Physical Therapist Assistant - Southwestern Illinois College

Applications for Fall 2024 are accepted Sept. 1, 2023 through May 1, 2024.

Students must apply and be formally accepted into the Physical Therapist Assistant program prior to enrolling in any PTA courses.

Requirements to apply:

– Online application is available in your eSTORM Student Center

 – Online Application Procedures

  1. Log in to eSTORM
  2. Click the tile that says “Program Applications”
  3. From the drop-down bar, select the program you wish to apply for. Active and upcoming applications will be listed after clicking the appropriate program.
  4. Select “Apply Now” for the cohort you wish to apply for.
  5. Complete the application by following the steps as indicated
  6. Click “Submit”

 – Steps to Apply

  – Download the PTA Application Planning Guide for Application Requirements

– View the PTA Self-Assessment of Readiness to determine your readiness to complete the program.

Licensure Pass Rate Anchor to title
Licensure Pass Rate

The SWIC graduate 2-year average licensure pass rate for 2021/2022 is 96.7%.

Physical Therapist Assistant Degree

SWIC Physical Therapist Assistant instructors are experts in the field. Under their guidance and instruction, you work toward an Associate in Applied Science Degree. The curriculum includes biological and social sciences, PTA technical courses and assigned clinical experiences.

Mission and Goals

View the PTA Mission and Goals.

Program Capacity

The PTA program accepts 20 students each fall semester at the Belleville Campus.

Program Location

The Physical Therapist Assistant program consists of general education courses, PTA pre-fix courses and assigned clinical experiences. Specific locations depend on the course type.

General Education Courses

The required general education courses can be taken at the Belleville, Sam Wolf Granite City, Red Bud campuses or online.

Physical Therapist Assistant Courses

The PTA program courses are only offered at the Belleville Campus during the day.

Clinical Education Experiences

Students are assigned a six-week, full-day clinical experience in the summer and two six-week experiences during the final semester. Clinical experiences are completed at hospitals/clinical facilities within the district or in the St. Louis region. Students may be required to travel outside the college district for clinical experience courses. Background check and drug testing are required prior to clinical experiences.

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Program Cost

Physical Therapist Assistant Degree program

For details, see the PTA Degree cost sheet.

2023 PTA Student – CAPTE Financial Fact Sheet

Financial assistance is available!

SWIC Financial Aid Office

Financial aid is available subject to financial need and satisfactory academic progress requirements set by the college.

The student work program does not require financial aid eligibility.

SWIC Foundation

The SWIC Foundation offers more than 300 scholarships based on residency, enrollment and GPA criteria.

The Brenda Smith Memorial scholarship is specifically designed to benefit second-year PTA students.

APTA Financial Solution Center

APTA Financial Solution Center is a member benefit designed to help you:

  • Build your financial knowledge
  • Refinance your student loan
  • Get guidance from a certified financial planner

Time Commitment

View the Self-Assessment of Readiness to determine your readiness to complete the program.

PTA courses are offered only during the day. The program can be completed in five semesters, including one summer. It is highly recommended for those who are employed to complete general education courses required for degree completion prior to entrance into the program.

During Clinical Experience I, scheduled in the summer semester between the first and second year, students must be available 40 hours per week for the four weeks of clinical. The daily schedule will vary to mirror the schedule of the clinical instructor. Clinical Experience II is scheduled for the final spring semester of the two-year program. Students complete two six-week clinicals at 40 hours per week.

Transportation & Attendance

Students are responsible for their own transportation and attendance to all classes and clinicals assigned by the program. Specific clinical placement cannot be guaranteed.

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Program Accreditation

Physical Therapist Assistant at Southwestern Illinois College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia, 22305-3085; telephone: 800-999-2782; email:; website: If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 618-222-5390 or email

The program’s curriculum is guided by the standards required and helps to assure the public that our curriculum will graduate competent clinicians. It allows SWIC PTA graduates to take the National Therapy Examination for the PTA.

Public Comment Policy

Licensure and Employment Requirements

National Physical Therapy Examination

Upon successful completion of the PTA curriculum, graduates are awarded an Associate in Applied Science degree and are eligible to take the National Physical Therapy Examination for the PTA.

CAPTE accreditation of a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant program satisfies state educational requirements in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Thus, students graduating from CAPTE-accredited physical therapist and physical therapist assistant education programs are eligible to take the National Physical Therapy Examination for the PTA and apply for licensure in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. For more information regarding state qualifications and licensure requirements, refer to the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy website at

Employment Requirements

PTAs are licensed, certified or registered in most states. Illinois and Missouri require licensure to work as a physical therapist assistant. To practice in the state of Illinois, graduates must be licensed by the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation.

PTA Handbook

View the the PTA Handbook.

ANCHOR – Program Outcomes
Program Outcomes

View the Physical Therapist Assistant’s Outcomes summary data.

Transfer Opportunities

Maryville University and Southwestern Illinois College have developed an agreement to facilitate a seamless transfer for SWIC credentialed and licensed graduates of the PTA program who complete the program with a cumulative GPA = 2.5 or higher, the ability to continue their education and complete a Bachelor of Science Degree in Healthcare Management and Master of Health Administration.

View the Degree Planning Sheet.

Get Started

For more information, please fill out the contact form.


Jeannette Saak