Doctor of Physical Therapy Clinical Education


Clinical education provides opportunities for students to develop professional skills and competencies in collaboration with clinical faculty, patients, administrators and healthcare professionals. Clinical courses are designed to support didactic course work and address the student’s professional development needs. The University of Evansville Department of Physical Therapy currently affiliates with 300 local, regional, and national and international clinical sites to provide quality educational experiences in a variety of settings with diverse populations and cultures.

At the University of Evansville, clinical education for Doctor of Physical Therapy students includes four courses integrated throughout the professional curriculum for a total of 30 weeks. Students complete full-time clinical courses during summer and spring semesters of the professional program. The number and type of domestic and international clinical placement opportunities varies annually. While the Evansville community provides a number of clinical opportunities, students should anticipate the personal and financial impact associated with transportation and accommodation outside the Evansville area for the majority of their full-time clinical course work.

Below are resources to support the DPT Clinical Education experience:

Student Profiles

Brian Joyce
Evansville, Indiana

Brian Joyce is serious about sports, which has inspired him to pursue a career in physical therapy. "Due to a running injury in high school, I gained firsthand knowledge of the benefits of physical therapy. That experience, as well as my course and lab work, has strengthened my goal to work with athletes. "Down the road, I would like to look into teaching physical therapy. My professors have always made themselves available for any questions and review of materials we're learning. Several professors offer extra review sessions in addition to scheduled lecture time."

Brian has taken full advantage of the many facets of the University of Evansville. He is a member of UE's NCAA Division I cross country team and numerous campus organizations and community activities. His involvement has included College Mentors for Kids, Newman Club, Habitat for Humanity, the Student-Alumni Mentoring Program, and study abroad at Harlaxton College. "The people I have met and relationships I have built at UE have impacted and changed me most during my college years."

Kim Sutterer
Terre Haute, Indiana

Kim Sutterer met a physical therapist who graduated from the University of Evansville and decided to take a look at UE for herself. She knew it would take hard work to get into the program, but felt prepared to embrace the opportunity and fully commit herself to learning physical therapy. While an athletic training major at UE and as a student in UE's DPT program, Kim has done just that.

"So far I have completed one eight-week clinical experience. The best part was that it confirmed my desire to be a physical therapist. My placement was perfect, and I was fortunate to observe several different aspects of the field. It is an exciting feeling to be able to connect classroom learning with real world situations and help make decisions to treat patients." Other observation experiences Kim has had while at UE include wound care, women's health, cardiac rehabilitation, and acute care.

"For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a physical therapist. A person never realizes what it's like to lose some aspect of normal function until it happens. Physical therapists help patients regain function and return to things that they love. I can't wait to be a practicing physical therapist!"

Sarah Davis
Colleyville, Texas

Sarah Davis' decision to major in physical therapy came during an eighth grade career shadow day. "I absolutely loved the experience and realized that physical therapy encompassed many of the things I'm passionate about — people, physical activity, and science."

Finding the right university was the next step. "UE's direct entry program was very attractive, and I wanted to learn more about attaining my doctorate in physical therapy in six years. I visited Evansville during my junior year and discovered I really enjoyed the campus. After my one-on-one meeting with a PT faculty member, I was convinced UE was for me."

Since coming to UE, Sarah has changed from a shy, quiet student to an outgoing and confident individual. "I'm an orientation leader and a member of Student Christian Fellowship, EXSS Club, and the Physical Therapy Club. I've also completed an internship in South Carolina at a cardiac rehab facility. I'm making the most of my college experience."

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