Physical Therapist Assistant

Available on the Vincennes campus

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Vincennes University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).
Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education
111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia, 22314
Telephone:  703-706-3245



Upon successful completion of this program, graduates are eligible to take the National PTA Exam to become licensed physical therapist assistants. The aim of the program is to prepare graduates to work under the supervision of licensed physical therapists in a variety of settings, including: hospitals, rehabilitation centers, sports medicine clinics, nursing homes, extended care units, home health agencies, and school systems. Transportation, housing and meals during clinical affiliations are the students’ responsibility.

Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) are vital members of the health care team.   They perform procedures and related tasks under the supervision of physical therapist. PTAs assist in providing services that help improve mobility, relieve pain, and prevent or limit permanent physical disabilities of patients suffering from injuries or disease. Patients include accident victims and individuals with disabling conditions such as low-back pain, arthritis, heart disease, fractures, head injuries, and cerebral palsy.

PTAs perform a variety of tasks under the direction of a physical therapist.   Components of treatment procedures performed by PTAs involve exercises, massages, electrical stimulation, paraffin baths, hot and cold packs, traction, and ultrasound. PTAs record patient responses to treatment and report them to the physical therapist.

The Average salary for PTAs is $34, 000 - $40,000.   Employment opportunities are numerous and found in all urban areas with hospitals and long term care facilities.   Other positions are found in outpatient sports medicine centers, orthopedic clinics, and home health care agencies.  

At Vincennes University, you will learn through lectures, labs and actual clinical experience to become a successful member of the physical therapy profession. Graduates will be eligible to take the state licensure examination. The average graduation rate for the program is 70%.   97% of  graduates are employed as a PTA.      

The average approximate cost of the program for an Indiana resident is $12,000.    The average approximate cost for an out of state resident is $25,000.   

Pass rates for the PTA licensure exam:

2016: First Time 88.2%; Ultimate 94.1%
2015: First Time 93.8%; Ultimate 100%
2014: First Time 100%; Ultimate 100%

The PTA Program accepts a limited number of students annually each fall.   Due to the high number of applicants for this program selection is very competitive in nature. All applicants will be evaluated on an individual basis.   Compliance with all criteria does not guarantee acceptance to the program.   The PTA Program reserves the right to exercise judgment in the selection process for the PTA Program.   

Applicants are encouraged to view the attached PTA Frequently Asked questions for more information and to learn more about the admissions process for the PTA Program.  



Natalie P. Graves, PT, DPT
Chair, PTA Program
(812) 888-4414

Education and licensure/certifications

Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy, 1987, University of Evansville
Doctorate of Physical Therapy, 2009, University of Indianapolis

Licensed Physical Therapist, State of Indiana

Teaching & Work Experience
Teaches Physical Therapist Assisting III, oversees Clinical Education, and serves as the Department Chair

Professor Graves views the classroom and laboratory as a dynamic environment for active learning to take place. She sees her role as a facilitator and coach to help students achieve their professional goals. She greatly enjoys seeing her students’ progress in their skills and ultimately become Physical Therapist Assistants.


Work experience includes 31 years as a Physical Therapist in various settings including hospital, home health, and outpatient.  Has taught within the PTA Program for 15 years.    

Dr. Graves finds that the best part of being a Physical Therapist is working with patients, families, and other health care practitioners to gain functional skills that will improve their quality of life.



For general information/questions, please email
Additional information about the field of physical therapy may be found at

Learn more about the courses required for this major

Mission Statement and Program Outcomes