Physical Therapist Assistant

Program Info:

  • ** PTA Program Applications are NOW Available **
  • Start: Fall Semester
  • Location: Nursing and Allied Health Campus, 1101 E. Vermont, McAllen, Texas 78503
  • Advising schedule is as follows:
    THURSDAYS at 10:00 am (rm 331)
    Note: Students please email Mari Vargas for an advising appointment at
  • Register EARLY for the ACT + Writing Exam

Major Description

Physical Therapist Assistants, or PTAs, are licensed skilled health care providers who work under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist. PTAs assist the physical therapist to provide treatment programs to help restore or improve function, relieve pain, encourage independence, and educate patients and their families.


Degrees & Certificates:

Work Environment

PTAs work in settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient clinics, home health, schools, sports facilities, and more. Patients/clients treated in physical therapy range from newborns to the elderly and sample diagnoses include athletic injuries, back/neck problems, strokes, spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, arthritis, and post-surgical conditions such as total joint replacements.

Care provided by a PTA may include:

  • teaching patients/clients exercises to increase movement and flexibility
  • helping increase a patient's/clients balance, strength and coordination
  • providing training for activities such as walking with crutches, canes, or walkers
  • use of physical agents and electrotherapy such as ultrasound and electrical stimulation


The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at South Texas College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email:; website:

Program Outcomes

  • Graduation Rate: 64% of students graduated from the Program (3 year average - 2010, 2011, 2012).
  • Licensure Examination Pass Rate: 97% of the graduates passed the licensure exam (3 year average – 2010, 2011, *2012). *1 student from the Class of 2012 has not attempted to take the licensure exam.
  • Employment Rate: 97% of program graduates have obtained positions as PTAs within 6 months of passing the licensure exam (3 year average – 2010, 2011, *2012). 1 student from the Class of 2012 has not taken the licensure exam.  The student is working towards a bachelor’s degree.

Salary Data

  • Average Wage: Approximately $25.00 / hour
  • Top Earners: Depends on Setting