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Clinical Participation Requirements

The University of Pittsburgh requires that all affiliates on all campuses be vaccinated against COVID-19 or have an approved exemption. This policy applies to all faculty, staff, students and postdocs. This program also requires students to complete clinical education at facilities external to the university.  Many SHRS clinical partners require employees, trainees and students to be compliant with the federal vaccination requirement. This includes providing proof of vaccination or exemption to the clinical site. Failure to comply with this requirement for clinical partners may preclude the student from completing the clinical requirements of this program.   Some of our clinical partners will not permit students to complete clinical rotations without proof of vaccination and will not accept exemptions.

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)

What DPT Students Can Expect:

For DPT hybrid and residential options, students can anticipate placements in the communities in which they live. The clinical placement is selected by clinical education faculty and clinical Site Coordinators of Clinical Education, in collaboration with the student. Students will have the opportunity to interact with a variety of working professionals, patients/clients and clinical settings.

Terminal clinical placements may allow students to experience specialty clinical settings (i.e. pelvic health, outpatient neuro, professional sports team), and such placements are dependent on student preferences (experience versus financial) and performance during prior foundational clinical experiences.

Clinical Placement Travel, Costs and Other Expectations:

For all clinical placements:

  • Students may be expected to travel or drive up to 60 miles from where they reside. This is also noted in the student handbook.
  • Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from their clinical sites and costs associated with this transportation.
  • Students are responsible for the cost of site-specific attire, if required.

Want to know more? Submit a request for information form or join us for an information session. For specific questions you can email an enrollment specialist at

Clinical Partners 

Our clinical partners provide over 611+ clinical sites across the country, including a longstanding partnership with the Pittsburgh-based UPMC integrated health care delivery system and UPMC Rehabilitation Institute. The University of Pittsburgh DPT Clinical Education team continues to seek and establish new and innovative clinical partnerships that expand and enrich the clinical education opportunities for Pitt DPT students.  Clinical education sites encompass a wide range of facilities (i.e. acute/inpatient hospitals, extended and long-term care facilities, rehabilitation/sub-acute settings, home health, ambulatory care/outpatient, sports facilities, and private practice) and provide health care services across the continuum of care (pediatrics, adolescence, adult, and geriatric). 

Our clinical partners are also an integral part of our education in the classroom as well as in the clinic. The individual and collective expertise of our extensive network of therapists collaborates with faculty via teaching modules throughout the plan of study, assisting with clinical laboratories and practical exams, serving as clinical faculty to provide input into our curriculum content and clinical education program, and serving as clinical instructors as well. 


UPMC Rehabilitation Institute, along with some other clinical partners, has several APTA Credentialed Post-professional Residency Programs including:      

  • Sports Physical Therapy Residency 
  • Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Residency 
  • Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency 
  • Women’s Health Physical Therapy Residency 
  • Geriatric Physical Therapy Residency (this program is not yet credentialed) 


Our clinical partners are also an integral part of research endeavors at the university. Research is conducted in therapy clinics across the health care continuum, and several of the therapists are involved as principal and/or co-investigators. Several quality/outcomes studies are conducted throughout our clinical network as well.

Have a question about our clinical education program? Reach out to our clinical education team today!