Sep 30, 2023  
2021-2022 South University Academic Catalog Version I with addendum 
2021-2022 South University Academic Catalog Version I with addendum [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physical Therapist Assistant (AAS)

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In keeping with the stated purpose of South University, the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program strives to produce physical therapist assistants who, under the direction and supervision of physical therapists, reflect the highest standards of practice and conduct within the profession of physical therapy.

A physical therapist assistant is an educated health care provider who works under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist. Duties include assisting the physical therapist in implementing treatment programs according to the plan of care, training patients in exercise and activities of daily living, conducting treatments using special equipment, administering modalities and other treatment procedures and reporting to the physical therapist on the patient’s responses. (

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates will be able to:

  1. Provide safe, efficient, efficacious interventions within the plan of care established by the physical therapist.
  2. Communicate using effective and culturally-competent verbal, nonverbal, written, and digital communication.
  3. Provide effective education to patients, caregivers, and members of the healthcare team.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to appropriately and efficiently utilize resources to provide high- value physical therapy services.
  5. Recognize the importance of maintaining competence in applicable areas of physical therapy practice.
  6. Demonstrate the ability to work within the guidelines and standards established by regulatory, professional, and organizational entities.
  7. Demonstrate behaviors consistent with the Core Values of the profession of physical therapy.

Graduation from a CAPTE accredited physical therapist assistant education program or its equivalency and passage of the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) is required for licensure.  Graduation from this program does not guarantee licensure as a PTA, and it is the student’s responsibility to be aware of the licensure requirements in each state. Complete information on practice acts and regulations can be obtained from the individual state licensing boards or through The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (  Specific information regarding application for licensure will be available to the student during the last term of study.

Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant: 110 Credits

Offered at South University, Richmond; and South University, Virginia Beach.

 This program is a technical program and credits generally earned in this program are not applicable to other degrees.

Area I General Education: 36 Credits

(Quarters 1 - 3)


Social Sciences

Area II Technical Phase: 74 Credits

8th Quarter


**PTA1001 may also be taken in the quarter preceding the Technical Phase of the program.

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