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Important Notice

In response to the recent challenges presented with the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Pittsburgh's DPT Program has made the following allowances for the 2020-21 application cycle:

  • GRE scores will be recommended versus required; applicants are encouraged to submit their scores, however, it will not be detrimental to an application should scores not be provided.

  • Alternate grading forms (Pass/S grades) will be accepted for any course completed during the 2020 Spring and Summer semesters.

  • 150 hours of clinical observation will remain recommended versus required; allowances for reduced hours will be considered.



We are currently seeking approval to implement changes to our program that would include, IF APPROVED, reducing the DPT program from 8 Terms to 6 Terms, and adding a parallel 6 Term Hybrid Program.  The proposed changes would have minimal impact on the existing curriculum – as we have leveraged the use of block-scheduling and have restructured some course content within their respective course series.  While the greatest area of change will occur in Clinical Education, transitioning to full-time clinical experiences only, we will continue to offer two 6-week clinical experiences and one 24-week terminal clinical educational experience.  The 36 weeks of full-time clinical experience continues to exceed the CAPTE minimum of 30 full-time weeks.

The proposed 6 Term Residential & Hybrid programs are expected to be full-time and require approximately 50-60 hours of program time per week.  The Residential program would continue to operate in the traditional on-campus format that would include weekly lectures and laboratories.  The Hybrid program is expected to be divided into didactic (classroom) work and immersion (laboratory) activities.  Didactic sessions would occur remotely, taking advantage of asynchronous and synchronous learning activities.  Immersion (laboratory) sessions would take place twice per semester and require travel to the University of Pittsburgh campus (Pittsburgh, PA) for approximately 6-10 days per immersion.  The immersions are dedicated specifically to laboratory-related skills and testing.  There are approximately 9 immersion periods scheduled across the first 5 terms of the program.

We anticipate receiving a decision from CAPTE related to our request to shorten the DPT program to 6 terms and add the Hybrid DPT program by end of May 2021.  All admitted students will be notified by email of any changes to the Program by June 15, 2021.  At that time, admitted students  will be provided an opportunity to select enrollment in the residential or hybrid program.   

Admission Requirements


  • Chemistry I and II sequence with labs*, 8 credits
  • Physics I and II sequence with labs*, 8 credits
  • Biology I and II sequence with labs*, 8 credits
  • Anatomy** (human, vertebrate, comparative or anatomical kinesiology), 3 credits
  • Physiology** (human physiology preferred), 3 credits
  • Two courses in Psychology: should include a general psychology course and a specialized psychology course such as: developmental psychology, abnormal psychology, psychology of disability, sports psychology, 6 credits
  • Statistics, 3 credits
  • English Writing (English composition or an upper-division writing course), 3 credits
  • Exercise Physiology (effective for the 2021-2022 application cycle)

*Science courses must be for science majors or pre-med majors. Introductory or remedial courses are not accepted as prerequisites.
**A two course sequence of anatomy/physiology may meet the anatomy and physiology requirements as long as there are a total of 6 credits
Minimum credit hours listed are based on a semester system.
At the time of application no more than 2 courses can be outstanding and must be completed prior to starting the program. Courses must be completed within the past 5 years. 

Additional Requirements

  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited institution
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 (based on a 4.0)
  • Demonstrated evidence of adequate exposure to the field of physical therapy and an appreciation of the breadth, depth, and scope of practice. This can be accomplished through either volunteer or paid work experience in a physical therapy setting; there is no minimum number of hours required, however 150 hours are recommended. It is preferable for applicants to show evidence of the willingness to work with a variety of patients in different physical therapy settings.
  • Completed the optional GRE within the last five years

Application Procedures

Application Deadline:​ October 1, 2020. Application cycle begins July 1, 2020.

All applicants must:

  • ​Submit an application through the PTCAS application portal​. We recommend that you review the application process completely before entering data or filling out forms so that you are aware of all the information you need to gather and how much time the entire process will take.
  • In addition to reporting your grades and other demographic information, you will be required to do the following for the PTCAS application:
    • Respond to 1 short essay.
    • Provide 3 letters of recommendation: 1 from a licensed physical therapist (from applicant's volunteer or work experience in a PT setting), 1 from a college-level professor, and 1 from either a second licensed physical therapist or a supervisor/employer, preferably in a health care related job.
    • Submitoptional GRE scores to institution code 7754.
    • Complete all fields in the PTCAS portal.

Additional Information

Admissions Committee

  • Reviews the applicant's orientation toward physical therapy as well as his/her communication skills as revealed by written essays and statements in reference letters
  • Reviews college transcripts and standardized test scores to determine the applicant's ability to manage and excel in the program's rigorous coursework
  • Evaluates perceived potential to perform as a physical therapist

Although a personal interview is not a requirement for admission to the DPT program, applicants are welcome to come and tour the department and meet the physical therapy department faculty.

The Department faculty have outlined the Technical Standards deemed essential for successful completion of the DPT curriculum. Students admitted to the DPT program must review the Technical Standards and submit a signed form at the time of matriculation.

Many clinical sites will require a Child Abuse clearance (Act 33), Criminal Background check (Act 34), and a drug screen prior to participation in a clinical education experience. If you do not have a clean background check for either Act 33/34 clearance, or a clean drug screen you may not be able to participate in Clinical Education and therefore will not be able to meet the DPT requirements for graduation.

Additionally, in order to become licensed, many states will inquire as to whether the applicant has been convicted of a misdemeanor, a felony, or a felonious or illegal act and if you have a record you may not be able to become licensed to practice your profession after graduation.

Financial Matters

The tuition cost per year for in-state residents entering Pitt after May 2020 is $43,047, plus an additional $950 in student fees (student activity, wellness, computing and security) and $200 in Clinical Education fees (physical, screening, etc.). Tuition for out-of-state students entering Pitt after May 2020 is $50,658, plus an additional $950 in student fees, and $200 in Clinical Education fees. Fees do not include costs for housing, food, and books/course materials.