Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) Degree
A physical therapist assistant (PTA) is an essential partner in the treatment of patients with movement difficulties related to injuries or disease 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 preventing 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 outpatient settings.

Program at a Glance

  • Approximately 18 months
  • Hours vary Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Occasional evening and weekend hours may be required
  • College prerequisites required

Start Dates, Application for Admission, and Tuition Information

Admission Criteria

  • Graduation from an accredited high school with a recommended overall grade point average of 2.0 or better; or a GED certificate
  • Anatomy & Physiology with Lab, English Composition, and College Math requirements must be completed before an application can be submitted; all prerequisites must be completed prior to beginning the program.
  • Cumulative college-level GPA of 3.0 or better is recommended due to the competitive nature of admissions.
  • Preadmission entrance test.
  • Must be able to meet essential requirements of the program
  • Official TOEFL results if English is your second language. Minimum score of 550 (paper-based) or 79 (Internet-based).
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident. 
  • Documentation of previous health care experience (including volunteer hours) is recommended.
  • Current or past employees of Riverside Health System will be evaluated for job performance and eligibility for rehire.
  • All students must reside in Virginia during enrollment at the College.

Admission is on a competitive basis. Riverside College of Health Careers reserves the right to select those applicants who are deemed best qualified for both the program of study and potential employment by Riverside Health System.

All courses must be completed with grades of "C" or above. Items marked with ** must be completed prior to application submission. All prerequisites must be completed prior to beginning the program.

  • Anatomy and Physiology with Lab - 4 credits **
  • English Composition - 3 credits **
  • College Math (100-level or higher) - 3 credits **
  • General, Introductory, or Developmental Psychology - 3 credits
  • Medical Terminology - 2 credits

Program Accreditation
The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Riverside College of Health Careers is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email:; website: If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 757-240-2485 or email .

Institutional Accreditation
Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)

Riverside College of Health Careers is certified by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV).

CAPTE Required Consumer Information
PTA Acceptance & Matriculation Rates
PTA Outcomes Summary
PTA Clinical Affiliation Sites

The information contained in this website is informational only, and not intended to be contractual in nature. We reserve the right to change or alter any statements herein without prior notice.