Physical Therapy

Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant – Nashville

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Build the skills you need to assist physical therapists and make a direct positive impact on your patients’ quality of life. Start working toward your future as a PTA today.


Our Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program can prepare you to take on entry-level positions in the growing field of physical therapy in approximately two years. Through both classroom and in-the-field clinical training, you’ll develop the skills to assist physical therapists in delivering treatment plans that help patients from athletes to military veterans regain function, strength, and control. Our PTA program covers all aspects of physical therapy, including sports medicine, pediatrics, acute care, outpatient orthopedics, rehabilitation, extended care, and assisted living. The educational and practical instruction you receive while earning your degree will prepare you to enter a broad range of medical environments where you can make a direct positive impact on your patients’ quality of life. Demand for physical therapy assistants is high, which gives you the opportunity to specialize in a field that aligns with your interests and professional goals.

Develop Essential Skills In
  • Professional communication
  • Documentation and medical records
  • Patient management
  • Patient rehabilitation techniques
  • Therapeutic exercise and muscle testing
See All Physical Therapy Programs

South College Physical Therapy

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Tuition and Fees

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Available Locations

Examples of Scholarships and Grants That May Be Available (Check with Your Campus Financial Aid Office For More Information)

South College Promise

This Grant is offered to provide assistance for recent high school graduates in order to help keep student loan debt to a minimum. Qualifications are required.

TN Promise

South College is proud to offer the TNP Scholarship for those that qualify helping to offset the first 2 years of tuition with required Community Service hours.

Yellow Ribbon

South College proudly participates in this program with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to help pay for education for military members and Veterans.

Concentrations in this Program

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You May Enjoy This Line of Study If You…

  • Like making others feel better or more comfortable
  • Enjoy working as part of a team
  • Have a passion for the human body and really understanding all of its functions
  • Want to help people like athletes and military professionals recover and gain their range of motion back
  • Maintain professionalism with patients, families, and care providers

Mission and Student Outcomes


The mission of the South College PTA program is to develop knowledgeable, motivated, competent professionals who have the skills necessary to meet the career demands of an entry-level physical therapist assistant and, thereby, serve the diverse needs of their communities. A comprehensive curriculum is maintained, which includes verifying the competence and professionalism of students. To promote an optimal educational experience for all students, diversity in teaching methodology is also practiced. As role models, those involved with the program strive to exhibit the professional attributes expected in the physical therapy profession.

Program Goals and Expected Outcomes
  1. Graduates will be competent physical therapist assistants who work under the supervision of physical therapists.
    • Students/graduates will demonstrate effective written and oral communication skills.
    • Student/graduates will implement appropriate physical therapy treatments based on the plan of care established by a licensed physical therapist.
    • Students/graduates will understand the role of the physical therapist assistant and work in a manner consistent with their state practice act and APTA’s Standards of Ethical Conduct for the Physical Therapist Assistant.
    • Graduates will pass the national physical therapist assistant licensure exam.
  2. The program will maintain a comprehensive curriculum developed and taught by qualified faculty in accordance with accreditation standards.
    • Faculty will continually develop and improve a comprehensive didactic curriculum.
    • Faculty will continually develop and improve a comprehensive clinical education plan.
    • The program will maintain adequate physical and monetary resources to facilitate a learning environment.
    • The program’s mission, philosophy, goals, and objectives will be consistent with those of the college.
  3. The program, through its faculty and students, will show a commitment to the private and professional communities through activities of continuing education, service, and advocacy for the physical therapy profession.
    • The program will provide faculty with professional development opportunities relevant to their topics of instruction, licensure requirements, areas of weakness noted on assessment tools, and desired areas of professional growth.
    • Faculty and students will participate in community service activities
    • Faculty will be advocates for the physical therapy profession
Year of Graduation202120222 yr. Average
% that Graduated – per AAR*92.3% (13/14)88.9% (16/18)90.6%
% that passed the licensure exam83.3% (10/12)93.8% (15/16)88.6%
% Employed as a PTA within 1 year of graduation (if seeking)100% (10/10)100% (14/14)100%

Additional Information

Admission Requirements (AS PTA)
General admission to South College does not guarantee admission to the Associate of Science degree program in Physical Therapist Assistant. Applicants interested in this program are required to visit the college and meet individually with an admissions representative and a program advisor to ascertain if their goals can be met by the college. Prospective students declaring PTA as their major must be generally admitted to South College and meet the following requirements in order to be considered for full admission to the program:
  1. Meet minimum score requirements required by the program on the college entrance examination, OR present documentation of a score of 19 or higher on the ACT Assessment examination, OR have earned transfer credit of 15 semester (23 quarter) hours with at least a 3.0 grade point average (GPA), OR achieve a GPA of at least 3.0 for the program’s pre-requisite general education courses (ENG 1201 English Composition, ENG 1211 English Composition with Research, BIO 1110 Anatomy & Physiology I, BIO 1120 Anatomy & Physiology I Lab, BIO 1130 Anatomy & Physiology II, BIO 1140 Anatomy & Physiology II Lab, AHS 1010 Medical Terminology, COM 1261 Effective Speaking, MAT 1200 College Algebra w/Statistics and Angles, and a Psychology elective course- PSY 1811 General Psychology or PSY 1821 Human Growth and Development. *Effective Speaking (COM 1261) OR the Psychology Elective (PSY 1811 or PSY 1821 ), OR the Humanities Elective may be completed after beginning PTA major coursework but prior to taking PTA 2210.
  2. Complete and submit the South College AS PTA Program Application and Checklist.
  3. Submit three (3) letters of reference utilizing the program’s reference form. These reference forms will be scored and must average seventy-five percent (75%) or better.
  4. Complete all required general education core courses and earn the minimum grade of “C” or higher.
  5. Complete BIO 1110 Anatomy & Physiology I, BIO 1120 Anatomy & Physiology I Lab, BIO 1130 Anatomy & Physiology II, and BIO 1140 Anatomy & Physiology II Lab with at least a 2.50 grade point average. The necessary grades must be achieved on the first or second attempt (all postsecondary attempts counted) unless approved by department chair.
  6. Complete PTA 1010 Introduction to PTA, PTA 1030 Pathophysiology, and PTA 1500 Functional Anatomy & Kinesiology with a grade of “C” or better earned on the first or second attempt only. A grade of “C” is equivalent to 75%.
  7. Submit proof of at least sixteen (16) hours of observation and/or work hours in a physical therapy setting using the form provided by the PTA program.
  8. Transfer credit for Kinesiology or Pathophysiology classes to the South College PTA program from another institution will be considered on an individual basis. For a PTA class to be considered for transfer into the South College PTA program, the class must have been comparable in hours and content, must have been taken within the last five years, and a grade of “B” or higher must have been received for the class. For final transfer approval, a course description or syllabus may be required.


    The South College Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant program offered at the Knoxville and Nashville campuses is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) (3030 Potomac Avenue, Suite 100, Alexandria, VA 22305, 703-706-3245, The last review was conducted in 2013 with reaccreditation granted through 2024.  If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 629-802-3126 or email

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