Frequently Asked Questions

  • How many years of experience as a Physical Therapist should I have before applying to the Pediatric Residency Program?
    Recent graduates of APTA credentialed physical therapy programs are eligible to apply as well as experienced physical therapists.


    When is the Application deadline?
    The Application deadline is March 1. Only one annual Application cycle with a August 1 start date is offered for the Pediatric Residency Program.

    What is the size of the Pediatric Residency Program class?
    We accept up to 2 residents each year.

    Will I be prepared for the Pediatric Clinical Specialist (PCS) exam after I complete the residency?
    Yes. The Pediatric Residency Program curriculum is structured around the Pediatric Physical Therapy Description of Specialty Practice assessment readiness guidelines, emphasizing the concepts and knowledge required for the PCS examination.

    What degree should I hold to apply to the Pediatric Residency Program?
    A Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from an APTA accredited US program is needed to apply to the Pediatric Residency Program.

    How long is the program?
    The Pediatric Residency Program begins in August 1 and has a 12 month duration. Work at the clinical site begins at the same time.

    Can student loans be deferred while enrolled in the Residency?
    Previous residents have been able to defer their student loans while in the USC/CHLA Residency Programs (Orthopedic, Neurological and Sports), however, individual lenders may have different requirements. Please check with your lender to confirm this information for your specific situation.

    Is an interview a required part of the Application process?
    Yes. A personal interview with Pediatric Residency faculty members is a required part of the Application process for the Pediatric Residency Program. Interviewees are invited after applications are reviewed.

    What are the requirements for successful completion of the residency?
    Requirements for successful completion include successfully passing written, oral and practical exams, examinations with patients, and completion of a systematic review suitable for submission for publication.

    Must I be licensed to practice Physical Therapy in the State of California, USA?
    Yes. All Program residents must have a California state license prior to beginning the residency in August.

    Can I apply for the PCS exam while in the Program?
    Residents are eligible to apply for the Pediatric Specialist Certification (PCS) exam while in the Program. Those currently holding the PCS designation may be eligible to use completion of the Program to fulfill re-certification requirements.

    Where will I practice if I am accepted to the residency program?
    Residents will practice at CHLA, Physical Therapy, various clinics and the CA-LEND program at CHLA. 

    How does the USC/CHLA Pediatric Residency Program differ from many other residency programs?
    USC/CHLA Pediatric Physical Therapy Residency Program is unique in that it is a university-based program that provides teaching opportunities as well as expert mentorship from Physical Therapist clinicians who focus on differential diagnosis and facilitate leadership, teamwork and cross education. In addition to clinical practice, our residents are trained with a focus on education, research, and leadership. The Program’s combined university and clinical settings also makes tremendous resources available including people, equipment, and facilities.

    Who is a typical USC/CHLA Residency graduate?
    We have a long history of residency education at USC. The Pediatric Physical Therapy Residency is the fourth residency to be established at USC. Our residents have an outstanding track record for achieving excellence in clinical practice, education, publication, and leadership.