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DPT- Clinical Education

» Clinical Education

Clinical Education is the portion of the student’s professional education which involves practice and application of  knowledge and skills for on‐the‐job responsibilities such as management of patients and clients in the clinical realm. This occurs at a variety of centers and includes experience in evaluation, treatment planning, patient care, administration, teaching and supervision. It primarily is a participatory experience with limited time spent in observation.

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Domestic Clinical Experiences

The program has two basic types of clinical education experiences – the integrated clinical experience and the clinical experience. The integrated clinical experiences are designed to provide each student with an introduction to clinical practice in physical therapy and occur in trimesters 3 and 4. Each student is required to complete long‐term clinical experiences during which entry‐level or near entry‐level competence in physical therapy is eventually attained. These experiences occur in trimesters 5, 7 and 9.

Students may be placed at facilities in-state (California) as well as out-of-state under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist (clinical instructor,CI). Such placement opportunities are determined by the availability of a mutual clinical contract agreement and the ability to obtain a clinical slot from such sites. Students are expected to complete the clinical experiences at the sites they are placed. Additionally, students are advised to budget for the costs of travel, accommodations, and for any tests or procedures required by the clinical site such as, but not limited to, additional vaccinations, background, drug, and criminal checks.

Costa Rica Clinical Experience

The Chapman Physical Therapy Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) International Internship Program in Costa Rica is a 10-12 week program offered in collaboration with the Center for International Multidisciplinary Education (CIME) consisting of language instruction and cultural activities and independent supervised internship work in Physical Therapy.  Chapman University DPT students may elect to participate in the CIME-Chapman Internship Program as their final practicum.  It is divided into two blocks: an initial 4 week period in San Jose, Costa Rica and a 6-8 week internship period in a location within Costa Rica. Throughout both blocks of the program, students stay with Costa Rican host families.

Italy Clinical Experience

The Chapman DPT students are invited to participate in an exclusive international clinical experience in central Italy in collaboration with Eduglobal Associates.  The 8-12-week experience occurs in one of five renowned rehabilitation centers with Italian Clinical Instructors, who are highly trained English-speaking practitioners.  Students receive hands-on experience and have an opportunity to interact with a multidisciplinary team, including neurologists, psychologists, nutritionists, and speech pathologists.  Students also have the opportunity to utilize advanced technology to optimize rehabilitation techniques. Please contact Laurie Boulware with any questions


Support Chapman as a Clinical Partner


Chapman University welcomes clinical partners who love to share their experience.

Our 100% Board Pass Rate and successful employment record doesn’t come without support from people and organizations like you! We have student clinical experiences throughout the year ranging from 8,12, and 16 weeks long for any and all settings!

Benefits of participating with our clinical education program include:

  • Having a recruitment pool - saving lost time and resources for filling positions
  • Incorporate education into your practice; keep currency
  • Learn as you teach! Sharing and growing from recent EBP standards
  • Refine your mentoring skills and share your professional skills as a P.T.
  • Be a role model for future clinicians and demonstrate your core values
  • Facilitate clinical reasoning with students and within your practice
  • Show the community your site is progressive and a place they seek out
  • Leave a “legacy” in the profession by the students you mentored

Our Director and Asst. Director of Clinical Education value your various roles and responsibilities and encourage the promotion of your development as well. Please contact Dr. Laurie Boulware or Prof. Sundeep Puri today and open up possibilities for the future!