Helping patients take back their lives.

Physical therapy is one of the most rapidly growing and rewarding careers, and the associate degree program at Mercyhurst can offer you the best education in the field. Our esteemed faculty will prepare you to become an important member of a health care team, where you will work under a physical therapist to provide hands-on care that helps improve mobility, relieve pain, and prevent or limit permanent physical disabilities of patients suffering from injuries or disease. Join the program today and do your part to help patients regain their strength and take back their lives.

Fast Facts

  • 95% of our PTA graduates found employment within one year
  • PTAs work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, outpatient physical therapy clinics, rehab centers, and home health care

  • Many program graduates have gone on to earn a bachelor's degree in sports medicine through Mercyhurst's 2+2 program

  • Each student is required to complete 640 hours of clinical work at one of the multiple facilities committed to working with our program

  • Students in our program receive hands-on training in the PTA Lab and learn how to use equipment like hydrotherapy tanks, treatment and mat tables, parallel bars, wall pulleys, and elastic resistance

  • A scholarship opportunity exists for this program. Established in 2013 in memory of a PTA graduate, the Danny Bilski PTA Assistance Fund helps current PTA students continue and complete their studies in the field Danny was so passionate about

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate professional behaviors in all patient/client interactions, including simulated situations
  • Perform interventions and data collection in a safe and effective manner as directed in the plan of care and within the scope of practice of a physical therapist assistant
  • Effectively monitor patient response to treatment and respond appropriately
  • Utilize appropriate communication and documentation to aid in the effective operation of the physical therapy department and the provision of physical therapy services

Admissions Requirements

In addition to Mercyhurst's standard requirements for admission, which include a high school diploma or GED, a minimum GPA of 2.5, and either an ACT, SAT or Mercyhurst Placement Test score that meet placement requirements for the program, individuals applying for admission to the physical therapist assistant program are subject to the following standards:

  • Applicant must be a high school graduate or GED recipient with minimum overall C+ average.
  • Applicant must have completed high school courses in algebra, biology and chemistry, with a minimum grade of C in each course.
  • Preference will be given to applicants with SAT scores at or above 900 (two section total) or a 20 composite score on the ACT test.
  • Applicant may be required to take a Mercyhurst Placement Test to determine placement in appropriate English and math courses
    The skills test is required for students who achieved below 900 on their SATs (two section total), students who achieved below a 20 on sections of their ACTs, or have never taken the SATs or ACTs, as well as those who have been out of school for several years.
  • If an applicant does not meet the required scores to enter into Research and Writing, and/or Introduction to Statistics, he or she must take preparatory classes. Placement into Research and Writing, and/or Introduction to Statistics will enable the student to enter directly into the program of study. If preparatory English or Math are required, a student could enter as a Health Studies major for their first year and complete remedial coursework prior to entering the PTA Program. 
  • Applicant must complete a total of 20 hours of documented work or volunteer experience in two different physical therapy settings under the supervision of a licensed PT or PTA prior to the start of classes. Download a clinical observation form, which you must take with you to the observation. 
  • Official, final transcripts are required before the start of classes.
  • All students enrolled in the program are required to complete the following prior to the clinical education courses:
    • Criminal history clearances (state, FBI fingerprint, and child abuse)
    • Drug screen
    • Current physical examination and immunizations/titers
    • TB screening (2-step)
    • CPR certification 


The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Mercyhurst University is accredited by: 

Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)
3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100
Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085

If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 814-824-2988 or email

Public Comment Policy

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Mercyhurst University actively seeks feedback about program, student, and graduate performance. Individuals are welcome to provide comments or concerns. Comments should be submitted to the PTA Program Director. If an individual would like to comment directly to the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), comments can be made via the CAPTE website.


Contact Us

Janice Haas, PTA, M.S.
Program Director, Physical Therapist Assistant
Phone: 814-824-2988