The Doctor of Physical Therapy program has clinical education contracts with nearly 400 clinical sites throughout the United States.

The number and types of affiliations vary each year depending on the level of affiliation (1st, 2nd, or 3rd clinical experience) and the staffing patterns at the clinical site.

Types of clinical settings

  • Hospitals (acute care, sub-acute, ICU/critical care)
  • Out-patient clinics or offices
  • Rehabilitation facilities
  • Skilled nursing facilities (SNF) (long term/extended care and acute)
  • Home care
  • Schools (preschool, primary and secondary)
  • Hospices
  • Corporate or industrial health centers
  • Industrial, workplace or other occupational environments
  • Athletic facilities (collegiate, amateur and professional)
  • Fitness centers and sports training facilities

Clinical education experiences are planned to reflect a variety of practice settings and experiences. The clinical education program offers collaborative learning experiences to engage students, instructors, practitioners, administrators and faculty.

The program includes 3 formal clinical experiences. You participate in 1 formal full-time clinical education experience that is integrated into the didactic portion of the curriculum.

  • The first occurs during the Winterim session between your second fall and spring semesters. This clinical experience lasts six weeks.
  • Two 12-week full-time clinicals occur at the conclusion of the didactic curriculum. Students may complete an optional specialty clinical in spring of year three.
  • Students can choose to participate in a clinical practice elective (12 weeks) in a specialty setting (e.g., high-level athletics or women’s health). Participation in this internship elective would delay graduation by one semester and the student would incur additional tuition costs. The student may also incur travel expenses depending on the location of the internship. 

The clinical education curriculum is designed to provide a broad clinical preparation, including experience in various practice settings (acute, inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient), with different populations (neurological, musculoskeletal, cardiopulmonary), and includes an additional experience at one end of the life spectrum (pediatric or geriatric). The goal at UWM is for students to graduate as entry-level physical therapists who are generalist clinicians.

New Clinical Education Sites

Stephanie Schrader, PT, DPT
Clinical Assistant Professor and Director of Clinical Education

Clinical Education Curriculum


  • PT 880: Clinical Practice I
  • PT 980 PT Clinical Practice II
  • PT 981 PT Clinical Practice III
  • PT 982: Clinical Practice Elective