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To be eligible for admission to the Physical or Occupational Therapy Internship Program, you must be currently enrolled in an accredited physical or occupational therapy education program at an affiliated college or university.

Admission to the internship program is prearranged by the academic coordinator from your college or university.

To prepare for a career as a physical therapist or occupational therapist, you must complete a professional education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) or Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). You may choose:

  • A professional master's degree program
  • A professional doctoral level program

All courses of study require a period of supervised clinical experience and successful completion of a national examination. Those who pass the test are awarded the title of physical therapist or occupational therapist.

Physical or Occupational therapy programs are available in colleges, universities, medical schools and vocational, technical, or community colleges throughout the country. There are no on-the-job training programs. Because entrance requirements, prerequisites and program components differ from school to school, it is important to get specific information from those programs to which you are interested in applying.

To receive a current list of physical therapy education programs, you may contact the American Physical Therapy Association, toll-free, at 1-800-999-APTA (2782), and for occupational therapy education programs contact the American Occupational Therapy Association, toll-free, at 1-800-377-8555.

International Applicants
U.S. Citizenship or Permanent Immigrant status is required for admission to the Physical or Occupational Therapy Internship Program.

Admissions Policy
Modern allied health education requires that the accumulation of scientific knowledge be accompanied by the simultaneous acquisition of essential skills, and professional attitudes and behavior. The goal of MSHS programs is to graduate the best possible healthcare practitioners. Further, MSHS must also ensure that patients are not placed in jeopardy by students with impaired intellectual, physical or emotional functions. Therefore, admission to educational programs in the school is offered only to those applicants who meet qualifications for education and training in the art and science of the respective allied health profession. Applicants should possess the following general qualities:

  • Critical thinking
  • Sound judgment
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Emotional stability and maturity
  • Empathy
  • Physical and mental stamina
  • Ability to learn and function in a wide variety of didactic and clinical settings

Fluency in written and spoken English is essential for success in the program and to ensure patient safety. Applicants must demonstrate objective competency in English through the admission interview and may be required to submit results from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination or equivalent examination.

Applicants will be judged not only on their scholastic accomplishments, but also on their physical and emotional capacities to meet the requirements of the program's curriculum and graduate as skilled and effective practitioners, with reasonable accommodations, if applicable. To preserve the welfare of students and patients, each MSHS program will establish minimum standards which are deemed essential for safety in practicing that respective profession. Applicants seeking accommodations should initiate their request with the specific Program Director.

In addition to these general qualities, admissions committees for each program may require additional specific admission standards. Documentation of these program-specific standards is available from each individual Program Director.

Additional Admission Requirements
Applicants offered admission to MSHS programs must also comply with the following prevailing institutional policies and procedures:

  • Immunization
  • Occupational Health Review and/or Physical Exam
  • Background Study
  • Drug Screen
  • Health Insurance
  • HIPAA, Confidentiality, and other training deemed necessary by Mayo Clinic and/or the MSHS Program in which you are offered admission.

Specific questions about these requirements may be directed to the school.

Failure to comply or to provide requested documentation is grounds for rescinding an admission offer or terminating admission.

Students are required to exhibit professional and ethical conduct at all times.

Equal opportunity
Mayo School of Health Sciences upholds all federal and state laws that preclude discrimination on the basis of race, sex, age, religion, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, disabilities or veteran's status.

In addition to these responsibilities, as a physical therapist or occupational therapist you will be required to:

  • Work with arms above shoulders occasionally.
  • Have adequate use of legs, arms, hands and fingers.
  • Lift more than 50 pounds routinely.
  • Push and pull, bend and stoop, and kneel or squat routinely.
  • Stand 80 percent of the time.
  • Work compassionately with patients.
  • Assist patients on and off equipment from wheelchairs or carts.
  • Effectively write and speak to patients and staff.
  • Hear and see clearly.
  • Work weekends and holidays.

Most full-time physical therapists or occupational therapists work a 40-hour week, which may include some evenings and weekends. The job can be physically demanding because therapists often have to stoop, kneel, crouch, lift and stand for long periods. In addition, physical therapists or occupational therapists move heavy equipment and lift patients or help them turn, stand or walk.

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