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Clinical Education

The Radford University Doctor of Physical Therapy curriculum includes three (3) unpaid full-time clinical experiences (the first summer after year one of the curriculum, the second summer after year two of the curriculum and the spring semester of the third year of the curriculum).

The clinical education program supports the program’s mission in the following ways:

(1)    Provides the opportunity for students to practice and hone skills and abilities learned within the program’s pre-clinical coursework.

(2)    The three clinical experiences are required to be diverse and based on the step-lock curriculum.

(3)    1 of 3 clinical experiences is required to be within the defined region of 200 geographic miles from the Radford University DPT campus in Roanoke, VA.

(4)    Our mission states that practitioners will serve the physical therapy needs of rural communities, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the region. In order to meet this mission, clinical placements in your home town or state are not guaranteed.




Policies and Procedures

Student clinical internships will follow cognitive, psychomotor, and affective preparedness and predetermined curriculum milestones to assure students are prepared for the area they will be asked to practice as students of physical therapy. Students will be required to complete three diverse 12-week full time clinical affiliations at the end of each curricular year. Clinical internships may include but are not limited to skilled nursing home facilities, in-patient rehabilitation, outpatient rehabilitation, acute care, hospital, home health, and school settings. In their last clinical internship,  students will have the option of exploring specialty areas of  practice including neurology, pediatrics, research, community health, sports medicine, geriatrics, industrial rehabilitation, wound care, women's health, hippotherapy, lymphedema management, and aquatic therapy. Students will graduate with an entry-level degree to practice as autonomous practitioners of physical therapy.

Educator Resources

A consensus conference was convened in 2003 through APTA's Education Division and Research Department to identify research questions related to education. The conference outcome was a document that served as the blueprint for the development of a survey disseminated to a variety of stakeholders within the physical therapy education community. The final product from the conference and survey was used to define a set of priority ranked and categorized researchable questions.

Clinical Handbook

The clinical handbook (PDF) is a tool utilized to effectively communicate with clinical education faculty and Doctor of Physical Therapy students.

It includes:

  • A list of the responsibilities of the director of clinical education, clinical education faculty, and students.
  • Provides a description of the rights and privileges of clinical education faculty