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10901 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia MD, 21044
Laurel College Center
312 Marshall Avenue, Suite 205
Laurel, MD 20707
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6751 Columbia Gateway Drive
Columbia MD, 21046
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Physical Therapist Assistant - A.A.S. Degree (Career)

An in-demand allied health career for improving the quality of patients' lives through movement.

Physical Therapist Assistants promote movement, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability by providing services under the direction and supervision of a Physical Therapist. Note that PT Assistants complete an accredited associate degree program like HCC's to sit for a national exam, whereas PT Aides or Techs are on-the-job trained and not eligible to provide physical therapy.

Physical therapy interventions that a PTA may be directed to perform include:

  • teaching exercises for mobility, strength, and coordination
  • training for activities such as walking with crutches, canes, or walkers
  • deep soft tissue massage and other mobilization techniques
  • use of physical modalities such as electrotherapy and ultrasound
  • measuring changes in the patient’s performance as a result of the treatment provided

PTAs work in a variety of settings including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, nursing homes, schools, sports and fitness facilities, research organizations, and industrial settings. The need for PTAs is expected to increase into the foreseeable future as the population ages and the demand for physical therapy services grows. With a surplus of jobs available, a career in physical therapy provides competitive salaries, job security, and geographical flexibility.

Howard Community College celebrates diversity.  HCC and its PTA program reflect and respect all differences in age, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, ethnic backgrounds, and ability/disability as well as the values of equal rights, equal access, and equal treatment.

Visit the PTA department page  for more information on this popular allied health program.

  • Curriculum Profile

    Physical Therapist Assistant - A.A.S. Degree (Career)

    View the college catalog for this curriculum profile, including

    • program description
    • any general education requirements
    • required and elective courses
    • course descriptions
    • prerequisites
    • total credit hours
    • any program outcomes

    View Online Catalog Page
  • Accreditation

     ACCREDITATION: The Physical Therapist Assistant degrees at Howard Community College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email:; website: In compliance with CAPTE standards, public results for the HCC Physical Therapist Assistant program's cohort student outcomes for graduation rate, licensure examination pass rate, and employment rate for the recent 2-year average are available in the PTA Program Outcomes Report.

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