Lab and Clinical Education

How often are immersion labs scheduled?

Immersion labs are required, intensive, focused face to face interactions improving skills and knowledge on a specific topic. The immersion labs are highly organized and structured to maximize faculty and student time to learn and improve skill acquisition. Immersion labs are typically twice per term for 8-9 days for each lab immersion. There are no lab immersion requirements when students are on clinical experiences. There are roughly 90 days of immersion labs throughout the three-year program. Students are responsible for travel, housing and food expenses and emergency or other health care costs.

Will I be able to work while I am in the program?

The DPT program is a rigorous, full-time program. Generally, faculty recommend students do not work to ensure success. Students must be available for immersive skills labs, online synchronous learning sessions and all clinical education experiences. If students are considering working, faculty recommend discussing this with their faculty advisor.

Can I work during my clinical rotations?

It is unlikely a student can meet the clinical expectations and work. Rotations are 40+ hours per week, requiring attendance each clinical working day. Students are not allowed to schedule clinical rotations around a work schedule.

Program Structure

What is the structure of the DPT program?

The program is a blended model including online learning and onsite lab immersions. Asynchronous learning occurs when students listen or view lectures, view demonstrates, read articles or textbooks and provide peer feedback. Synchronous activities occur when students meet online to discuss lectures, patient cases and other activities as a whole class or small group. Asynchronous learning allows students to familiarize themselves with specific content, synchronous learning allows students to synthesize the content and lab immersions allow students to apply knowledge.

What is a Blended or Hybrid format program?

A blended or hybrid program combines online and onsite learning activities, taking advantage of distance/online education with best practices in online learning & onsite interactions.

What is clinical education?

During clinical education students work alongside licensed physical therapists in a variety of settings to gain experience applying knowledge and skills with patients. Students complete clinical experiences totaling 32 weeks throughout the program. Students are responsible for travel, housing expenses and additional emergency or needed healthcare during clinical education experiences.

May I do my clinical rotations where I live?

The Director of Clinical Education develops clinical partnerships with facilities all over the country. The top priority is securing placements which allows students to gain practical experience caring for patients across the lifespan and with diagnoses representative of those typically seen in physical therapy practice, in settings across the continuum of care. Placement at a site is dependent upon multiple factors including which sites are available for a specified experience along with the patient populations or settings the student needs to create a well-rounded clinical education before graduation. Students have the opportunity to review available clinical sites and submit a list of preferences. This "wish list" is considered in the placement process. Assignments may require relocation for the duration of the experience and may involve additional costs. Students should not assume that appropriate clinical sites are available in their geographic area of residence. Likewise, students are not allowed to negotiate or find their own clinical sites at any time.  Allen College observes restrictions on placements at sites which may pose a conflict of interest.

How long is the program?

The curriculum is nine semesters, including three summer sessions, and is completed in under three years. The length of the program and the hybrid model provides the best experience to learn without becoming overwhelmed.

Do I need to move to Waterloo to complete the program?

No, students can live wherever they desire and are able to travel to the lab immersion sessions held at Allen College in Waterloo, Iowa. Students are required to attend all lab immersions.

Will there be mandatory online classes I must attend?

Student have access to recorded lectures, videos and reading content online which can be accessed as often as needed or desired. There may be occasions that synchronous sessions take place during the week at the discretion of the instructor. Students may also be assigned group projects requiring meetings in addition to regular course assignments.


Acceptance and Matriculation

The Allen College DPT program is approved to admit 24 students annually. The first cohorts have been small as this new program was implemented with class sizes ranging to 11 admitted students.

Sending Official Transcripts and GRE scores

Electronic official transcripts are often sent through a third party.  To be considered official, transcripts must be sent directly to PTCAS from the granting institution. Request official GRE scores be sent to PTCAS designating the code 2960 for Allen College.

For questions regarding admissions please contact or (319) 226-2014.