ABPTRFE is the accreditation body for the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) for postprofessional residency and fellowship programs in physical therapy.

Accreditation is a process used by APTA to ensure the quality of the education that participants receive in residency and fellowship programs in physical therapy. It is a voluntary, nongovernmental, peer-reviewed process that occurs on a regular basis.

Residency Programs

Residency programs are post-professional programs intended to train physical therapists in a specialty area. Below, please find resources for physical therapy professionals considering continuing their education and advancing their career through a residency program.

About Residency Programs

Application Process

Directory of Residency Programs

Fellowship Programs

Fellowship programs are postprofessional programs intended to train physical therapists in a subspecialty area (beyond specialty training). Below please find resources for physical therapy professionals considering continuing their education and advancing their career through a fellowship program.

Please note: All accredited fellowship programs must be compliant with the new ABPTRFE Quality Standards by January 1, 2019. The new standards require participants of a fellowship program to meet one of the following admission criteria:

• American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) specialist certification in the related area of specialty as defined within the DFP, or

• Completion of an ABPTRFE-accredited residency in a related specialty area as defined within the DFP.

• About Fellowship Programs

• Application Process

• Directory of Fellowship Programs


Centralized Applications Service for Residency and Fellowship Programs

• Welcome to the Only Centralized Application Service for Residency/Fellowship Education

• In an effort to simply the application process for prospective physical therapist (PT) residents and fellows as well as to facilitate the admissions process for post professional PT residency and fellowship education programs, APTA launched the Residency/Fellowship Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (RF-PTCAS) on September 16, 2013. RF-PTCAS provides two services, an online application for prospective participants and a web-based admissions management software for programs.

CSM 2018 SOR Session Presenters Present Podcast

One of the SOR sessions during CSM 2018 entitled “The Value of Post-Professional Residency, Fellowship and PhD Training” was aimed at DPT students who want to investigate, or were curious about, these models of post-professional training. The session speakers graciously agreed to be recorded so the content of their sessions could be shared more broadly in podcast format and to reach members that may have missed the CSM 2018 session.

Michael Bade, PT, DPT, PhD, OCS, presented on Residencies and Fellowships:

Mike’s is number 343

Jennifer Stevens-Lapsley, PT, MPT, PhD, presented on Doctoral (PhD) Training:

Jen’s is episode number 342

The Section on Research wishes to thank Drs. Bade and Stevens-Lapsley for taking the time to present their content as podcasts and to Karen Litzy, PT, DPT, who produced the segments. We hope that Section members, particularly students, will listen to these offerings. Enjoy!

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APTA Section on Research
1055 N Fairfax Street, Suite 205
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Phone: 800-765-7848 x7110


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