One requirement for application to the PTA program at MWSU is 24 hours of observation. We recognize that this requirement may be difficult due to restrictions imposed at this time. It appears most difficult to observe in inpatient settings at present. Understanding this, we will waive the requirement for observation in both inpatient and outpatient settings. However, preference will be given to applicants who have completed 24 hours in two settings.

Are you interested in a career in health care? Are you fascinated by anatomy and exercise physiology? Then becoming a physical therapist assistant is for you!

As a physical therapist assistant, you are a member of a health care team working under the supervision and direction of a physical therapist. You may administer different kinds of treatment to decrease pain, including hot packs, ultrasound and electrical stimulation. Physical therapist assistants help patients perform exercises to increase strength and motion. They teach patients how to ambulate with assistive devices like crutches and canes, and instruct in walking with braces and artificial limbs. Excellent clinical skills and communication/interpersonal skills are essential for this career.

The PTA program is a competitive entrance program. Application to the program is made separately from application for admission to Missouri Western.

The application for program admission details all application requirements. These include a completed application, ACT or TEAS V scores, three forms of recommendation, high school/college transcripts, 24 hours of observation, and an essay.

Deadline for application is March 31 annually.

Click here for additional application information.

The PTA program is a full-time, daytime program with both morning and afternoon courses held Monday-Friday. It begins annually in the fall with integrated coursework consisting of general studies courses, biology or human anatomy, and physical therapy courses.

The program is four semesters and two summer sessions in length, consisting of fifteen hours of general education and fifty-six hours of PTA core classes. Clinical internships take place for three weeks in the summer between the first and second year, and again for twelve weeks, from March to June of the second year.

The program has determined that its curriculum meets the state educational requirements for licensure or certification in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands secondary to its accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. Graduates are eligible to apply for licensure in all US states, Washington DC, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.

The program is designed to prepare graduates to meet the requirements to practice as a PT Assistant in a variety of health care settings, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, long-term care facilities, outpatient clinics, sports medicine clinics and school-based systems.

The table below displays graduation rate, ultimate pass rate, and employment rate in table form by year.

2016 2017 2018
Graduation Rate 85% 80% 77%
Ultimate Licensure Exam Pass Rate 87.5% 88.2% 90%
Employment Rate (6 months after graduation) 100% 100% 100%

Program Accreditation

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Missouri Western State University 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: If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 816-271-4251 or email

General Studies
Major Requirements
PTA 100Introduction to Physical Therapy1
PTA 110Patient Care Skills3
PTA 120Modalities3
PTA 130Functional Anatomy2
PTA 140Measurements and Procedures3
PTA 160Clinical Kinesiology2
PTA 165Therapeutic Exercise2
PTA 185Clinical Education I3
PTA 255Clinical Orthopedics3
PTA 260Clinical Neurology4
PTA 265Diseases and Dysfunctions3
PTA 270Psychosocial Aspects of Physical Therapy1
PTA 280Clinical Rehabilitation3
PTA 285Clinical Education II5
PTA 290Clinical Education III5
PTA 295Clinical Seminar1
BIO 101Principles of Biology4
BIO 250Anatomy and Physiology5
PSY 101General Psychology3

 NOTE: The above is expanded upon in the Physical Therapist Assistant handbook that has been developed for use by students.

University Graduation Requirements

  1. Earn a minimum of 62 credit hours (100 level and above, maximum of 6 CED credit hours applicable).
  2. Earn 20 of the last 30 credit hours at MWSU in institutional course work (exclusive of credit by examination).
  3. Participate in required departmental and campus wide assessments. 
  4. Fulfill the Missouri Constitution requirement.
  5. Successfully pass the Missouri Higher Education Civics Achievement exam.
Are you ready to declare this major? Download, sign and submit the form(s) to the PTA department.

Mapping your degree plan is important. Consult with your academic advisor to create a plan and monitor it regularly.

American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)
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