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The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program is a graduate program housed within the Department of Physical Therapy, available in both a residential and hybrid format.

Program Summary

Residential Option

Hybrid Option

Effort Full-time, 50-60 hrs/wk Full-time, 50-60 hrs/wk
Class Size 60 90
Credits 106 106
Program Length 7 consecutive terms 7 consecutive terms
Start Date Fall only (August) Fall only (August)
Didactic Delivery Method On-campus lectures Remote instruction (mix of asynchronous and synchronous sessions)
Lab Delivery Method On-campus labs Mix of remote lab activities and on-campus immersion labs (2 times per semester during Terms 1-5)
Total Clinical Education 42-weeks, full-time only 42-weeks, full-time only

The DPT degree is open to students who have already earned a Bachelor's degree.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at the University of Pittsburgh is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Avenue, Suite 100, Alexandria, VA 22305; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org. If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 412-383-6565 or email ptinfo@shrs.pitt.edu.

Program Options

DPT Residential Format

The highly successful DPT Residential option offers on-campus lecture and laboratory experiences held in the state-of-the-art facilities at Bridgeside Point close to the University of Pittsburgh’s Oakland campus.

DPT Hybrid Format

The DPT Hybrid offering engages students in the same curriculum as the Residential option and has been specifically tailored to meet the unique needs of remote learners. The DPT Hybrid option was intentionally designed by our expert faculty and experienced team of instructional designers to engage students in high-quality, interactive learning opportunities. The Hybrid curriculum allows learners to participate in independent asynchronous sessions designed for students to gain knowledge of key concepts. Students also participate in live synchronous sessions where they have the opportunity to interact with peers and faculty who provide critical application of this new knowledge. Is the Hybrid option right for you? Find out what makes a successful online learner.

Asynchronous Online Learning Activities

Much of the didactic content will be presented asynchronously using interactive state-of-the-art online educational activities to promote knowledge and fundamental skill acquisition. Technologies and activities identified collaboratively by DPT faculty and instructional designers from SHRS will allow for any of the following instructional methods:

  • Mini-lectures 
  • Short tutorial videos 
  • Small group discussion/Q&As 
  • Selected reading assignments
  • Interactive learning objects 
  • Discussion boards and community interaction spaces
  • Case studies 
  • Skill practice/assessment through student-made videos 
  • Skills check-list activities with clinical instructors

Synchronous Online Learning Activities

The information and knowledge from the asynchronous online educational activities will be reinforced with real-time instructor-led synchronous online activities that include opportunities for students to engage in small-group work, discussions, peer-to-peer tutoring, and active learning teaching techniques. The “live” face-to-face sessions will use the video conferencing platform Zoom, in which an instructor will be online live with 12 to 20 students at one time.

These synchronous activities will utilize videoconferencing and built-in features (Chat, Discussion, Polling) to synthesize and apply the content and material presented in the asynchronous online educational activities. The synchronous online sessions will otherwise be similar to the traditional in-class activities implemented in the Residential DPT option. 

Additionally, synchronous videoconferencing will be used to provide practical education that includes laboratory activities and hands-on skills sessions via live skill-demonstrations, small-group practice sessions, and oral assessments/examinations. All students will be required to participate in these live online sessions, and participation will be monitored and graded as appropriate. Technologies and activities identified collaboratively by DPT faculty and instructional designers will allow for any of the following instructional methods:

  • Live class sessions
  • Teacher-led presentations/demonstrations/feedback sessions
  • Small group (break-out) activities 
  • Discussions, explanations, polling 

In-Person Lab Immersions

While unique laboratory opportunities are presented during remote learning sessions, a critical component of the DPT Hybrid offering is the integration of immersive laboratory sessions within each of the first 5 terms of the program. During the lab “immersions” students will be required to travel to the University of Pittsburgh campus twice per semester to participate in intensive laboratory sessions. The length of the immersions vary by term and range from 6-9 days. Lab immersions will engage students in a variety of activities that allow for the practice, refinement, and mastery of critical psychomotor skills previously discussed within the context of semester courses. Immersions will also provide students an opportunity to collaborate in learning with their peers, faculty, and invited clinical experts. Integrated with these formal immersion sessions will be optional open labs where students will be able to practice their skills with peers and have access to an instructor or teaching assistance to clarify any questions they may have.

Contact Information

Have questions about either program format? Contact us.

Why Choose Pitt PT?

There are numerous reasons to study with Pitt PT! Here's what sets us apart!

Handbook(s)

Professional Licensure Disclosure Statement:

The DPT program (Residential and Hybrid) is accredited by CAPTE, and graduation from the program allows graduates to sit for the national licensure exam (NPTE). The program will also meet the educational degree completion requirement for licensure in all 50 states. Students should note that the requirements for professional licensure could vary drastically by state. Because such requirements can change frequently and often without notice, it is strongly encouraged, and is the responsibility of the student, to ensure the degree they earn will meet the requirements for licensure in the state in which they seek licensure. Students are encouraged to visit their state licensing board website for further information. 

View the licensure information by state here.

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