Physical Therapist Assistant – Community College of Rhode Island

Physical Therapist Assistant

Associate in Applied Science Degree in Physical Therapist Assistant (AAS_PHTA)

Occupational Title: Physical Therapist Assistant
Newport County Campus only

The Physical Therapist Assistant program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax St., Alexandria, VA, 22314; [email protected];; 703-706-3245.

Physical therapist assistants work under the supervision of a physical therapist utilizing prescribed activities to help patients recover physical function lost through disease, injury or other causes, and to relieve pain and promote healing. Licensed physical therapist assistants work in public or private hospitals, clinics, school systems or other health agencies.

The Physical Therapist Assistant program is a full-time, day program. It consists of a variety of courses that includes physical therapy theory and practice as well as supporting courses from general education.

Students who successfully complete this program are eligible to take the licensure examination for physical therapist assistants.

Technical standards: The physical activity level for the physical therapist assistant is classified as “medium” by the Department of Labor in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles.

Note: Many courses require prerequisites, corequisites and/or testing. See course descriptions for details.


See important general policies in the beginning of this section on the performance-based Health Sciences application process, academic progress, advanced placement, background check, CPR certification, health insurance, health records, reinstatement, transportation, uniforms, and equipment.

Minimum requirements to apply to the Physical Therapist Assistant program
  1. CCRI application – Complete and submit a CCRI Application for Enrollment. General Studies should be the first choice; PHTA should be the second choice.
  2. High school transcript – Send an official copy of the applicant’s high school or GED® transcript, including date of graduation. If the applicant holds a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university, the high school transcript may be waived; a college transcript must indicate completion and degree awarded.
  3. Placement testing
    – Must earn English placement test results (ACCUPLACER NEXT GENERATION) issued by CCRI’s Department of Advising and Counseling, must show readiness to take ENGL 1010: Composition I or the applicant must have completed ENGL 1005: College Writing with a grade of "C" or better. ENGL 1300 will not substitute for ENGL 1010.

    – Complete a standardized test (ACCUPLACER NEXT GENERATION) issued by CCRI's Department of Advising and Counseling. Competency of 250 or above is required for reading comprehension or completion of ENGL 0890L Critical Reading with a grade of "B-" or better.

    – Demonstrate competency at MATH 1025 level or complete MATH 0099 with a C or better. The following courses will substitute for MATH 1025: MATH 1200, 1210, 1139, 1138, 1175, 1240, 1241, 2077, 2138, 2111, 2141, 2142, 2243, 1910, 1920, 2910. (Highest grade earned in any of these courses will be calculated in the point system.)
  4. Complete RHAB 1100 - Foundational Kinesiology (recommended) and it may be considered in the performance-based acceptance process.
  5. Complete the following courses with a grade of B- or better:
    1. BIOL 1010 - Human Anatomy or BIOL 2201 Anatomy and Physiology I
    2. PHTA 1000 - Introduction to the Physical Therapist Assistant
    3. RHAB 1010 - Medical Terminology for Rehabilitation
  6. GPA – Earn a cumulative grade point average of 2.7 or better for all college courses taken
  7. Health Sciences application – Complete and submit performance-based Health Sciences application including a preadmission degree evaluation during the open enrollment period. The application and instructions can be found at
    1. IMPORTANT: All the above requirements must be completed satisfactorily BEFORE submission of performance-based Health Sciences application and do not guarantee acceptance to the program. Students declining acceptance into the program for the semester offered must resubmit a performance-based Health Sciences application for the program and meet the current admission requirements for the application period in which they reapply. Once accepted into Physical Therapist Assistant program, the student must attend a mandatory orientation conducted by the Rehabilitative Health Department.
  8. Background check – Students are required to submit a background check when directed by notification from Enrollment Services. Final acceptance to the program is dependent on the results of the background check.


PREADMISSION General Education Requirement
This course must be taken prior to program admission.

PREADMISSION General Education Requirements
BIOL 1010 OR BIOL 2201 Human Anatomy OR Human Anatomy and Physiology I   4

Total PREADMISSION General Education Requirements Credits 4

General Education Requirements
ENGL 1010 Composition I   3
BIOL 1020 OR BIOL 2202 Human Physiology OR Human Anatomy and Physiology II   4
MATH 1025 Introduction to College Mathematics   3
COMM 1100 Public Speaking   3
PSYC 2010 General Psychology   4
PSYC 2030 Developmental Psychology   3

Total General Education Requirements Credits 20

PREADMISSION Major Requirements
These courses must be taken prior to program admission.

PREADMISSION Major Requirements
PHTA 1000 Introduction to the Physical Therapist Assistant   2
RHAB 1010 Medical Terminology for Rehabilitative Health   1

Total PREADMISSION Major Requirements Credits 3

Students must be accepted into the program before taking any major requirements.

Major Education Requirements
RHAB 1110 Kinesiology Students are strongly encouraged to take RHAB 1110 in the summer semester prior to entering the program. 4
PHTA 1120 Tests and Measurements for Physical Therapist Assistants   2
PHTA 1010 Physical Therapist Assistant I   6
PHTA 1020 Physical Therapist Assistant II   4
RHAB 1030 Pathophysiology for Rehabilitative Health Practitioners   3
PHTA 2910 Clinical Education I 40 hours of clinical education for six weeks for a total of 240 hours for PHTA 2910, 2920 and 2930. 3
PHTA 2010 Physical Therapist Assistant III   7
PHTA 2920 Clinical Education II 40 hours of clinical education for six weeks for a total of 240 hours for PHTA 2910, 2920 and 2930. 3
PHTA 2020 Physical Therapist Assistant IV   7
PHTA 2930 Clinical Education III 40 hours of clinical education for six weeks for a total of 240 hours for PHTA 2910, 2920 and 2930. 3
PHTA 2040 Career Development Seminar   1
RHAB 1100, PHTA 1220, or 2030 Foundational Kinesiology, Basic Therapeutic Exercise, or Physical Therapy Impaired Neuro Function OPTIONAL BUT STRONGLY RECOMMENDED  

Total Major Education Requirements Credits 43

Total Program Credits 70

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Last Updated: 4/14/20