Applying to the Fellowship

Regis University's Fellowship in Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy is designed for U.S. licensed PT's who want to be leaders in the areas of teaching, research, and the practice of manual physical therapy.


Admission to the Fellowship in Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy program is granted on a competitive basis with selections made biannually. The following requirements apply:
  • Evidence of current and valid physical therapist license to practice in the United States.
  • Evidence of current APTA membership is required for admitted students (can be completed within thirty (30) days after acceptance).
  • Evidence of current AAOMPT membership is required for admitted students (can be completed within thirty (30) days after acceptance.
  • Two years experience in primary orthopedic physical therapist practice.
  • Currently engaged in orthopedic clinical practice (thus board eligible for APTA Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist Certification) (SCS certification also considered).*
  • Evidence of commitment to advanced musculoskeletal practice, clinical research, and mentoring of physical therapy students.
  • Eligibility for the Fellowship program is pending the successful completion of a criminal background check. For a complete list of Disqualifying Offenses, click here.
  • If English is not your native/first language, you must meet one of the following language proficiency requirements:
    • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) – Internet-based: Minimum score of 82 (24 Writing, 20 Speaking, 22 Reading, 16 Listening), Computer-based: Minimum score of 213. Regis University's TOEFL code is 4656.
    • Applicants that have successfully completed an undergraduate or graduate degree at an accredited US institution do not need to provide a TOEFL score.

    Due to the clinical portion of the program and healthcare agency requirements, ability to begin the program for admitted students is dependent upon successful completion of all new student requirements. Additional documentation may be required for the clinical practicum course (e.g. CPR, PPD results, immunization records, drug screens, etc.). Student must also complete an academic integrity quiz. Details for completion all of these items will be made available to admitted students.

    **The program requires that all Fellows in Training (FIT) be Orthopedic Certified Specialist (OCS) eligible (or SCS), and therefore have at least two years of full-time clinical experience in the area of orthopedic physical therapy. Students that are not OCS (or SCS) certified at the time of application are expected to sit for the OCS (or SCS) exam prior to completion of the practicum examination. Due to the lag between application, and receipt of results (up to 12 months); if acceptance to sit for the OCS (or SCS) examination has been completed, an applicant may complete the practicum examination prior to sitting for the examination if approved by course faculty. It is strongly encouraged that Fellows in Training apply for the OCS (or SCS) exam prior to July 31st of the year they expect to complete Fellowship requirements.


Admission to Regis University’s Fellowship in Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy program is granted on a competitive basis.


We consider a number of factors when evaluating applications. Desire to learn is a priority, as is keen interest and evidence of commitment to advanced musculoskeletal practice, conference activity, especially AAOMPT, clinical research, mentoring of physical therapy students, CEU's taken, expressed interests in OMPT, and location of potential mentors are considered. The length of your career is also a consideration, but not an absolute factor. Where you wish to be in three years is a priority. The Fellowship is a post-professional option for US licensed physical therapists. Students must complete the 1:1 mentor hours under a US licensed physical therapist practicing in the USA, and in good standing with AAOMPT. Students that are not doctorally prepared may need to consult with the program coordinator to determine their readiness for the program, however, generally speaking a strong professional record, OCS certification (or OCS eligible) (SCS also considered), years of experience, and PT licensure in good standing are all indications of preparedness for our program.

The application deadline for Regis University’s Fellowship in Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy program is June 15, 2017 for the group starting on August 28, 2017. The application opens in October of every year for the following year start dates.  We start groups in March (January 15 application deadline) and August (June 15 deadline) each year. 


Applicants must submit all required admission information as instructed on the RF-PTCAS (Residency and Fellowship Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service) application. This, in part, includes the following:

  1. Complete RF-PTCAS web-based application
  2. Correct RF-PTCAS application fee
  3. Official transcripts from every U.S. physical therapy college or university attended sent directly to RF-PTCAS. Official transcripts should not to be sent directly to Regis University. Transcripts are not required for non-PT degrees for Regis University's Fellowship in Orthopaedic Manual Therapy Physical Therapy program. RF-PTCAS does not accept student-issued transcripts or faxed copies.
  4. Three electronic letters of recommendation (eLOR's) sent directly to RF-PTCAS on standard form provided in the application. Two references at a minimum must be professional references. One reference may be a personal reference.
  5. Address the three essay questions that are part of the RF-PTCAS application. Regis University does not require additional essays beyond those specified in the RF-PTCAS application.
  6. Failure to submit all required materials as instructed may jeopardize eligibility for admission consideration.

Link directly to the application if you're ready to apply today. Applicants must submit all required admission information as instructed on the RF-PTCAS (Residency and Fellowship Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service) application.

Find out how to earn tuition credit for Fellowship courses with our Clinical Education Scholar Program. 

Review the system requirements for online learning. Keep in mind most students are new to online learning. If you have the drive, we have the support needed to help you be successful with online coursework.

If you have questions regarding the program, or want additional information, email or call 303.964.6147. Materials in support of an application for admission become the property of Regis University and will not be provided or returned to an applicant.

If you have additional questions regarding the program, email or call 303.964.6147.

What is a Fellowship?

A dynamic environment for a post-professional planned learning experience in a focused area of clinical practice, education, or research (not infrequently post-professional or for post-residency prepared, or board-certified therapists).

What is orthopaedic manual physical therapy (OMPT)?

Orthopaedic manual physical therapy is a defined area of physical therapy practice emphasizing clinical differential diagnostics and hands on skills in the utilization of manual therapy (joint and soft tissue mobilization and manipulation) procedures while integrating these procedures into total patient management across the lifespan. Manual physical therapy has a rapidly expanding body of peer-reviewed evidence supporting its use across a wide spectrum of patient populations. It is currently the most popular area of fellowship practice in physical therapy.

Who is a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists (FAAOMPT)?

"Fellow" status in the AAOMPT is both a membership classification and a professional credential. As a professional credential, a "Fellow" in AAOMPT is an international recognition of competence and expertise in the practice of orthopaedic manual physical therapy by a physical therapist licensed in the USA. To achieve the Fellow credential, a physical therapist must complete a credentialed fellowship program in orthopaedic manual physical therapy or demonstrate the equivalent level of competence by successfully passing a portfolio review process for fellowship renewal. The "Fellow" is a physical therapist who has demonstrated advanced clinical, analytical, and hands-on skills in the treatment of musculoskeletal (orthopaedic) disorders. Fellows serve their patients and the public by demonstrating excellence in clinical practice, education, and research.

For more information on the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists visit their website at

What is the mission and philosophy of the program?

The Fellowship program at Regis University is dedicated to providing a values-centered education within the Jesuit Catholic tradition. The program is designed to produce graduates who are leaders in the areas of teaching, research and in practice. The Fellowship graduates will be grounded in an evidence-based practice model and experts at integrating evidence into the daily practice of physical therapy.
The Goals of the Fellowship Program include:

  • Provide a cutting edge educational environment that integrates state of the art learning tools with advanced professional clinical practice.
  • Admit and develop physical therapists that value the Jesuit tradition of service to others and are committed to ethical professional practice.
  • Attract and support physical therapy educators who model professional behavior, excel in teaching, contribute to the physical therapy profession, and support the fellowship students in their reflection of "how ought we to live."
  • Develop leaders in education, research, and practice who assume leadership roles in the APTA.

Answering the question what defines the theoretical framework of the Regis University OMPT program requires reflection and a view to the future for each individual who enters the program. The natural bridge to Jesuit philosophies of teaching and learning are self-evident.

At Regis we seek to integrate the best current research with the dynamic experience of being involved with like-minded professionals seeking growth and greater purpose. We build on our heritage as a program that has graduated over 100 leaders providing service to their communities in the field of OMPT practice.

Our OMPT approach is designed to find the very best PT in each participant. Theoretically this is a blending of many schools of thought in OMPT practice. We expanded upon the dynamic approach to advanced OMPT care. More than a patient based test-re-test approach we identify what both the therapist and the patient can each provide to develop the best care for the individual. We seek excellence in hands-on care, excellence in treatment delivery and excellence in ongoing learning in the treatment process. We seek the Magi, to be the very best we can be, we seek Cura Personalis to provide optimal patient care to serve the patient and society.

What is the Regis University approach to manual therapy training?

It is not the intent of the Regis University's Fellowship in OMPT to house a comprehensive approach to Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy (OMPT) practice that is exclusive to other established theories and paradigms of manual therapy interventions. It is our intent to advance the didactic and psycho-motor skill set of each Fellow in Training (FiT) within the field of OMPT, with emphasis to the following key elements:

1. Adherence to the APTA/AAOMPT & IFOMPT educational guidelines
2. Utilization of a clinical approach which embraces all three elements of evidence based practice (EBP), being patient values, the available research literature and the clinical experience of our mentors and our mentees
3. Utilization of a test-re-test approach in patient intra-session assessment such that it is the patients response to a treatment interventions versus a prescribed expectation of response that directs the ongoing treatment plan
4. Patient assessment with an emphasis to reproduction of an asterisk sign or reproducible functional movement, to enable quick identification of progress, regression or no change clinically with applied treatment
5. Integration of thrust, non-thrust, MET, soft tissue base, patient directed and specific exercise based interventions which are both therapist and patient selective based upon the concept that both patient and therapist vantage matter within the body of acceptable practice approaches
6. Recognition that acceptable practice approaches within PT are currently housed within current clinical practice guidelines such as those produced within JOSPT, overall OMPT practice elements as outlined in the AAOMPT DASP-2008, and any OMPT approach utilized is patient centered and measureable with functional outcomes assessment tools utilized
7. Blending of specific axial and appendicular interventions in OMPT patient management with regional interdependence approaches
8. Safety in the delivery of OMPT interventions, noting that a step-wise progression from least to most aggressive is often optimal, but not absolute based upon clinical examination
9. Desiring to learn from the body of OMPT approaches within the available literature, with an eclectic approach to practice allowing for the maximal patient treatment options for the benefit of both patient and practitioner
10. Finally, recognizing that future practice may not mimic current practice, and that contributions to the EBP literature by FiT’s is encouraged and expected.

Are thrust manipulations and dry needling training part of your program?

We teach both high velocity low amplitude (HLVA) thrust manipulation and trigger point dry needling as a part of all of our management courses. These techniques are in addition to joint mobilization, neurodynamic mobilization, muscle energy, and other soft tissues techniques taught within the program. We have always had a large emphasis on HVLA techniques and more recently have updated the curriculum to include dry needing to reflect the most recent developments in this emerging area of manual physical therapy interventions.

Will I be certified in dry needling as a part of your program?

Over the course of the four management courses you will receive 26 hours of training in trigger point dry needling. This may or may not meet the requirements of your individual state for utilizing this intervention as a part of your physical therapy practice. Please consult your state practice act for requirements as these vary significantly. All fellows in training will need to comply with their state practice act prior to utilizing this technique in their clinical practice.

What advantage does your program have as a regionally accredited University?

We are an established University with a 135 plus years of history to draw from as we continually pursue excellence in education. We have an exceptional and respected faculty base to collaborate with across the Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions in programs from nursing, pharmacy, counseling and health education services. Our School of Physical Therapy is nationally recognized, and our faculty are both expert clinicians and passionate teachers, with expertise in many areas of PT, including OMPT. We offer a small college feel in regard to individual attention, but access to abundant and robust resources to support our students like our ITS Help Center, library resources, and extensive alumni network to name a few. Additionally, clinicians considering our program that work for other colleges, members of the military, and hospitals that offer tuition assistant benefits have requirements for tuition reimbursement that often mandate credit be from a regionally accredited school. Our campus is located in beautiful Denver, Colorado which means our fellowship students not only get hands-on training at our historic campus, but get to explore a city recognized time and again for its healthy lifestyle and great amenities.

Are courses given a letter grade on an official transcript?

Yes, courses are graded (letter grade) and grades are posted to an official Regis University transcript. This is often important for employers who provide tuition benefits. Additionally, Regis University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. This is another factor that is often important for tuition benefit dollars. The only exception to the letter grade is for the final practicum course, which is not given a letter grade but a pass/fail. In the past we have provided a letter to employers who require a grade stating what grade they earned in the practicum class in order to pass.

Do applicants to the Fellowship have to be doctorally prepared?

No. The Fellowship is a post-professional option for US licensed physical therapists. Students that are not doctorally prepared may need to consult with the program coordinator to determine their readiness for the program, however, generally speaking a strong professional record, OCS certification (or OCS eligible) (SCS also considered), years of experience, and PT licensure in good standing are all indications of preparedness for our program. 

What do you look for when reviewing applications?

Desire to learn is a priority, a keen interest in manual therapy, conference activity especially AAOMPT, CEU's taken, expressed interests and location of potential mentors. We all have different educational backgrounds be it DPT, BSPT, MSPT, and the length of your career is also a consideration, but not an absolute factor as well. Where you wish to be in three years is a priority. Currently, at a minimum, Fellows in Training (FiT) need to be Orthopaedic Certified Specialists (OCS) eligible (or SCS), and therefore have at least one and a half year of full-time clinical experience in the area of orthopaedic physical therapy. Students that are not OCS (or SCS) certified at the time of application are expected to sit for the OCS (or SCS) exam prior to completion of the practicum examination or at a minimum be accepted to sit for the examination. 

What are virtual rounds?

Recent developments in educational technology now allows for more meaningful online collaboration. Fellows in Training interact in “virtual rounds” for patient case discussions with other Fellows in training and Fellowship mentors. There is typically no specific scheduled time to participate, and the online virtual rounds are always open for activity. Students typically start virtual rounds towards the end of their first management course and continue involvement throughout the program.

Virtual rounds are primarily discussion of active (de-identified) patient cases with other Fellows-in-Training and Faculty for the purpose of progressing and developing OMPT patient care skill sets. An example would be posting of a current patient case based upon body region, the subjective and objective findings, key unanswered questions pertinent to the case, supporting literature for interventions chosen, as well as plan of care currently ongoing. Secondary activity is based upon discussion of key issues in regulation and teaching in OMPT practice, presentation and research development, and non-patient OMPT questions.

How much time is required for coursework for students in the program?

A significant majority of our fellows in training are full-time clinicians with many of them serving in additional roles such as clinic supervisors, directors, or owners. One advantage of our fellowship program is that it can be completed by the full-time clinician without the need to cut back on hours or relocate. All of our courses utilize a hybrid online learning environment which means that you can work on your coursework anytime of the day, and any day of the week. There are four weekend intensives (Fri afternoon - Sun afternoon) that are associated with each of the four management courses that require attendance on campus at Regis University. One additional trip to campus is required for the final practicum examination. Overall students should expect to make five visits to our campus in Denver, Colorado. The amount of time required per week depends on which courses you are enrolled in at the time. When you are enrolled within a management course the amount of time required is typically four to six hours per week. When you are enrolled in our virtual rounds the time is less (approximately two to three hours per week). However, time varies depending upon your learning style.

Can I take a vacation while enrolled in a course?

One of the great benefits of the program is the flexibility of the online content. We can accommodate time away when enrolled in a course, but it depends a bit on the length of time. Typically a week or less over the 8 week course can be accommodated, particularly if you can access email once or twice to check-in. Beyond a week away without checking in would require approval from the faculty/director. Participation in the scheduled weekend intensives is required. Keep in mind that our courses rotate on a yearly schedule. Students can opt to spread out their studies over one to three years so they may elect to enroll in a course the following year if personal or professional obligations are an issue for any given eight-week session.

What is the cost of the Fellowship program?

The current per semester hour price for the Fall 2017-Summer 2018 school year is $550; therefore the cost of a three-semester hour course is $1,650. The total estimated cost of tuition for the 18 semester hour program is $9,900. Student pay on a per course basis, not as a lump sum.

Additional estimated costs beyond tuition include the following: RF-PTCAS application free ($135), background check ($20), APTA and AAOMPT membership, cost of travel and lodging to Denver for weekend intensives (5 trips), registration and travel to national conference (must attend one conference - CSM or AAOMPT), possible travel and accommodations to complete the 150 one:one clinical hours.

Am I eligible for student loans during this program?

Yes. The first step is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Submitting the FASFA allows you to apply for federal, state and institutional loans. It’s best to complete the FAFSA as early as possible before starting class. The FAFSA takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. Use 001363 in FASFA Step 6 as the Regis University FAFSA code. Get details on at the Regis University Financial Aid webpage.

Can I defer my loans while in the Fellowship in OMPT program?

Yes. Any Federal Direct Loan may be deferred during your time in the program for the semesters in which you maintain part time study (three semester hours for graduate students). Fellowship students that follow the typical course schedule maintain part time status during the twelve months of didactic study, and for the semester in which they complete the practicum requirements (150 hours of 1:1 mentor time). Students that are on alternative schedules are still eligible to defer loans for the semesters in which they maintain part time status. Repayment of past loans will start if you are inactive for a period of six months. Federal Direct Loans have a sixmonth grace period after the student has either graduated or is less than half-time, as long as these loans haven’t already used up their grace period. Anyone that is deferring loans will need to maintain contact with your Regis University financial aid counselor to discuss variations to schedules.

Do you offer scholarships for OMPT students?

No. However, we do offer an innovated program for PT’s interested in mentoring our entry level DPT students. We highly encourage fellows to consider becoming part of our Clinical Education Scholar Program (CESP). Mentor two or more entry level DPT students per year and earn tuition credit for one post professional course (3 semester hours). Find out more by contacting Shelene Thomas at or calling 303.964.6639.  Additional details and an application to the CESP program is available here

Do students pay the Fellowship mentors?

While some programs have fees associated with the Fellowship 1:1 mentor time, at this point Regis students have not been charged for their direct clinical time, though this is a decision of the potential mentor and not of Regis University, but supported by our program intent. We have a strong base of Fellowship mentors to support our students. However, if reimbursement were requested by a Fellow mentor, any reimbursement to the teaching Fellow is between the Fellow in Training and the Fellow mentor, and does not include Regis.

Do I receive a degree from the Fellowship Programs?

No. Upon successful completion of the fellowship program, the graduate will receive a Regis University Academic Certificate that will be recorded on an official University transcript. This serves as meeting the requirements of the AAOMPT to apply for Fellowship status.

Can I begin the Fellowship prior to earning the OCS?

The Regis University program requires that all Fellows in Training (FIT) be Orthopaedic Certified Specialist (OCS) eligible (or SCS), and therefore have at least one and a half years of full-time clinical experience in the area of orthopaedic physical therapy. Students that are not OCS (or SCS) certified at the time of application are expected to sit for the OCS (or SCS) exam prior to completion of the practicum examination. Due to the lag between application, and receipt of results (up to 12 months); if acceptance to sit for the OCS (or SCS) examination has been completed, an applicant may complete the practicum examination prior to sitting for the examination if approved by course faculty. It is strongly encouraged that Fellows in Training apply for the OCS (or SCS) exam prior to July 31st of the year they expect to complete Fellowship requirements.

Are there additional expectations and requirements for the Fellowship?

The Fellowship uses a variety of methods to assess the clinical competence of each fellow in training. The fellow in training must demonstrate safe and effective patient/client management in a clinical setting with an examiner present. In addition, there are the following requirements:

  • A comprehensive written examination.
  • Four technique/practical examinations.
  • One patient exam with a spinal/axial focus.
  • One patient exam with a peripheral/appendicular focus.
  • Submit a platform or poster presentation to one of the major national PT conferences (often AAOMPT, or APTA CSM)
  • Participation in research activity.

What are the clinical practice hour requirements of the program?

Students in this Fellowship complete a minimum of 440 hours of clinical practice focused on orthopaedic physical therapy during the program. This includes a minimum of 310 hours in virtual rounds, and 150 hours of direct one-on-one clinical practice working with two or more Fellows.

One-on-one clinical practice hours must be under direct clinical supervision of a Fellowship Mentor. Mentors must be in good standing with the AAOMPT, be licensed and located in the USA, and we must establish a clinic agreement with them. Clinical supervision is defined as on-site, one-on-one instructor supervision of the Fellow in training while actively engaged in patient/client management. The Fellow in training must serve as the primary clinician responsible for the patient’s care for a minimum of 130 of the 150 hours. The remaining 20 hours may be devoted to observation or the instructor providing care to the instructor’s patient(s) and/or discussion with the instructor on patient/client management.

Where are the one-on-one supervision clinical sites?

There are a number of clinical sites throughout the country who have agreed to work with Fellows in our program. It is the responsibility of the Fellows in training to arrange state licensure, travel, accommodations, etc., when engaged in practice at these facilities. Fellows in training who wish to arrange one-on-one supervision with new potential Fellowship Mentors are encouraged to work with the program to establish a formal relationship with our program. Regis is able to provide a list to admitted students of the majority of our 100 plus graduates to date, based upon location, to facilitate this process.

What about licensure if I complete one-on-one hours out of state?

For Fellows in Training (FiT’s) attending 1:1 mentor time out of state there is variability in requirements pertaining to PT licensure. Approximately 25 states allow for attendance to another state under a licensure waiver for an educational experience (CO is one as long as a letter is sent to the PT board), the rest require the obtainment of a license, some by reciprocation, some by application. As these rules are subject to change, the individual practice act needs to be reviewed.

Can I have more than one mentor?

Yes. We encourage students to customize their experience to meet their interest and patient population needs. We recommend that one of your mentors be a Regis Fellowship in OMPT graduate to solidify the techniques and training of the Regis OMPT program, but any Fellow in good standing with AAOMPT is eligible to be a mentor pending a site contract, a relatively easy process but dependent on the size and requirements of the mentors place of employment.

Can a part-time clinician complete the program?

Yes. As long as the clinician has access to OMPT patients during the mentoring time they are eligible to be consider for the program.

How much travel is involved in completing the program?

The Fellows in training spend five weekends at our beautiful campus located in Denver, Colorado. One weekend for each of the four management courses is required and one additional weekend is necessary for the final practical examinations. Additional travel includes attendance at one national conference (AAOMPT Annual Meeting or CSM are most common) if your research project is selected for presentation, and possible travel related to the 150 hours of one-on-one clinical practice under the direct supervision of a Fellow.

Can I register for APTA and AAOMPT membership after I find out if I'm accepted?

Yes. We require that students be both APTA and AAOMPT members at the start of the program, and throughout their time in the program. A student rate may be available for membership at both organizations. Be sure to check prior to registration, or at your renewal period.

Is the OMPT Fellowship program accredited with APTA?

Yes. Regis University’s Fellowship in Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy has been accredited by the American Physical Therapy Association as a post-professional clinical fellowship program for physical therapists in Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy since 2006, and currently through 2018.

It is the preferred approach of the Regis University Fellowship Program to be actively involved in the Accreditation process for Residency and Fellowship programs that is under the authority of the APTA and the Direction of ABPTRFE. To this end, core Faculty, led by the Program Director, contribute in an ongoing fashion as consultants to the Accreditation process, lead within the Program Directors SiG and serve in leadership positions within the APTA to ensure that Regis OMPT Fellowship meets the ongoing requirements for accreditation and also helps shape the ongoing growth and development of Residency and Fellowship education. We consider ourselves well placed to be a long term accredited and leading program in post-professional education.

What are the core courses in the Fellowship?

The core courses total 18 semester hours:

  • DPT 741T Management of Lumbosacral Disorders (3 SH)
  • DPT 742T Management of Cervical/Thoracic Disorders (3 SH)
  • DPT 745T Management of Lower Extremity Disorders (3 SH)
  • DPT 746T Management of Upper Extremity Disorders (3 SH)
  • DPT 784T Virtual Rounds I (1 SH)
  • DPT 785T Virtual Rounds II (1 SH)
  • DPT 786T Virtual Rounds III (1 SH)
  • DPT 790T Clinical Fellowship Practicum (3 SH)