepare students toward any career other than PTA. A PTA graduate must pass the National Physical Therapy Examination to be licensed to practice. A PTA follows the plan of care designed by the Physical Therapist.

A PTA degree does not lead directly to a Doctor of PT degree. There is no direct articulation from the PTA program to a DPT program except a few DPT programs in the US offering some form of transitional programs for PTAs with specific requirements.

In general, the advanced medical degree programs (Doctor of PT) will require a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree with at least two years of general science credits. Those that are interested in advancing their career to become a doctor of any of the medical disciplines, including DPT, will need to complete a bachelor’s degree and then apply to those professional schools. Most of those professional schools do not specify what major the applicants must have. However, they all have a set of general math & science requirements at an undergraduate level, and work/life/professional experiences for anyone applying to their programs. On the other hand, practicing PTAs interested in the management, exercise/wellness, academic, or public health sides of health care may consider seeking degrees in those respective areas at the undergraduate and graduate level.

  • Hospital/Acute Care Clinics
  • Long Term Care/Rehabilitation Settings
  • Private Practice
  • Schools
  • Community-based Programs
  • Home Care
  • Clinical Fieldwork Educator
  • Activities Coordinator
  • Adjunct Instructor
  • Athletic trainer
  • Health care management
  • Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)
  • Doctor of Chiropractic medicine (DC)
  • Physician Assistant (PA)
  • Doctor of Medicine (MD)

Transfer Possibilities

  • City Tech – BS in Health Service Administration
  • BS in Exercise Physiology
  • BS in Healthcare Management
  • BA/BS in Liberal Arts/Sciences

Degree Requirements

This program has a waiver to list specific courses to complete Common Core requirements.

A. REQUIRED CORE: 13 credits

English: 6 credits

  • ENG101 English Composition I* 3
    (or ENA101 depending on placement)
  • ENG102 Writing through Literature 3

Mathematical and Quantitative Reasoning: 3 credits

Select one course from the following: 3

  • MAT 115 College Algebra and Trigonometry
  • MAT117 Algebra and Trigonometry*
    (depending on placement)
  • MAT120 Elementary Statistics
  • MAT119 Statistics with Elementary Algebra*
    (depending on placement)

Life and Physical Sciences: 4 credits

  • SCB203 Human Anatomy and Physiology I (STEM)* 4

B. FLEXIBLE CORE: 13 credits**

To complete the degree requirements from the Flexible Core, students are advised to select the following:

  • SCB204 Human Anatomy and Physiology II 4
  • SSY101 General Psychology* 3
  • SSY240 Developmental Psychology 3
  • Select one of the following courses: 3
    • HUP102 Critical Thinking
    • HUC106 Public Speaking


* Key courses for candidacy

** Additional Common Core courses will be required when transferring to a CUNY College.

Courses Credits
Health Science: 5 Credits
HSF090 First Year Seminar for Health Sciences 0
SCN195 Community Health 2
SCO230 Functional Pathology 3
PTA Core: 37 Credits
SCT101 Introduction to Physical Therapy 2
SCT102 Ethical and Legal Concepts for PT 2
SCT203 Clinical Kinesiology 4
SCT211 Therapeutic Procedures I 4
SCT212 Therapeutic Procedures II 3
SCT220 Mobility Skills in Physical Therapy 3
SCT221 Functional Gait Training Skills 3
SCT230 Orthopedic Therapeutic Exercise 4
SCT231 Neuromuscular Rehabilitation 4
SCT290 PTA Clinical Education and Seminar I 2
SCT291 PTA Clinical Education and Seminar II 3
SCT292 PTA Clinical Education and Seminar III 3