Physical Therapy Clinical Education at MUSC

physical therapy students learning activities in a clinic with faculty and patients

About the Experience

Students will gain experience in various settings throughout the program based on their interests. Before the clinical practicum experience, students will engage in immersive clinical experiences and observations as volunteers in community activities like the CARES Therapy Clinic (in person or through telehealth), medical mission trips, and more. During the clinical practicums, students engage in direct patient care supervised by a licensed physical therapist.

Beginning with the 2025-2026 academic year, new students will complete the program in 8 semesters instead of 9. This change in curriculum reduces the number of clinical experiences in the program from 4 to 3 rotations.

For Current DPT Students

Students entering the DPT program in the 2024-2025 academic year and earlier complete four clinical practicums throughout the program. The first practicum is an eight-week outpatient orthopedic experience beginning in the second year. In the fall of year three, students complete two 10-week practicums and a full-time 12-week clinical placement during the last semester of the program.

For Future DPT Students

Students entering the DPT program in the 2025-2026 academic year or later complete three clinical practicums throughout the program. The clinical practicums begin in the fall of year three with two 10-week practicums and a full-time 12-week clinical placement in the last semester of the program.

Where do students go?

Our DPT program, in both residential and hybrid formats, has a significant number of clinical placement contracts throughout the country. Students should be prepared to complete clinical practicums in locations other than where they live and anticipate traveling to other locations across the U.S., including South Carolina. Like other programs, students must secure their housing for clinical education placements, and this should be accounted for in the cost of living during these final two semesters of the program.

Read our clinical education FAQs.

For Residential DPT Students

Residential students in the DPT program must have one inpatient experience, one outside of the Charleston tri-county area, and the remaining placement(s) are assigned based on the student's interests. The program follows a lottery process for clinical site selection. Students make their top selections and will be matched to one of their ten picks. Some of the more competitive sites require an application process.

For Hybrid DPT Students

Because Hybrid DPT students reside nationwide, our clinical education team works with individual students to determine the locations they prefer for clinical placements. There is still a lottery system. However, our clinical education team works with each student to ensure they get the required time within diverse settings required by accreditation to gain relevant practice, feedback, and skills to become an entry-level therapist.

For Clinical Instructors

Become a Clinical Instructor

You can help prepare future physical therapists and make an impact on our profession. The Division of Physical Therapy at MUSC is always looking for new opportunities to provide clinical instruction for our students. We are currently seeking clinical instructors for all inpatient settings and outpatient neuro-rehabilitation, as well as specialty areas such as women’s health, vestibular, wound care, pediatrics, etc.

If you are interested in becoming a clinical instructor, please contact Ashley Bondurant, PT, DPT, M.Ed, bonduraa@musc.edu | 843-792-4622 or complete the Clinical Instructor Interest Form.

Clinical Practicum Details

Our objective is to provide structured and varied learning opportunities for our students that address comprehensive patient/client management across the spectrum of care. We believe that quality clinician mentoring is essential for the transformation of our students into compassionate, confident, and reflective practitioners with excellent critical thinking and psychomotor skills. We are interested in collaborating with clinical sites that share our philosophy.

DPT Clinical Education Manual (PDF)

Clinical Practicum I (PT 740)

CPI Syllabus (PDF)

Clinical Practicum II (PT 741)

CPII Syllabus (PDF)

Additional Information

 

Clinical Instructor of the Year

Jared Lethco, PT, DPT, Cert MDT, OMT-C
Grace Physical Therapy and Sports Rehab (Summerville, SC)

Would you like to offer an experience for an upcoming clinical practicum? Complete an online reservation form to let us know.