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NCAA Division I sports attract the finest young athletes — at USC as well as numerous universities in both the Los Angeles area and across the nation. Our sports fellowship trains advanced practitioners of sports physical therapy in the skills needed to care for these athletes — in the clinic, in the athletic training room and on the field.

Guided by knowledgeable mentors, our sports fellows learn superior skills in assessing, evaluating and treating athletic injuries; expand the body of knowledge in sports medicine by conducting and publishing clinical research; and make lasting contributions to their communities.

The Sports Division I Physical Therapy Fellowship has maintained a 100 percent graduation rate. Sports fellowship graduates currently work in various capacities associated with collegiate and professional athletics.



Our rigorous sports fellowship uses a combination of self-study, and formal and informal educational, clinical and academic activities. It also includes mentored direct care of athletes on the field, in a Division I athletic training room and at affiliated specialty clinics. Supervised clinical mentorship by USC orthopedic physical therapy and sports medicine physicians is a key component of the sports fellowship.

Components of the curriculum include NCAA compliance, risk management in a Division I setting, and strength and conditioning for Division I athletes.

A sports fellow’s typical week includes:

  • 20 hours of direct patient care in a Division I athletic training facility
  • 4 hours of mentored clinical practice in physical therapy for Division I athletes
  • 3–6 hours of on-field experience in Division I athletic settings
  • 3 hours of mentoring in physician practices
  • 4 hours of self-study of theory, technique and literature reviews

Additional weekend courses through the USC Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy Continuing Education Department may be required.

The sports fellowship begins in early August and lasts until June 30 the following year (11 months). Requirements for successful completion include passing oral exams/presentations, examinations with live patients and completion of a project submitted for presentation or publication.



Prospective fellows must submit the following:

  • Fellowship application via RF-PTCAS
  • Current curriculum vitae
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Valid California PT license
  • Proof of ABPTS specialist certification in sports or orthopedics or completion of an ABPTRFE-accredited residency in sports or orthopedics

You must also have one of the following designations for emergency response prior to beginning the fellowship:

  • Certified athletic trainer
  • Certified emergency responder for athletes (through the APTA American Academy of Sports Physical Therapy)
  • Licensed emergency medical technician

Qualified applicants will be selected for formal interview. Non-U.S. citizens will require the appropriate visa and evidence of English language proficiency in addition to the licensure requirements.

Desirable qualities in an applicant include strong desire to advance clinical knowledge, skills, abilities; ability to demonstrate clinical aptitude and/or potential; interest in teaching, clinical research and/or mentoring; strong written and verbal communications skills; and evidence of initiative and self-responsibility.



One-year tuition is $3,000, which can be paid in one or two installments, due by October.

You will be responsible for your living expenses and transportation to clinical facilities. Because of limited public transportation in Los Angeles, a car may be necessary. Upon request, we can provide suggestions for where and how to find housing.

You will also be responsible for purchasing textbooks, scrubs and incidental supplies; we will provide detailed Information at orientation.

While a fellow, you may be able to defer any student loans; check with your individual lender(s) on their requirements.

ABPTRFE Financial Fact Sheet



To apply for the sports fellowship, visit the Residency and Fellowship Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (RF-PTCAS), create a login and indicate that you are applying for the USC sports physical therapy fellowship.

Applications are due on April 1.



For more information, please contact Director of the Sports Division I Physical Therapy Fellowship Aimee Diaz, DPT, SCS, ATC at

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