The Anatomy of Action

Become a Physical Therapist Assistant. A physical therapist assistant (PTA) uses a variety of exercise and equipment to help people with conditions limiting their ability to move and perform activities. As a PTA, you’ll work under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist.




Our Body of Work

Our five-semester associate degree program includes classroom instruction, practice in skills lab and clinical experience. You’ll learn the art and science of therapy treatment. You’ll have the knowledge, skill, and attitudes needed to help physical therapists provide treatment to improve and restore mobility, relieve pain and prevent or lessen physical disabilities. Graduates are eligible to sit for the Physical Therapist Assistant National Physical Therapy Exam. Licensure is required in Iowa and most states.



How to Apply

College Admission First
The first step in the admissions process is to apply using the Mercy College Application. Early application is encouraged. For a complete list of College application deadlines, click here. Students admitted to the College may enroll in Liberal Arts & Sciences (LAS) courses prior to admission to any academic program.

Program Admission Second
Following College admission, students will receive instructions to complete an Acadmic Program Application in order to begin the process. Once all requirements have been satisfied, the applicant’s file is considered complete and will be given to the program chair for consideration. It is the applicant’s responsibility to complete the professional program application process.

The program chair will begin reviewing completed files by the program admission deadline. Admission to this professional program is limited and competitive. Selection is based on the most qualified applicants.


Clinical Experience

You will experience direct patient contact during your clinical experience at Mercy Medical Center and its affiliates. You will also receive clinical education at many other leading healthcare providers in central Iowa to gain hands-on learning throughout your course of study.


Our PTA team includes a full-time program chair and an instructor as well as many licensed physical therapists and licensed physical therapist assistants. Our full-time liberal arts and sciences faculty members are Ph.D.-prepared and adept at integrating their subject matter into a comprehensive health science curriculum. As a student, you will receive an exceptional level of personalized instruction.

Program Outcomes

Outcomes are reported using a two-year average from 2017-2018

  • Graduation rate: 87.5%
  • Licensure examination pass rate: 100%
  • Employment rate within 1 year following graduation: 100%

Job Outlook

Once you have completed your PTA degree and passed the licensure examination, you’ll have the knowledge and experience needed to become qualified for employment as an entry-level physical therapist assistant. Job prospects for physical therapist assistants are expected to be very good as consumer demand increases. For more details and statistics about specific roles and job opportunities go to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics website.


The Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant degree program  at Mercy College of Health Sciences 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 515-643-6614 or email