Clinical Education

Only students accepted into the Doctor of Physical Therapy program may register for DPT clinical education courses. Clinical Education includes internships and on-site integrated clinical experiences.

All students accepted into the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program must complete the following Clinical Education requirements to fulfill requirements for their degree:

  • DPT 784: 12-week clinical experience in summer Year 3
  • DPT 785: 12-week clinical internship in fall/winter Year 3
  • DPT 786: 12-week clinical internship in spring year 3

In addition, DPT students participate in the following on -campus clinics:

  • DPT 780A: 6-week ortho clinic in summer of Year 2
  • DPT 782: Fall semester neuro clinic in Year 2
  • DPT 783: Spring semester neuro clinic in Year 2
  • DPT 780B: 6 week ortho clinic fall Year 3

Clinical Placements

The Director of Clinical Education (DCE) secures all internship locations for students. If you are interested in becoming an internship site, please contact the CSULB DCE: Stephanie Malaspina, PT, DPT.

All students must complete clinical experiences in inpatient and outpatient settings. Potential settings include:

  • Inpatient acute
  • Inpatient rehabilitation
  • Inpatient skilled nursing facility (SNF)
  • Inpatient pediatrics
  • Outpatient orthopedics (private practice or hospital-based)
  • Outpatient sports orthopedics (private practice)
  • Outpatient mix (combination of orthopedics and neurology or women’s health or lymphedema)
  • Outpatient pediatrics (private practice or California Children’s Services)
  • Outpatient neurology

Pre-clinical Requirements

All students must be in good academic standing within the DPT program in order to complete their internships.

CPR certification is required and must be kept current. The 2-year basic life-saving course through the American Heart Association is recommended. Any CPR certification must have a laboratory practice session.

TB skin indurations test should be done at the time of the Pre-physical or Physical, and read again 3 days later. Individuals with previous + skin test must have chest x- ray.

All students are required to have health insurance coverage during both the academic and clinical portions of their curriculum.  Supplemental health insurance is available through Associated Students.              

You may complete your health clearances through your own insurance. If you would like to complete your health clearance through Student Health Services (SHS), you may schedule an appointment by accessing Student Health Services and complete all the SHS documentation online.

The criminal background check must minimally include:

  • Seven years history
  • Address verification
  • Sex offender database search
  • Two names (current legal and one other name)
  • Three counties
  • OIG search (Medicare/Medicaid sanctions)
  • Social Security Number verification

If any of the following convictions appear on a student’s record, regardless of time since conviction, it will prevent the student from entering the clinical education portion of the Physical Therapy program:

  • Murder
  • Felony assault
  • Sexual offenses/sexual assault
  • Felony possession and furnishing (without certificate of rehabilitation)
  • Felony Drug and alcohol offenses (without certificate of rehabilitation)
  • Other felonies involving weapons and/or violent crimes
  • Class B and Class A misdemeanor theft
  • Felony theft
  • Fraud

Rights and Responsibilities of the Student in a Clinical Education Setting

  1. The student is entitled to a supportive learning environment
  2. The student is responsible for his/her own learning experience. This includes: discussing mutual objectives for the internship with the clinical instructor (CI); assessing one’s own performance (i.e. identifying own strengths and weaknesses in the clinic environment); demonstrating active listening skills and a positive attitude when receiving constructive feedback on performance; modifying behavior based on self-evaluation and feedback from others; demonstrating initiative by seeking out and utilizing opportunities for learning; demonstrating initiative in solving problems by accessing appropriate resources and considering possible solutions; demonstrating flexibility and timely completion of tasks; demonstrating professional behavior such as punctuality, conformance with dress codes, legible and grammatically correct documentation
  3. The student must observe and respect the patient’s rights, privacy, and dignity.
  4. The student must abide by the policies and regulations of the Facility including matters related to uniform, hours, and conduct.
  5. The student will communicate in a professional manner with patients, families, physical therapy personnel and rehabilitation team members.
  6. The student is responsible for his/her transportation and living expenses incurred during the internship.
  7. The student must have current liability coverage (via course registration) and workers compensation (via site contract) by the college.
  8. The student must provide evidence of current health status and health insurance coverage.
  9. The student must maintain copies of all records submit to the DCE.