Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University
Jefferson College of Health Professions
Department of Physical Therapy

Clinical Experience

Clinical Affiliations

We believe in providing you with real-world experience early in your academic career. Our PT students participate in clinical affiliations in the beginning of their second year in the Program. Students have the opportunity to experience a greater number and variety of clinical affiliations. Locations include:

  • Major teaching hospitals, including Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Home care
  • Pediatric clinics
  • Private practice outpatient clinics
  • Orthopaedic clinics
  • Native American hospitals

Typically, your first affiliation is close-by, in the tri-state area. As you progress in the Program, you may have the opportunity to travel to more distant clinical sites, even across the country.

Clinical affiliations are integrated throughout the curriculum to allow students to use information and practice skills learned in the classroom. Clinical placement is based on each student's abilities and needs. All DPT students participate in four clinical affiliations:

  • Two 8-week, full-time affiliations
  • Two 10-week, full-time affiliations

Three of the four affiliations are required in the practice areas of:

  • Acute care
  • Rehabilitation/subacute
  • Outpatient

The last affiliation may include an area of particular interest such as pediatrics, women's health or other specialty areas.

Professional Outreach

Professional outreach is integral to our DPT program. As such, our PT students are encouraged to join the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and the Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association (PPTA). Our students are motivated and encouraged to attend professional events such as:

  • APTA National Student Conclave (NSC)
  • PPTA Annual Conference
  • APTA Combined Section Meeting (CSM)

Students also contribute as members of the Physical Therapy Society (PTS). DPT students in every stage of their education get involved in community, health and physical therapy issues. PTS activities include:

  • Student mentor program
  • Journal clubs
  • Fundraisers
  • Community service activities
  • Social events
  • Guest speakers 
  • Discussions on issues relevant to the field

The Society is organized by elected Physical Therapy student leaders. All Thomas Jefferson University students are welcome to attend PTS events.