Physical Therapy Schools In Virginia

Anybody looking for physical therapy schools in Virginia will be glad to know that there are several good ones to choose from. These different institutions offer excellent programs in a variety of locations, which will make it easier for students to pick one closer to home. Most of the PT schools in Virginia have similar admission policies but different curricular emphasis. Some offer the advantage of being associated with a medical institution, which will provide more practical learning opportunities. A couple of the schools offer part-time programs, while the rest require students to be enrolled full-time and discourage employment especially during the first year. The wide variety of programs offered by Virginia physical therapy schools ensure that prospective students will be able to find one that will suit their specific degree path and career plans.

One other advantage of choosing PT schools in Virginia is that all the Virginia physical therapy schools participate in the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS). This means that applicants applying for admission to any of the professional physical therapist programs can enjoy the convenience of applying online to multiple schools in Virginia using the PTCAS application. Even more convenient is that the PTCAS system has a single set of deadlines so applicants need not worry about missing any application deadline. The current set of application deadlines for the rest of the 2011-2012 cycle are February 1 and 15, March 1 and 15, April 2 and 6 and May 1 and 15.

Top 5 Virginia Physical Therapy Schools

1. Hampton University

Located in Hampton Virginia, Hampton University offers a program leading to a Doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT). Their program, which emphasizes service to the underprivileged, is designed to turn out not just skilled PT practitioners but professionals whose practice will be marked with compassion. Requirements for their DPT program are as follows:

  • A bachelor’s degree, with a 3.0 cumulative GPA and at least 2.8 for science prerequisites
  • A grade of at least “C” in Statistics, Psychology and several basic physical science courses, all earned within the last eight years
  • GRE score of least 950 with a required score of 450 in the verbal portion
  • 40 hours of actual work or volunteer experience in a clinical setting
  • A personal statement detailing reasons for choosing PT as a career choice
  • Two letters of recommendation stating acceptable moral character and suitability for a PT career
  • A personal interview with the admissions committee

Department of Physical Therapy
Hampton University
Hampton, Virginia 23668

Stephen Owens (
Phone: 757-727-5847

2. Marymount University

The three-year full-time PT Doctorate program at Marymount University is designed to prepare its graduates for an evidence-based practice. Using modified problem-based learning, the curriculum is a blend of the traditional instructor-led classes and more interactive, student-led, problem-based activities meant to help students identify their own learning needs. Requirements for admission to the program are similar to other Virginia physical therapy schools except that the minimum GRE scores are 400 for verbal and quantitative and 3.5 for analytical. In addition, an admissions interview is set on a single day each year, which candidates are required to attend.

Graduate Admissions Office
Marymount University
2807 N Glebe Road
Arlington, Virginia 22207

Mary Kadlec (
Phone: 703-284-5905

3. Old Dominion University

The PT doctorate program offered by Old Dominion University in Norfolk uses an evidence-based practice curriculum, which emphasizes problem solving and critical thinking skills. Preferred learning contexts include small group discussions and sessions with standardized patients designed to provide objective and professional feedback on performance. Admission requirements are similar to other PT schools in Virginia except that the required GRE scores are 400 for verbal, 450 for quantitative and 3.5 on the analytical portion. 80 hours of hands on clinical experience are required also. Students are only admitted at the start of the term at the end of June.

School of Physical Therapy
Old Dominion University
3118 Health Sciences Bldg
Norfolk, Virginia 23529

Kathie Clagett (
Phone: 757-683-4519

4. Shenandoah University

The DPT program at Shenandoah University emphasizes a reflective, compassionate, effective and evidence-based PT practice. Their patient-centered curriculum integrates patient care hands on experience with community participation and use of innovative technologies. Except for the required PT hours, their admission requirements are somewhat less stringent than other physical therapy schools in Virginia:

  • A bachelors degree
  • 2.8 GPA for all coursework and science prerequisites
  • No minimum GRE scores although the average scores for successful applicants are 429 (verbal), 600 (quantitative) and 4.1 (analytical)
  • 100 hours of paid work or volunteer experience in a clinical setting

Division of Physical Therapy
Shenandoah University
333 West Cork Street, Suite 40
Winchester, Virginia 22601

Linda Burrow(
Phone: 540-665-5559

5. Virginia Commonwealth University

Working with the Virginia Commonwealth University schools of education and medicine, the VCU Physical Therapy Department offers PT programs leading to a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree as well to a Doctor of Philosophy degree. In addition, unlike other physical therapy schools in Virginia, they also offer a transitional DPT program for licensed PT practitioners. Their Ph.D. programs are targeted to practicing licensed physical therapists planning on a career in research in the areas of rehabilitation, physiology, movement science and other health related sciences.

VCU’s three-year PT doctorate degree program is designed to prepare students to become effective and skilled practitioners with strong ethical principles. In addition, emphasis is placed on continuing education to keep updated with current industry standards. Program requirements similar to other PT schools in Virginia are as follows:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college or university with no grade of “D” in any of the required prerequisite courses
  • A minimum GPA of 2.7
  • GRE scores of 510 for the verbal portion and 660 for the quantitative portion
  • TOEFL scores of at least 600 and 250 for the TOEFL CBT for nonnative English speakers
  • At least 100 hours of volunteer work in at least two different clinical practice  settings
  • Three recommendations letters, one of which must be from a physical therapist
  • Physical, behavioral, emotional and mental readiness as well as skills and abilities at par with VCU technical standards

Department of Physical Therapy
Box 980224
Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, Virginia 23298

Judith Kendrick (
Phone: 804-628-3642

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