Murray State College's PTA Program prepares you to become a dynamic part of the physical therapy team.  The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) works with the Physical Therapist (PT) to provide valuable services to people of all ages and with many different conditions that impact the ability to move.

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The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Murray State College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia  22305-3085; telephone: (703) 706-3245; email:;  website:  

Murray State College PTA Program Outcomes



PTA - Program Overview

*Prospective PTA Students may begin taking the 1st year general education prerequisite courses without applying to the PTA Program.

The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program at Murray State College prepares students to successfully enter the Physical Therapy Profession as a dynamic member of the Physical Therapy Team.  Students who complete the program will earn an Associate in Applied Science Degree (AAS). 

The PTA program was initially accredited in April of 1997 and has graduated a class each year. 

  • The program has a total of 367 graduates through August 2023. 
  • Information regarding this program and all accredited programs may be found at
  • The program can be completed in five semesters and is offered in a full-time day format.
  • Murray State College is a public institution. 

Program Mission . . . To prepare graduates that can successfully enter the physical therapy profession; give client-centered physical therapy services as effective and valued team members who understand the role of the PT and the PTA in the provision of high-quality physical therapy services; and to be life-long learners with behaviors that support the core values of the profession. 

​Program Goals - The PTA program prepares graduates to work within the Physical Therapy Plan of Care and within a team including the physical therapist and:

  1. Communicate effectively in providing and documenting client care.
  2. Perform physical therapy measurement/assessment skills required of the entry level PTA.
  3. Provide comprehensive physical therapy services to clients from across the life span in a safe and effective way.
  4. Function as an accountable member of the physical therapy profession within the ethical and legal framework of the profession of physical therapy, accepting responsibility for high standards of physical therapy care including a commitment to on-going development and life-long learning.

The PTA program . . . 

  • prepares students to become dynamic team members working with the direction and supervision of the physical therapist (PT). 
  • is organized so that students can enter the PTA program after completing at least one semester of required course work and complete the remaining prerequisite courses while taking the first two PTA courses prior entering the second year (also called technical year) of the program. 
  • requires that students must apply to and be accepted into the second year of the program.  The application procedures are updated annually and when changes are made, the procedures for any given year are finalized and made available to prospective students by September 1st of the year in which the student is applying.  
  • typically accepts a class of eighteen (18) students that are from various backgrounds and represent both traditional and non-traditional students. 

The Faculty . . .

  • provide a rigorous program of learning that involves student participation in active team learning throughout the program.
  • believe that students are not all the same and require diverse learning opportunities to be successful.
  • are experienced and dedicated to helping you achieve your goal of becoming a PTA.

Students . . .

  • learn and perform skills in the academic environment before being assigned to a clinical site where they work under the supervision of clinical educators who support the program and allow students to experience working with patients.  
  • participate in clinical experiences that are organized to meet the needs of the individual student and are supervised by approved qualified clinical instructors.  These clinical experiences are coordinated by faculty and provided by clinical instructors who agree to supervise the student at assigned and approved clinical sites, including hospitals and clinic settings in many areas. 

Program graduates . . . 

  • are prepared to take the NPTE for the PTA. This is a nationally developed; state-approved test that must be successfully passed as part of the application process to become licensed as a PTA in the state in which they seek to be licensed.   
  • enter the profession of physical therapy and give client-centered physical therapy service under the direction and supervision of a qualified physical therapist. 
  • function as team members demonstrating effective teamwork between the PT, PTA, and the person receiving services and their family. 


PTA Curriculum


For a suggested course sequence that includes required courses in the 1st year of the program as well as the actual PTA courses beginning in the spring of the 1st year, check out the PTA Program Curriculum Sheet.  Students apply to the 2nd year of the program during the fall semester of their 1st year.  


General Education- First year of the PTA program

  1. Students do not go through the program application process to take general education courses from the first year of the program.  
  2. Any interested student may enroll in general education courses from the first year.  These are any courses that do not begin with the PTA prefix.
  3. It is recommended that interested students be familiar with PTA admission criteria and required application process for the PTA Program.

Frequently Asked Questions regarding the first year course work:

  1. Do I need to apply to the PTA program in order to begin taking 1st year courses?  No, students only apply to take PTA core program classes that begin in the spring semester of the first year.  
  2. Do the courses have to be taken in the order listed?  No, the general education courses may be taken in any order with the exception of the courses that have prerequisites.  For example General Psychology is taken prior to Developmental Psychology.
  3. I only lack Anatomy & Physiology 1 and 2, can I go ahead and apply to the second year of the PTA program? All prerequisite (first year) courses must be completed prior to the beginning of the fall of the second year.  If the courses can be completed in the spring and summer prior to the beginning of the full time PTA second year (Fall Semester) then a student may apply to the program.  If accepted, their continuation in the second year would be contingent on successful completion of prerequisite courses prior to the beginning of the fall semester of the second year of the program.
  4. I have had an Anatomy class at another school, can I take the second class at MSC?  The sequencing of A & P classes are not consistent across all schools, therefore it is important that if you take an A & P class at one school to take the second A & P class at that same school.  This will ensure that you do not miss important systems.  If you attend a school that teaches a full Anatomy classes (Human Anatomy) in a 4 or 5 hour format such as SOSU or ECU, then you should take a full Physiology (Human Physiology) class at that same school.
  5. I have had a second psychology but it was not called Developmental Psychology, do I need another class? There are several second psychology courses that are acceptable.  The purpose of this requirement is to provide students with an understanding of psychology over the life span with focus on early development.  If you have had a 2000 level or higher psychology course in child & adolescent psychology or life span psychology, this will most likely work for you.  Email the program director if you have questions about your prior course work.


Frequently Asked Questions about the Technical Year of the PTA program:

What is the schedule for the PTA course that begin in the second semester of the first year?
For those students accepted into the technical portion of the PTA program, the following schedule is provided but is subject to change.
 - The first two PTA courses begin in the Spring semester.  These include PTA 2112 & PTA 2103.  These courses have been scheduled one day per week on campus with a portion of the course requirements completed through the on-line Blackboard.  Students accepted in the PTA program may take these two PTA courses along with any general education courses they may need to take.  All prerequisite courses must be completed prior to the beginning of the Fall semester.

Summer - There are no classes during the summer, however there will be targeted self-paced learning activities during the summer to promote success in the full-time second year of the program.
Fall - Fall of the second year includes students in class Monday through Friday - 9:00am to 4:00pm 
Spring-  The spring semester begins with a 4 week clinical experience that is 5 days per week usually from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.  For the remainder of the semester, students will continue in-class sessions three full days per week.  Tuesday and Friday - 9:00am to 4:00pm and Wednesdays 9:00am to 12:00.  Approximately 6 additional days on either Monday or Thurdays related to outside learning experiences.  .  
Summer - The final summer semester includes two five week clinical experiences.  Monday through Friday usually 8:00 am to 5:00 pm working in assigned clinical settings.

This simple schedule is for your information and is subject to change. 

pTA Cost of Program

pTA Financial Fact Sheet

*This financial fact sheet is required in this format by CAPTE.

If you would like more information on the profession then check out this link:  Learn Physical Therapy Basics 

Applying to the PTA Program

​Thank you for your interest in the PTA program! We have specific application procedures that are outlined below.

The PTA Application period is between September 1st and the third Thursday in November each year.  New Class Application Links will become available by September 1st of each year.

The PTA Application period is between September 1st and the third Thursday in November each year.  New Class Application Links will become available by September 1st of each year.

Headlines from Physical Therapy

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