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Physical Therapist Assistant

Associate in Applied Science

Program Overview

Physical Therapist Assistant

Physical therapist assistants, often called PTAs, work under the direction and supervision of physical therapists. They help patients who are recovering from injuries and illnesses regain movement and manage pain.

Patients may include accident victims and individuals with short- and long-term disabling conditions, such as low back pain, fractures, head injuries, arthritis, heart disease and cerebral palsy.

This career field is experiencing large growth. Earn your associate's degree at Delta and get started! 

Earning Potential

Interested in a career in physical therapy? Learn more about our region’s employment outlook and career opportunities you can pursue in this field of study.

Assist physical therapists in providing physical therapy treatments and procedures. You 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. This field generally requires formal training.

median annual salary
annual job openings

are currently employed within the State of Michigan Prosperity Regions 5 and 6.

This number is expected to over the next four years.

of current workers will reach retirement age within the next ten years.

Visit Career Coach for more details.

Map of Michigan with Delta College's region highlighted.


About Delta's Program

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    State-of-the-art technology

    Technology is a big deal. That’s why we have the best technology out there – like a $20 million health wing renovation. We want to make sure when you graduate, you can hit the ground running.

    Learn about our Facilities

Delta's program is four semesters long, starting in the fall. It's a cohort program, so you come in as a group and take your classes together from your first semester until your last. Each semester in the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program, students take 12+ credits and requires a full-time commitment to be successful. Students spend many hours outside of class studying and practicing their skills.

Most PTA courses are offered on campus during the day, however students may occasionally be asked to be available on nights or weekends for special events. Students also have more than 100 clinical sites to choose from.

Professional licensure

When the students pass their national licensure exam, the passing score is acceptable for licensure in all 50 states. However, each state requires their own license application (and fee) to practice. Please contact the Coordinator for further information.


At Delta College, we want every student to get the best education, so they're ready to hit the ground running when they graduate. Accreditation is one way we do that.

The Physical Therapist Assistant program at Delta College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 989-686-9316 or email

3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100
Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085


Program application process

Getting your degree in a health field is unique compared to other Delta programs. You must first take your prerequisite core courses, then you apply for validation.

What's validation?
The Registrar's Office validates your prerequisite courses to confirm you are eligible to begin the clinical portion of your program.

Success Tips

  • Declare the Physical Therapist Assistant program.
  • Meet with your advisor regularly. Stay on track with what you need to do to apply.
  • Apply for validation with the Registrar's Office once you've started your final semester of prerequisite courses.
  • Stay connected for important updates from Delta!
Program costs

The cost to attend Delta is less than half the cost of a university, which can add up to tens of thousands in savings. And we help find ways to pay for it. Last year, Delta students were awarded $26 million in financial aid, including nearly $640,000 in Delta College scholarships. That’s a lot of money available to students!

Calculate your PTA program costs

Program outcomes

We want to make sure you're ready when you graduate and that the knowledge you gain from your Delta degree is top-notch. 

When you're done, here's what you'll be able to do:

Outcome 1
Demonstrate professional behaviors of the physical therapy field.

Outcome 2
Use relevant interpersonal skills to communicate with each diverse person in the healthcare setting.

Outcome 3
Perform appropriate technical skills under the supervision of a physical therapist to function as a competent entry-level physical therapist assistant.

Outcome 4
Utilize appropriate critical thinking abilities to carry out an established plan of care under the supervision of a physical therapist.

Outcome 5
Demonstrate the ability to pass the National Physical Therapy Examination.

Student outcomes

We think it's important to know how we're doing so we can continually improve our programs – collegewide. We work really hard to give our students the best possible education. So, we annually evaluate and show you what we find out. 

Licensure pass rates

Total percent of candidates by graduation year who took the NPTE and passed.

Licensure pass rates (first-time)

2021: 12/13 graduates; 92.3%

2022:  8/11 graduates; 72.7%
Two-year average: 83.3%

Source: The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy, 2022

Licensure pass rates (ultimate)

2021: 12/13 graduates; 92.3%
2022: 10/11 graduates; 90.9%
Two-year average: 91.7%

Source: The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy, 2022

Program completion (graduation) rates

2021: 80%
Two-year average: 74.51%

Source: CAPTE Annual Accreditation Report, 2022

Employment rates

Employment in physical therapy (full-time or part-time) within six months of passing the licensure exam.

2021: 12/12 licensed graduates, 100%
2021: 11/11 licensed graduates, 100%
Two-year average: 100%

Source: graduate surveys and personal contact

Why you should choose Delta

 Dual degrees
Health Fitness Specialist

If you have an interest in wellness and health fitness, this dual associate degree in Health Fitness Specialist could be perfect for you! It's a great way to get additional training in personalized exercise and fitness to increase your earning potential.

General Management

Delta College students have an option to earn a dual associate degree in General Management with their Physical Therapist Assistant associate degree. It's a great way to get that business background and increase your earning potential.

Impressive history

Delta's PTA program, started in 1976, is the second oldest in Michigan. We believe our vast experience over such a long time period is one reason why our students have such a great national exam pass rate – 100%!

Michigan & national association involvement

Reach 100 graphicDelta College PTA students and faculty are actively involved with the Michigan Physical Therapy Association and the American Physical Therapy Association. 

Reach100 is a nationwide call to membership for PT and PTA students to demonstrate their commitment to APTA membership. Delta College has reached Gold Status with 90-99% Membership.

Student club & service projects

The PTA Student Club gets involved with our community with multiple service projects and professional involvement.

Things like giving free assistive devices to community members, attending state and national conferences, volunteering at local community events and raising awareness for health-related causes are just a few examples of club activities.

Transfer opportunities

One of the very best things about Delta College is your ability to start here and go on. And, in the process, save thousands (and thousands) of dollars. It's a smart choice!

In fact, if you're interested in earning a bachelor's degree, you have several options by coming to Delta first, and then transferring. Delta has signed transfer agreements to continue your studies with:

  • Ferris State University - Allied Health Sciences

Visit transfer agreements and guides to see the whole list of transfer opportunities. Have questions? Make an appointment with academic advising to discuss your dreams.

Facts & Figures

100 percent

100% of recent PTA graduates are currently employed.

97 percent

97% of PTA grads passed their national licensure exam in a two-year average.

Related Programs

Delta College offers over 150 degree, certificate and training options. Continue exploring and advancing your education with these related programs:

Casaundra Perry

"Delta gave me the opportunity to see what goes on in the real world of physical therapy. Clinicals gave me real-life, hands-on experiences with patients."

Casaundra Perry
Physical Therapist Assistant student