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Associate's Degree

Physical Therapy Assistants (PTA) are trained, paraprofessional health providers who, under the direction of a physical therapist, carry out the patient's treatment program. This can include treating patients with therapeutic exercises, massage and physical agents such as heat, cold and electricity. 

This program isn’t a stepping stone program, but a competitive hands-on program that teaches you to become a top Physical Therapy Assistant, an essential team player in rehabilitative care helping patients get back to good health. Radford University Carilion PTA graduates are highly skilled and regarded, and 100% employed within a year of graduation—many before they graduate.

For more detailed program information and requirements, visit our Academic Catalog.

Clinical Education for the Physical Therapy Assistant Program

Current Radford University Carilion Physical Therapy Assistant students and Clinical Instructors can click here to access forms and other information.


The Physical Therapy Assistant Program at Radford University Carilion blends classroom, lab, and clinical components into a two-year, five-semester Associate of Applied Science degree. This program includes three clinical rotations, each with a distinct focus. Graduates are eligible to take the state board licensing examination for the Physical Therapy Assistant in any state that offers this examination.

View the PTA plan of study 2020 [PDF]

What makes this program different?

  1. Carilion Clinic. As a student at Radford University Carilion, you will be part of a healthcare clinic that employs nearly 14,000 healthcare professionals and has facilities that span over 200 miles. You will have access to state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, national leaders in all areas of healthcare practice and administration.
  2. Dedicated courses focused on pediatrics and geriatrics. This gives you a higher quality education, and making you a stronger employee candidate post-graduation.
  3. Personal attention and networking. Immediate access to highly engaged, hands-on faculty. Opportunities to attend Virginia Physical Therapy Association meetings and activities.
  4. Development of Physical Therapy Assistant-Physical Therapist collaboration skills. We provide our students with opportunities to interact and learn beside physical therapist students, so they’re prepared to collaborate from the start of their careers.

Career Path

PTA is one of the top 13 fastest growing occupations in healthcare, with a median salary of $57,430.

Radford University Carilion PTA graduates are 100% employed within a year of graduation. Many are employed even before they graduate.

This Associates program prepares graduates to work in places like:

  • Hospitals
  • Long-Term Care Centers
  • Private Practice
  • Sports Facilities
  • Hospice
  • Schools
  • Retirement Communities
  • Fitness Centers
  • Rehabilitation Clinics

Admissions Requirements

Admission in the Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA) is direct into the program, and has additional requirements. All documents must be submitted together in one file and emailed to

Top candidates will be invited to campus for a mandatory on-site interview and essay.


The Physical Therapist Assistant program at Radford University Carilion is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.

CAPTE Contact Information


If there is a need to contact the program/institution directly, please call Rebecca Duff, PTA, DHSc at 540-985-8246 or email

Graduate Outcomes

As part of the accreditation standards of all PTA programs, each program is required to make outcome data from the previous two (2) years available to the public. Data required includes graduation rate, ultimate National Physical Therapy exam pass rate and PTA employment within one (1) year of graduation. Radford University Carilion's outcomes are as follows:

Year Graduation Rate First-time National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) Pass Rate Ultimate NPTE Pass Rate Employment
2018 82.4% 96.4% 96.4% 100%
2017 91.4% 93.3% 100% 100%


First-time NPTE pass rate and ultimate NPTE pass rate sourced from the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT).