Geriatric Residency

The University of Minnesota Geriatric Residency prepares residency graduates to sit for, and pass, the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) Geriatric Certified Specialist exam.

About the Program

The University of Minnesota Geriatric Residency has been in existence since 2010. We contract with two sites for the clinical practice aspect of the residency. The didactic curriculum is provided through the University of Minnesota by faculty and specialists/experts from the local community of therapists. It is accredited by the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE) as a post-professional residency program for physical therapists in geriatrics.

This is a full-time residency program, with residents practicing four days per week in the clinic and one day per week devoted to the didactic curriculum. 


The University of Minnesota's Geriatric Residency is a 12-month program, currently September 1 through August 31 of each year. The initial application cycle ends January 31st of each year. Interviews are scheduled in February and admission decisions are made by the middle of March. Our rolling application deadline allows people to apply after the January deadline if there are still placement slots available. The academic portion of the residency schedule follows the University of Minnesota academic calendar. 




There are currently 45 didactic modules in the year-long residency curriculum. As prescribed by ABPTRFE, there are a minimum of 300 educational hours in the program. The topics are derived from the Description of Specialty Practice for Geriatric Physical Therapy, published by the Specialty Council on Geriatric Physical Therapy (part of the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties). This is the same document that is the basis for the geriatric board-certified specialty exam (GCS).


The didactic modules are either taught by residency clinical faculty (~80%) or are designed as self-directed home study modules (~20%). 

Some modules, primarily those that are not live lecture based,  will have written assignments attached to them. This may involve journal club, the research component of the program, or reflective papers associated with a home study topic. Each semester also includes a live patient evaluation with the resident’s mentor and a written exam.  Residents must successfully pass all components of the didactic curriculum in order to graduate from the residency program.


As prescribed by ABPTRFE, residents receive 4 hours of 1:1 mentoring with a geriatric clinical specialist each week for a minimum of 150 hours. During this time, the mentor observes the resident during patient care (both evaluations and treatment sessions) and provides individualized feedback to the resident, both during and outside of direct patient care. Mentoring in a clinical residency requires an in-depth reflective process and active direction by the resident. 




Residents will be non-degree seeking graduate students at the University of Minnesota. The program requires registering for one 2-credit course each semester. Residents are guaranteed in-state tuition rates. As an enrolled student, residents are eligible for traditional University of Minnesota benefits which include full University library services.



As an employee of the contracted clinical site, residents will earn a salary (commensurate with experience) payable at the employment percentage of .8 FTE.  As employees, residents earn benefits including malpractice insurance, health insurance, vacation, and holidays consistent with the specific clinical site's benefits package.


Upon successful completion of each semester, residents earn CEU credits for all of the didactic content from that semester. This totals more than 300 CEU credits which apply towards annual license renewal. Residents are eligible for student rate APTA membership. Other unique residency benefits include paid registration to the following conferences:

  • MN Chapter APTA Annual Conference
  • APTA Combined Sections Meeting
    • APTA Early Bird Rate for registration 
    • Travel assistance to CSM up to $500


According to the APTA, a clinical residency is "a planned program of post-professional clinical and didactic education for physical therapists that is designed to significantly advance the physical therapist resident's preparation as a provider of patient care services in a defined area of clinical practice. It combines opportunities for ongoing clinical supervision and mentoring with a theoretical basis for advanced practice and scientific inquiry.


A clinical residency program is designed to substantially advance a resident's expertise in examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, intervention, and management of patients in a defined area of clinical practice (specialty). This focus may also include community service, patient education, research, and supervision of other health care providers (professional and technical). Often, the residency experience prepares an individual to become a board-certified clinical specialist."

The two hallmark components of a clinical residency include comprehensive didactic education and 1:1 clinical mentoring in the defined specialty area of clinical practice.

Mission Statement & Goals

Geriatric Residency Mission Statement

Deliver a rigorous and high quality post professional educational program to advance the resident’s knowledge, skills, clinical reasoning, leadership, and professionalism toward the level of expert clinician, to best serve the needs of older adults in Minnesota and beyond.

Geriatric Residency Goals

  • The Geriatric Residency supports and promotes the mission of the University of Minnesota
  • The Geriatric Residency provides a curriculum that addresses all areas of the current Geriatric Description of Specialty Practice (DSP) & Geriatric Description of Residency Practice (DRP)
  • The Geriatric Residency provides residents with high quality consistent experiences at all clinical sites
  • Geriatric Residency graduates contribute to the physical therapy profession
  • The Geriatric Residency continually maintains accreditation through the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE)
  • The Geriatric Residency is sustainable over time.
Program Outcomes

Geriatric Residency Program Objectives

  • Provide high-quality patient care and patient management, demonstrating advanced skills in clinical reasoning and evidence-based practice
  • Demonstrate advanced skills in communication with patients, families, caregivers, and interdisciplinary healthcare team
  • Demonstrate advanced skills in advocacy for older adults
  • Demonstrate advanced skills in research methodology, implementation and dissemination
  • Demonstrate value-added service provided to the contracted clinical site
  • Be prepared to sit for and successfully pass the ABPTS Geriatric Clinical Specialist Exam.


New Residency Program Objectives were developed in 2019 according to revised ABPTRFE accreditation standards. Our Geriatric Residency Graduates have met or surpassed all of the above Program Outcomes in the residency years ending in 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022. Data from 2023 is pending.


The retention rate of residents and completion rate of our Geriatric Residency is 100% since the inception in 2010. The pass rate of the Geriatric Specialist Exam is 100%.

Clinical Partners

Ger Res

Our Clinical Partners include Centrex Rehab (at Apple Valley Village Health Care Center in Apple Valley) and Ascend Rehab (at St. Therese New Hope and St. Therese Woodbury). Residents are employed by their respective clinical sites, receiving a salary and benefits at the level of 0.8 FTE, commensurate with experience. Our clinical partners and their staffing needs determine the capacity of the residency. This is guaranteed to be one resident with each company (2) but has previously been as many as four total. 



How to Apply

Applications submitted by January 31st of each year will guarantee first priority for participation in the interview and selection process. The rolling application deadline allows later applicants an opportunity if a clinical position is still available up until July 31st. 

Interested candidates, in addition to completing the centralized application form for clinical residencies (RF-PTCAS), are encouraged to contact the residency director via email.

Requirements for applicants are outlined in the Application & Selection Process document. This document also describes the timeline for processing applications, scheduling interviews, and selection of residents. 

Courses & Cost

The residency program is structured to include one 2-credit course each semester.

  • Fall Semester: PT 7010 Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation I
  • Spring Semester: PT 7011 Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation II
  • Summer Semester: PT 7012 Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation III


As noted previously, residents are guaranteed in-state tuition rates.


Residency Financial Fact Sheet


Lizzie Chroma 

During my time in the Twin Cities, the UMN geriatric residency enabled me to find opportunities to serve on a MN APTA committee, find work at an exceptional TCU in the area, and make connections with geriatric PT leaders. I continue to use my skills and knowledge on a daily basis as the geriatric content expert for various courses in the Whitworth University DPT program curriculum, ensuring that DPT students grow and develop excellence in their ability to treat the geriatric population in their future careers.

David Gillette

David Gillette

The residency offered opportunities to grow professionally and personally. This growth opened opportunities including employment at a great clinic, being part of a team providing a continuing education course, becoming an instructor in the residency, clinical faculty as a CI, and eventually being faculty in a DPT program.

Emma Hintz

Emma Hintz

I completed the residency to pursue clinical excellence and specialize in working with older adults. The residency program provided the opportunity to refine my clinical skills, critical thinking, and ability to apply best practice to each of my patient interactions. I grew personally and professionally and was able to connect with a network of professionals who share a similar passion for excellence in geriatric care and collaboration.

Sarah Hong

Sarah Hong

I chose to do the residency because I wanted to be the best clinician I can be for the older adult population. The UMN geriatric residency ensured I gained the knowledge and skills to best serve a growing population that greatly needs more specialized clinicians, in a condensed amount of time. The accelerated growth I achieved would have taken much longer, had I not had the refined mentoring from the residency program.

Hannah Knutson

Hannah Knutson

One of my clinical instructors was also a graduate of this program. I was somewhat unsure of what setting I wanted to work in, but knew I enjoyed working with older adults. The residency program proved to be an amazing opportunity to validate my career interests and become more specialized with this population to ensure I offer the best treatment possible.

Megan Ortega

Megan Connelly Ortega, Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science

The residency program absolutely improved my ability to provide high-quality care to my patients and to instill in our students at the University of Maryland School of Medicine an appreciation for providing excellent care to older adults. 

Matt Mesibov

Matt Mesibov, mentor 

As president of APTA Academy of Leadership & Innovation, it is very important to me to help build the next generation of physical therapists and physical therapy assistants.  I am able to help the geriatric resident have a richer residency through connecting them into my professional network which ultimately helps to make a stronger geriatric specialist and professional.

Emma Phillips

Emma Phillips 

The U of M Geriatric Residency program was the best way to jumpstart my career post-graduation. One on one mentoring paired with focused education by experts in their fields helped to drive my practice as an evidenced-based clinician, researcher, and educator. The residency instilled me with confidence to volunteer with APTA Geriatrics and build relationships with clinicians across the nation which has resulted in multiple CSM presentations, publications and continuing education courses.

Kristen Reed

Kristen Reed

I was driven to complete the residency program in order to expand my knowledge base and provide optimal care for my patients as a new clinician. The program provided me the opportunity to grow my clinical skills, confidence, network of mentors, and leadership skills. 

Megan Soler

Megan Soler

I gained skills like self-efficacy, excelling patient care, and ability to disseminate and utilize the most up to date research, which allows me to provide above-and-beyond care to the older adults in my community.

Emily Zipoy

Emily Zipoy

Completing the residency helped me refine my skills and improve upon therapy I was providing to my geriatric clients. After completing the residency I've worked in home health. The residency  opened up opportunities for me and increased my competitiveness in the job market.


Sharon L. Kimble, DPT
Geriatric Residency Director
Children's Rehabilitation Center
Room 311B 
426 Church Street S.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55455


Mailing Address

Division of Physical Therapy
MMC 388
420 Delaware Street SE
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN  55455

Minnesota Northstar Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program Logo

Minnesota Northstar Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP) is a critical component of the University’s mission to improve the health and healthcare of older adults across Minnesota. The Minnesota Northstar GWEP is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) designed to enhance the workforce caring for older adults. Dr. Becky Olson-Kellogg, Geriatric Residency Director, serves on the Interprofessional Geriatric Coordinating Council for Minnesota Northstar GWEP.

Accredited Program Logo

The University of Minnesota’s Geriatric Residency is accredited by the American Physical Therapy Association as a post-professional residency program for physical therapists in geriatrics.