Harper College

Physical Therapist Assistant

Become a physical therapist assistant

Physical Therapist Assistants work under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist and provide treatment to patients with musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiopulmonary and integumentary conditions. PTAs work in a number of different settings and often have flexibility in scheduling.

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Harper College can be completed in two years (including prerequisites). The program takes advantage of Harper's fully functional virtual hospital to offer real-world training situations. Students also participate in off-site clinicals.

Prepare for a health profession

The Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree is designed to prepare you for entry into this profession. Coursework in the A.A.S. may also prepare you to transfer to a four-year college or university. This is a limited-enrollment program.

Explore Physical Therapist Assistant Careers

Learn more about career outcomes for Harper's Physical Therapist Assistant degree program. Each career profile offers a complete picture on the local job market, including salaries, open positions, top local employers and more. To learn more, visit our Physical Therapist Assistant Careers page.


Next steps


  • Effective January 1, 2024, the TEAS exam will be the only exam accepted for PTA applicants beginning with the Summer 2024 cohort (application window Oct 1, 2023 - April 1, 2024), unless the NLN was prevoiusy completed. Please see guidelines below:
    • If you have not yet taken an entrance exam, please take the TEAS exam. NLN exams dated on or after January 1, 2024 will not be accepted.
    • If you have taken the NLN in the past three years, it will still be valid and can be used.
    • If you have taken the NLN in the past three years, but decide to retake an entrance exam to get a higher score after January 1, 2024, then the TEAS must be taken. Retaken NLN exams dated prior to January 1, 2024 will be accepted. 

For more information about earning your PTA degree at Harper, please contact Admissions Outreach at 847.925.6700 or fill out our request information form.

Program Data

Program Acceptance and Matriculation Rates

Each summer a new cohort of 24 students begins the technical coursework in the PTA program. Applicants must submit their application for a summer start by the deadline outlined in the Admission Criteria and Process portion of the PTA website. 

  AY 19-20 AY 20-21 AY 21-22 AY22-23
Enrollment 23 24 23 16
% of applicants accepted into program* 85% 63% 100% 100%
% of accepted applicants who enrolled 82% 92% 92% 89%

*% of applicants who have met all required minimums to apply to the PTA program as outlined in the application and who have been offered a spot in the program.

Graduation Data

  AY 20-21 AY 21-22  AY 22-23
Graduation Rate (100% time) 86.36% 70.83% 58.88%
Graduation Rate (150% time) N/A 79.17% 64.71%
Graduation Rate (2-year average) N/A 82.16% 73.17%
-Graduation rate (100% time) identifies students enrolled in the program who successfully graduated from the program in the established timeframe of 4 semesters. Does not include students who withdrew from the program for non-academic reasons.
-Graduation rate (150% time) identifies students enrolled in the program who successfully graduated from the program in 150% of the established timeframe, or 6 semesters. Does not include students who withdrew from the program for non-academic reasons.

NPTE Pass Rates

  AY 20-21 AY 21-22 AY 22-23
NPTE First Time Pass Rate 73.7% 57.98% 100%
NPTE Ultimate Pass Rate 89.5% 84.2% 100%
Licensure Pass Rate (2-year average) N/A 86.85% 89.65%

Employment Data

  AY 20-21 AY 21-22 AY 22-23
Employment Rate 100% 100% 100%
Employment Rate (2-year average) N/A 100% 100%
-Employment Rate is the percent of graduates who sought employment and were employed as a PTA within 1 year of graduation. 
*Any data listed as N/A denotes that information is not yet available. 

Financial Information

You will find information regarding program costs and debt acquired in the links below for the most recent graduating cohort. Please note, due to COVID, double tuition had been temporarily suspended for this class. 

2022-2023 PTA Financial Fact Sheet (Average Debt)

PTA Program Expenses 2023-2024 (Program Costs)

Professional Licensure Notification

Upon successful completion of the program and subsequent positive licensure determination, graduates are eligible for licensure in the following: All states, The District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands. Some states require an additional jurisprudence assessment.

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Harper College 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: accreditation@apta.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org. If needing to contact the program directly please call 847.925.6096 or email mdillon@harpercollege.edu.

CAPTE accredited logo

Program Contact: Interim Program Director, Dr. Megan Dillon at mdillon@harpercollege.edu or 847.925.6096

Any individual may submit a complaint regarding the Physical Therapist Assistant Program. Those wishing to submit a complaint should contact the program director directly. Student complaints that are academic in nature must follow the College’s Academic complaint process found in the College catalog and handbook. There will be no retaliation for any complaint or grievance filed with or regarding the PTA program.

Filing a complaint with CAPTE:

How to file a complaint: http://www.capteonline.org/Complaints/

Physical Therapist Assistant Program News

Get the latest news and updates from the Harper Physical Therapist Assistant department.

Last Updated: 4/8/24