Program Description


The physical therapist assistant is a skilled paraprofessional healthcare worker who, under the supervision of a physical therapist, carries out the patient's treatment program.  The extent to which the physical therapist assistant is involved in treatment depends upon the supervising therapist.

A planned patient-care program is carried out by the assistant, following established procedures.  Duties of the physical therapist assistant include:  training patients in exercises and activities of normal daily living; conducting treatments; utilizing special equipment; assisting in performing tests, evaluations, and complex treatment procedures; observing and reporting the patient's responses.


The Associate of Science degree in physical therapy for the physical therapist assistant (PTA) at LLU requires a minimum of 2.25 years of college after high school.  The first year of specific prerequisite courses may be completed at a regionally-accredited junior college or a four-year college or a university which are transferred to Loma Linda University upon acceptance to the program.   The second year plus one quarter is completed at Loma Linda University in the PTA technical education program. 


Graduates of the program are eligible to take the National PTA Licensing Examination and obtain state licensure.

Program Website  |  Catalog

Program Length

15 months (5 quarters)

Possible Careers

Clinical and hospital settings, long term care facilities, Health and sports related environments.

Application Deadlines

There are currently no published application deadlines.

Admissions Requirements

To be eligible for admission, the applicant must have the following:

  • Completed high school from an accredited institution or passed the GED
  • Complete a minimum of 48 quarter or 32 semester units at an accredited college or university
  • A minimum of 2.5 GPA is required for both science and non-science classes.
  • C-minus grades are not acceptable for transfer credit.
  • OBSERVATION EXPERIENCE:  80 physical therapy observation hours are required.  A minimum of 20 hours in an inpatient P.T. setting and a minimum of 20 hours in an outpatient P.T. setting. 

Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy licensing exam pass rates


Students who already have a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university need to complete only the prerequisites denoted with an asterisk (*).

-    * Human Anatomy and Physiology with labs (complete two course sequence)
-    * Introductory physics with lab (one quarter or semester) 
-    * Two years of high school algebra with grade of C or better, or intermediate college algebra 
-       A humanities course (four quarter or three semester units) 
-    * General psychology 
-    * Human growth and development (preferred) or developmental psychology or abnormal psychology 
-       English composition (complete sequence) 
-    * Speech
-    * Medical Terminology
-       Health education or two activity courses in physical education 
-       If attending a Seventh-day Adventist college, four quarter or three semester units of religion per year is required. 
-       Electives to meet the 48 quarter or 32 semester units

Discipline Accrediting Agency

The Physical Therapist Assistant program at Loma Linda University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; 703-706-3245; Email:; Website: If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 909-558-4634 or email

Integrating faith and health
Loma Linda University educates and encourages a balanced life by living our values of humility, compassion, justice, integrity, excellence, freedom and self- control. You will be surrounded by faculty who are committed to healthcare innovation and research while engaging your spirituality.

Expected Cost of Attendance

Academic Year 2021-2022

Year of Program: Year Year 1 Year 2
Tuition $25,080 $2,640
Fees $3,696 $924
Books & Supplies $850
Misc (e.g., Boards, Licensing exam, Uniforms)
Total $29,626 $3,564


Expected costs for the 2021-2022 academic year are based on full time attendance. From year to year, increases are anticipated consistent with inflation in the professional education sector.

Estimated Living Expenses

Academic Year 2021-2022, off campus, with a roommate

Year of Program: Year Year 1 Year 2
Months enrolled 12 3
Room & Board $17,700 $4,425
Transportation $3,840 $960
Personal Expenses $3,000 $750


  • Amounts are what a student can apply to borrow for the number of months shown in each academic year based on living off campus with a roommate and not with a relative.
  • International students need to calculate 12 months of living expenses based on the numbers listed here.
  • In general, to qualify for financial aid a student must be enrolled at least half time taking degree requirements. Half time is 6 units in a quarter for undergraduate programs and 4 units in a quarter for graduate programs.