Allied Health Programs

A Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) is an essential partner in the treatment of patients with movement impairments related to injury or illness as well as preventative wellness programs.

Under the direction of a licensed Physical Therapist, the PTA may provide therapies with the goal of improving mobility, relieving pain, and/or the prevention of further injury. Physical Therapist Assistants enjoy the ability to work in a variety of practice settings including: hospitals, private practices, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, schools, and out-patient settings. Graduates of the program are eligible to take a national examination from the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) to become a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant. Prospective Physical Therapist Assistant students with prior criminal offenses are urged to contact the Virginia Board of Physical Therapy to verify eligibility for licensure and employment in Virginia.

Apply for Physical Therapist Assistant

Riverside is proud to offer:

  • Program leading to an Associates of Applied Science Degree in Physical Therapist Assistant
  • Full-time Day option consisting of four 16-week semesters and one 4-week summer semester in addition to specified College-level prerequisite preadmission courses-occasional evening and weekend hours may be required
  • Theoretical instruction integrated with laboratory simulations and clinical experience
  • Hands-on clinical experience in our modern medical center and a variety of affiliated clinical sites
  • Financial aid for students who qualify
  • Career Planning

Prerequisite College Courses/Credits

  • Anatomy and Physiology with Lab - 4 Credits*
  • English Composition - 3 Credits*
  • College Math (any 100-level or higher) - 3 Credits*
  • Psychology: Gen, Intro, or Developmental - 3 Credits
  • Medical Terminology - 2 Credits
*Applicants must have completed the Anatomy & Physiology with Lab, English Composition, and College Math requirements before a formal application can be submitted and reviewed. Psychology and Medical Terminology must be completed prior to matriculation.

Preadmission Testing Requirements
Suggested Score: 61.4%

Other Requirements

  • The applicant must be a graduate of an accredited high school with a GPA of 2.0 or higher or have earned a high school equivalency (GED) certificate.
  • Preadmission testing required.
  • Documentation of previous healthcare experience (including volunteer hours) is recommended.

Physical Therapist Assistant

  • General Education Prerequisites: 15 credit hours
  • RCHC Program Hours - Theory: 38.5 credit hours
  • RCHC Program Hours - Lab: 11 credit hours
  • RCHC Program Hours - Clinical: 15.5 credit hours


  • The Physical Therapist Assistant program at Riverside College of Health Careers is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education of the American Physical Therapy Association (CAPTE)
    3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100,
    Alexandria, VA 22305-3085

    If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 757-240-2485 or email


  • Graduates of the program are eligible to sit for the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) to become licensed to practice as a Physical Therapist Assistant. Application for the exam is the responsibility of the student and involves additional fees charged by the FSBPT. Additional information regarding the PTA exam may be obtained from:
    Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT)
    124 West Street South
    Third Floor
    Alexandria, VA 22314


  • To practice as a Physical Therapist Assistant in the State of Virginia, individuals must apply for a licensure from the Virginia Board of Physical Therapy (VBOPT) . Application for licensure is the responsibility of the student and involves additional fees charged by VBOPT. Additional information regarding PTA licensure may be obtained from:
    Department of Health Professions Board of Physical Therapy Perimeter Center
    9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300
    Henrico, Virginia 23233-1463


  • Certified by the State Council of Higher Education (SCHEV) to operate in Virginia.
    101 N. 14th Street
    James Monroe Building
    Richmond, VA 23219


  • Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)
    7777 Leesburg Pike, Suite 314
    N. Falls Church, VA 22043


Tuition Breakdown for Physical Therapist Assistant Program

  • $350 per GEN/HLT credit
  • $430 per PTA credit

Total Tuition: $27,070

Other Associated Costs

  • Book Estimate: $1,405
  • Uniform & Shoe Estimate: $150
  • Supplies Estimate: $140
  • Credentialing Estimate: $700