97.3% NPTAE pass rate in 20181

Hands-on learning in eight world-class Therapy Skills Labs

Learn anatomy in the first synthetic Human Cadaver Lab on the West Coast

Students in the Physical Therapist Assistant degree program.


Associate of Science inPhysical Therapist Assistant

Take a 360, virtual tour of the Stanbridge University campus.

Experience Stanbridge:
Virtual Tour

Take a virtual tour of Stanbridge University’s campus! Explore our world-class skills labs and facilities and get a first hand look at campus life!

Take the Tour
Stanbridge features a virtual dissection table for anatomy education.

Welcome to the Future of Education: The Anatomage Table

The Anatomage Table is the world's first and only virtual dissection table for an in-depth look at human and animal anatomy. High resolution, 3D models and scans elevate your educational experience to the next level.

Stanbridge students volunteer to support the community.

Together, We Make a Difference: Award Winning Community Service

Stanbridge University has been named to the 2015 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service for the seventh consecutive year. The award is the highest federal affirmation a college or university can receive in recognition of its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement.

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Stanbridge University Stanbridge University

Why Stanbridge?

Find your calling as a Physical Therapist Assistant

If you're passionate about understanding rehabilitation of the body and restoration of physical confidence, the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program will prepare you for a rewarding career. Eight Therapy Skills Labs, outfitted with advanced technology, and a multitude of exercise and adaptive equipment provide you with a hands-on approach to learning. Whether it’s helping stroke victims walk again or getting star athletes back on the field, the PTA program focuses on transforming injury and limitation into maximum physical potential.

Take a Virtual Campus Tour: Explore Stanbridge!

Video: Hands-On Training for Student Success: Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Degree Program

Hands-On Training for Student Success: Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Degree Program

Video: Ready for the Real World: PTA Alumni and Cohort Valedictorian Shares Success

Ready for the Real World: PTA Alumni and Cohort Valedictorian Shares Success

Video: PTA Student Helps Children at OC Bike Camp and Ninja Warrior Camp

PTA Student Helps Children at OC Bike Camp and Ninja Warrior Camp

Video: PTA Community Engagement Student Fellowship with Broadway by the Sea

PTA Community Engagement Student Fellowship with Broadway by the Sea

Video: PTA Student Service Earns Federal Recognition

PTA Student Service Earns Federal Recognition

Video: PTA Community Engagement Student Fellowship Project with the Illumination Foundation

PTA Community Engagement Student Fellowship Project with the Illumination Foundation

Video: How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA)

How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA)

Video: A Celebration of Achievement: Commencement Exercises

A Celebration of Achievement: Commencement Exercises

NPTAE Preparation

With a 97.3% NPTAE pass rate in 2018,1 we're committed to our students' preparation for licensure. Throughout your program and after graduation, you’ll receive practice tests, subject-specific reviews, and assessments to help your preparation.

Human Cadaver Lab

The Human Cadaver Lab houses both real and synthetic human cadavers giving you an in-depth and tactile understanding of human anatomy. As the first cadaver lab on the West Coast to feature full-body synthetic human cadavers, you can get hands-on training with life-like body systems, bones, muscles, and organs.

Virtual Reality Meets Classroom Concepts

Experience the next innovation in learning inside one of the largest virtual reality labs for medical training in the U.S. Delve into high-fidelity, virtual-holographic 3D models and animations of over 1,000 biological and anatomical structures.

World-Class Physical Therapy Skills Labs

Learn therapeutic exercises and modalities needed to optimize mobility in our spacious Physical Therapy Skills Labs. Access a multitude of exercise equipment, adaptive equipment, mobility devices, therapeutic activities, positioning devices, physical agent modalities, and home-simulation areas.

World-Class Simulation Lab

Hands-on training in our world-class Simulation Lab helps you improve confidence to care for patients in a fast-paced environment. This lab features high-fidelity simulation manikins with pre-programmed patient scenarios including cardiac arrest, stroke, and birth. These breathing, talking, and crying manikins help test your skills and response time to critical conditions. You’ll review your actions and the patient’s real-time physiological responses with your instructors via video recorded simulations to help you focus on areas of improvement.

Nursing Skills Labs

Three Nursing Skills Labs emulate the real-world of patient care with 26 hospital beds, mobile electronic medical records charting carts, and patient manikins. In these labs, you’ll apply concepts and procedures to real-life scenarios in a safe and supervised environment.

Stanbridge Association of Physical Therapist Assistant Students

Join a collaborative, active, and engaging group of fellow PTA students and work together to serve local community needs and raise awareness of physical therapy.

Interdisciplinary Collaboration

Gain a competitive edge as you learn OTA/PTA treatment dynamics by training and collaborating with students from our Occupational Therapy Assistant program.

Serve Your Community with Your Skills

Providing the local community with healthcare services brings concepts learned in class to life in real healthcare environments.

An Early Focus on Career Development

One-on-one guidance gives you the tools to make a positive, lasting impression on future potential employers.

Innovative Digital Classrooms

Each classroom operates with a SMART Board, laptop workstations, and digital exams with instant score results. Access to online PowerPoint presentations with note-saving availability, instant student polling and the digital Learning Resource System heightens the academic experience.

Small Class Sizes with High Faculty-to-Student Ratio

Learning in small groups in your clinical labs optimizes your time with instructors and gives you a deeper understanding of skills.

Inside the Classroom

PTA program California rehab patient

Students learn how to help patients regain mobility, balance, and stability in the Therapy Skills Labs on campus.

PTA students cadaver lab California

PTA students get hands-on experience examining the anatomy, muscles, and bones of a synthetic human cadaver in the Cadaver Lab.

Nursing School Virtual Reality Lab

In the Virtual Reality Lab, you can interact with high-fidelity, 3D models to gain an in-depth look at the inner workings of anatomy and biology.

PTA students Goodwill Fitness Center

PTA students help members of the Goodwill Fitness Center with spinal cord injuries assess their wheelchair fit to help prevent injury as part of a service learning project.

PTA students water therapy class

Students learn patient care techniques at the nearby pool to understand how to treat musculoskeletal pain and disability.

PTA students learn human anatomy

PTA students work in small groups to gain a deeper understanding of human anatomy in the Cadaver Lab.

Stanbridge Association PTA Students

The Stanbridge Association of Physical Therapist Assistant Students (SAPTAS) executive board leads fellow students in working together to promote PT in their community while hosting networking and service events.

California PTA students nursing lab

In the Nursing Simulation Lab, students learn how to help patients transfer to and from hospital beds, in addition to bed mobility, wound care, and vital sign monitoring.

PTA students small class size

Working in small groups with an instructor provides PTA students with focused, individualized attention.

PTA students campus fundraiser

PTA students are active in the community, and frequently hold on-campus fundraising events, including activities like a faculty dunk tank!

Physical Therapist Assistant Classroom

Classrooms equipped with advanced learning technology, including SMART Boards, help students focus on their coursework and instruction.

Stanbridge University Student Resource Center

The Learning Resource Center provides students with private collaboration rooms, quiet study rooms, and a computer lab.

Program Guidebook



Program Duration2

122 Quarter Credit Hours (The approximate time to complete the program will vary according to the start and end dates of a cohort and ranges from 23 - 24 months, including national holidays, breaks between terms and Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks. Schedules will be provided upon orientation.)

Program Schedule3


Four to five days per week
Theory courses meet 8:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Lab courses meet 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Clinical Practicum and Clinical Affiliations, 40 hours per week

Term 4 - Clinical Practicum
Four weeks, 40 hours per week
Term 5 - Clinical Affiliations
Two six-week sessions, 40 hours per week

One or more courses in this program are delivered online. Please visit www.stanbridge.edu/admissions to take the Online Readiness Quiz to determine whether you can meet the hardware, software, and competency requirements for taking online courses.

NPTAE Exam and Retention Rates

NPTAE Exam and Retention Rates

The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) is a non-profit credentialing agency that provides certification for the Physical Therapy profession. The National Physical Therapist Assistant Exam (NPTAE) provides a standard evaluation of PTA candidates. It also protects the public interest in having only those persons who have the requisite knowledge of physical therapy be licensed to practice physical therapy. As one of the final milestones before becoming a licensed PTA professional, the NPTAE questions focus on your ability to make decisions in various patient care scenarios under critical conditions. The NPTAE test requires that you understand the basic principles of physical therapy including data collection, diseases/conditions that impact effective treatment, interventions, equipment and devices, therapeutic modalities and apply this to different elements of patient safety management.

With a 97.3% NPTAE pass rate in 2018,1 we're committed to our students' preparation for the NPTAE. Each student receives a cumulative review and exit exams in terms 1, 2, 3, and 4. In term 5, students receive a comprehensive end-of-program review and NPTAE Preparation course. Stanbridge University continuously provides top-of-the-line examination preparation materials and courses to assist students in successfully completing their exam. These services are provided at no additional charge to our students.

Program Statistics

Graduation Year Students Entering/Graduating Employment Rate4 NPTAE Pass Rate
2016- Cohort 3 50/38 100% 97.4%
2017- Cohort 4 53/46 100% 100%
2017- Cohort 5 53/44 100% 97.70%
Accreditation Admissions


Stanbridge University accepts applications for admission to our diploma and degree programs on an open enrollment basis. To apply, please visit the Stanbridge University Portal to access the application form. Your Admissions Representative will provide you with details for each step.

  • Complete an online application form. Click here to start.
  • Meet with your Admissions Representative for a personal tour of the campus.
  • Take the entrance exam appropriate for your educational level and program.
  • Provide proof of high school graduation, a GED or a higher degree.
  • Take the Online Readiness Quiz. Click here to start.
  • Complete a minimum of 20 hours of documented paid or volunteer experience or observation in a physical therapy facility or related setting with a licensed PT or PTA.
  • Complete entrance questionnaire, essay, and interview.
  • Meet with a Financial Aid Representative to review your tuition funding options.
  • Complete enrollment paperwork.
  • Attend an orientation prior to the start of your program. In the orientation, you receive course books, uniforms and important information to help you begin your classes and manage your time at Stanbridge University.
Financial Aid

Financial Aid

A diploma or degree can open doors to exciting career opportunities, and greatly increase your earning potential. We understand that funding your studies can be overwhelming, which is why Stanbridge University has a dedicated Financial Aid team to guide you through various options and help identify the best financial aid package for your needs.

Our team is there to answer questions as you fill out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and plan your financial aid package. Stanbridge University has the following financial aid programs available to those who qualify:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Direct Loans
  • Federal Direct Parent (PLUS) Loans
  • Sallie Mae Loans
  • Cal Grants

WIOA Title-I financial assistance programs and activities are an equal opportunity employer/program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request for individuals with disabilities.

Transfer Information

Transfer Information

Diploma and Degree Programs Transfer of Credit

Students may request an evaluation of their previous coursework for possible transfer credit, provided that before the beginning of their program at Stanbridge University, they give the Registrar of the university proof of satisfactory completion (such as an official transcript from a school that is regionally or nationally accredited, PACE and DANTES courses, a course of study or training in the Armed Forces of the United States) or American Council on Education (ACE) credit recommendation, and equivalency of the coursework to the Stanbridge University course.

Students requesting evaluation of their transcripts must provide a description from the school catalog for each course for which transfer credit is requested. If the course description from the school catalog is not sufficient by itself to evaluate whether the course is equivalent, a course syllabus or outline of each course for which transfer credit is requested will be required. ACE credit recommendations will be considered only for General Education course credit, not technical or core course credit or Associate of Science in Nursing (ADN) program prerequisite science course (SCI prefix) credit.

Transfer credit will be granted only for those courses:

  • for which a grade of "C" or better ("C+" in prerequisite science courses and "B" for nursing courses in the ADN program) was earned or proof of passing a vendor’s certification examination is provided; and
  • which are determined to be equivalent in content and academic level to those required in the student’s program at Stanbridge University.
  • Certain courses in specific programs may have to be completed within 2 – 5 calendar years of the date of the student's start of coursework at the university in order to be accepted for transfer credit.

For more information on transfer credit and information specific to the diploma or degree of interest, please read the current Stanbridge University catalog.

US Military/VA Students

US Military/VA Students

Stanbridge University recognizes the heroic service and sacrifices that our nation's active and veteran military personnel and their families have made for our country. Transitioning from the military to civilian life and starting a career can be challenging. That is why Stanbridge University provides guidance for servicemen and women and their families to help them prepare for a degree.

For all US military veterans and eligible students, Stanbridge University will:

  • conduct an evaluation of previous education and training;
  • grant appropriate credit;
  • shorten the training period proportionately; and
  • notify the VA and student accordingly.

“Stanbridge University opened doors and gave us all of the tools we needed to go out and be successful.”

Benjamin Kakallis, Stanbridge University Graduate
and PTA Cohort Valedictorian, 2014

Read more Stanbridge Spotlights

Student Resources

Guidance for Your
Academic and Professional Goals

Stanbridge University focuses on providing you with a rigorous education and the unwavering support of our Student Services and Career Services to help you prepare to start a career as a leader in your industry. We provide you with a suite of comprehensive services from the moment you begin your training, to the day you graduate, and beyond.

Student Services

Academic Advising

One-on-one advising with a faculty advisor or Student Services representative is available when you need it most. You can discuss academic or personal issues at any time, and we’re here to listen, help, and ultimately guide you to the resources you need.

Tutoring Services

When you need help on coursework, concepts, or clinical skills, Student Services offers you a wide range of options for both didactic and clinical tutoring. Course instructors and program faculty are available for one-on-one and group didactic tutoring. If your program has medical math requirements, and you need assistance to better understand medical dosages, extra tutoring is available for you. Clinical tutoring gives you one-on-one time with our instructors in our simulation and skills labs. And to help give you more insight into difficult concepts and study tips when you need it, our robust peer tutoring program pairs you with experienced students and graduates.

Academic Success Coordination

To foster your academic success, Student Services is ready to help you with time management, study and reading skills, test-taking strategies, and test anxiety management. When you need assistance, we’ll set up one-on-one coaching sessions to plan out strategies, learn how to use online apps to inventory your time, and practice applying these resources to your coursework and exams.

The Writing Center

Having exemplary writing skills is critical to academic success and career preparation. The Writing Center on campus gives writers of all skill levels, academic support for paper writing skills, including best practices for developing and expressing ideas, learning the APA format, and improving punctuation and grammar usage.

Student Assistance Program

The Student Assistance Program is a free, comprehensive, and fully confidential counseling service that helps you manage and resolve challenging situations. Because we understand balancing academic excellence and a life outside of school can be overwhelming, we are committed to your well-being. The SAP includes:

  • Free counseling services
  • Prescription drug discount program
  • Identity theft recovery
  • Financial consultation
  • Legal services

Learning Resource System

To better serve our students, we developed a comprehensive Learning Resource System that is uniquely effective in providing academic support. It includes the on-campus Learning Resource Center (LRC), the Online Library, and the Online Learner. The LRC provides you with spaces including quiet rooms, collaboration rooms, and a computer lab for individual and group study. You can use these resources to help guide your coursework, research, study, and exam preparation.

Career Services

Career Advising

From the beginning of your program you’re paired with a Career Service Officer to help guide you with career advising and preparation. In each term of your program, you’ll work with your Career Service Officer on specific goals including resume and portfolio building, networking, and interviewing. Our goal is to help you prepare for a seamless transition to a rewarding career.

Digital Portfolio Builder

As an exclusive resource to our students and graduates, the Stanbridge University Digital Portfolio Builder helps you organize and present your academic experience from Stanbridge University and professional achievements into a modern and sleek online portfolio. As you progress, your academic achievements including GPA, completed courses, community service activities, and continuing education certifications are automatically updated in your portfolio. Along with guidance from your Career Service Officer, you can easily add and edit your achievements. The Digital Portfolio Builder also automatically creates a resume for you from the data collected during the portfolio creation process. You can email your digital portfolio in a single link to your future, potential employers for a unique and strong first impression. Click here to view a sample digital portfolio.

Mock Interview Sessions

Our Career Services department guides students and graduates through personality mapping, salary negotiations, role-playing, and other specialized interview techniques to enable them to take control of the job interview. We make sure you’re confident to put your best foot forward.

LinkedIn Profile and Networking

LinkedIn is an essential tool for any active job-seeker. Career Services works with students and graduates to build LinkedIn networks to connect them to colleagues and potential employers.

Job Leads

Graduates receive access to continually updated job listings and career opportunities, including recruiting organizations and Southern California companies with whom we have built relationships.

Alumni Association

The Alumni Association provides continued access to the university’s resources, news, and special events while facilitating a dynamic network amongst graduates. Members receive benefits, including extended career services, access to exclusive alumni workshops, social media networking, and invitations to complimentary professional networking events. Our mission is to foster a lifelong, mutually beneficial relationship between alumni, current students, and Stanbridge University. Click here to visit the Stanbridge University Alumni Association.

Campus Location

Located in Orange County, the heart of Southern California.

The campus of Stanbridge University is in Irvine, California minutes away from Orange County’s vibrant cities including Costa Mesa, Santa Ana, Newport Beach, Anaheim, Huntington Beach, Orange, Whittier, Tustin, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Garden Grove, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Buena Park, Aliso Viejo, San Clemente, Yorba Linda, Stanton, Newport Beach, Westminster, La Mirada, La Habra, and more!

Stanbridge University

2041 Business Center Dr. Irvine, CA 92612

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Start your Physical Therapy education today.