Physical Therapist Assistant AAS

About Physical Therapist Assistant AAS

Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs) work directly with patients under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist. Through our degree program, you’ll learn how and why difficulties in movement occur, how to help patients improve mobility and relieve pain, and how to prevent or limit physical disability through the use of therapeutic techniques.

The Physical Therapist Assistant AAS program is designed to prepare you to function as an entry-level PTA in a variety of health care settings including hospitals, private practices, rehabilitation centers, outpatient clinics, school systems, home health agencies, sports and fitness facilities, work settings, or skilled nursing facilities. As a PTA, you'll be helping physical therapists in their daily activities and assisting patients during rehabilitation.

  • You’ll be trained to perform physical therapy interventions (treatment) including, but not limited to, therapeutic exercise, traction, ultrasound, electrotherapy, balance and gait training, motor learning and development, and patient and family education.
  • You'll provide the physical therapist with information about the patient's response to treatment, including objective data documented in the patient's medical record.
  • In addition to patient/client care, you may participate in activities related to billing and coding, quality improvement, risk management, and other administrative activities within the department or facility.

AttentionCOVID-19 PTA Application and Admission Changes

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, our Physical Therapist Assistant program will be delaying entrance for new PTA students until Fall 2021. The application deadline has been extended until April 15, 2021. See application details »

Total Costs of Physical Therapist Assistant AAS

(in-district) Total Amount: $12,809

Credit Hours to Complete: 70

Weeks to Complete: 80

A Word About Costs

In order to become a licensed PTA, you must successfully pass the National Physical Therapy Licensure Examination (NPTE). Please see the NPTE web site, The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy, at for current cost information regarding the NPTE and the Practice Exam and Assessment Tool (PEAT).

Be aware that as a student in the PTA program, you will also incur costs including, but not limited to books, vaccinations, background check, medical exam, TB testing, drug screening, malpractice insurance, CPR certification.

What you need to know about getting your Physical Therapist Assistant AAS (CIP 51.0806)

Total Physical Therapist Assistant AAS Costs
in-district out-of-district out-of-state international
Tuition $7,805 $26,471 $32,909 $32,909
Additional Costs $5,004 $5,004 $5,004 $5,004
Program Total $12,809 $31,475 $37,913 $37,913

What makes MCC's Physical Therapist Assistant AAS program better than, or distinct from, similar programs at other institutions?

Local physical therapy professionals (PTs and PTAs) served on an advisory committee to guide the PTA program development to assure that MCC's program will assist in meeting the needs of the health care employers in McHenry County and the northern Illinois region.

Graduation and Licensure

The MCC PTA program has a planned Fall graduation. Students who are enrolled in an approved physical therapy assistant program may apply to take the licensure examination no more than 120 days prior to graduation per the State of Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). The IDFPR requires that students complete the ED-PT form along with indicating the scheduled graduation date. Certification of graduation must be received by the Department within 90 days after the scheduled graduation date or the results of the examination will be void. This will allow students to take the licensure exam as soon as the following January after graduation. The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) offers the PTA licensure exam four times annually. See a list of currently scheduled exams at

What careers are available to someone with a an Physical Therapist Assistant AAS

Occupations that Physical Therapist Assistant AAS prepares you for
Occupation and Occupational Profile Link SOC Code
Physical Therapist Assistants 31-2021

What job opportunities are available to someone with an Physical Therapist Assistant AAS?

This AAS degree prepares you to function as an entry-level PTA in a variety of health care settings including hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, outpatient clinics, private practices work settings, rehabilitation centers, school systems, home health agencies or sports and fitness facilities under the direction and supervision of a direction of a physical therapist. The PTA profession is rated by the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics as one of the fastest growing professions, and current projections indicate that this trend will continue.

How will MCC's Physical Therapist Assistant AAS program prepare me for my career or connect me to opportunities?

You'll participate in a part-time and three full-time internships to gain practical experience working in a variety of health-care environments. Your internships will provide you with hands-on experience and an understanding of the demands of the job and culture of the workplace. In addition, you'll draft a resumé and develop job search strategies in a class activity with PTAs and PTs from the community.

Graduates will be eligible to sit for the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) for the physical therapist assistant administered by The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT). Successful completion of the NPTE permits the graduate to work as a licensed PTA.

By the Numbers:

Outside of the Classroom

Equal Opportunity/Nondiscrimination

MCC promotes and adheres to a policy of equal opportunity. The College, therefore, does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, religion, age, disability, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, gender-related identity, veteran status, or any other unlawful bases, in its admissions, employment, educational programs, or activities.

Additional Information

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at McHenry County College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) (1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314; phone: 703-706-3245; email: If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call (815) 479-7592 or email


Complaints regarding the program or the program graduates should be first addressed to the PTA Program Chair via the MCC Quality Service Feedback and Complaint Form.

Unresolved complaints or complaints about the PTA program chair should be directed to Christina Coclanis-Loding, Associate Dean of Allied Health, (815) 455-8713. All complaints will be documented, including the projected outcome, and securely filed within the program. Complaints regarding accreditation of this program should be addressed to the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, 111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia, 22314.

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Semesters to complete assumes students are taking a full-time credit load of 12 credits per semester (the minimum required for federal financial aid).

Proportion of students completing in normal time is the percentage of completers who earned the credential within the specified time of their first enrollment at the College.

Students attending part-time or changing their program of study are two common reasons why they may not complete in "normal" time.

Tuition and fees are set by the Board of Trustees. Prices for books and supplies are subject to change.

See additional information about international student costs.