Sports Residency Program

Whether you are a recent physical therapy graduate or an experienced clinician, our sports physical therapy residency gives you the specialized skills and hands-on experience to provide high-quality physical therapy to athletes in the clinic and on the field.

Guided by knowledgeable mentors, you will receive rigorous training in physical therapy for athletes, expand your knowledge by conducting and publishing clinical research, make lasting contributions to your community and become a leader in sports medicine.

Curriculum and Training

Our rigorous sports residency curriculum uses a combination of formal and informal educational, clinical and academic activities, as well as mentored direct care of patients at affiliated clinics, including the USC Orthopaedic Surgery clinic. Supervised on-field experience is a key component of the sports residency.

The sports residency consists of four intensive modules, two orthopedic modules (eight-day) and two sports rehabilitation modules (four-day).

A sports resident’s typical week includes:

  • 20–30 hours of direct patient care
  • 4 hours of mentored clinical practice in physical therapy
  • 3–6 hours of on-field experience in athletic settings
  • 3 hours of mentoring in physician practices
  • 2 hours for discussion in theory, technique and literature reviews

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

The sports residency begins in early September and lasts for 12 months. Requirements for successful completion include passing oral, practical and written exams, exams with patients and a research project suitable for publication.

Admissions Requirements

To qualify for the USC Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy’s sports residency, you must be a graduate of an APTA-accredited program in physical therapy and eligible for licensure as a physical therapist in California. You must also have one of the following designations for emergency response prior to beginning the residency:

  • certified athletic trainer
  • certified emergency responder (through the APTA sports section)
  • licensed emergency medical technician

In residency candidates, we are looking for leadership potential; a desire to advance clinical knowledge, skills and abilities; demonstrated clinical aptitude; strong communication skills; and initiative and responsibility.

Costs

One-year tuition is $2,500, and administrative fees are $2,700, for a total of $5,200, which can be paid in one or two installments, due by October.

Residents are paid for 20–30 hours per week of clinical time. Salaries vary slightly from clinic to clinic. Four hours of mentored physical therapy care and four hours of physician mentoring are not paid. Neither is on-field event coverage paid.

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, syllabi, scrubs and incidental supplies; we will provide detailed Information at orientation.

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

Apply

All sports residents must have a California state license prior to beginning the residency in September.

To apply for the sports residency, 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 residency.

Applications are due on December 1.

Contact Us

For more information, please contact Aimee Diaz, DPT, SCS, ATC, director of the sports physical therapy residency, at aimeedia@pt.usc.edu