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Pursue a rewarding career helping people recover from injuries and physical disabilities, under the supervision of a physical therapist. Earn an associate’s degree as a physical therapist assistant.


Whatcom Community College offers its online/in-person hybrid program with a lab option at Pierce College.

Physical therapist assistants work with licensed physical therapists to provide treatment for physical injuries and disabilities. Physical therapist assistants are needed in hospitals, pediatric centers, sports medicine clinics, private practices, retirement communities, and home health agencies. Demand for trained physical therapist assistants is very high in Washington, where they can earn $16–25 per hour. See the American Physical Therapy Association website for more information on PTA duties and work environments.

Course Maps

To be considered for the physical therapist assistant program, students must have earned at least a C+ (2.3 GPA) or better in each of the required courses. Please note this is the minimum; most applicants obtain a B+ (3.3 GPA) or higher.

Pierce College has partnered with Whatcom Community College (WCC) to provide Pierce county students a designed pathway into the WCC online/hybrid physical therapist assistant (PTA) program. If you are admitted to the PTA program you will become a student at WCC, completing all coursework online and attending labs one weekend per month at Pierce College.

Career Pathway Course Map

About the Program

The physical therapist assistant (PTA) program is offered by Whatcom Community College (WCC), with lecture classes delivered online and an in-person lab option at Pierce College.

You may complete the prerequisite courses at Pierce College; however, the core PTA courses are offered by WCC. To complete the PTA program, upon successful completion of the prerequisite courses, you will need to apply to WCC and to the WCC PTA program. If admitted to the PTA program, you will become a WCC student.

Upcoming Information Sessions

  • Tuesday, October 19: 4 to 6 p.m.
  • Thursday, November 18: 4 to 6 p.m.

These virtual sessions will take place via Zoom. Prospective students interested in attending should contact Luann Peel at for a Zoom link.

Apply to the Program

Apply to Pierce College to complete the PTA program prerequisites.

This is a competitive program with a competitive application process. All prerequisites* must be completed prior to the fall quarter application date. To apply to the PTA program, interested students must first apply to WCC and then to WCC’s PTA program. Visit WCC’s PTA program web pages for details and to obtain the PTA selective application forms. All applications from Pierce College students must be reviewed and signed by the Program Advisor, Lisa Murray. Contact Lisa Murray for advising at

*Prerequisite courses may be completed at Pierce College. If you are a Pierce College student or anticipating completion of your prerequisite courses for the PTA program at Pierce College, contact the Program Advisor, Lisa Murray at

Related Pages


Department Chair and PTA Program Advisor