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Physical Therapy Track

PT or PTA

Get ready to transfer for a Bachelor's degree for Pre-Physical Therapy or Occupational Therapy. Or become an Assistant to Physical or Occupational Therapists. Read more below for the paths of your choice.
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Kayla Tillman

Physical or Occupational Therapist

Physical Therapist typically do the following: 

  • Diagnose and manage movement dysfunction and enhance physical and functional abilities.
  • Restore, maintain, and promote not only optimal physical function but optimal wellness and fitness and optimal quality of life as it relates to movement and health.
  • Prevent the onset, symptoms, and progression of impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities that may result from diseases, disorders, conditions, or injuries.
Differences Between Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapists help individuals achieve independence and improve one's ability to perform daily activities and self-care. For example, Occupational Therapists may help a patient learn to dress themselves, brush their teeth or comb their hair after a stroke or illness that has severely weakened their arms. Physical Therapists focus on the large motor skills that contribute to walking, reaching, standing and physical activities. They work on strength, balance, range of motion and swelling as well as pain to encourage independence. Physical Therapists typically work with patients that have or had an injury or impairment and work to try to restore the injury or impairment back to normal functioning, or as normal as possible so that they may continue to function within daily living.

Explore more about Physical Therapists through the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

Explore more about Occupational Therapists through the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

Education for Physical Therapist/Occupational Therapy Track

Although not a requirement, if you are interested in graduating with a completed Associates degree from PPCC, you will want to pursue the Associate of Arts rather than the Associate of Science because the AA accommodates multiple social science courses required for the Doctorate of Physical Therapy.

  • Science prerequisites for application to the graduate programs must be completed within 5-7 years of application.
  • Students are encouraged to contact the individual programs to verify admission eligibility.
  • Application to each program is unique to each institution.

Once you complete an AA degree at PPCC, you will need to transfer to a four-year college or university in an Allied Health Track or Physical Therapy Track program. Then you will need to apply to Occupational Therapy schools to earn a Master's or Doctorate degree and Physical Therapy schools to earn a Doctorate degree.

There is one institution that offers Occupational Therapy advanced degrees in Colorado. Review these degree requirements for Colorado State University-Fort Collins.

Two institutions in Colorado offer the Doctorate in Physical Therapy: University of Colorado – Denver and Regis University.

See the Medical School Resources page for more information on how to get into Medical School.

Typical PT Track Course Sequencing

Courses & Credits

ENG 121/1021 (3) English Composition I

MAT 121/1340 (4) College Algebra

PSY 101/1001 (3) Prerequisite for PSY 235

Communications COM 115/1150, COM 125/1250 or COM 220/2300 (3)

CHE 101/1011 (5) Introduction to Chemistry

Total Credits: 18

CHE 101/1011 prerequisite to CHE 111/1111 is only needed if student has not passed High School Chemistry or had no previous college Chemistry.

Courses & Credits

CHE 111/1111 (5)  General Chemistry I

MAT 166/1440 (5)  Pre-Calculus

History (3 credits) See Catalog or Degree Check for choices.

ENG 122/1022 (3) English Composition II

Total Credits: 18

Courses & Credits

Arts and Humanities (3 credits) See Catalog or Degree Check for choices.

PHY 111/1111 (5) Physics Algebra-Based I

PSY 235/2440 (3) or another Social and Behavioral Science from another Guaranteed Transfer area.

MAT 201/2410 Calculus I (5) Not required for some degrees.

Total Credits: 16

Courses & Credits

CHE 112/1112 (5) General Chemistry II

MAT 135/1260 (3) Statistics

Arts and Humanities (3 credits) See Catalog or Degree Check for choices.

PHY 112/1112 (5) Physics Algebra-Based II

Total Credits: 16

Ben Jarrett

Physical or Occupational Therapy Assistants

PT and OT Assistants are also a vital part of the physical therapy/occupational therapy arena. With a shorter educational path you can work side-by-side with Physical/Occupational Therapists making a difference in people's lives.

Explore more about Physical Therapy Assistants through the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

Explore more about Occupational Therapy Assistants through the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

Watch the American Physical Therapy Association videos to learn more about these careers.

PPCC's Physical Therapy Assistant Program
Review the requirements for PPCC's PTA program on the department website and work with your general Medical Sciences Advisor to get the prerequisites completed.

PPCC does not yet have an OTA program. Therefore, you would have to transfer to another institution to complete the OTA degree.

Other PTA and OTA Programs
Many of these programs can include the following courses:

* Some programs will accept BIO 106/1006 (4) Basic Anatomy & Physiology, but confirm this with your program of choice before you take this course.

Colorado Community College PTA and OTA Programs