Physical Therapy Associate Degree Programs

Associate's degree programs related to physical therapy prepare students to work as physical therapy assistants or to pursue further schooling to become a physical therapist. Learn about the curriculum of pre-physical therapy associate's degree programs, licensure, career outlook and whether the program can be completed online. Schools offering Physical Therapy degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Does the Physical Therapy Degree Involve?

An associate's degree program in physical therapy prepares you to work as a physical therapy assistant. You'll learn to treat patients with both ongoing illnesses and temporary injuries and to assist them in the rehabilitation process. It's therefore important that you enjoy working with others on a daily basis and that you're able to remain sensitive to the needs of a variety of individuals. An associate's degree program also will prepare you to apply to a physical therapy bachelor's degree program, if you wish to eventually become a physical therapist.

A.S. Programs Prepare you to become a physical therapy assistant and apply to a physical therapy bachelor's degree program
Common Courses Biology, organic chemistry, human anatomy, physiology and exercise
Career Outlook Work available in specific fields of physical therapy: sports injuries, pediatrics, geriatrics
Field due to grow by 40% between 2014 and 2024, and mean annual salary $55,250 in 2015
Licensure Requirements vary by state, though most physical therapy assistants must take the National Physical Therapy Exam
Becoming a Physical Therapist Bachelor's and master's degree required
Online Programs Online physical therapy A.S. degrees not available, but extra courses can be completed
Computer, internet connection, Adobe Flash Player and speakers often required

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Classes Will I Take?

Understanding human anatomy is a vital component of a physical therapy degree program since you'll be helping patients regain their mobility through exercise and stretches. General math, science and writing requirements also make up a large portion of the coursework. Typical physical therapy undergraduate classes include:

  • Biology
  • Organic chemistry
  • Human anatomy
  • Physiology and exercise
  • Algebra
  • Behavioral science
  • Psychology
  • Basic English composition

What Can I Do with My Degree?

With your associate's degree in physical therapy, you can go on to become a physical therapy assistant. You also can work in a specific field of physical therapy, like sports injuries, pediatrics or geriatrics. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the field of physical therapy assistance was predicted to grow 40% from 2014-2024, which was a much faster rate than other job sectors ( The BLS reported that physical therapist assistants earned a mean salary of $55,250 per year in 2015.

According to the BLS, physical therapist assistants usually must take the National Physical Therapy Exam. There are also specific licensure requirements for physical therapist assistants, which vary by state. If you wish to advance and become a physical therapist, you will need to earn your bachelor's and master's degree in physical therapy.

Can I Earn This Degree Online?

Online physical therapy associate degree programs are not available, but some schools do allow you to take online courses as part of a physical therapy program. You can check for online course offerings each semester on school websites. In addition to a computer with Internet access, technical requirements for online classes often include Adobe Flash Player and speakers.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • West Kentucky Community and Technical College

    Campus Locations:

    • Kentucky: Paducah
  • Southern Adventist University

    Campus Locations:

    • Tennessee: Collegedale
  • Snow College

    Campus Locations:

    • Utah: Ephraim
  • Oklahoma City Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Oklahoma: Oklahoma City
  • Northwest Mississippi Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Mississippi: Senatobia
  • Northeast Mississippi Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Mississippi: Booneville
  • North Idaho College

    Campus Locations:

    • Idaho: Coeur d'Alene
  • Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Mississippi: Perkinston
  • Itawamba Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Mississippi: Fulton
  • Hinds Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Mississippi: Raymond