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 Geriatric Residency contracts with geriatric clinical sites for the clinical practice aspect of the residency. The didactic curriculum is provided through the University of Minnesota. The residency 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.


The University of Minnesota's Geriatric Residency is a 12-month program, from September 1 through August 31 of each year. The residency began in September 2010. Applications are due by January 31st of each year. Interviews are held in February and admission decisions are made by March 7. The residency is divided into 3 semesters: Fall Semester (September 1 - December 31), Spring Semester (January 1 - May 31), and Summer Semester ( June 1 - August 31).


There are currently 41 didactic modules in the year-long residency curriculum. The majority of the modules are taught live by residency clinical faculty, and the remainder are self-directed home study modules. All clinical faculty in the residency program are geriatric specialists/experts and are from a variety of disciplines.

The topics for the modules/curriculum are all 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). Some modules will have assignments attached to them (e.g. written paper, journal club, in-service, etc.). At the end of each semester, there is both a written exam, covering some of the didactic modules from that semester, as well as a live patient evaluation. Residents must successfully pass all components of the didactic curriculum in order to graduate from the residency program.

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. During this didactic day (Tuesday), residents attend their scheduled learning modules, perform their service learning hours, work on their assignments, work on their research project, etc.


Residents receive 4 hours of 1:1 mentoring with a geriatric clinical specialist each week (with a few scheduled weeks off each semester). 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. The nature of mentoring in a clinical residency differs from that of a Clinical Instructor with an entry-level DPT student. Mentoring in a clinical residency requires a more in-depth reflective process by the resident and a less directed process by the mentor.


Residents will be non-degree seeking graduate students at the University of Minnesota and employees of the contracted clinical site. As a student, residents are eligible for traditional University of Minnesota student benefits including: full University library services for all onsite and electronic holdings, and other traditional student services outlined on the University of Minnesota website.


As an employee of the contracted clinical site, residents will earn a salary (commensurate with experience) at four days per week. As employees, this also allows residents to earn employee benefits including malpractice insurance, health insurance, vacation, holidays, etc., all 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 330 CEU credits for the entire residency year. Other unique residency benefits include free registration to the following conferences:

  • MN Chapter APTA Annual Conference
  • Combined Sections Meeting
  • Travel assistance to CSM (Residents can also elect to defer their subsidized trip to CSM to the year following their residency year, if they are planning to submit their research abstract for presentation at CSM in that subsequent year.)

Residents will also earn additional CEU credits from each of the conferences they attend as well. Current residents are eligible for student rate membership status in the APTA. Residents should notify the APTA that they have been accepted into the residency, so their membership rates can be adjusted accordingly.


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 extensive didactic education and 1:1 clinical mentoring in the defined specialty area of clinical practice.

Mission Statement and 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 Outcomes

  • 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 Outcomes were developed in 2019 according to new accreditation standards. Our Geriatric Residency Graduates have met or surpassed all of the above Program Outcomes in the residency years ending in 2019, 2020, and 2021. Data from 2022 is pending.
The retention rate of residents and completion rate of our Geriatric Residency is 100% since the inception in 2010. 
Clinical Partners

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.

How to Apply

Applications are due by January 31st of each year, prior to a September 1st start in the same year. 

Interested candidates must complete the centralized application form for clinical residencies (RF-PTCAS).

Requirements for applicants are outlined in the Application & Selection Process document

This same document also describes the timeline for processing applications, scheduling interviews, and selection of residents. 

One resident was accepted in each of the initial two years of the residency and two residents were accepted and a second clinical site was added in the third year of the residency. The residency then expanded to three residents and three clinical sites in the sixth year.

Courses and Cost

Residents register for 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

Residents are guaranteed in-state tuition rates, for the duration of the residency, no matter where they relocate from.

Expand all

2022 Residency Graduates

2022 Geriatric Residency Grads


Sharon 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.