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Susan B. O'Sullivan

Susan B. O'Sullivan
Susan B. O'Sullivan, PT, Ed.D. Professor Emerita

Research Interests

Neurologic Physical Therapy; Geriatric Physical Therapy


BS, Physical Therapy, Boston University, 1968 
MS in Physical Therapy, Boston University, 1972
Ed.D., Human Development, Boston University, 1989


Susan B. O’Sullivan, PT, Ed.D. was named Professor Emerita in 2011 after serving as faculty within the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Massachusetts Lowell for 27 years. O’Sullivan was previously an Instructor and Assistant Professor at Boston University from 1973-1984. She then joined the faculty at UMass Lowell in 1984 and was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 1990 and Professor in 1997, serving as department chair from 2002-2008. 

She received her B.S. and M.S. in Physical Therapy degrees, as well as her Ed.D. in Human Development (with a specialization in psychomotor development and motor learning), from Boston University. O’Sullivan practiced clinically as a physical therapist in adult rehabilitation, pediatrics, public health, and home care environments. 

She has co-authored several published textbooks. Most notably, "Physical Rehabilitation" (which is now in its 7th edition), and is the most widely adopted textbook used by DPT programs and has been translated into five languages for world-wide distribution (Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese). She has also co-authored "Improving Functional Outcomes in Physical Rehabilitation" (now in its 3rd edition) and the "National Physical Therapy Examination Review and Study Guide" (now in its 23rd edition). While faculty at UMass Lowell, O’Sullivan taught neurological and geriatric physical therapy courses within the graduate Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program, receiving awards for her instructional abilities. Most notably, she was the 2012 recipient of the Excellence in Neurologic Education award from the Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy. 

She remains active within the Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy and continues to attend and speak at national conferences and numerous continuing education courses within the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).