Physical Therapy Assistant Programs in North Carolina

North Carolina has nine colleges that offer physical therapist assistant programs. Learn about the programs, tuition info, and program options for these schools to make an informed education decision.

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Essential Information

North Carolina has numerous programs that are accredited through the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). All programs discussed in this article are available at community colleges, and degrees are offered at the associate level. Most programs require students to complete 70-76 credit hours, and many integrate clinical experiences.

Career Requirements

Physical therapist assistants in North Carolina are required to earn an associate degree and obtain licensure by passing the National Physical Therapy Exam. The NC Board of Physical Therapy Examiners oversees the licensing process in the state. The programs profiled below all prepare students for licensure.


Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute

Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute is located in Hudson and offers a physical therapist assistant associate degree. The program focuses on areas involving human anatomy and physiology, disease and injury, and patient conditions. Courses in the program cover topics in neurological rehabilitation, therapeutic exercise, wellness and prevention, and healthcare resources. Students are required to complete four clinical requirements.

  • Program Offered: Associate in Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $2,274 in-state, $8,418 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: Two-year, public; midsize suburb

Central Piedmont Community College

Located in Charlotte, Central Piedmont Community College offers a physical therapist assistant associate degree program that features courses in rehabilitation, pathology, neuro-rehabilitation, therapeutic procedures, and therapeutic exercise. These courses teach students about physical therapy treatments, patient conditions, and human anatomy. Students are also required to participate in several PTA clinical experiences.

  • Program Offered: Associate in Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $2,481 in-state, $8,625 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: Two-year, public; large city

Craven Community College

Craven Community College is located in New Bern and awards a physical therapist assistant associate degree. The program is 70 credits in length and takes five semesters to complete. Courses include functional anatomy, therapeutic exercise, physical therapy procedures, geriatrics, and pediatrics. Three clinical education requirements are also part of the program.

  • Program Offered: Physical Therapist Assistant Associate Degree
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $1,772 in-state, $6,380 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: Two-year, public; distant town

Fayetteville Technical Community College

Based in Fayetteville, this technical college offers a 76-credit physical therapist assistant associate degree program. The program lasts five semesters and includes coursework in therapeutic exercise, physical therapy procedures, clinical education, and professional interactions.

  • Program Offered: Physical Therapist Assistant Associate in Applied Science
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $2,298 in-state, $8,442 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: Two-year, public; midsize city

Guilford Technical Community College

This Jamestown-based community college requires students to complete 72 credits to earn the Physical Therapist Assistant Associate in Applied Science. Course topics include therapeutic exercise, therapeutic procedures, and neurological rehabilitation. Students are required to complete four PTA clinical requirements. The program ensures that students understand how to assist with treatment plans, communicate in a professional setting, and respond to emergency situations.

  • Program Offered: Physical Therapist Assistant Associate in Applied Science
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $2,382 in-state, $8,526 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: Two-year, public; distant town

Martin Community College

Martin Community College is located in Williamston and awards an Associate in Applied Science in Physical Therapy Assistant. The program teaches students how to use ultrasound equipment, electrical stimulation, treadmills, and whirlpools. Courses cover topics in physical therapy procedures, functional anatomy, therapeutic exercise, pathophysiology, and clinical education.

  • Program Offered: Associate in Applied Science in Physical Therapy Assistant
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $1,394 in-state, $7,154 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: Two-year, public; rural fringe

Nash Community College

Situated in Rocky Mount, Nash Community College offers a 72-credit physical therapy associate degree program. Coursework includes instruction in neurological resources, professional interactions, therapeutic exercises, therapeutic procedures, and professional interactions. Students are also required to participate in four PTA clinical education courses.

  • Program Offered: Physical Therapy Assistant Associate of Applied Science
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $2,328 in-state,
    $8,472 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: Two-year, public; rural fringe

Southwestern Community College

Located in Sylva, Southwestern Community College offers a physical therapist assistant associate degree program that prepares students to work with physical therapists in restoring function to patients living with physical ailments. The program ensures that students have an understanding of physical therapy procedures, functional anatomy, therapeutic exercise, pediatrics, geriatrics, and PTA issues. The clinical education requirements are fulfilled at medical facilities.

  • Program Offered: Associate in Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $2,016 in-state, $7,392 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: Two-year, public; rural fringe

Surry Community College

Surry Community College in Dobson admits 16 students into its physical therapist assistant program each year. The 75-credit program covers topics in physical therapy issues, physical therapy procedures, therapeutic exercise, functional anatomy, and geriatrics.

  • Program Offered: Physical Therapist Assistant Associate Degree
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $2,419 in-state, $8,563 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: Two-year, public; distant rural

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type and Setting Physical Therapy Assistant Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2012-2013)
Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute Two-year, public; midsize suburb Associate in Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant $2,274 in-state, $8,418 out-of-state*
Central Piedmont Community College Two-year, public; large city Associate in Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant $2,481 in-state, $8,625 out-of-state*
Craven Community College Two-year, public; distant town Physical Therapist Assistant Associate Degree $1,772 in-state, $6,380 out-of-state*
Fayetteville Technical Community College Two-year, public; midsize city Physical Therapist Assistant Associate in Applied Science $2,298 in-state, $8,442 out-of-state*
Guilford Technical Community College Two-year, public; distant town Physical Therapist Assistant Associate in Applied Science $2,382 in-state, $8,526 out-of-state*
Martin Community College Two-year, public; rural fringe Associate in Applied Science in Physical Therapy Assistant $1,394 in-state, $7,154 out-of-state*
Nash Community College Two-year, public; rural fringe Physical Therapy Assistant Associate of Applied Science $2,328 in-state,
$8,472 out-of-state*
Southwestern Community College Two-year, public; rural fringe Associate in Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant $2,016 in-state, $7,392 out-of-state*
Surry Community College Two-year, public; distant rural Physical Therapist Assistant Associate Degree $2,419 in-state, $8,563 out-of-state*

Sources: *NCES College Navigator.

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