Drug Screening


Because of the serious responsibilities of the physical therapy profession and the necessity to maintain public trust in the profession, students face disciplinary action if they are addicted to alcohol or drugs, consume illegal drugs, or possess, distribute or sell drugs illegally.

All students will undergo a 10-panel urine drug screen late in the Fall semester of the first professional year, in preparation for PT 720: Clinical Education 1. Many clinical education sites will require a repeated drug screen prior to embarking on full-time rotations.


  1. Clinical sites will notify the Division if they require students to obtain drug screens. Ideally, these requirements should be listed explicitly on the Clinical Site Information Form (CSIF). Sites may also notify the Division by letter or by noting the requirements on pre-rotation confirmation forms as appropriate.

  2. The ACCEs will place copies of the CSIF and other relevant documentation in the student access files. Students are responsible for obtaining this information prior to beginning his or her clinical rotation and completing all necessary requirements.

  3. Unless other processes are specified in the clinic’s requirements, the student will contact Certified Background via a secure website to make arrangements and pay for the drug screening. The Division of Physical Therapy has specified a 10-panel drug screen as the standard screening for our students.

  4. The student should make known in writing to the Associate Dean for Professional Programs before specimen collection that he/she is taking a medication for legal purposes that might render a positive result. Documentation from the prescribing physician is required.

  5. The Administrative Associate for Clinical and Fieldwork Education will have access to Certified Background inquiry results via a secure website with unique usernames and passwords. The Administrative Associate will prepare a report on the results for review by the Associate Dean for Professional Programs (AD).

  6. The AD will review and initial the drug screen reports. In the case of positive drug screen findings, the AD will refer the case to the Division of Physical Therapy Committee on Academic & Professional Standards for consideration and recommendations as stated in the Policy on Academic & Professional Standards.

  7. The student will provide a print-out of his/her drug screen results from the Certified Background website to the clinical education site.