Associate of Applied Science Degree

Program Director: Brad Bechard
Program Faculty: Michael Hansell

Program Website

Program Application  (Fall 2021 Application available February 15th)

The formal portion of the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program begins fall semester with a limited enrollment of 20 students. There are 32 credits of prerequisite courses, which may take one year or longer to complete. All prerequisite coursework must be completed with a grade of C or higher. The student must apply for acceptance into the formal portion of the PTA program and be accepted. A grade of 76% or Pass is required for all coursework within the PTA program after formal acceptance.

The formal portion of the PTA program is challenging and consists of fall, spring, and summer semesters, taking one full year. This time includes built-in clinical experiences, which may or may not be in the Great Falls area. Upon completion of the PTA program, the graduate is prepared to take the National Physical Therapist Assistant Examination (NPTAE) provided by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy and must receive a passing score in order to become a licensed PTA.  Licensure is required to practice as a physical therapist assistant in Montana and is overseen by the State of Montana Board of Physical Therapy Examiners.

The PTA program is designed to graduate individuals who are knowledgeable, competent, self-assured, adaptable, and service-oriented patient/client care providers performing their duties within the ethical and legal guidelines of the physical therapy profession as an entry-level PTA having successfully passed the NPTAE. Graduates are prepared to work in a variety of healthcare settings including acute care, outpatient, rehabilitation, and extended care.

The Great Falls College Montana State University Physical Therapist Assistant program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).