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Physical Therapist Assistant

Program Description

The Physical Therapist Assistant, PTA,  is a part of the health care team that plans and implements a patient care program. Under the supervision of a Physical Therapist, the assistant carries out a treatment program that might include exercises for increasing strength, endurance, coordination and range of motion; the use of heat, cold, electricity, sound or water to relieve pain and stimulate muscle activity; instruction in safe physical activities and the use of devices such as walkers, crutches and wheelchairs.

The PTA might also assist the Physical Therapist in performing tests and assessments as well as observing and reporting patient responses to treatment. This broad-based approach to patient rehabilitation is the cornerstone of physical therapy, and the PTA plays an important role in the process.

The PTA program consists of 5 semesters of theory, laboratory and clinical education courses. The curriculum is offered during the day only. Graduates are eligible to sit for the National Physical Therapy Assistant examination through the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy ( after completion of the curriculum. Licensure is required in the State of Idaho to practice as a PTA.

Graduates Employed or Continuing Education Five-Year Average


Idaho Median Income


National Median Income


Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) Logo

Program Overview

  • Program accepts 26 students in August
  • A special application is required and the program has competitive entry
  • The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Idaho State University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; telephone: (703) 706-3245; email:; website:  If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call (208) 282-2800 or email

Degree Options

Students may also choose to pursue a curriculum that will matriculate into the Idaho State University Doctorate of Physical Therapy program

Career Opportunities

  • Physical therapy clinics
  • Hospitals
  • Nursing and personal care facilities
  • Home health
  • School districts

Program Requirements

Entry into the Physical Therapist Assistant program is competitive and the top 26 students will be selected for the program each year. Students must have a 2.5 GPA in all classes to apply.

PTA Preference Courses

Students will be required to successfully pass an FBI Background Check once accepted. Students who have a criminal history are strongly encouraged to meet with Student Services or the coordinator of the program before applying to the PTA program.

Upon acceptance students must show documentation of a current physical examination and immunizations.

Minimum Test Scores

SAT English: 360 Math: 500
ACT English: 14 Math: 19
ALEKS   Math: 30

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