Frequently Asked Questions

The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) is the only individual who assists the Physical Therapist in accordance with the American Physical Therapy Association’s policies and positions in the delivery of selected physical therapy interventions.  Interventions include therapeutic exercise, myofascial release, massage, range of motion, facilitation techniques, coordination, balance, motor learning, assistive device training, brace and supportive device training, and application of physical agents such as electrical stimulation, ultrasound, heat, cold, and light based therapies.
The Physical Therapy Assistant student must successfully graduate with an Associate of Science degree from an accredited PTA program and pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) from the Federation of State Boards in Physical Therapy. Graduates may apply for licensure as a Physical Therapist Assistant from the National Physical Therapy Examination upon graduation and successful completion of the NPTE.
A student interested in the PTA program at Washburn must follow the instructions printed on the application.  Students are required to apply to Washburn University and the PTA program, provide official transcripts, maintain a 2.5 GPA or greater, provide a resume’ , letter of intent, clinical observation responses (2), letters of recommendation (2), past work and/or volunteer experience, previous/current relevant college course work, 8 observation hours and clinician recommendations (4 hours at 2 different clinical sites), sign the technical standards agreement, and submit all materials by the FEBRUARY 1 deadline for the incoming fall coursework.
Students within the PTA program must be dedicated to studies, carry a professional demeanor into the classroom and clinic, and be ready to collaborate on projects and case scenarios.  The PTA program requires students to dress professionally and present with professional behaviors during all classroom and laboratory/clinical activities. 
Yes, we encourage all non-traditional students to apply to the program.  We encourage students of all diverse backgrounds to apply to the PTA program to improve the overall diversity of Physical Therapist Assistants across the nation.
There is help for students who wish to pursue the PTA program and have a learning disability.  Students will need to contact University Diversity and Inclusion at (785) 670-1622 to set up an appointment for assistance with test taking and other classroom activities special arrangements.
We have up to 24 open positions in the PTA program every year. 
All applications must be complete and turned in by February 1st of the year a student is planning to be considered for admission.
While PTA program classes require a lot of study, hard work, and determination to succeed through practice of clinical and theoretical interventions, Washburn University’s PTA program is dedicated to the success of students.  Students are expected to read substantial textbook and journal article information, be on time and attend all lectures and labs, and pass all material with a 76% or greater in each of the PTA program courses.  A comprehensive examination is given at the end of all coursework, in the beginning of the fifth semester.
Approximately 140,500 persons were employed as PTAs in the USA in 2020.  Employment opportunities are expected to increase through the year 2030 at a rate of 32%, much faster than average.  Demand for physical therapy services is expected to increase in response to the health needs of an aging population, particularly the large baby-boom generation. (

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Washburn University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; telephone: 703-706-3245; email:; website: 

If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 785.670.2170 or e-mail

Washburn offers a variety of related degrees compatible with the Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant such as the Bachelor of Health Services Administration, Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Rehabilitation Science, Biology, and Chemistry degrees.


Allied Health
Benton Hall, Room 107
1700 SW College Ave.
Topeka, KS 66621

Phone & Email
Ph: 785.670.2170

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