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First year DPT Hybrid student, Elena Luna Espinoza, enjoying time with her family.

First year DPT Hybrid student, Elena Luna Espinoza, enjoying time with her family.

Sometimes ‘bold moves’ mean staying right at home where your roots are firmly planted. 

Our Pitt DPT hybrid students live in multiple time zones all across the United States—26 states and counting—and four different countries. Even local students from Pittsburgh still choose the remote learning option that successfully matches the curriculum and talented faculty of the residential program. One of their top reasons for going hybrid? Home sweet home!  

While Pittsburghers are notoriously fond of the professional, cultural and sports amenities that make their city so livable, the hybrid option gives students the ability to stay in the familiar surroundings of their own hometown and not uproot themselves or their families. 

Stable routines and relationships are crucial to our health and wellbeing, especially when completing a Doctor of Physical Therapy program. The DPT hybrid program keeps these intact, allowing students to maintain their trusted family and community support networks. Even more, disruptions to their family’s (and pet’s!) well-established routines are kept to a minimum: spouses can keep their jobs, kids can stay in school and play with their friends, pets can still go on their favorite walks, and the DPT hybrid student remains an integral part of their lives while pursuing their career goals.

First year DPT Hybrid student, Gene Makovsky, with his family

First year DPT Hybrid student, Gene Makovsky, with his family 

Here is what a few of our DPT hybrid students had to say:

It's about being in your own home and not relocating:

“Pitt was definitely the right place for me because of the hybrid option. I wasn't really at a point in my life where I wanted to just move away to another state. You get to be at your home. You get to be comfortable being able to study and things like that. I didn't have to go through all that moving around and readjusting my entire life.” 

 – Gene Makovsky, Palm Springs, CA; U.S. Navy Veteran; First-Year DPT student

It’s about staying in your community and continuing to give back: 

“I chose hybrid because it offered more flexibility. The curriculum was still challenging, but it also allowed me to stay part of my local dance community and continue teaching. For someone who's considering the DPT hybrid program, I would say definitely go for it. It’s not easy at all. It is a challenge. But, if the flexibility of location is what you're looking for, it will give you that. But it will also challenge you just as much as a residential [program].” 

 –Tere Lyn Jones; Atlanta, GA; First-Year DPT student 

First year DPT Hybrid student, Elena Luna Espinoza (second from right), with her family

First year DPT Hybrid student, Elena Luna Espinoza (second from right), with her family

For parents, it’s about the flexibility to succeed while working around their kids’ schedules:

“The Pitt hybrid program is a blessing in my life because I have four children. One is in college now, and being a military family, they have changed schools at least eight times in their short lives. One more relocation would have been tough on them. Being in the hybrid program allowed me to stay home in Texas and enjoy my kids and husband, who recently retired from the Army. Also, not having to drive and spend half of the day on campus gives me more time to be home in the mornings, prepare lunches and take the kids to school. Then, after that, I come home and sit at my desk the entire morning, listen to my professors and do my work. As a mom, wife and graduate student I have a hectic schedule, but I get to be with my family much more than if I was in a residential program, which is invaluable. And that is what this Pitt hybrid program gives me--the flexibility to work on everything." 

– Elena Luna Espinoza; Fort Worth, TX; First-Year DPT student

“I'm a mother of two, so doing a residential program would have been way crazier with my schedule picking up and dropping off kids. With the hybrid program it was better because it's online, and it's more flexible. It works out better than a residential program because even with some of my family’s chaotic scheduling times I have more opportunity to fit in studying rather than just consistently having to keep a certain rigid schedule or trying to make it to campus.”  

– Sandra Inmon; Little Rock, AR; First-Year DPT student 

First year DPT Hybrid student, Robert Prince, holding on to the special moments with his son

First year DPT Hybrid student, Robert Prince, holding on to the special moments with his son

It’s about pursuing that dream job without missing family milestones: 

“I wanted to go to a hybrid program because I have a family, and so the big thing was I didn't want to have to relocate my family since I've already moved around four times. It costs a lot of money.  Being able to participate in a hybrid program where I can stay home in Tucson and not have to move my family outside of that area was the biggest draw for me. 

I have a family with my little kid. He's 16 months and he is a lot! I don't want to be at a point in my life where I'm neglecting him because I worked 80-hour weeks with athletic training and D1 football. I wanted to be more a part of his life. That's why I chose physical therapy as well, to get the work hours to be able to focus on--and not miss too much of--my kid’s life.” 

--Robert Prince; Tucson, AZ; First-Year DPT student


Interested in learning more about the DPT hybrid program? Visit our website or talk to one of our Enrollment Specialists at! The application portal (PTCAS) will begin accepting applications in June 2023 for the Fall 2024 program.


Published January 31, 2023