Physical Therapist Assistant Frequently Asked Questions

If I am a certified Physical Therapist Assistant can I complete the OTA Bachelor of Science degree?

Yes, Central Methodist University offers students a unique path to expanded employment opportunities with two rehab healthcare certifications. Students who wish to train as both physical therapist assistants and occupational therapy assistants can earn both degrees in just four years. This “2-2” Option for PTA/OTA majors enables a student to obtain an Associate of Applied Science in PTA degree and a Bachelor of Science in OTA degree from CMU in as little as four years. Students meeting the requirements for an A.A.S. in PTA who successfully pass their board certification exams are eligible for direct admittance into the OTA Bachelor of Science degree program.

What skills do I need to succeed in this major?

If you're considering a physical therapist assistant (PTA) major at CMU, you should be interested in working with people of all ages. You should be driven and have the ability to motivate others while demonstrating sound critical thinking skills. Effective communication abilities and compassion for your community will also provide you with the tools needed to succeed as a PTA.

How will I know if this major fits me?

If you are interested in helping people live a healthy and positive life, and enjoy learning about the human body and how it functions, this major would be a great choice for you. Physical therapist assistants work closely with people of all ages in a variety of settings, educating and implementing programs to promote a return to functional lifestyles.

What skills and abilities does a student need to excel in this field?

As a member of the physical therapy profession, the PTA may be required to function in a variety of healthcare settings. Students and graduates should be mindful of the patient's right to safe and quality health care. See the Technical & Ability Standards for the PTA program.

What can I expect to learn?

As a student studying to become a PTA at CMU, you will learn the skills necessary to become a safe, competent and knowledgeable clinician in the field of physical therapy. Through classroom activities, labs, and clinical experiences, you will learn to provide physical therapy interventions under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist. You will also learn to communicate effectively in a healthcare setting, and engage in leadership and service opportunities while discovering ways to appreciate the differences in individuals with whom you work.

What kind of scholarships are available?

Students accepted into the (OTA or PTA) program are eligible to receive the Thogmorton Scholars Scholarship. This scholarship provides a 50% automatic tuition discount to OTA/PTA majors.

Will I have opportunities for internships and hands-on learning experiences?

You will participate in three full time clinical education affiliations with opportunities to work in clinics across the state of Missouri. A total of 560 hours of hands-on clinical experience is provided for students to enhance their skills and apply knowledge. The technical courses within the program are set up to develop hands-on practical skills in classroom and lab spaces, as well as in our state-of-the-art simulations lab.

Where can I find information about tuition and fees for the PTA program?

Information about tuition can be accessed on the Tuition and Fees page. In addition to tuition, housing, books/supplies students in the PTA program will incur additional expenses. The expenses associated with clinical education within the program include: liability insurance, criminal background check, drug screening, personal health insurance, and immunizations. Additionally, a cost will be associated with Professional APTA membership. A complete list of additional non-tuition student expenses with approximate costs associated with the PTA program can be found in the catalog.

What are the program outcomes?

Program outcomes are viewable here.

Who can I speak with for more information about this major?

For additional guidance and information about the PTA major, contact CMU's Admissions Department at 660-248-6251, toll-free at 877-CMU-1854, or