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How do I apply to the DPT program?

In order to apply to the DPT program at the University of Pittsburgh, applicants must fill out the online PTCAS application. As part of the PTCAS, applicants must provide the following:

  • Three letters of recommendation (1 from a licensed physical therapist from volunteer or work experience in a PT setting; 1 from a college level professor; 1 from either a licensed physical therapist or a supervisor/employer);
  • Information on the type and duration of experience in a Physical Therapy setting (substantial experience is recommended and will be judged by the quality of the letters of recommendations from the supervising physical therapists);
  • An official copy of GRE scores (University of Pittsburgh - Physical Therapy Program GRE code is 7754);
  • An official copy of course transcripts; and TOEFL scores for international applicants.
  • All applicants must hold a Bachelor’s degree or higher (or equivalent) by start date of classes in June.  

What are the prerequisite course requirements?

All prerequisite courses must be completed prior to enrolling in the DPT program. 

Applicants must have 2 courses* each of: Biology, Chemistry and Physics (these courses must include labs); 1 course of Human Anatomy and 1 course of Human Physiology (if a combined Anatomy & Physiology course is taken, two semesters are required); 2 courses in Psychology (e.g. General, Developmental, Abnormal, etc); 1 course of English Composition/Writing; and 1 course in Statistics.

*Courses for science majors are strongly advised.

When do classes start?

Classes begin the first day of Fall semester.

How long is the program?

The DPT program at the University of Pittsburgh is a 3-year program (9 semesters). During the final year of the program students are in a year-long clinical internship. Students graduate at the end of April and are eligible to participate in the formal commencement ceremony for the University at that time.  

Is the program ranked?

The DPT program at the University of Pittsburgh is ranked 1st according to the most recent rankings by U.S. News & World Report.

When is the application deadline?

Only one application cycle is offered for the DPT program. Please check PTCAS for the most recent deadline for the upcoming admission cycle; we encourage applicants to apply before the designated deadline as the Department of Physical Therapy uses a rolling admissions process.

Are interviews a required part of the application process?

Although a formal interview is not part of the application process, you are welcome to come and tour the department and meet with faculty and students. We have small information sessions scheduled throughout the year which you can arrange to attend by contacting the DPT Academic Administrator at

How are applications reviewed?

While grades and GRE scores are very important, equally important are the applicants’ answers to the essay questions and the letters of recommendation. The Admissions Committee looks strongly at the applicant’s aptitude for being successful in a graduate program, but they also look favorably upon applicants who get a strong endorsement from Physical Therapy professionals.

What is the profile of a successful applicant?

On average, applicants who get accepted to our DPT program have an overall GPA of 3.6 or better; a science GPA of 3.6 or better and GRE scores above the 50th percentile.  

When are decisions made on applications?

The Admissions Committee will only review complete applications that are received from PTCAS. The PTCAS application is considered ‘complete’ when all letters of recommendation are received, GRE scores are reported, and when all grades to date are entered. Application decisions will not be made before mid-October and will continue until all seats in the incoming class have been filled.

What is the first-time pass rate on the Board Exams for University of Pittsburgh DPT students?

The first-time pass rate for each of the past 5 years is over 95%.

Where are clinical affiliation/internship sites located?

Most clinical internships (full-time and part-time) are within the UPMC Health System and its affiliating hospitals and clinics. Thus, students in the program will be placed in facilities that are generally within a 30-mile radius of the University.

Do I need a car?

Students are expected to provide their own transportation to clinical sites, thus it is highly advisable for students to have a car since some of the clinical sites may not be easily accessed with public transportation. University of Pittsburgh students enjoy the benefit of being able to use the local transportation system, Port Authority of Allegheny County, for free within the local area. 

Is Financial Aid available?

You can obtain information on financial aid from the Office of Financial Aid at the University of Pittsburgh. There are a limited number of merit- and need-based scholarships available to students once they matriculate into the DPT program. 

Is there graduate housing for DPT students?

There is no graduate housing for DPT students, however, you can get information on housing near the University of Pittsburgh campus by visiting the University's Off-Campus Living site.

What is the average size of the DPT classes?

The class size is typically around 60-65 students.

Is the DPT program accredited?

The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at the University of Pittsburgh is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). The physical therapy program has been continuously accredited -- the most recent accreditation was awarded in 2015 for a period of 10 years. The program will be re-evaluated in December 2025.