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. Settings would include the treatment of patients in all stages of life.

Application Deadlines

April 1st

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
  • Grades of C-minus or below 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


All prerequisite courses must be completed prior to entering the program. An application for admission may be submitted while some coursework is in progress if the student expects to complete the required coursework before the program begins.

* Human Anatomy and Physiology with labs (complete two course sequence)
Individuals who have earned a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university need to complete only the courses denoted with an asterisk (*):
  • Humanities: Four units from one of the topics listed;  history, literature, philosophy, foreign language, art/music appreciation/ history
  • *Human anatomy and physiology, complete sequence with laboratory components (preferred);  or general biology, complete sequence with laboratory components (accepted)
  • *Introductory physics with laboratory component, one quarter/semester
  • *Two years high school mathematics with grades C or above, or intermediate algebra in college or a college statistics course
  • *General psychology
  • *Human growth and development or developmental psychology or abnormal psychology
  • English composition, complete sequence
  • *Speech (preferred) or Interpersonal communication (accepted)
  • Personal health/nutrition, or two physical education/activity courses
  • *Medical terminology 

If needed, elective courses may be taken to meet the minimum total requirements of 48 quarter units 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
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

The following estimated cost of attendance is based on full-time attendance for the number of months enrolled per academic year. Estimated amounts may vary based on a number of factors. Students may use these estimates when applying for financial aid.

Required Program Costs

Academic Year 2024-2025

Year of Program
Months Enrolled
Year 1
Year 2
Tuition & Fees $33,530 $4,129
Books, Materials, Supplies & Equipment Allowance
(May or may not be purchased through the school)
$965 0

Other Educational Costs

Non-required costs that can be funded with scholarships/loans.

Year of Program
Months Enrolled
Year 1
Year 2
Living Expense (Food & Housing Allowance)
Students will be assigned one of the following Living Expense Budget Options:
  • On Campus Dorm
  • $15,780 $3,945
  • LLU Owned Rental Property
  • $25,200 $6,300
  • LLU Owned Rental w/ Dependents
  • $26,400 $6,600
  • Undergraduate Dependent w/ Parents
  • $9,600 $2,400
  • Off Campus
  • $25,200 $6,300
    Transportation Allowance $4,200 $1,050
    Miscellaneous Personal Expenses $4,200 $1,050
    Federal Student Loan Fees $69 $23
    Cost of Obtaining Professional License 0 $982
    Dependent Care
    (See Budget Revision Request form)
    Available upon Request
    Disability-Related Expenses
    (See Budget Revision Request form)
    Available upon Request


    The PTA Program is 15 months in length. The cost for the first 12 months is significantly higher than the final 3. The cost of the program may vary from year to year. Please contact the Office of Student Finance for up-to-date costs.

    • Does the PTA Program require students to complete at least one clinical where the student needs to see alternative housing: NO
    • Does the Institution offer financial assistance specific to PTA students? YES
    • Does the program institution offer scholarships specific to PTA students? YES
    • Does the program offer federal work-study positions specific to PTA students? YES
    • Note:  Other opportunities may exist at the institution for FINANCIAL SUPPORT. APTA student member are encouraged to visit the APTA Financial Solutions Center at:
    • Average student debt from the PTA Program technical phase from 2023: $28,670
    • Average total student dept after completing the PTA Program in 2023: $36,690
    • Estimated amounts are for the academic year specified only. Amounts are based on full-time attendance for the number of months enrolled per academic year. International students need to calculate 12 months of living expenses based on these amounts.
    • Amounts are expected to increase each year consistent with inflation in the professional education sector.
    • To qualify for financial aid, most students must be enrolled at least half time in an aid eligible program and be taking degree requirements. Half time is 6 units in a quarter for undergraduate programs and 4 units in a quarter for graduate programs.