Virginia is home to a variety of on campus Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs. In addition to all of these choices, students can also opt to enroll in online programs so that they can attend class from the comfort of home. With all of these options, it can be hard to determine which programs would be best for you – this guide can help you make that decision.

Online DPT Programs vs On Campus Programs in Virginia

When looking for the right DPT programs, think about how your schedule and learning style may influence what is the best program for you. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Would I prefer to report to a campus or attend class without leaving my home?
  • Do I need to be able to ask questions during class or participate in discussions to stay focused?
  • Are there times during the week where I cannot attend class?
  • Does my schedule outside of my degree typically stay the same from week to week?

Answering these questions can help you determine many things, such as whether you might learn better on campus in a classroom or whether you need the flexibility of an online DPT program.

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Online DPT Programs in Virginia

Currently, if a DPT program with online coursework is Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) accredited, you will still need to report to campus occasionally for skills learning that cannot currently be taught online. This means that the online programs are truly hybrid programs. Check with the programs you are interested in to determine how often you would need to report to campus.

Online courses are typically delivered in one of the following ways or a blend of both:

  • Synchronously (in real time)
  • Asynchronously (at the convenience of the student)

The questions you answered earlier in this guide will help you determine which of these delivery formats may best suit you.

All DPT programs also have a fieldwork component. With hybrid programs this fieldwork is typically completed locally to the student. Ask the programs you are interested in about what assistance they can offer when it comes time to secure field placements.

On Campus DPT Programs in Virginia

With on campus programs, students go to class on campus, an experience known to many. Clinical placement opportunities through on campus programs are typically local to the university attended.

How Long Do Virginia DPT Programs Take to Complete?

Two and a half to three years is the typical length of time needed to complete a DPT program, though timing could be shorter or longer and you should verify with the programs you are interested in what the specific lengths and structures are.

You can see the specific program lengths for all Virginia on campus and online DPT programs in the tables below.

Typical Hybrid DPT Programs Available to Virginia Students

The following hybrid Doctor of Physical Therapy programs are available to students in Virginia.

School NameTypeLive ClassesOn-Campus RequirementsTime to Complete
Allen CollegeHybridSomeTwice per term3 years
Arcadia University (Sponsored)HybridYesUnspecified2 years
Baylor University HybridSomeTwice per semester2 years
Nova Southeastern University HybridSomeEvery 4th week4 years
South College HybridNoQuarterly2 years
Tufts UniversityHybridSomeEight visits2 years
University of Southern California (Sponsored)HybridYesUp to twice per semester3 years
University of St. Augustine HybridSomeTwice per month4 years

On Campus DPT Programs in Virginia

The following DPT programs can be found on Virginia campuses:

ProgramCityTime to CompleteGPA Requirement
Emory & Henry CollegeEmory3 years2.75
Hampton UniversityHampton2.5 years3.0
Mary Baldwin UniversityStaunton3 years3.0
Marymount UniversityArlington3 years3.0
Old Dominion UniversityNorfolk3 yearsUnspecified
Radford UniversityRadford2.5 years3.25
Shenandoah UniversityWinchester3 yearsUnspecified
University of LynchburgLynchburg3 years3.0
Virginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmond3 years2.7

General Tips on How to Become a Physical Therapist in Virginia

To become a physical therapist in Virginia, here are some common steps:

  1. Earn your Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree – Consider looking for physical therapy programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) which may help you ensure you meet certification requirements in the future.
  2. Pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) – To do this, you will likely need to get approval from both the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) and the state of Virginia.
  3. Get Licensed – You may want to make sure your NPTE score is set up to be transferred to the state organization governing PTs so that the state can issue your certification once you pass and check with the board to make sure you meet any additional requirements for licensure. This is a high-level overview, make sure to check out the Virginia Board of Physical Therapy for exact requirements.