Top-ranked Doctor of Physical Therapy Program Now Shorter

The University of Pittsburgh School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences recently announced an immediate decrease in the length of its top-ranked Doctor of Physical Therapy Program.

The program dropped from nine to eight terms effective with current second-year students. Credit requirements are decreasing from 120 to 111 credits. Through the reduction in the program length, students realize a tuition cost savings of $14,000 to $17,000, depending on residency status and the date of matriculation.

Second-year students on track to graduate in April 2021 will now graduate in December 2020, enabling them to take the National PT Licensure Exam and enter the workforce three to four months earlier with the added benefit of earning a salary sooner. 

After eight terms, through a clinical internship evaluation tool and performance on the national licensing examination that prior students took early before graduation, faculty have determined that students in the program have the competency and skills to enter the workforce early. Pitt DPT’s first-time pass rate and ultimate pass rate on the licensing examination are 95.9% and 100%, respectively.

“We’re thrilled to offer current and prospective students a shorter program while maintaining the quality education and excellent outcomes associated with earning a degree from Pitt’s number one-ranked Department of Physical Therapy,” said James Irrgang, professor and chair of the department.

The move is part of the school’s overall goal of decreasing the time it takes to earn a degree through its many highly ranked health care professional programs. 

“We recognize the burden of cost and time on our current and future students, and the high demands of these professions. That’s why we’re actively seeking ways to make our programs more affordable,” said Anthony Delitto, professor and the school’s dean.

This change has been approved by Pitt and the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). 

The program is currently ranked first in the nation based on the most recent surveys of Best Graduate Schools by U.S. News & World Report. No other program ranks higher within the state of Pennsylvania. Pitt’s Department of Physical Therapy is one of the oldest physical therapist educational programs in the United States, having started in 1927.