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Program Structure

The Pitt DPT program offers a dynamic 7-term core curriculum in two ways: residential or hybrid.

The first term begins in late August and students graduate 2.3 years later in December. The first 5 terms are comprised of both didactic instruction as well as full-time clinical experiences. The curriculum concludes with two 15-week terminal clinical educational experiences (Summer-Fall).

We ensure our graduates are well prepared to enter the workforce, so we complement our didactic education program with a clinical program that includes 42 weeks of full-time clinical education experience. The curriculum is designed to emphasize early and intensive integration of our students into the clinical environment throughout their educational program. Our students begin clinical education during the second term in the program and end with 30 consecutive weeks of clinical education after the didactic plan of study.

View curriculum chart

Areas of Study

DPT students engage in interactive training, labs and coursework that equip graduates to become leading experts in providing efficient and effective patient-centered care. Core areas of study include:

  • Musculoskeletal
  • Neuromuscular
  • Integumentary
  • Cardiopulmonary
  • Geriatrics
  • Pediatrics

Clinical Education

Through extensive clinical placements, students gain hands-on experiences in well renowned medical and rehabilitation centers. Pitt’s wide network of clinical partnerships provides students with opportunities to learn in a variety of clinical settings, including acute care, pediatrics, geriatrics, short- and long-term rehabilitation, sports medicine, and orthopedics. Across the 42 weeks of full-time clinical experience, students learn and deliver high quality care alongside some of the region’s and nation’s leading physical therapy experts in women's health, neurologic rehabilitation, spine care, balance and vestibular disorders, including concussion management– honing skills in the areas of musculoskeletal injury, vestibular disorders, spine care, and movement dysfunction. 

Clinical experiences include:

  • 6-week full-time integrated clinical (Term 2-3)
  • 6-week full-time integrated clinical (Term 3-4)
  • 15-week full-time terminal clinical (Term 6)
  • 15-week full-time terminal clinical (Term 7)

Read more about DPT Clinical Education.

Immersion Experiences for Hybrid Students

Each of the first five semesters of the Hybrid format will include integrated intensive immersion laboratory experiences (on-campus) developed to allow practice and mastery of the psychomotor and clinical decision-making skills necessary for examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, intervention and assessment of outcomes. Immersions (two per semester, lasting six to nine days) will be structured to provide the laboratory experiences and competency assessments associated with the courses that students are currently taking. Terms 6 and 7 are full-time terminal clinical educational experiences and will not require laboratory immersions.

Read more and view the immersion per term schedule.