Physical Therapist Assistant, Associate in Applied Science


Malcolm X

Program Code: 0406

Program Requirements

General Education Coursework
ENGLISH 101Composition (or higher General Education English course)3
BIOLOGY 116Introduction to Anatomy And Physiology4
or BIOLOGY 226
Human Structure and Function I
and Human Structure and Function II
General Education Mathematics Course (Math 118 recommended)3
PHYSICS 131Mechanics And Power (or higher General Education Physics class)3
PSYCH 201General Psychology (or higher General Education Psychology course)3
Required Program Core
PTA 110Introduction to Physical Therapy2
PTA 140Health Promotion & Wellness I1
PTA 150Therapeutic Procedures I3
PTA 160Orthopedic Practice & Exercise4
PTA 170Therapeutic Procedures II3
PTA 171Cardiopulmonary & Vascular Practice2
PTA 200Pathophysiology & Complex Systems2
PTA 201Neuromuscular Rehabilitation3
PTA 220Physical Therapy Across the Lifespan2
PTA 240Health Promotion & Wellness II2
ESSS 101Personal Trainer Preparation4
ESSS 103Allied Health Clinical Skills2
ESSS 112Functional Anatomy & Kinesiology5
Required Work-Based Learning Courses
ESSS 102Personal Trainer Practicum2
PTA 211PTA Clinical Education I7
PTA 260Advanced PTA Clinical Education7
Total Hours67


This is an example course sequence for students interested in the Physical Therapist Assistant program. This does not represent a contract, nor does it guarantee course availability. If this pathway is followed as outlined, you will earn an Associate in Applied Science degree in Physical Therapist Assistant.

Semester-by-Semester Program Plan for Full-Time Students

All plans can be modified to fit the needs of part-time students by adding more semesters.

Plan of Study Grid
Semester 1Hours
ESSS 101 Personal Trainer Preparation 4
ESSS 102 Personal Trainer Practicum 2
ESSS 112 Functional Anatomy & Kinesiology 5
ENGLISH 101 Composition 1,6 3
Semester 2
ESSS 103 Allied Health Clinical Skills 2
BIOLOGY 116 Introduction to Anatomy And Physiology 1,2 4
MATH 118 General Education Math (or higher General Education Mathematics course) 1,3 3-4
PSYCH 201 General Psychology 1,4 3
PHYSICS 131 Mechanics And Power 1,5 3
Semester 3
PTA 110 Introduction to Physical Therapy 2
PTA 150 Therapeutic Procedures I 3
PTA 160 Orthopedic Practice & Exercise 4
Semester 4
PTA 140 Health Promotion & Wellness I 1
PTA 170 Therapeutic Procedures II 3
PTA 171 Cardiopulmonary & Vascular Practice 2
PTA 201 Neuromuscular Rehabilitation 3
PTA 211 PTA Clinical Education I 7
Semester 5
PTA 200 Pathophysiology & Complex Systems 2
PTA 220 Physical Therapy Across the Lifespan 2
PTA 240 Health Promotion & Wellness II 2
PTA 260 Advanced PTA Clinical Education 7
 Total Hours67-68

General Education Requirement


Biology 226 and Biology 227 may substitute for this requirement.


Or higher-level general education math course


Or higher-level general education psychology course


Or higher-level general education physics course


Or higher-level general education English class

Choose your courses with your College Advisor.

Program Admission Requirements

The program is very competitive, and having the minimum requirements does not indicate that you will be accepted into the program. Students having less than minimum requirements will not be considered. In order to enter the program students must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Graduate from an accredited high school or earn a GED
  • Meet general admissions requirements for Malcolm X College including successful completion of all prerequisite courses for the Physical Therapist Assistant program
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 in all college-level work
  • Official college transcripts from all colleges attending outside of City Colleges of Chicago. All transcripts should be submitted to the Malcolm X College Office of Registrar Services.
  • Grade of “C” or better in:
    ENGLISH 101Composition (or higher General Education English course) 13
    General Education Mathematics course (Math 118 recommended)3
    BIOLOGY 116Introduction to Anatomy And Physiology 24
    or BIOLOGY 226
    BIOLOGY 227
    Human Structure and Function I
    and Human Structure and Function II
    PSYCH 201General Psychology (or higher General Education Psychology course) 13
    PHYSICS 131Mechanics And Power (or higher General Education Physics course) 13
    ESSS 101Personal Trainer Preparation4
    ESSS 102Personal Trainer Practicum2
    ESSS 103Allied Health Clinical Skills2
    ESSS 112Functional Anatomy & Kinesiology5

"or higher" effective Spring 2024

Effective Spring 2024, BIOLOGY 226 & 227 may be taken in place of BIOLOGY 116.

Background Check

Students entering most healthcare professions programs will be required to present documentation of health history and vaccination status, to undergo annual tuberculosis screening, to submit to a background check, to submit to initial and random drug screening, and to undergo fingerprinting prior to licensing with the state of Illinois. Students should consult with an advisor if any of these requirements are a concern.

For more information on admissions requirements and the application process, visit the Physical Therapist Assistant program webpage.


This program can prepare students for the jobs listed below. Click on each one to learn more, including average earnings, annual job openings, and how much education people in that field have. For additional guidance and resources on career options, current City Colleges students and alumni can contact the Career Services Office.

Physical Therapist Assistants

Job Description

Assist physical therapists in providing physical therapy treatments and procedures. May, in accordance with state laws, assist in the development of treatment plans, carry out routine functions, document the progress of treatment, and modify specific treatments in accordance with patient status and within the scope of treatment plans established by a physical therapist. Generally requires formal training.

Salary Based on Experience Level

Take a look at the average hourly/annual earnings for this career in Cook County

Lightcast earnings figures are based on OES data from the BLS and include base rate, cost of living allowances, guaranteed pay, hazardous-duty pay, incentive pay (including commissions and bonuses), on-call pay, and tips.

Annual Wages

Entry-Level 10th Percentile$46,855
Median 50th Percentile$62,987
Senior-Level 90th Percentile$79,271

Hourly Wages

Entry-Level 10th Percentile$23
Median 50th Percentile$30
Senior-Level 90th Percentile$38

Annual Job Openings

294 annual openings in Cook County

National Education Attainment

Here, you can see the level of education that people in this career complete.

Degree Program% of Jobs
A high school diploma or less0.00%
A certificate0.00%
Some college0.00%
An Associate degree84.16%
A Bachelor's degree14.88%
A Master's or Professional degree0.97%
A Doctoral degree or more0.00%

15.85% continue their education beyond an associate degree