HomePhysical Therapist AssistantWhy St. Kate's

Why St. Kate’s

PTA Program Director Susan Nelson helping students in a lab

St. Kate’s PTA program prepares you to lead the profession with a combination of case-based physical therapy education and liberal arts course work that builds self-awareness, human understanding and confidence. You will leave St. Kate’s as a skilled and caring professional ready for a rewarding career.

Get one-on-one faculty attention

Our low student-to-faculty ratio means you get personal attention from our physical therapy faculty in academic and career advising, classes and open labs. “The professors take time with you when they notice you’re struggling,” according to Katie Chyrklund ’08. “They encourage problem solving and critical thinking. The PTA program is a challenge, but they’re here to help you.”

Learn alongside doctoral students

One unique feature of St. Kate’s PTA program is its collaboration with its Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program. PTA students have opportunities to learn alongside DPT students in classrooms, in labs and at clinical sites. PTA and DPT students are eligible to join St. Kate’s PT Club. And PTA students can travel with DPT students for an international service-learning experience.

Be grounded in the liberal arts

With a strong foundation in the liberal arts, St. Kate’s PTAs become critical thinkers who are prepared to master complex intervention and assessment skills. They are dedicated to the holistic development of each patient’s body, mind and spirit.

Build leadership skills

Every student is offered leadership opportunities as part of the curriculum, including the chance to teach PT skills to local high school students during “Physics Day.” Initiated by the PT program, Physics Day is a day in which Minneapolis Roosevelt High School students visit campus to learn about healthcare careers.

PTA students set up stations and teach various aspects of PT using physics principles. “It was a good experience for me because I enjoyed working with students,” says Jordan Freiborg ’07.  “I was nervous at first, but once I got my teaching pattern down, I could relate to students and be more social with them.”

Employers recognize St. Kate’s

The average salary for a PTA in Minnesota is $39,790, typically earned with job experience. And employment of physical therapist assistants is expected to grow by 33 percent in the decade ending in 2018. (Statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2010-11.)  “It was not difficult getting a job after finishing St. Kate’s,” says May Nhia Vang ’06.


The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at St. Catherine University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)
1111 North Fairfax Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
(accreditation@apta.org, 703.706.3245).