DPT Clinical Education

It is Trine University's Doctor of Physical Therapy program philosophy "to bring students to the real world of physical therapy practice," so enrolled students will participate in clinical education experiences in addition to the didactic coursework within the curriculum. Trine's clinical education curriculum consists of part-time integrated clinical experiences during the first five semesters and four full-time clinical education experiences in the last three semesters. 

Clinical Application and Reflection Experiences, or CARE, are part-time integrated clinical experiences that begin in the second week of the fall semester of the first year. Students complete CARE in local healthcare systems and with expert CARE clinical instructors who practice in acute care, inpatient rehabilitation, and outpatient clinical settings. During the Fall and spring semesters, first and second-year students are paired with a CARE clinical instructor for the semester and visit the clinical setting for 4-hours every other week. The first-year students are paired together during the summer semester and attend CARE for 4-hours twice a week, every other week. Students are placed with a new peer and CARE clinical instructor in a different clinical setting each semester. The hands-on experiential learning during CARE links the classroom to the clinic while developing the student's professional behaviors, communication skills, and ability to give and receive feedback.   

Trine's CARE program is an excellent springboard that helps set students up to be successful in their four full-time clinical education experiences. As a student in Trine's DPT program, you will meet 1:1 with the Director of Clinical Education to discuss and create an individualized clinical education plan. You will complete full-time rotations in a variety of settings. You may also be able to complete a rotation in a specialty setting, such as pediatrics, sports medicine, or women's health. We partner with clinical sites nationwide to offer you high quality experiences, aiming to turn out entry-level physical therapists at graduation. 

Full-Time Clinical Education Experiences

  • First Full-Time Clinical Education Experience: May – June (5 weeks, Summer of 2nd year)           
  • Terminal Full-Time Clinical Education Experience I: Aug – Oct (8 weeks, Fall of 3rd year)
  • Terminal Full-Time Clinical Education Experience II: Oct – Dec (8 weeks, Fall of 3rd year)
  • Terminal Full-Time Clinical Education Experience III: Jan – April (14 weeks, Spring of 3rd year)   

Please email dpt@trine.edu if you are interested in becoming a clinical site for Trine University's DPT program.