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PTA Schools & Programs In California

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California is home to over 10 physical therapy assistant schools spread out throughout the state.

With a focus on health and well-being through its “Move California” movement, many California cities and towns tend to be active communities.

With activity comes unfortunate, but inevitable injury and the need for physical therapy.

CA PTA Schools to Consider

In the north section of the state, you will find Sacramento City College’s PTA program, accredited by the CAPTE. The program tends to enroll around 30 students per year, and includes a curriculum of base PTA theory, knowledge of the human body, kinesiology, and data collection and analysis.

College of the Sequoas has a physical therapy assistant program that has an 80% pass rate on the national NPTE/PTA exam, and focuses on employment upon graduation.

Carrington College in Pleasant Hill, CA has a PTA program that has an outcome of an Associates of Applied Science, and also prepares students for the national exam as well as licensure in the state of CA.

As with most PTAs, be expected to work in a variety of different settings. Hospitals, private outpatient therapy practices, skilled nursing facilities, specialty settings, and in home health visitations are common.

PTA Licensing in California

    CA PT & PTA Licensing Requirements:

  • Minimum of 30 units in technical training
  • 15 units of general education courses
  • 36 months of work experience under the direct supervision of a physical therapist licensed by the Board. (18 months of the work experience must be in an acute care facility)

The state of California does require all physical therapy assistants to be licensed by the state (see licensing requirements to the right).

Thus, PTAs are required to have completed an accredited physical therapy assistant program in addition to passing the national physical therapy exam.

Most programs curriculum prepares you for the exam – make sure to do your homework and talk with as many programs as possible to make sure you will be prepared.

Below are listings of all the schools we could find that offer physical therapy assisting (or related) programs. Simply browse the listings and click on one of the buttons to get more information about the specific program to see if it’s right for you. We recommend requesting info from 3-5 schools to weigh all of your options.


PTA Schools & Related Programs in California


Mostly campus-based

Online PTA Programs

Additional California PTA Schools

Carrington College – California | Pleasant Hill, CA
Program: Associate’s, Physical Therapist Assistant Program
Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges/Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges
Tidbits: Has an in-house respiratory lab for hands-on practice with PTA tools such as x-ray machines.

Casa Loma College | Van Nuys, CA
Program: Associates of Applied Science, Physical Therapist Assistant Program
Accreditation: Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools

Cerritos College | Norwalk, CA
Program: Physical Therapist Assistant Program
Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges/Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges
Tidbits: Students are in class approximately 12 hours per week in addition to clinical experiences.

College of the Sequoias | Visalia, CA
Program: Associate’s, Physical Therapist Assistant Program
Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges/Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges
Tidbits: Entry requires minimum 2.5 Cumulative GPA or specific grade attainment in specific coursework (see website for more info). Selective – 26 out of 80-100 applicants are selected. Graduation rate is 96% for the 2012, 2013 graduates. Of graduates that took the NPTE, 96% of the 2012 class passed, while 100% of the 2013 class passed.

Concorde Career College – Garden Grove | Garden Grove, CA
Program: Associate of Science, Physical Therapist Assistant Program
Accreditation: Accrediting Commission for Career Schools and Colleges

Concorde Career College – North Hollywood | North Hollywood, CA
Program: Associate of Science, Physical Therapist Assistant Program
Accreditation: Accrediting Commission for Career Schools and Colleges

Concorde Career College – San Diego | San Diego, CA
Program: Associate of Science, Physical Therapist Assistant Program
Accreditation: Accrediting Commission for Career Schools and Colleges

Loma Linda University | Loma Linda, CA
Program: Associate of Science, Physical Therapist Assistant Program
Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges/Senior Colleges and Universities Commission, CAPTE
Tidbits: 15 month program, includes supervised clinical experience.

Ohlone College | Newark, CA
Program: Associate’s, Physical Therapist Assistant Program
Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges/Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges
Tidbits: 2 year course of study with the eligibility to take the National PTA licensing exam upon graduation.

Sacramento City College | Sacramento, CA
Program: Associate of Science, Physical Therapist Assistant Program
Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges/Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges

San Diego Mesa College | San Diego, CA
Program: Associate of Science, Physical Therapist Assistant Program
Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges/Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges
Tidbits: 5 semesters full-time, graduates able to take California Licensure Examination

Stanbridge College | Irvine, CA
Program: Associate of Science, Physical Therapist Assistant Program
Accreditation: Accrediting Commission for Career Schools and Colleges