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Doctor of Physical Therapy

Message from the Program Director


Welcome to the homepage for the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program at Old Dominion University. We have been successfully educating physical therapists for more than 35 years and we are confident that our program is one of the best in the country. ODU DPT graduates are well known for their excellent clinical skills and ability to work as part of a patient care team from the moment they start their first job. We admit one class of students per year, and they begin the curriculum the last week in June. Please take the time to look at our program website to determine if the DPT at ODU is the best fit for you. The following are some highlights:

High student outcomes: In order to be a practicing clinician, students must pass the licensure exam. Our students consistently score above the national average on this exam.

Emphasis on evidence-based practice: We endorse the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) focus on evidence-based practice. Clinicians need to know the evidence-base for treatment and be able to apply it to each individual patient and their circumstances. Research by our faculty is contributing to this evidence-base.

Development of critical thinking and problem solving skills: PTs make clinical decisions based on the complex information gleaned about a patient. We emphasize the development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills through direct interactions with patient volunteers in the lab, and small group discussions and experiences. With a class size of 40, and multiple instructors and teaching assistants for each lab, we are able to provide the individualized instruction students need to become a licensed PT.

Experience with standardized patients: A standardized patient is a healthy person trained to present particular social, emotional and physical findings during examination. We work with Eastern Virginia Medical School's Sentara Center for Simulation & Immersive Learning to present standardized patients that assist students in learning therapeutic interactions skills, patient interviewing, examination, assessment and treatment. Standardized patients are also used for practical examinations.

Clinical internships: A critical part of the program is the 5 clinical internships where students get experience with many patients with the direct supervision, support and feedback of an experienced physical therapist.

Research facilities: Our faculty and students contribute to the knowledge base in physical therapy. The Center for Brain Research and Rehabilitation is a state of the art facility for foundational research in neurologic disorders and clinical research in rehabilitation of conditions causing peripheral or central neurologic dysfunction.

ODU Monarch Physical Therapy Clinic: With the recent opening of our own clinic here on the ODU campus, we are able to expand the opportunities for faculty and students to engage in rehabilitation of members of the community.

International service learning: Our students have been able to develop their skills and experience a different culture through trips aboard, such as to the Dominican Republic, in collaboration with Physicians for Peace.

Location characteristics: We are a mid-sized university located a few miles from the downtown of the city of Norfolk. The University is a thriving institution with many new facilities and amenities. Norfolk is one of the cities of the Hampton Roads region which provides ready access to many cultural activities, sporting events and beaches.

In addition to looking at the information provided on our webpage, we hope you will also attend one of our Information Sessions on campus. If you have any remaining questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

Dr. George Maihafer, PT, PhD
DPT Program Director
3116 Health Sciences Bldg
Norfolk, VA 23529


Student Outcomes Information

Physical Therapy Certificate

The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Old Dominion University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia, 22314; telephone 703-706-3245; email: accrediation@apta.org website: www.capteonline.org.

Below is a table showing program outcomes and admissions statistics over the last few years. The number of applications has risen due to the Physical Therapy Centralized Application System. Student outcomes are updated each December.

Class of
2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Number of applicants 211 338 450 476 607 602
Number of new students entering 47 43 44 41 45 46
Number of Graduated students 44 41 44 35 - -
Graduation rate 94% 95% 96% 95% - -
Graduates with jobs in physical therapy
98% 100% 100% - - -
First-time pass rates on licensing exam 93.02% 100% 93% - - -
Overall pass rate on licensing exam
100% 100% 100% - - -
As of 11/13


Physical Therapy Students

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program is a full-time curriculum, which takes three years to complete. One class of 40 students begins the program each year during the last week of June. The graduation ceremony is typically the second weekend in May.

First Year-Summer
PT 621-Introduction to Physical Therapy
BIOL 889-Advanced Human Anatomy 6
Total 8
First Year-Fall
PT 665-Biomechanics/Kinesiology I 3
PY 792-Neuroscience I 3
PT 627-Theory & Practice I 4
PT 603-Concepts in Histology for PT 1
PT 640-Patient Evaluation I 3
PT 634 Clinical Sciences I 2
Total 19
First Year-Spring
PT 638-Exercise Physiology Clinical Practice 2
PT 793-Neuroscience II 3
PT 628-Theory & Practice II 4
PT 656-Clinical Problem Solving II
PT 641-Patient Evaluation II 3
PT 635-Clinical Sciences II 3
PT 666-Biomechanics/Kinesiology II 2
Total 19
Second Year-Spring
PT 669-Clinical Internship 4
Total 4
Second Year-Fall
PT 810-Scientific Inquiry I 3
PT 884-Clinical Teaching & Professional Communication 3
PT 826-Theory & Practice III 4
PT 842-Patient Evaluation III 3
PT 836-Clinical Sciences III 3
PT 857-Clinical Problem Solving III 2
Total 18
Second Year-Spring
PT 827-theory & Practice IV 4
PT 837-Clinical Sciences IV 3
PT 865-Prosthetics & Orthotics 3
PT 881-Management of Special Populations
PT 895-Topics in Physical Therapy 1
PT 822-Scientific Inquiry II 2
PT 858-Clinical Problem Solving IV
Total 17
Third Year-Summer
PT 871-Clinical Internship II 4
PT 872-Clinical Internship III 4
Total 8
Third Year-Fall
PT 832-Scientific Inquiry Seminar 2
PT 891-Seminar in Intergrative Cases Studies 3
PT 882-Practice Management
PT 890-Differential Diagnosis Seminar 3
PT 883-Professional Issues in Physical Therapy 2
PT 880-PsychoSocial Aspects of Patient Care 2
PT 896-Topics in Physical Therapy II 1
Total 16
Third Year-Spring
PT 873-Clinical Internship IV 4
PT 874-Clinical Intership V 4
Total 8

Prospective Students


Each year we accept 40 students into the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program.

The application deadline is Nov. 1st, 2014, for starting the program in June, 2015.


Completed a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with at least a 3.00 grade point average

Completed prerequisite coursework with at least a 3.00 grade point average:

Course Work Semester Credit Hours Completed Within the Past
Statistics 3 10 years
General Biology 8 10 years
General Chemistry With Lab 8 10 years
Human Anatomy and Physiology 8 5 years
General Physics with Lab 8 10 years
Psyschology 3 10 years

** Please note the change in prerequisite coursework. We have added a second Biology course and removed the second Psychology or Social Sciences course. This is part of a move by the profession to standardize prerequisite courses. For the class starting June 2015, we will accept either the old or the new prerequisites.

Application Process

Submit on-line applications to both:

  1. Physical Therapy PT Centralized Application Service (PTCAS www.ptcas.org)
  2. Old Dominion University (ODU) (www.odu.edu/admission/graduate)

Please note that because you will submit supplemental materials such as references and essay directly to PTCAS you do not need to submit these again with the separate ODU application.

Transcripts for coursework and/or degree completed must be sent to PTCAS and not to ODU. Applicants who have not completed a degree and all prerequisite coursework by the time of application will be expected to have a sensible plan for completing everything before the start of the DPT program in June. Transcripts for any coursework and/or degree completed during the spring semester should be sent directly to: School of Physical Therapy & Athletic Training, 3118 Health Sciences Bldg, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA 23529.

Provide three letters of recommendation to PTCAS, with at least one of them from a physical therapist. These letters of recommendation do not need to be sent to ODU.

Provide evidence of completing at least 80 hours of work in a Physical Therapy setting by completing the form in PTCAS. The hours can be paid or volunteer. These hours MUST be completed in TWO (2) or more different PT settings. At least twenty (20) of them must be in one or more of the following settings; acute care (hospital), rehab (transitional or day rehab), short or long term (nursing homes or assisted living), pediatrics, wound care specialty care centers, or home health. Volunteer hours must be under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist.

Complete the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) within the past five years and have your scores submitted to ODU through PTCAS. Use the GRE code number 7800 to have Educational Testing Service (www.ets.org/gre) automatically send your scores to ODU.

Write an essay and submit it through PTCAS. For more details see PTCAS.

Technical Standards

These technical standards describe essential functions needed to complete the educational program and perform the job of a physical therapist. An individual not possessing one or more of these capabilities will not be admitted to the program unless reasonable accommodations can be made that allow the person to perform all required tasks within a standard period of time used in the profession. Applicants are not required to disclose the nature of a disability(ies) to the Admissions Committee; however, any applicant with questions about these technical requirements is encouraged to discuss the issue with the University's Disability Services (757) 683-4655. Deficiencies in knowledge, skill, judgment, integrity, character, professional attitude or demeanor which may jeopardize patient care and/or safety may be grounds for course/internship failure and possible dismissal from the Program.

Applicants/Students admitted to the DPT program must possess aptitudes, abilities, and skills in the following five areas:

1. Observation

Students must be able to observe and identify anatomic structures and be able to visually distinguish different tissues in a limited time period. A student must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand, noting nonverbal as well as verbal signals. Specific vision-related requirements include, but are not limited to the following abilities: skin integrity; visualizing and discriminating findings on x-rays and other imaging tests; reading written and illustrated material; observing demonstrations in the classroom, including projected slides and overheads; observing and differentiating changes in body movement; observing anatomic structures; discriminating numbers and patterns associated with diagnostic instruments and tests, such as sphygmomanometers and electrocardiograms, and using instruments competently, such as stethoscope, monofilaments, etc.

2. Communication

Students must be able to relate effectively and sensitively with peers, patients/clients and faculty. A student must be able to communicate clearly with and observe patients in order to elicit information, describe accurately changes in mood, activity and posture, and perceive verbal as well as nonverbal communications. Communication includes not only speech but also reading and writing. Physical Therapy education presents exceptional challenges in the volume and breadth of required reading and the necessity to impart information to others. Students must be able to communicate quickly, effectively and efficiently in oral and written English with all members of the health care team. Specific requirements include but are not limited to the following abilities: communicating rapidly and clearly with the medical team on rounds; eliciting a thorough history from patients; and communicating complex findings in appropriate terms to patients and to various members of the health care team (fellow students, physicians, nurses, aides, therapists, social workers, and others). Students must learn to recognize and respond promptly and appropriately to emotional communications such as sadness, worry, agitation, and lack of comprehension. Each student must be able to read and to record observations and plans legibly, efficiently and accurately in documents such as the patient record. Students must be able to prepare and communicate concise but complete summaries of individual encounters. Students must be able to complete forms according to directions in a complete and timely fashion.

3. Sensory and Motor Coordination or Function

Students must have sufficient sensory function to palpate (touch/feel) pulses and body tissues, feel resistance to movement, discern hot and cold, and auscultate (listen) lungs and heart. A student must have adequate gross motor function (movement, strength, balance and coordination) to perform such tasks as cardiopulmonary resuscitation, lifting people's limbs, assistance with transfers and gait, moving and positioning patients. A student must have adequate fine motor function to manipulate instruments such as a sphygmanometer, goniometer, and therapeutic modality equipment. Students must be able to respond promptly to urgencies within the hospital or clinic, and must not hinder the ability of co-workers to provide prompt care.

4. Intellectual-Conceptual Integrative and Quantitative Abilities

These abilities include measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis, judgment, numerical recognition and synthesis. Problem solving, a critical skill demanded of physical therapists, requires all of these intellectual abilities, and must be performed quickly, especially in emergency situations. Students must be able to identify significant findings from history, physical examination, and laboratory data and graphs, provide a reasoned explanation for likely therapy, recalling and retaining information in an efficient and timely manner. The ability to incorporate new information from peers, teachers, and the medical literature in formulating treatment and plans is essential. Good judgment in patient assessment, diagnostic and therapeutic planning is essential; students must be able to identify and communicate the limits of their knowledge to others when appropriate.

5. Behavioral Attributes

Empathy, integrity, honesty, concern for others, good interpersonal skills, interest and motivation are all personal qualities that are required. Students must possess the emotional health required for full use of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities, and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with peers, patients/clients and faculty. At times, this requires the ability to be aware of and appropriately react to one's own immediate emotional responses. For example, students must maintain a professional demeanor and organization in the face of long hours and personal fatigue, dissatisfied patients, and tired colleagues. Students must be able to develop professional relationships with patients, providing comfort and reassurance when appropriate while protecting patient confidentiality. Students must possess adequate endurance to tolerate physically taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. Students must be able to adapt to changing environments, display flexibility and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients. Students are expected to accept appropriate suggestions and criticism and if necessary, respond by modification of behavior.

Old Dominion University's Nondiscrimination Statement

It is the policy of Old Dominion University to provide equal employment, educational and social opportunities for all persons, without regard to race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age, veteran status, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation or genetic information.

Tuition and Financial Support


We are a state-supported institution, and tuition rates may change yearly, depending on the state budget, inflation, and other factors. Up to date tuition rates can be found at www.odu.edu/admission/costs-tuition/tuition and a tuition calculator can be accessed at blue.odu.edu/admissions/calculator/?acad_level=graduate. The program consists of 117 credit hours spread over seven semesters. The in-state tuition costs for 2013-14 are $18,952, $16,068 and $13,184 for the first, second and third program year, respectively. There are also university and program fees. Physical Therapy students pay a $150 lab fee for the fall and spring semesters of the first two years of the program.


Other expenses include the cost of books, which can be as high as $1000 per a semester. Also, there are related costs for lab coats, dissection materials, and Physical Therapy tools (stethoscope, goniometer). Students are also expected to bear the cost of travel to clinical sites and their living expenses for the time they are at Old Dominion University attending the Program.

Financial Support

ODU's School of Physical Therapy offers the Maihafer scholarship for assistance to exceptional second-year students. A one-year fellowship is also available to a second-year student. There are also several teaching assistantships for the Spring and Fall semesters bridging the second and third academic years. A number of students have obtained part time work assisting people with their exercise programs at the recreation center.

The Financial Aid Office (www.odu.edu/admission/financial-aid/) can provide information about Old Dominion University sponsored or Virginia State sponsored scholarships. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA at www.apta.org/) can provide students with general information about scholarship sources available for physical therapy students. The Web is another good resource to use to investigate scholarship sources.

Notice to those wishing to apply for financial aid: Financial aid for the summer session is included in aid packages for the previous academic year. Therefore, be certain to apply for financial aid for this academic year, even if you are not currently enrolled in classes. Please see your financial aid officer for guidance.

ODU Financial Aid
FAFSA on the Web (Free Application For Federal Student Aid)

We recommend that first year students do not work so that they can focus on the demands of an intensive graduate program. Once a student has successfully completed two semesters, he or she will be in a better position to judge whether a part-time job will fit around the school schedule.

What about sponsorships?

Some health care providers are willing to support students while they are in school, on the condition that the students, then work for the provider upon graduation. Students are required to sign a contract in this type of circumstance. Contracts vary, so be sure that you understand what will be expected of you upon graduation. A sponsorship can be a big help financing your education if you are certain that the facility in question has the desired characteristics for initial employment as a professional. Be certain that there will be other therapists available to you for consultation when you need it and that the patient population treated has a variety of health problems. There will be plenty of time for you to specialize later in your career.


Most DPT students live in apartments in the area surrounding the University. ODU runs a housing office to assist students in finding suitable housing: www.odu.edu/life/housing/off-campus-housing

Second and third year students can also provide help to incoming students. For students accepted into the Program more detailed information on housing is given in the March orientation session, and you may ask for your name and contact details to be added to a list of students interested in seeking roommates.

Please note that students also assume responsibility for living expenses and finding room and board while attending a clinical site that is not close to campus. The circumstances differ across clinical sites, with some able to offer room and board, while others offer some assistance or no help in locating accommodation.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is Physical Therapy?
Physical Therapy is the treatment of physical dysfunction or injury by use of therapeutic exercise and the application of modalities, intended to restore or facilitate normal function or development. Visit the American Physical Therapy Association (www.apta.org) for more information about Physical Therapy.

What are the prospects for employment upon graduation?

The job outlook for physical therapists is good and is projected to remain strong in the foreseeable future. Graduates of Old Dominion University's DPT program are highly sought-after by local health care employers.


What are my chances of getting in?

This depends on the quality of your application and the number of applications that are received. Over 600 individuals applied for the 40 spots in the class starting in 2013.

What GPA do I need?

A minimum 3.0 GPA is needed to apply, although successful applicants have a higher GPA. The average GPA for overall course work for the last class admitted was 3.6.

What score do I need on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)?

There is no minimum score required on the GRE. However, the average GRE scores for our admitted students this year were: Verbal = 154 and Quantitative = 152. We would like to see a 4 on the writing section of the test. Please contact your own university's testing center or Educational Testing Services (www.ets.org/gre) for more information about dates and fees for taking the GRE.

What is ODU's Designated Institution (DI) Code for the GRE?

The DI specifically for the DPT program at ODU is 7800.

Who should write my references?

You will need 3 references. One must be from a physical therapist. Other references can be health care professionals who have observed you in a patient care environment or college instructors or employers.

When will I know if I'm accepted?

Applications are due the first Monday in November. We will begin notifying students of their acceptance status in early March with hopes of notifying everyone by mid, April. Some students may be given an option to be on an alternate list for notification if a seat becomes available.

When can I speak to a faculty member?

We have information sessions for prospective students the first Friday of each month (excluding January, July and August) at 3:30pm in room 3113 of the Health Sciences Bldg. You are welcome to attend any of these sessions to find out more about our program and to tour the facilities, meet a faculty member and ask questions. Please contact Mrs. Clagett at 757-683-4519 or kclagett@odu.edu if you plan to attend one of these sessions. You are also welcome to attend an information session regarding the Doctor in Physical Therapy Program, Saturday, August 16, 2014, from 10am - 12pm in room 2000 of the Health Sciences Building. This session is open to the public. Please come to meet faculty and students, tour the facilities, find out about the program and get your questions answered. Please contact Mrs. Clagett at 757-683-4519 or kclagett@odu.edu if you plan to attend.

What do I do if I have questions regarding filling out the application?

Please call our main office at (757) 683-4519 and speak to one of our secretaries. If they are unable to answer your question, they will set an advising appointment with a faculty member for you.

Can I re-apply if I'm not accepted this year?

Yes. Re-applicants are welcome and are often stronger candidates the second year. We recommend you set-up an advising session with a faculty member for advice on how to strengthen your application. Call (757) 683-4519 to set up an appointment. You will need to reapply both through PTCAS and ODU.


What courses do I still need to take?

You need to complete a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution. You will also need to complete any of the prerequisites that you have not yet completed.

Do I need to have completed my bachelor's degree and all prerequisite courses before I can apply?

No, but it must be possible for you to complete your bachelor's degree and all course work before the start date of the program (last week in June). Students lacking more than 12 semester hours of prerequisite courses by the end of the fall semester of the year prior to intended entry are not considered eligible to apply.

Do I need to take an introductory course of Kinesiology?

This course is recommended, but not required as a prerequisite for the DPT degree. This course is offered at most four year colleges that offer degrees in Health and Physical Education and/or Sports Medicine. Old Dominion University offers this course through the Human Movement Sciences department (EXSC 417). The course may also be titled "Biomechanics" or "Applied Anatomy and Kinesiology." Norfolk State University also offers biomechanics/kinesiology.

Should I repeat courses that I made a C in?

Whether to repeat courses depends on your overall record. It generally won't work to repeat a lot of classes to try to inch your GPA up. If you have pretty good overall grades but you had a bad semester and earned a C in a key class such as Anatomy, Physiology or Physics, then re-taking that class could make sense. If you are unsure, contact the Program for advisement.

Can I take all the required courses at a Community College?

If you graduated from college with a major in which you took little or no science course work it is possible to complete much of the prerequisite course work at a Community College. It may, however, be desirable to take at least some of the science course work at a four-year institution.

I didn't do well early in my scholastic career, will that count against me?

Yes. If you feel that there were extenuating circumstances, it might be worthwhile for you to attach a brief letter to your application explaining your situation which resulted in low grades during part of your academic career.

If I repeat a course, do I get the higher grade or are the grades averaged?

The two grades are averaged together.

I graduated a long time ago; will I have to retake any course work?

Your undergraduate degree may have been completed at any time. Anatomy and physiology course work must have been completed within the last five years, while the rest of the prerequisite courses must have been completed within the last 10 years. If this affects you, we recommend that you contact the Program to set up an advising appointment to determine your specific situation.

How many hours of volunteer work in physical therapy are required?

Applicants need a total of 80 hours of work in a Physical Therapy setting. The hours can be paid or volunteer. These hours MUST be completed in TWO (2) or more different PT settings. At lease twenty (20) of them must be in one or more of the following settings; acute care (hospital), rehab (transitional or day rehab), short or long term (nursing homes or assisted living), pediatrics, wound care specialty care centers, or home health. Volunteer hours must be under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist. If they are not complete at the time of application to the program, they must be completed before the program begins in June.

Timeline Activity
November 1st * Application Deadline
Summer l (starts last week of June*) Coursework
Fall l Coursework
Last weekend in September
White Coact Ceremony
Spring l Coursework
Summer ll (1st & 2nd 8 week session)
Clinical Internship l
Fall ll Coursework
Spring ll Coursework
Summer lll Clinical Internship ll & lll
Fall lll Coursework
Spring lll Clinical internship lV & V
2nd Weekend in May* Commencement

Can I go to P.T. School part-time?

No. The program at Old Dominion University is designed for a full-time student to be continuously enrolled for 3 years.


When do I go to clinic?

Students are introduced to the clinic early in the Program. The first year includes structured "clinics" with standardized patients at Eastern Virginia Medical School. A standardized patient is a healthy individual who is trained to portray signs and symptoms of a patient. The "clinics" are videotaped and students receive both written and verbal feedback on their clinical performance. The first full-time clinical experience occurs in the summer of the first year and is for eight weeks. This first time experience is often in an acute care environment and tries to maximize the student's experiences in the classroom from the first year. During the second academic year students evaluate and treat community volunteers with neurological disorders as well as standardized patients from Eastern Virginia Medical School. Students participate in clinical problem solving video/discussion groups led by faculty and local clinicians. In the second summer of the Program students spend sixteen weeks in full-time clinical practice. These sixteen weeks are divided into two eight week segments. The final third year spring semester affords the student sixteen more weeks of full time clinical education prior to graduation.

Where are the clinics located?

We place students in many facilities in the entire Tidewater area as well as all over the Commonwealth of Virginia. In addition, we have many clinical sites in the eastern half of the country as well as more distant sites such as New Mexico, California, Oregon, Arizona, and even Alaska, Hawaii and Bermuda.

Do I need a car for clinical affiliations?

While a car is not required, it is strongly recommended to have one available for traveling to part-time clinical sites as well as to full-time sites.

Who decides where I go to clinics?

After consulting with you about your goals and needs, the Director of Clinical Education (DCE) will make full-time clinical assignments. The Director of Clinical Education makes these clinical assignments in consultation with the faculty, the clinical sites, as well as the student. The DCE is responsible for placing all students in all full-time clinical experiences and the total number of placements exceeds 200 each year. All students are required to successfully complete 5 full-time clinical experiences including acute care, inpatient adult rehabilitation and orthopedics.


Are there any special features of the ODU DPT curriculum?

Special features of the DPT program at ODU include:

  • Emphasis on active learning and clinical problem solving
  • Class sizes of 40 with multiple instructors and teaching assistants for each lab
  • Use of Standardized Patients to fine-tune clinical skills and patient-therapist relationship before engaging in clinical practice
  • Clinical internships with experienced clinical instructors to guide your development
  • Patient volunteers come to the lab for direct interaction with students
  • Local Community service learning activities at the Norfolk Senior Center
  • International service learning in the Dominican Republic, in collaboration with Physicians for Peace

Can I take course work in one of the physical therapy specialties as part of the curriculum?

In the fall of the third year, a topics course allows you to explore an area of particular interest to you, such as sports PT, wound care, or pediatric gait assessment. The third year clinical internships may also be targeted to a specialty area.


Do I have to be licensed to practice physical therapy?

Yes. All states require that physical therapists be licensed in order to practice. Students must graduate from an accredited physical therapy school in order to be eligible to sit for the licensure examination.

Is there a licensure examination?

Yes, there is. There is a national examination used by all states and is administered on computer, much like the GREs. The passing score varies from state to state and each state may have additional requirements as determined by the individual state's practice act.

How do ODU graduates do on the licensure exam?

The mean score for ODU graduates is above the state and national averages. The first-time pass rate is generally 95 to 97%, with an overall pass rate of 100%.

Community Involvement

  • Dr. Gail Grisetti from the PT Program and Dr. Janice Hawkins from the Nursing Program with PT and nursing students in the Dominican Republic, Spring Break 2013. This trip was a partnership with Physicians for Peace to help at-risk teenage mothers by training Resource Mothers in the Dominican Republic.

Dr. Mariano and VA Physical Therapy Association
  • At the Virginia Physical Therapy Association's Lobby Day on January 10 in Richmond; State Delegate (75th district) and ODU PT graduate Roslyn Cain Tyler (center) met with student L.A. Thoma and faculty member Dr. Mira Mariano. They discussed direct access for physical therapists, physical therapist involvement in concussion care for athletes, and caught up with current events at ODU.

Alan Jones and Erick Jackson 1st DPT Scholarship
  • Mr. Alan R. Jones, PT, CEO of Dominion Physical Therapy & Associates (left), presented the first Dominion Doctor of Physical Therapy Scholarship to Mr. Erick Jackson, second year student at Old Dominion University. Mr. Jones founded his physical therapy practice in 1990, and over the next 20 plus years he successfully expanded it to multiple locations in Hampton Roads providing physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech and language therapy. The Dominion Doctor of Physical Therapy Scholarship is the latest way in which Mr. Jones and Dominion Physical Therapy exerts a positive impact on the health care agenda while helping to advance doctoral physical therapist education.

PT students with Delegate Kenneth Alexander

ODU physical therapy students visit with Delegate Kenneth Alexander in Richmond.

PT students with senator Yvonne Miller

ODU physical therapy students meet with Senator Yvonne Miller in her capitol offices.

Military students and faculty in the DPT Program

ODU's connection with the military is strong. These students and faculty in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program are Veterans of the following services: Air Force, Army Reserve, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and National Guard.

Colonel Select Joseph Rogers class of '87

Colonel select Joseph Rogers (ODU PT Class of '87) deployed with the 455th Expeditionary Medical Group at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan. Col (sel) Rogers and team provided physical therapy orthopedic primary care support for Coalition and International Security Assistance Forces and inpatient acute care services for injured Afghanis. He is based in California where he resides with his wife Yolanda and three children Aleksandr, Max and Eleanor.

Martha Walker on the Aircraft Carrier Truman
Martha Walker on the Aircraft Carrier Truman2

For Military Appreciation Week, Chair of Physical Therapy & Athletic Training, Dr. Martha Walker was part of a group from ODU that participated in a tailhook landing on the Aircraft Carrier Truman. This picture shows the group on the deck as a plane comes in for a landing. Dr. Walker is the small and rather seasick person in the middle of the group.

ODU PT Graduate Denise Milton and Dr. Martha Walker

ODU PT Graduate Denise Milton, serving her final tour of duty on the Truman, came to the rescue. She provided Dr. Walker with a motion sickness patch and then posed for this picture.

Attention PT Alumni serving in the military or reserves: Send in your pictures so we can post them here.


Summer 2014
August 16 DPT Program Information Session- 10 am-12 pm, Room 2000 Health Sciences Bldg.
Fall 2014
August 25 Fall Classes Begin
August 25 Fall Tuition Deadline
September 1 Labor Day Holiday (no classes)
Septermber 26/27 PT Alumni Reunion & Continuing Education Course
September 27 White Coat Ceremony-10 am
October 10-12 VPTA Conference, McLean, VA
October 11-14 Fall Holiday (no classes)
November 1 Deadline to apply for DPT class entering June 2014
December 5 Classes end
December 6 Written Comprehensive Exam for third year students- 8 am-1 pm
December 6-12 Final Exams
December 8-10 Oral Comprehensive Exams for third year students

Salaries for licensed Physical Therapists vary greatly by location. The website www.salary.com may provide some guidance.

Old Dominion University's Career Management Center maintains an eRecruiting system that is free for ODU students and alumni. Simply click here to get to the CMC website, and then click on "find a job/mentor". Register for free to see jobs in the area or nationwide. Use PT as a keyword or occupation search. The Career Cyber Center coaches can help get you signed up and answer any questions. They can be reached through the CMC home page.

Employers can go to the CMC pages to find out how to post a job opening.


George Maihafer, PT, PhD
Associate Professor and
Graduate Program Director, Physical Therapy
3118 Health Sciences Bldg.
Old Dominion University
Norfolk, VA 23529-0288

Kathie Clagett
Administrative Assistant
3118 Health Sciences Bldg.
Old Dominion University
Norfolk, VA 23529-0288

Elizabeth Locke, PT, PhD
Senior Lecturer, Physical Therapy
Director of Clinical Education
3115 Health Sciences Bldg.
Old Dominion University
Norfolk, VA 23529-0288

Gail Grisetti, PT, EdD
Associate Professor, Physical Therapy
3118 Health Sciences Bldg.
Old Dominion University
Norfolk, VA 23529-0288

Beth Jamali, PT, PhD, OCS
Senior Lecturer, Physical Therapy
3118 Health Sciences Bldg.
Old Dominion University
Norfolk, VA 23529-0288

Karen Kott, PT, PhD
Associate Professor, Physical Therapy
3118 Helth Sciences Bldg.
Old Dominion University
Norfolk, VA 23529-0288
Mira Mariano, PT, PhD, OCS
Senior Lecturer, Physical Therapy
3118 Health Sciences Bldg.
Old Dominion University
Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0288
Steven Morrison, PhD
Endowed Pofessor and Director of Research, Physical Therapy
3118 Health Sciences Bldg.
Old Dominion University
Norfolk, VA 23529-0288

Daniel Russell, PhD
Assistant Professor, Physical Therapy
Innovation Research Park, Bldg. II, Suite 200
4211 Monarch way
Old Dominion University
Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0288

Michael Tamburello, PT, PhD, ATC, ECS, SCS
Associate Professor, Physical Therapy
3118 Health Sciences Bldg.
Old Dominion University
Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0288

Martha Walker, PT, PhD
Associate Professor, Physical Therapy
3118 Health Sciences Bldg.
Old Dominion University
Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0288

Contact Us

College of Health Sciences
School of Physical Therapy & Athletic Training
3118 Health Sciences Bldg.
Old Dominion University
Norfolk, VA 23529
Tel: 757-683-4519
Fax: 757-683-4410

Kathie Clagett
Administrative Assistant