Clinical Education

Physical Therapy internationalThe clinical education component of the University of Minnesota Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program offers students an exciting opportunity to engage in collaborative, experiential learning in a variety of physical therapy settings.

In line with our vision for clinical education, the Division of Physical Therapy aims to foster collaboration amoung students, clinical partners, and the clinical education team at the University of Minnesota. We support the development of our students with input from dedicated clinicians and in partnership with a wide variety of clinics.

Clinical Education Vision: To meet the physical rehabilitation needs of the people of Minnesota and beyond by engaging physical therapy students in diverse and dynamic clinical internships.

Key factors that make clinical education at the University of Minnesota unique include:

  • Longstanding relationships with many clinics across the United States

  • Wide range of clinical experiences geographically (local, national, international) and demographically (rural, urban, small town, large city

  • Specialty internship offerings in women's health, chronic pain, research, and sports

  • Opportunity for students to select, by rank, their preferences for clinical education placements

  • International Internship experiences in Italy, Niger, Tanzania, Brazil, and Ecuador

Click HERE for access to EXXAT, our Clinical Education Management System. Resources include FAQs, handbooks, job postings, and more!

Clinical Educator Resources

Clinical Educator Resources

University of Minnesota DPT Program Resources 

Clinical Educator's Manual 
Full-Time Clinical Internship Schedule 
Professional Behaviors 
Goals and Objective for Full-Time Clinical Internships 
Clinical Instructor Performance Expectations 
DPT Student Performance Expectations 

All active Clinical Instructors (CIs) and Site Clinical Coordinators of Education (SCCEs) have access to experience-specific documents and resources via the UMN Exxat public webpage. Please contact Maureen Boxrud ( for details.

American Physical Therapy Association Resources

APTA Reference Manual for Center Coordinators of Clinical Education 
APTA Guidelines and Self-Assessments for Clinical Education 
APTA Physical Therapist Student Evaluation: Clinical Experience and Clinical Instruction 

1st Year - Clerkship

1st Year - Clerkship

PT 6213 and PT 6214

Each student will complete a three-hour/week clinical clerkship at two long-term care sites during the fall and spring semester of the first year. This learning experience is under the direct supervision of experienced University of Minnesota associated faculty and provides students with the opportunity to combine theoretical and practical skills through mentored experiences with geriatric patients, clinical presentations/discussions entitled "Patient of the Week," and assignments related to their concurrent, didactic coursework. 

2nd Year - Clerkship

2nd Year - Clerkship

PT 6215 and PT 6216

The purpose of the fall semester second-year clerkship experience is designed to familiarize the student with evaluation and implementation of physical therapy in the orthopedic outpatient setting. During this clerkship, pairs of students are assigned to a clinical instructor in an outpatient orthopedic clinic in the community. Students participate in patient evaluations and treatments, and complete assignments in conjunction with the didactic coursework provided concurrently in PT 6283/6284 Musculoskeletal I and II.

The second objective of the second-year fall semester clerkship is to familiarize the student with the role of a physical therapist as a promoter of health and wellness, as well as exposing student to health disparities in urban, rural and global health settings. Students work under the guidance of a community liaison on group service-learning projects designed to assist an underserved community. 

During the spring semester the second-year clerkship is designed to familiarize the student with the role of the physical therapist in a neuro-rehabilitation setting. Student pairs are assigned to one clinical instructor at a local hospital or rehabilitation center where they will observe, perform evaluations and practice treatment skills learned in their concurrent Neuro-rehabilitation I coursework (PT 6287). The remaining objective of the second-year spring semester clerkship is to expose DPT students to the legislative issues affecting the profession of Physical Therapy through participation in the MN APTA Legislative Day and to also familiarize DPT students with adjustment issues in relation to disability.

3rd Year - Full-Time Internships

3rd Year - Full-Time Internships

PT 6295, PT 6296, PT 6297 and PT 6298

During the third and final year, DPT students must successfully complete four, full-time clinical internships totaling 40 weeks. Within the context of the full-time Clinical Internships, students must gain experience (at least 50 percent of caseload) in the following areas: Acute Care and Neuro-Rehabilitation. One of the four full-time clinical internships must be in an outpatient orthopedic setting. During full-time Clinical Internships, students are supervised by a designated Clinical Instructor (CI) and participate in direct patient care, administration, management and supervision, education and consultation. Currently, the program maintains over 350 active contracts with clinical sites

Site Locations

International Internships

International Internships

In response to an increased interest in international opportunities for Doctor of Physical Therapy students and the University of Minnesota's commitment to better prepare individuals to participate in global health initiatives, the Program in Physical Therapy has developed International Internships that allow for diverse experiences in global health care and physical therapy. International Internships are available only during the last spring semester of the third year. 

Current site locations include Brazil, Ecuador, Italy, Niger, and Tanzania. 

Clinical Education Team

Amanda LaLonde, PT, DPT, GCS
Assistant Professor
Director of Clinical Education

Jacque Ruen, PT, DPT, OCS
Assistant Professor

Maureen Boxrud, BA
Administrative Specialist

Mailing Address:
Division of Physical Therapy
University of Minnesota
MMC 388
420 Delaware Street SE
Minneapolis, MN  55455