Clinical Education Experiences

During the course of the DPT, doctoral students will complete

  • five part-time integrated clinical education experiences, beginning in the fall of the first year and continuing throughout the second year, and
  • three full-time clinical education experiences, the first of which is 12 weeks long and takes place during the second year. The second and third full-time experiences may consist of a single 24-week internship or may be split into two 12-week experiences.

The part-time integrated clinical education experiences focus on the foundation of clinical practice, with an emphasis on professional behaviors, public health, safety, well-being and much more. They are scheduled in conjunction with classroom learning, giving students the opportunity to apply recently learned knowledge and skills and perform successfully in a simulated or a clinical environment.

Full-time clinical experiences begin after students have completed the majority of their didactic course work and gained confidence and skill through their first-year experiences. Throughout the program’s clinical education experiences, student expectations and responsibilities rise in accordance with their levels of education.

The program values diversity of clinical education: Over the course of the DPT, students complete clinical experiences in at least two different practice settings. Students work collaboratively with the staff in the College of Public Health’s Office of Clinical Practice and Field Education to obtain suitable placements that meet the individual professional interests and academic needs. Specialized placements in areas such as manual physical therapy, pediatrics, sports medicine and vestibular physical therapy and might be available to third-year students for their final experiences depending on clinic availability.

The DPT program has contracts with more than 300 facilities across the country and around the world. International placements are handled on a case-by-case basis.

Requirements for clinical internships may vary according to individual facilities. Temple University requires that all students, prior to participation in clinical education, complete basic compliance training that can include

  • current CPR and First Aid certifications,
  • drug screening,
  • FBI clearance and a criminal background check,
  • personal medical insurance,
  • a physical examination, and
  • a PPD (tuberculosis) test.

Clinical education staff in the College of Public Health will give you information to facilitate these processes, but you are responsible for compliance costs.

*Note: Students are responsible for all costs associated with clinical education, including housing, meals, travel and other living expenses, which can add up to $1,500 per full-time experience.

Physical therapy instructor performing knee therapy on patient

Careers

Temple’s DPT graduates are poised to meet the demand for physical therapy services for an increasing diverse population in

  • acute care centers,
  • independent outpatient orthopedic clinics,
  • rehabilitation centers and clinics,
  • skilled care facilities, and
  • sports medicine clinics.

Trained physical therapists are needed to serve a population of aging baby boomers—who are staying active later in life—as well as clients across the lifespan with mobility issues stemming from chronic conditions like diabetes or obesity. Some doctoral graduates go on to teach in physical therapy programs or conduct innovative research projects.

Physical therapy, with an annual median salary of $85,400 per year, is among the top healthcare fields and is expected to grow 34 percent by 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics