Clinical Education

Full-time Clinical Placements

There are four full-time clinical rotations sequenced throughout our systems-based curriculum. The first full-time placement – in out-patient orthopedics, occurs after completing the first year of the curriculum – which focuses on musculoskeletal disorders. The second and third full-time placements – in neuro rehab and acute care, occur after completing the second year of the curriculum – which focuses on neurological and cardiopulmonary disorders. The fourth clinical placement – an elective rotation – occurs in the last semester of your third year.

What Makes Our Clinical Education Process Stand Out?

  • Early application
    • ICE rotations start the first week of the first semester
    • Students able to treat patients independently in their first full-time placement
  • Lock step with didactic curriculum
    • Full-time clinical placements closely follow relevant didactic training
      • Didactic Ortho content immediately followed by application of content in full-time Ortho placement
      • Neuro and Acute Care didactic content closely followed by application in Neuro and Acute Care settings.
  • Common experiences
    • All classmates learn from each other by sharing experiences during the same type of clinical environment
  • Post-Clinical Faculty feedback
    • Students have the chance to debrief and discuss what worked well and what didn’t work well with the faculty – to further improve before the next full-time placement
  • High-value clinical sites
    • We have 255 contracted clinical sites in 16 states
    • Each clinical site we partner with has been chosen because they know our curriculum and how best to support our students to develop and refine their clinical skills.

Clinical Education chart

For more information about clinical education, please contact:

Ruth Ross, P.T., D.P.T., Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopedic Physical Therapy; Assistant Professor and Assistant Director of Clinical Education –


Heather Vaughn, P.T., D.P.T., Assistant Director of Clinical Education and Adjunct Faculty –

Integrated Clinical Experiences

Students begin to work with clinical instructors and patients beginning in the first semester of the program through Integrated Clinical Experiences (ICE). These ICE rotations occur at several facilities, including our onsite outpatient clinic and onsite skilled nursing facility

UAMS Outpatient Therapy Clinic in Fayetteville

Our onsite outpatient clinic offers comprehensive rehabilitation. We have physical, occupational, and speech therapy services. The clinic possesses state-of-the-art therapeutic devices, including an Alter-G Anti-Gravity Treadmill, Balance Master System, and a Solo Step Overhead Track and Harness System. Visit the clinic website.

Arkansas State Veterans Home in Fayetteville

Our UAMS-NW campus includes the Arkansas State Veterans Home. This facility provides skilled nursing and rehabilitation services for our Arkansas Veterans. Visit the Arkansas State Veterans Home at Fayetteville website.

Schmieding Center for Senior Health and Education in Springdale

Community-based center with emphasis on the care of rural older adults in the local area. Provides caregiving consultations, aging resources, certified home caregiver training, community learning opportunities, continuing education for health professionals, aging information, referral, and consultation services. Visit the website.

PACE of the Ozarks in Springdale

Program for older adults aged 55 and older who are nursing home eligible; but allows patients to keep living in their homes while receiving care.

Schmieding Kids First in Springdale

An interdisciplinary program providing care to young children with special needs. Provides PT, OT, Speech, nursing, nutrition, and specialized services. Visit the Schmieding Kids First website.

Clinical Instructor Privileges and Development

UAMS values the time and commitment given by our clinical sites for the education of our students.  In appreciation for this partnership, UAMS offers a variety of CEU opportunities for clinicians throughout the year in the new, state of the art physical therapy department.  Clinicians who have agreed to serve as clinical instructors are given a significant discount for all CEU courses.  In addition, the Director of Clinical Education or other faculty may provide in-service presentations for affiliated clinical sites for therapist development.  UAMS will provide clinical instructor development workshops for CEU credit at low cost to the affiliated clinician.  On-site UAMS library privileges are also available upon request.

Clinical Education Resources

To learn more about the Accreditation Status of the Physical Therapy program, please CLICK HERE