Physical Therapist Assistant

  1. Academics
  2. Academic Programs
  3. Physical Therapist Assistant

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program (PTA) is designed to prepare individuals to effectively assist in treatment and assessment of physical therapy patients under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist.

School of Health Professions
Physical Therapist Assistant
Program Contacts
  • Point of Contact: Leah Geheber P.T., M.S.
  • Phone: (225) 768-1746
  • Email:

Physical Therapy Assistant at FranU

Program Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to the PTA Program, all applicants must complete the entire PTA application process by January 1 and meet the minimum admissions criteria listed below:


  1. Meet all University minimum admission criteria at the time of application
  2. Minimum grade of C in all prerequisite course work in the degree plan
  3. Minimum GPA of:
    1. 2.0 in all college level courses pursued
    2. Recommended 2.75 in Arts and Science prerequisite courses listed in the PTA Curriculum Plan (applicants who fail to meet minimum GPA requirements may be enrolled in the PTA Program after consideration by the program director, but may be required to take additional course work.)
  4. Completion of, or enrollment in, at least 26 credit hours of prerequisite course work at the time of application, including:
    • WRIT 1310
    • ACSM 1110
    • MATH 1315
    • BIOL 2310
    • BIOL 2311
  5. Priority is given to:
    • Applicants who complete all pre-requisite courses prior to enrollment in the PTA Program.
    • Applicants who have completed Arts and Science prerequisite courses at Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University.


  1. Completion of 100 (recommended) volunteer or work experience hours in a physical therapy clinic or department. (It is recommended that the 100 hours of volunteer/work experience includes hours in both an inpatient and outpatient setting.)
  2. Volunteer or Work Experience in a Physical Therapy Department provides the opportunity to explore the practice of physical therapy, roles of physical therapists and physical therapist assistants, and identify the settings and patient characteristics in which physical therapy is practiced.
  3. Hours contributing to the total applicant’s work or volunteer experience hours must be verified at each physical therapy facility by a supervising PT or PTA. This “professional” recommendation letter form is included as part of the application packet. Unverified hours will not be counted toward the student’s work or volunteer experience total.
  4. Only volunteer or work hours obtained prior to turning in the application packet will be used in the admissions process.
  5. Three letters of “personal” reference are required. These letters may be from employers, counselors, advisors, mentors, or instructors, who can attest to the applicant’s academic abilities, personal characteristics and perseverance (personal reference forms provided in the application packet).
  6. Completed application form, with official transcripts of college grades from all colleges/universities attended.
  7. Additional documentation of evidence that attest to the applicant’s ability to successfully complete the PTA Program, which includes but is not limited to:
    1. Life experiences
    2. Extraordinary educational accomplishments (honors courses, academic clubs, additional degrees or certifications, academic scholarships, etc.)
    3. Personal attributes / characteristics
    4. Proven leadership experiences
    5. Effective communication skills
    6. Effective time management and organizational skills
    7. Ability to overcome academic challenges
    8. Community service activities
    9. Motivation and initiative
    10. Application of critical thinking and problem solving skills
    11. Cross cultural experiences, etc.
  8. Life Experiences that may have prohibited academic success but contributed to overall personal development. The following are provided as examples only: family crisis, financial hardships, educational hardships, personal conflict, etc.

Program Mission

The mission of the Physical Therapist Assistant Program of the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University is to educate and form Franciscan servant leaders who are highly skilled and compassionate physical therapist assistants who are prepared to think critically and deliver holistic patient-centered care. (Revised 3/1/2017)

Program Goals

The goals of the Physical Therapist Assistant Program of Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University support the missions of Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University, the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady and the needs of the physical therapy community. In order to fulfill its educational purpose, the program is committed to:

  1. Educate physical therapy practitioners through an accredited curriculum grounded in evidence based theory and practice, strong ethical values and expectations, the ideals of the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady and adherence to the scope of practice defined by professional and legal authorities for the practice of physical therapy.
  2. Foster community service by faculty and students.
  3. Promote life-long pursuit of knowledge through access of professional literature, consultation, post-graduate education and non-degree granting educational opportunities.
  4. Contribute to the profession of physical therapy by active participation of faculty and students in professional organizations, pursuit of scholarly activities, communication with the licensing authority and education of the public.
  5. Expand course offerings to meet community needs.

1996, REVISED 2002, 2003

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

The student learning outcomes of the Physical Therapist Assistant Program define the expected performance level of all Program graduates, and are derived from the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University Mission and Institutional Goals and the PTA Program Philosophy and Goals. The learning outcomes identify the skills and competencies of the entry level physical therapist assistant as reflected by the current practice of Physical Therapy.

Upon completion of the program, the graduate will be prepared to:

  1. Practice within safe, ethical and legal boundaries in compliance with national, state and local standards of practice and within the scope of practice of the physical therapist assistant, as defined by the Louisiana State Practice Act, the Guide for Conduct of the Physical Therapist Assistant and the Code of Ethics of the American Physical Therapy Association.
  2. Implement a comprehensive treatment plan within the plan of care developed by a PT, utilizing data collection skills, critical thinking skills, and knowledge of science and humanities, grounded in evidence based theory and practice.
  3. Pursue personal and professional development based on inquiry, self-assessment and utilization of valid and credible resources.
  4. Communicate appropriately and interact effectively with a variety of audiences, with sensitivity and awareness of individual differences.
  5. Approach patient care from a holistic perspective, incorporating aspects of spiritual, physical and emotional well-being.

1996, Revised 2002, Revised 2007 Revised 2009, SASHP Assessment Committee, Curriculum Committee


How do I apply to the PTA program?

Each year, the PTA program admits students to begin in the summer semester of each year. The application cycle to the PTA program begins in October and concludes February 1 of the following year. During this time, the student interested in the PTA program should consult with the office of advising to begin the process of being admitted to the University and subsequently applying to the PTA program. The office of advising can assist you as you submit all of the documents needed for admission to the University. The office of admissions will review your transcripts and other documents. Once you are admitted into the University, you would next meet again with the office of advising to set your spring semester schedule and begin the process of applying to the PTA program.

When is the deadline to apply to the PTA program?

The deadline to apply to the PTA program is February 1st. Late application submissions beyond this published deadline will not be considered for the year in which you are applying.

Of the courses that I have previously taken, which ones will transfer to FranU?

The Office of Admissions will review your college transcript(s) to determine which of the courses you have previously taken will transfer into FranU. When selecting courses at other universities, the student should consider courses that match the course descriptions of the courses required for the FranU PTA program.

Does FranU accept online courses from other universities?

The Office of Admissions will consider any online course for transfer credit at FranU. However, the course must match the course description of a similar course offered at FranU. The online course should be offered at the same level as the course at FranU and have appropriate rigor. Lastly, the student must achieve a passing grade in the course (C or better) using the same grading scale used in the similar course offered at FranU.

How can I find out more information about the PTA program?

For more information about the PTA program, email:

How long is the PTA program?

The minimum length of the PTA program is 5 semesters, though many students choose to proceed at a slower pace.

What is the average starting salary?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a PTA in 2018 was $57,750 per year. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019)

Where can I work?

With only a few exceptions, the PTA can work in any setting that delivers physical therapy services to patients/clients.

What are the employment rates for PTA graduates from FranU?

In the previous three year period, 100% of FranU PTA graduates are employed.

What is the Board Exam pass rate for FranU PTA graduates?

For the previous 3 years (2016-2018), the first time pass rate for FranU graduates 93.5%. During this same time, the ultimate pass rate was 97.4% (, 2019). The national average first-time pass rate is 87% and the national average ultimate pass rate is 92.3% (CAPTE Aggregate Program Data Fact Sheet, 2018-2019)


Document Title Type File Size
Document Title: Core Performance Standards for PTA 2019 Type: docx File Size: 878.481 KB Download


Regional Accreditation

Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate degrees. Contact the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University.

CAPTE Accreditation

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady 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 Leah Geheber at (225) 768-1746 or email