• Physical Therapist Assistant Program

    Physical therapist assistants work under the supervision of physical therapists and assist patients/clients recovering from injury or illness.

  • The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program, administered by the Health Sciences Department, leads to an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree and is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). Graduates of the program are eligible for certification and must take the National Certification Exam to practice in New York State. 
    The PTA program consists of pre-clinical and clinical phases. Students must be a PTA major to apply for candidacy into the clinical phase. Acceptance to the clinical phase is limited to twice per year and is competitive. PTA students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the PTA Admissions 
    Handbook and obtaining further information by attending a PTA Orientation Session.

    For the three year period from 2012-2014 LaGuardia's PTA Program has:
    81% Graduation Rate
    95% Pass Rate on the National Physical Therapy Examination
    100% Employment Rate

    111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
    Phone: 713-706-3245
    E-mail: accreditation@apta.org
    Website: www.capteonline.org

  •  Admission and the Pre-Clinical Phase

    Students interested in applying to LaGuardia Community College should contact the Admissions Office. New students selecting PTA as their major are considered to be in the pre-clinical phase.

    Progression to the clinical phase of the program is competitive and is by acceptance into candidacy. Students must apply for candidacy and be accepted in order to enter the clinical phase. Successful candidates are scheduled to begin the Clinical Phase in Session II of the following semester (six months after notification of acceptance into the clinical phase) Candidates will forfeit their seat in the program if they are unable to begin as scheduled.

    Pre-Clinical Phase

    The pre-clinical phase of the PTA program consists of all required general education and elective courses, including Key Courses. Pre-clinical students are considered candidates for the clinical phase.

    Students must first complete, or be in the process of completing, the four key courses with a minimum GPA of 2.50 in the semester they are applying for candidacy. In addition to the GPA requirement, a pre-program entrance exam called the TEAS V (Test of Academic Skills V) administered by Assessment Technologies Inc. (ATI) is included in the determination of a student’s acceptance into the clinical phase of the Physical Therapist Assistant Program.

    Eligible students are then ranked according to a scoring system of grades in Key Courses and any pre-clinical courses taken up to the end of the candidacy semester. Learn more about the scoring system and additional candidacy requirements in the PTA Admission Handbook.

    All Pre-Clinical courses must be completed prior to the start of the first Clinical course.

     Advising Team

    In support of the LaGuardia’s mission to educate and graduate its students to become critical thinkers and socially responsible citizens, the College has undertaken a team approach toward advising, designed to support you in your major from orientation through graduation.  

    Your advisement team, made up of faculty and professional advisors, will guide you at every step during your college career. Visit the Advising page to find resources and learn how to prepare for an advising appointment.           

    Please feel free to reach out to these advisors if you have any questions or need assistance, and visit laguardia.edu/visit for directions to campus.

    Advising Team Staff Members Email Phone  Office Location
    Jill Janofsky, Advising Services  jjanofsky@lagcc.cuny.edu  718-482-5249  B 100Q 
    Carole Julien, Advising Services  cjulien@lagcc.cuny.edu  718-482-6006  B 100T 
    Rosanna Pichardo, Advising Services  rpichardo@lagcc.cuny.edu  718-482-5169  B 100C 
    Yevi Granovskaya, Center for Career and Professional Development  ygranovskaya@lagcc.cuny.edu 718-482-5239  B 114I 
    jeannie Buckley-Lockheart, Wellness  jeanb@lagcc.cuny.edu  718-482-5258  c 239 
    Loretta Capuano, Admissions  lorettac@lagcc.cuny.edu  718-482-5186  C 920 
    Matthew Eckhoff, Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP)  meckhoff@lagcc.cuny.edu  718-349-4043  B 235 
    Desire Gulliver, College Discovery (CD) dgulliver@lagcc.cuny.edu  718-482-5273  B 236b 

    Advising Team Faculty Members Email Phone  Office Location
    Clarence Chan, PT DPT Professor, Physical
    Therapist Assistant Program Director 
    cchan@lagcc.cuny.edu 718-482-5943  E 300AA 
    Debra Engel, PT DPT MS Associate Professor
    Physical Therapist Assistant Program
    dengel@lagcc.cuny.edu  718-482-5780  E 300R 
    Ralph Mitchell, Physical Therapist Assistant Program
    Director College Laboratory Technician
    rmitchell@lagcc.cuny.edu  718-482-5781  E 335 
    May Tom, PT, DPT
    Assistant Professor, Clinical Coordinator,
    Physical Therapist Assistant Program 
    mtom@lagcc.cuny.edu  718-482-5771  E 300Q 

     Candidacy and the Clinical Phase
    1. In order to apply for PTA candidacy (progression to the clinical phase of the PTA Program), you must be a PTA Major.

    2. To apply for candidacy, students must register for “Intent to PTA” PTA000.4499 in the first three weeks of a 12 week term.

    3. All four of the Key Courses must be completed by the end of that same term that you have registered for “Intent to PTA”.

    4. If you are completing a Key Course in the same term that you have registered for “Intent to PTA” and decide to withdraw from the Key Course, you must also withdraw from “Intent to PTA” prior to the official withdrawal date.

    5. Students must take the TEAS V exam and submit scores to the PTA Program office in E 300. The TEAS score must be within 18 months of the end date of candidacy. PTA candidacy does not limit the number of attempts for this exam.

    6. If you received a grade of C-, D, F or WU for any of the Key Courses and have repeated the course, all grades for the Key Course will be used in evaluating your candidacy.  If you received a grade of C- or below on any of your pre-clinical courses, the course can be repeated with the permission of the Health Sciences Chairperson.

    7. Results of the candidacy evaluation will not be available until all grades for the 12-week session have been submitted and the Registrar’s Office has completed the calculations. You will then be notified by the PTA Program with information as to when and where you may obtain the results.

    8. If you are not accepted into the Clinical Phase, you may repeat the registration for “Intent to PTA” one more time unless your GPA for the Key Courses is below 2.5 in which case you are no longer eligible to reapply. A student has two attempts for PTA candidacy.

    9. Be certain that you are taking the correct courses and see a faculty advisor in E 300 prior to registering. PTA faculty office hours are posted in E 300 each session.
     Career Profile

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the number of physical therapist assistants in the US is expected to grow 41% from 2012- 2022, providing increased opportunities for employment as a physical therapist assistant.

    Students who graduate from the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program must pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in order to be eligible for New York State Certification. Passing the NPTE is required in order to be eligible for license or certification in all 50 states. Federal law limits the issuance of professional licenses, registrations and limited permits to United States citizens or qualified aliens. Students with criminal records are examined on a case by case basis in regards to New York State licensure. 

     Curriculum and Recommended Course Sequence


    Log in to the CUNY Portal to review your Degree Audit to find out what classes to take.

    Have questions about using Degree Audit? Visit LaGuardia’s Degree Audit page for tutorials and how-to guides.



    Review the Physical Therapist Assistant Curriculum and the recommended course sequence below.


    RecommendedCourse Sequence


    Fall I (12 week Session)

    Course Number Course Name Fulfills Credits
    HSF090  First Year Seminar for Health Sciences  Program Core 
    ENG101  English Composition I (Key Course)  Required Core 
    SSY101  General Psychology (key Course)  Flexible Core 
    SCB203  Human Anatomy & Physiology I (Key Course)  Required Core 
    SCN195  Community Health (Key Course)  Program Core 
    PTA000  Apply for Candidacy     
        Session Credits: 12 
        Total Credits:  12 

    Students are advised to take the TEAS-V Entrance Exam during the Fall I Session

    Fall II (6 week Session)

    Course Number Course Name Fulfills Credits
    HUP102  Critical Thinking  Flexible Core 
    SCB204  Human Anatomy & Physiology II  Flexible Core 
        Session Credits: 
        Total Credits:  19 

    Spring I (12 week Session)

    Course Number Course Name Fulfills Credits
    SSY240  Developmental Psychology  Program Core 
    ENG102 Writing through Literature  Required Core 
    MAT120  Elementary Statistics I  Required Core 
        Session Credits: 
        Total Credits:  28 

    Clinical Phase

    Spring II (6 week Session)

    Course Number Course Name Fulfills Credits
    SCT101  Introduction to Physical Therapy  Program Core 
    SCT102  Ethical Concepts for PTAs  Program Core 
    SCO230  Functional Pathology  Program Core 
        Session Credits: 
        Total Credits:  35 

    Fall I (12 week Session)

    Course Number Course Name Fulfills Credits
    SCT203  Kinesiology  Program Core 
    SCT211  Therapeutic Procedure I  Program Core 
    SCT220  Mobility Skills in Physical Therapy  Program Core 
      CPR Certification     
        Session Credits: 11 
        Total Credits:  46 

    Fall II (6 week Session)

    Course Number Course Name Fulfills Credits
    SCT221  Functional Gait Training Skills  Program Core 
    SCT212  Therapeutic Procedures II  Program Core 
        Session Credits:
        Total Credits:  52 

    Spring I (12 week Session)

    Course Number Course Name Fulfills Credits
    SCT290  Clinical Affiliation and Seminar I  Program Core 
    SCT230  Orthopedic Therapeutic Exercise  Program Core 
    SCT231  Neuromuscular Rehabilitation  Program Core 
        Session Credits:  10 
        Total Credits:  62 

    Spring II (6 week Session)

    Course Number Course Name Fulfills Credits
    SCT291 Clinical Affiliation and Seminar II
    (Full Time, 275 Hours) 
    Program Core 

      Session Credits:
        Total Credits:  65 

    Fall I (12 week Session)

    Course Number Course Name Fulfills Credits
    SCT292  Clinical Affiliation and Seminar III
    (Full Time, 275 Hours) 
    Program Core 
    GRD000  Intent to Graduate    
        Session Credits:
        Total Credits:  68 

     Physical Therapist Assistant Admissions Handbook

    Click here to download the complete Physical Therapist Assistant Program Handbook

    Click here to download the Physical Therapist Assistant Fact Sheet

     Student ePortfolios

    An electronic portfolio (ePortfolio) is a personal website given to every registered LaGuardia student. An ePortfolio not only helps you set educational and career goals, it is also a tool for reflective learning that can help you learn about yourself. LaGuardia is widely recognized for its innovative, comprehensive ePortfolio program; visit the ePortfolio site to learn more.

    Learn more about the PTA Program on our students’ e Portfolios:

    Andrea Villalobos