Sports Physical Therapy Residency

Sports Physical Therapy Residency

Program Mission: To develop competent sports physical therapists through advanced education in sports physical therapy, cultivating their clinical skills for athlete healing, scholarly discovery, stakeholder education and impacting local communities and beyond.

Sanford Health and the University of South Dakota Sports Physical Therapy Residency is accredited by the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education as a post-professional residency program for physical therapists in sports.

Clinical Practice

  • Thirty-two hours per week at Sanford Sports in Sioux Falls
  • Six hours per week working with Division I student athletes at USD’s athletics department
  • Clinical mentoring at both sites with faculty who are board-certified in sports physical therapy
  • Sideline coverage at USD athletic events

Leadership & Service

  • Lead quality improvement initiatives
  • Involvement in service and leadership at the local, state or national level

Teaching & Research

  • Teaching in the USD physical therapy program as associated faculty, providing instruction to second-year DPT students
  • Develop and complete a clinical research project under the mentorship of residency faculty, aimed at exploring and discovering new knowledge in an area of patient care in sports physical therapy

Didactic Education

  • Didactic modules are presented in a blended learning format of both online and face-to-face instruction
  • Shadowing with other members of the sports medicine team (physician, dietitian, etc.)
  • Other educational opportunities include journal clubs, symposia, etc.

Are you the ideal candidate for this residency?

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ABPTRFE Accredited Program logo in grey with green line above

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Application Process

Program Eligibility 

Minimum eligibility criteria for admissions are agreed upon by core program faculty, and serve in part to meet minimum requirements to be successful in the program. The minimum criteria includes the following:

  1. Graduate from the CAPTE (Commission for Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education) accredited physical therapy program and be duly qualified and eligible for licensure as a physical therapist in the state of South Dakota, and have the ability to be licensed by the program start date.
  2. If graduating from an entry-level PT program, residents must disclose their examination date to the Program Director at the time of admission.
  3. It is required by the program that candidates have their physical therapy licensure completed (not a temporary license) by the program start date (July 1).
  4. Hold (in good standing) a current license to practice physical therapy in South Dakota.
  5. Meet all eligibility requirements to be employed as a practicing physical therapist within Sanford Health, in addition to passing a criminal background check and meeting vaccination requirements.
  6. Complete “Emergency Response” course offered by American Academy of Sports Physical Therapist (APTA) prior to beginning the program. You may waive this requirement with evidence you possess other emergency response credentials (ATC, EMT).
  7. Hold active certification in CPR/BLS from the American Red Cross of American Heart Association.
  8. Comply with necessary requirements to be employed as a physical therapist within Sanford Health.

Initial applicants are selected for interviews, as determined by an admissions committee consisting of the residency director and residency faculty/mentors. Selected candidates are required to do an on-site interview, where candidates provide a 15-minute educational presentation, as well as a 15-minute session devoted to a specific patient case scenario.

Admission Policies

Pertaining to the recruitment, admission, retention, and dismissal of program participants, the residency program shall offer equal opportunities in employment and for access to and participation in educational, extension, and other services to all persons qualified by academic preparation, experience, and ability for the various levels of employment or academic program or other institutional service, without discrimination based on sex, race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, gender, gender identification, transgender, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, genetic information, or veteran status or any other status that may become protected under law against discrimination. The residency program reaffirms its commitment to the objectives of affirmative action, equal opportunity and non-discrimination in accordance with the state and federal law. Redress for alleged violations of those laws may be pursued at law or through the procedures established by Sanford Health.

Admission decisions are made without regard to disabilities. All prospective residents are expected to present credentials at or above the minimum standards for admission and meet any technical standards that may be required for admission to the residency program. If you are a prospective resident with a disability and need assistance or accommodations during the admission/application process, please contact Human Resources at Sanford Health.

Federal Law prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability (Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Act of 2009).

Prospective participants are evaluated by an admission committee consisting of the residency director and residency faculty/mentors.

Salary & Benefits

This program offers paid staff physical therapist positions within Sanford Health, and salary is commensurate with revenue-generating clinical time. Full-time benefits of this position include health insurance and liability insurance.

A competitive continuing education allowance is provided.

There is no tuition for the program participant.

Sample Weekly Schedule

Your weekly schedule will include:

  • Clinic time
  • Didactic education
  • One-on-one mentoring
  • Practice and game coverage
  • Research
  • Teaching

Current Residents/Program Outcomes

Current Residents:
Meet the Sports Physical Therapy Team

Program Outcomes:
100% graduation rate and 100% SCS passage rate.


Program Director:
Matt Dewald

Core Sports Residency Faculty:
Brett Fischer, Dale Schlimgen, Josie Stockland, Tyler Turbak

Request Information

For more information about the residency program, contact Matt Dewald, Sports Residency Program director, at or by phone at (605) 658-6359