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Clinical Participation Requirements

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements and procedures listed below are for the DPT Residential and Hybrid program formats. Applicants, Residential and Hybrid, will select the University of Pittsburgh Doctor of Physical Therapy program in the PTCAS application portal. In the portal, applicants will be asked to select the specific program format (Residential or Hybrid) to which they wish to apply. 

Applicants who are interested in the dual degree Doctor of Physical Therapy/PhD in Bioengineering program must apply directly to that program in the PTCAS application portal. NOTE: There is a specific designation for the Pitt DPT/PhD dual degree program and at this time, the dual degree DPT/PhD program is only available to students participating in the DPT Residential option.

  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited institution
    Undergraduate degrees MUST be conferred and final transcripts received two months (July) prior to the start of the program
  • ​​A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale)
  • 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; 40 hours of exposure required. It is preferable for applicants to show evidence of the willingness to work with a variety of patients in different physical therapy settings; we prefer to see the 40 hours completed in at least 2 different clinical settings. 
  • A 'C' grade or higher in all prerequisite coursework listed below.

The GRE is not required for application submission and is not part of our application review. 

Click here for our tips for submitting a strong application!


  • 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
    *Science courses must be for science majors or pre-med majors. Preparatory courses (i.e. any course preceding a 101-level course) leading up to Biology 101, Chem 101, Physics 101 will not fulfill the pre-requisite requirement
  • Anatomy**, 3 credits
  • Physiology**, 3 credits
    **A two course sequence of anatomy/physiology may meet the anatomy and physiology requirements as long as there are a total of 6 credits.
  • Introduction to Psychology, 3 credits
  • Additional Psychology course, 3 credits
  • Statistics, 3 credits
  • English Writing, 3 credits

Prerequisite Evaluations

Thank you for your interest in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program! We are happy to assist you with a prerequisite evaluation to help you determine your eligibility for the program. In order to assist you we ask that you first complete the self-assessment process below.

Prerequisite Self-Assessment

Use the rubric below to identify the prerequisites that must be successfully completed to be considered eligible for entry into the Pitt DPT program.  The rubric should also be used as a resource to identify suggested courses that would fulfill the requirement of a given prerequisite.

Prerequisite Rubric/Worksheet

Prerequisite Program Assessment

If after the self-assessment you are still unsure if your coursework meets the prerequisite requirements, you may request a Prerequisite Program Assessment.  To request a program assessment of prerequisites, please complete and email the following items to Shannon Suchta (

  • Prerequisite Rubric/Worksheet
  • Course syllabus for course in question 

Please note we may request you provide additional course descriptions and/or transcript if needed, and that once we have received all required materials the approximate response time is one week.

Other Prerequisite Information

  • Minimum credit hours listed are based on a semester system.
  • ​A 'C' grade or higher in all prerequisite coursework.
  • Pass/Fail grades accepted for Spring 2020 through Spring 2021 semesters. All prerequisite coursework completed before or after this timeframe must be for a letter grade. 
  • At the time of application, no more than 4 courses can be outstanding and must be completed prior to starting the program. No exceptions will be made. 
  • Any prerequisite course work that remains incomplete at the time of application submission MUST be successfully completed and reflected in the final transcript no later than July 1 prior to the start of the DPT program.  Academic performance on outstanding coursework should not deviate from the performance reflected in the application materials.
  • Courses are recommended to be completed within the past 5 years; exceptions can be discussed by contacting the student services administrator
  • Students will benefit from having completed an exercise physiology course prior to enrolling in the program.
  • The program does accept Advanced Placement® (AP) credit for prerequisite coursework that appears on a college/university transcript.

Application Procedures for DPT Residential and Hybrid Applicants

The 2024-2025 Application cycle will open on June 15, 2024. The final deadline for application submission is October 1, 2024. 

All applicants must:

​Complete the application in the PTCAS application portal​ which includes the following requirements:

  • Application fee paid through PTCAS. No supplemental fee required. 
  • PTCAS Personal Statement
  • University of Pittsburgh Essay Question (included in PTCAS application)
  • A minimum of three letters of recommendation:
    • One letter MUST be from academic reference - a professor/instructor from a course(s) for which the applicant was enrolled.  The academic course must either be a pre-requisite for the DPT program OR a course associated with student's major area of study.  The letter should include insights regarding the applicant's potential for successful navigation through a graduate-level professional degree program and provide specific examples of observed characteristics that support such insights.
    • The additional two letters of recommendation may be completed by any of the following: physical therapist, professor/instructor, academic advisor, minister, employer/supervisor, life coach/mentor, research faculty, internship supervisor/faculty, or athletic coach. While it is preferred that the letters of recommendation be completed by individuals from a variety of settings, it is permissible to submit 2 letters from a similar source (i.e. two different physical therapists, or two different employers/supervisors, two different professors, etc...). 

  • Official transcripts from every U.S. college and university attended

Additional Steps for International Applicants:

  • Enter all international (non-United States/foreign) institutions you have attended on your PTCAS application. Order a WES ICAP Course-by-Course evaluation from World Education Services (WES) through the PTCAS application.
  • Verification of English Language Proficiency: The University of Pittsburgh accepts the official results of the Duolingo English Test (minimum score of 130), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) (minimum score of 7.0), or the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) (minimum score of 100) as a measure of English language proficiency. Verification is required unless the following apply:   
    • the applicant is a citizen of a country whose official language is English
    • the applicant has completed a degree program at a regionally accredited institution in the U.S., or
    • the applicant is not a citizen of a country whose official language is English but has completed a degree program at an institution outside of the U.S. where the language of instruction is English and where the official national language of the country in which the institution is located is English.

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. 

Once PTCAS has verified your application, you are no longer able to make edits or updates to your application materials. We will not be accepting supporting materials such as updated transcripts with additional prerequisite courses after your application has been submitted. Please keep this in mind as you plan to submit your application so that you can include all information and coursework that you would like the Admissions Committee to review. 

Need help with application-related questions? Visit the PTCAS Applicant Help Center.

Additional Information

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 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, Criminal Background check, and a drug screen prior to participation in a clinical education experience. If you do not have a clean background check 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.

Notice to Applicants: A prior criminal record may negatively impact your ability to fully participate in the University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy curriculum. Prior to participating in clinical rotations and during the state licensure process, students admitted to the program will be required to complete a criminal background check. Certain convictions may prevent students from entering clinical facilities, which may hinder a student’s ability to successfully complete the program.  In addition, certain criminal convictions may prevent a graduating student from being licensed.  If applicable, we encourage you to check with the appropriate State licensing board(s) to determine whether your background may be a barrier to your completion of the program and future licensure.  Additionally, the University may require an internal investigation to determine if the conviction would preclude the candidate from successfully completing the education requirements for graduation, including the clinical education requirements.

Information Sessions

Meet one of our DPT faculty members and learn what it takes to be a qualified applicant. View a schedule and sign up here.

Admitted Class Profile

Admitted Class Profile 

Class entering in Fall 2023 – 156 students: Student Self-identification

  • 3.2%      Military/veteran
  • 7.1%      Disadvantaged background
  • 18.6%    1st Generation college student
  • 1.9%      Physical Therapy Assistant degree
  • 31%       Male
  • 31%        Non-white race/ethnicity
  • 23.6       Average years of age (range 19-54)

Financial Matters

Visit this page for detailed information about program costs including tuition and fees.