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

Admission to the internship 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 or Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education. 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, and for occupational therapy education programs contact the American Occupational Therapy Association.

Technical standards

Most full-time physical therapists or occupational therapists work a 40-hour week, which may include 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.

Non-U.S. citizen applicants

See the Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences non-U.S. citizen applicants policy.

More information

See further Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences admissions policy information.

Aug. 12, 2016