University of Pittsburgh

Information about Physical Therapist program at University of Pittsburgh




University of Pittsburgh (A4, D6, F1, PU)

Last Updated by Program: 03/20/2007
Address:   Department of Physical Therapy
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
6035 Forbes Tower
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Phone:   (412)383-6630
Admissions/Student Inquiry Phone:   (412)383-6557
Financial Aid Phone:   (412)624-7488
Web Address:
Program E-mail:
Anthony Delitto, PT, PhD, FAPTA
  Accreditor:   Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
  Carnegie Classification:   Research Universities (very high research activity)
  Date of Initial Accreditation:   Bachelor's degree, 1936 (no longer offered) Master’s degree, September 1991 (no longer offered DPT degree, April 2002
  Current Accreditation Status:   Accreditation
  Next Visit   2014
  Five Year History:   Accreditation
DEGREE CONFERRED: Doctor of Physical Therapy
Our highly respected physical therapy program educates practitioners who lead the way in helping people of all ages to overcome movement, function, and mobility challenges. We offer a superior entry-level professional physical therapy program. Our rigorous curriculum includes a comprehensive array of course offerings in musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, integumentary, cardiopulmonary, geriatric, and pediatric physical therapy. The DPT program is 3 years in length, consisting of 9 consecutive semesters. The first semester (Term 1) begins in early June and students graduate 3 years later in late April at the conclusion of Term 9. The first year 2 years are comprised of both classroom didactic instruction as well as part-time clinical fieldwork throughout. In addition, a 7-week full-time clinical affiliation occurs at the beginning of the second year (Term 4) and a terminal year-long internship. Our clinical education program is integrated with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and its partner, Centers for Rehab Services. We offer preferred placements in all settings, including acute care, pediatrics, geriatrics, short- and long-term rehabilitation, skilled nursing facilities, outpatient facilities, sports medicine, and orthopedics, as well as a variety of clinical specialties, including women’s health, industrial rehabilitation, comprehensive spine care, and facial nerve, balance, and vestibular disorders.
The School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences is located within the UPMC integrated health care system; thereby giving students access to diverse clinical experiences across the healthcare continuum. In addition, several specialty practice experiences are available including, but not limited to: a Balance & Vestibular lab, Facial Nerve clinic, Women’s Health, Sports Medicine, Industrial Rehab, and Hand Therapy. The curriculum is designed to emphasize early and intensive integration of our students into the clinical environment throughout their educational program. In addition to extensive part-time clinical experiences (12 hours per week in Terms 2, 3, and 5), a 7-week, full-time clinical experience is offered at the end of the first year of study (Term 4); and the curriculum is concluded with a one-year paid clinical internship (Terms 7 – 9). The terminal year-long internship includes a monthly scholarship of $1,250. Many of the clinicians supervising these clinical experiences are also involved in didactic components of the program and are committed to providing high quality clinical educational opportunities for all students.
There are 15 full-time and 12 associate faculty members. Of the core faculty members, 60% hold post-professional doctoral degrees; 20% are enrolled in post-professional doctoral programs; 67% are certified specialists in their area of expertise; and 3 have earned Fellow status in professional associations (APTA and ACHE). Over the past 2 years, the faculty has averaged 24 publications in peer reviewed journals annually. Faculty to student ratio is 1:8.6
The University of Pittsburgh has an enrollment of approximately 34,000 students, representing diverse cultural backgrounds. The Physical Therapy program (professional) enrollment averages 45-50 students per class, with a total current enrollment of 129 students. Additionally, there are several students enrolled in the SHRS PhD program and the SHRS MS (with a Physical Therapy concentration) degree programs. The number of enrollees in these programs varies each year.
Students must have a baccalaureate degree prior to enrollment and must submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). A minimum 3.0 grade point average (overall undergraduate and prerequisite course work) is recommended to apply to the program. Prerequisites include 8 semester hours each of: biological sciences, chemistry, and physics; 6 semester hours of general psychology and either abnormal, child, or developmental psychology; and 3 semester hours each of: anatomy, physiology, statistics, and English composition. Physical therapy-related volunteer or work experience is expected. Graduates of the program are well prepared to enhance human movement and function and to assess and treat individuals with movement dysfunction disability. Applications are due by January 31st of each year. The program starts in the first week of June and continues for 9 consecutive semesters. Students graduate at the end of April following the terminal year-long internship.
90% of admitted students graduate from the program, (3-year average); 100% of our graduates passed the licensure exam (3-year average); 100% of the students who graduated in 2006 passed the national physical therapy licensure exam on their first attempt; and 100 % of our graduates are employed and accepted a position of their choosing (often with multiple offers).
2006-2007 school year is $8,192 per term for in-state students and $10,640 for out-of-state-students (Fall and Spring Terms). Summer Term per credit rates are $671or in-state students and $872 for out-of-state students. The approximate tuition cost per year (3 Terms) is $22,423 for in-state students and $29,128 for out-of-state students. University fees (lab, health, security, computer networking, security, etc.) average approximately $975 per year. Competitive scholarships and student loans are available.
The University of Pittsburgh's 132-acre campus is located 3 miles from downtown Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is known for a variety of sports venues and its cultural district. Most notably, the sports include the University of Pittsburgh Panthers’ teams, the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins. The cultural venues include the Carnegie Science Center, UPMC Sports Works, Andy Warhol Museum, the Pittsburgh Aviary, Pittsburgh Symphony, Pittsburgh Ballet Company, Civic Light Opera, Broadway series, and many other theater companies performing in Heinz Hall, the Benedum Center, and several local theatres. It also hosts the annual Three Rivers Arts Festival and Regatta. The Oakland district (the University campus) is noted for its parks, art galleries, museums, and libraries, including Schenley Park, Frick Park, Buhl Planetarium, Carnegie Art and History Museums, and the Carnegie Library. Several outdoor recreational venues for jogging, bicycling, golfing, skiing, ice skating, and spelunking are also nearby. A wide range of community housing is available to graduate students. Public transportation is also easily accessible to students.