Clinical Education

 The clinical education component of the DPT curriculum includes two semesters of part-time integrated clinical experiences and 36 weeks (32 weeks for the classes of 2019 ad 2020) of full-time clinical experiences. Placements must be made to insure each student has a broad range of patient care experiences that fulfill the program’s mission and curricular goals.

Integrated Clinical Education

  • Both integrated clinical education courses include a clinical component and a community-based component
  • Assignments focus on integration/carryover of content and skills from the classroom to practice.
  • Each student participates in learning experiences in both inpatient and outpatient clinical settings.
  • WVU Health Science faculty serve as mentors for the community-based experiences, which include an interprofessional education component.

Full-Time Clinical Education

Classes of 2021 and later:

  • Each student must spend at least 10 weeks in ambulatory/primary care settings. These settings include outpatient clinics that may be hospital-based, group/corporate, or private practices.
  • Each student must spend at least 10 weeks in a setting where PTs care for patients with medically complex rehabilitation needs. Settings may include acute care hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation units/hospitals and skilled nursing facilities.

Some clinical education sites offer a “blend” of two or more settings. When this occurs, the DCE in consultation with the clinical site will determine which setting requirement the placement shall fulfill. In general, the student must obtain at least 10 full-time weeks in a setting serving medically complex patients, and at least 10 full-time weeks in ambulatory care.

At least one of the student’s full-time experiences must include exposure to interprofessional collaborative practice.

At least one of the student’s three full-time clinical experiences must be in a rural location in WV or an area of another state that is designated as underserved:

  • For WV locations, the site must have been designated as “rural” by the WV Higher Education Policy Commission at any point during the student’s tenure in the program. A list of these designations shall be maintained by the DCE and made available to students prior to selection/assignment to clinical education sites.
  • For non-WV sites, the facility must be in a federally-designated MUA (medically underserved area), HPSA (health professions shortage area), or be assigned a RUCA-2 (rural-urban commuting area) code of 4 or higher.

Classes of 2019 and 2020:

  • Each student will complete 32 weeks of full-time clinical education experiences:
    • Four 8-week experiences, or
    • Two 8-week experiences and one 16-week experience
  • Each student must spend at least 8 weeks in three of the the following four settings: acute care, outpatient, post-acute care, and pediatrics. 
  • Each student must complete at least one full-time experience at a rural/community site in WV.