Upper Extremity Athlete Physical Therapy Fellowship

This 12-month physical therapy fellowship program is a collaboration with MLB’s Los Angeles Angels designed to equip physical therapists with the skills, experience and knowledge to effectively and competitively manage clinical care of athletes in upper extremity sports, specifically amateur and professional baseball. Fellows will train in Southern California with expert clinician mentors specializing in upper extremity for the first 7-and-a-half months, then transition to Arizona to work with professional baseball players at the Minor League Complex for the last 4-and-a-half months.

Curriculum and Training

This fellowship combines self-study with formal and informal educational, clinical and academic activities. It also includes mentored direct care of patients with upper extremity disorders in the clinic. The fellow will manage injuries and performance training for upper extremity athletes, specifically for community youth and high school athletes, collegiate baseball athletes, professional volleyball and baseball athletes, including unique experiences with rock climbers. The fellow will present upper extremity related didactic content during residency and continuing education courses. The fellow will also be active in clinical research.

An Upper Extremity Athlete Fellow’s typical week includes:

  • 30-32 hours of direct patient care management in a USC outpatient physical therapy clinic
  • 2-4 hours of mentored clinical practice in a USC outpatient physical therapy clinic
  • 12-14 hours of on-field, on-court, on-deck, on-site management of upper extremity athletes, which can include weekend coverage
  • 2-4 hours of didactic coursework and/or research activity

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

This fellowship begins in July and concludes in June. The fellow is paid for hours of clinical work. Salary is approximately 75 percent of full-time entry level paid position plus benefits including health insurance and paid time off.

Requirements for successful completion include passing exams (oral/written/live patient), satisfactory completion of didactic coursework, and completion of approved research requirement.

Admissions Requirements

Prospective Fellows must submit the following

  • Application to the Fellowship
  • Current curriculum vitae
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Career statement
  • Valid California PT license AND Arizona PT License
  • Proof of ABPTS specialist certification or completion of an ABPTRFE-accredited residency in Orthopedics or Sports

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- US 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; demonstrate clinical aptitude and/or potential interest in teaching, clinical research and/or mentoring; strong written and verbal communication skills; and evidence of initiative and self-responsibility.


One-year tuition is $2,500.

You will be responsible for your living expenses and transportation to clinical facilities, both in California and Arizona.

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.


To apply for the Upper Extremity Athlete 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 Upper Extremity Athlete Physical Therapy Fellowship.

Applications are due on March 1.

Contact Us

All application materials and further inquiries or requests for additional information should be directed to Program Director, Dr. Jonathan Sum.