Physical Therapist Assistant Program

Southern Illinois University



Physical Therapy Students

Physical Therapist Assistant

Physical Therapy, often abbreviated PT, is a  health care profession primarily concerned with the remediation of impairments and disabilities and the promotion of mobility, functional ability, quality of life and movement potential through examination, evaluation, diagnosis and physical intervention carried out by physical therapists and physical therapist assistants.

Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs) provide physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist. PTAs help individuals of all ages who are ill, injured or have a health condition that limits their ability to perform daily activities needed for life. PTAs work in a variety of settings including hospitals, outpatient centers, home health, schools, work settings, and the sports and fitness areas. Care provided by a PTA may include teaching patients/clients exercises for mobility, strength and coordination, training for activities such as walking with crutches, canes or walkers, and using physical agents such as ultrasound and electrical stimulation. PTAs must complete a two-year associate's degree and are licensed, certified, or registered in most states.

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at SIU is designed to prepare our graduates to provide physical therapy services under the supervision of a physical therapist. These services are specified in the plan of care developed by the physical therapist and may include preparing the patient, treatment area, and/or equipment, implementing the treatment program, and modifying the treatment program as outlined in the plan of care.

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Southern Illinois 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 618-453-3618 or email  Graduates of the program are qualified to take the licensing examination in Illinois and other states which require physical therapist assistants to be licensed.