Apr 17, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Physical Therapy, DPT

Program Description                                                                

The rigorous 3-year Doctor of Physical Therapy program challenges and develops students year-round. A new class of DPT students are admitted each January, with completion of program requirements occurring in the Fall semester of the third year. In addition to classroom and lab based studies, DPT students will participate in Clinical Education experiences, consisting of a total of 36 weeks of rotations at four different clinical sites under the direct supervision of highly experienced and dynamic clinical instructors.


Winston-Salem State University Doctor of Physical Therapy program prepares graduates who are knowledgeable movement clinicians, culturally humble, equity-minded, and service-oriented.


Winston-Salem State University Doctor of Physical Therapy program strives to move society towards optimal health by developing and empowering diverse leaders in physical therapy.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will engage in critical inquiry to address questions related to contemporary physical therapy practice.
  2. Students will be actively engaged in community outreach in medically underserved communities.
  3. Students will successfully pass the Final Comp Exam at the end of the program.
  4. Students will achieve entry-level physical therapy clinical performance in the areas of professionalism, communication, clinical reasoning, and overall safety.

Application Deadline

Physical Therapy application deadlineis typically mid-Spring of the year prior to entrance. Please refer to the DPT Admissions page of the WSSU PT website for further information on firm deadlines.  Applications for admission must be completed through the Centralized Application Service for Physical Therapy (PTCAS). The PT Department will process applications only when verified by PTCAS. Visit the program’s website for information on how to access PTCAS. NOTE: A seat fee is required for students offered admission to the program.

Transfer Credits

Six credit hours will be accepted from curricula of CAPTE accredited Doctor of Physical Therapy programs from non-core basic or clinical science coursework.

Degree Requirements

A total of one hundred twenty (120) credit hours and thirty-six (36) weeks of clinical education experience hours are required for completion of the DPT degree.

Minimum Grade Requirements

A minimum of a 3.0 cumulative grade point average must be maintained throughout the program.

Time Limits for Completion

The DPT degree may be conferred upon a student who has successfully completed all coursework and clinical internships. Completion of this work is scheduled to occur in December of the third year. The student is eligible to sit for the national licensure board examination immediately upon graduation from the program. The program is lock step and students must progress with their cohort to completion of the program in three years unless approved by the faculty and chair.

Progression Requirements

Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA throughout their matriculation in the DPT Program. Students must also pass an integrated comprehensive exam at the end of their first year and score a 70% or higher in order to progress through the curriculum. In order to be eligible for graduation, students must pass a final comprehensive exam with a score of 70% or higher.


Graduates of the program will be eligible to take the national licensure examination for physical therapists administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. Successful completion of this exam will enable the individual to be licensed as a physical therapist.  Licensure is required to practice in the United States.  Please note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to take the national licensure examination and/or obtain state licensure. Persons with concerns should contact:


North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy


18 West Colony Place, Suite 140

Durham, NC  27705

Phone (800) 800-8982 or (919) 490-6393
Fax (919) 490-5106


The Doctor of Physical Therapy program at WSSU is an entry-level, clinical doctorate in Physical Therapy.  The program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).  CAPTE is recognized by the US Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) as the sole accrediting agency for physical therapist education programs. 

For additional information concerning the status of this program contact:

American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)
Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)
1111 North Fairfax Street
Alexandria, VA  22314-1488
Telephone: 703-684-APTA (2782)  
Toll-free: 800-999-2782
TDD: 703-683-6748
Fax: 703-684-7343

Admissions Application Requirements

Please make your check, certified check or money order payable to WSSU Admissions Therapy. Applicants must also include a full name and ‘PT Applicant ID#’, and submit all documents and the $50 application fee to:

Office of Graduate Admissions
Winston-Salem State University
Anderson Center - Suite 137
601 S. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive
Winston-Salem, NC 27110     

Physical Therapy Observation Hours

Enter your PT observation hours on your PTCAS application.  Use online PT Hours signature process, as the program requires you to have your hours verified by a physical therapist.


Description of Program’s PT Hours Requirements PT hours are required - a licensed PT must verify hours with signed form
Total Number of PT hours REQUIRED 25
Total Number of PT Hours RECOMMENDED 100
PAID Experience Accepted
VOLUNTEER Experience Accepted
INPATIENT Experience Accepted
OUTPATIENT Experience Accepted
Additional information about program’s PT hours requirement At least two settings are recommended and higher consideration will be given to applicants with more observation hours and who have observed variety of different settings.

Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirement

GPA Minimum GPA Average GPA for Accepted Students
Overall Undergraduate Cumulative 3.00 3.61
Program specific Prerequisite 3.00 3.55
Additional information about program’s GPA requirements (if any) Must have 10/12 pre-requisite courses completed by December of application year  

Foreign Applicants and Transcripts

The program’s foreign (international) transcript policies do NOT apply to study abroad coursework that is itemized on a U.S. college or university transcript.  Study abroad is processed in the same way as U.S. coursework.

Program’s citizenship requirements (individuals listed may be eligible for admission)
  • U.S. Citizen
  • U.S. permanent residents
  • Canadian citizens
  • Foreign (non-U.S.) citizens with a visa
Program requires non-native speakers to submit TOEFL scores? Yes
Program policy for submission of non-U.S. (foreign/international) coursework Send foreign transcript evaluation to PTCAS
Program policy for CANADIAN coursework Send foreign evaluation for CANADIAN coursework to PTCAS
Additional information about program’s policy on foreign coursework  

Health Requirements

Students who are accepted into the physical therapy program must follow all University guidelines for immunizations and health requirements.

In addition to the university requirements, the department requires that you maintain an annual Tuberculosis (TB skin) test, annual flu vaccine, COVID vaccine (when applicable for clinical rotation sites), as well as a Health Care Provider Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) certificate.  Immunization records and CPR certification must be completed prior to attendance in a clinical internship.  A certified background check (CBC) is required for admission to the university and program as well as drug screen prior to entering the program, at random points and prior to clinical experiences.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

Is the GRE required? Required
Program’s GRE College Code 7635
GRE Accepted by Program for 2021-2022 Cycle

GRE General Test and

GRE REVISED General Test accepted

GRE Score Requirements

There is no minimum GRE score required, however the applicant must take the GRE and submit results to PTCAS.

References:  Three (3) references are required.

EVALUATOR TYPE Applicant must send one reference from this SPECIFIC type of evaluator Evaluator Type ACCEPTED Evaluator Type NOT Accepted
Physical Therapist - 1   X  
Physical Therapist - 2   X  
Professor in Major   X  
Professor X    
Academic   X  
Supervisor/Employer   X  
Teaching Assistant     X
PTA     X
Pre-PT Advisor   X  
Politician/Elected Official   X  
Health Care Professional   X  
Friend     X
Family Member     X
Co-worker     X
Clergy     X

 Students seeking admission into the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program must have:

  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00
  • Graduate Record Exam within five (5) years of applying for admission
  • Completed graduate school application through Physical Therapy Centralized Application System (PTCAS) www.ptcas.org
  • Minimum of twenty-five hours (25) of physical therapy observation
  • Three letters of references (one letter must be completed by professor
  • Written essay
  • Grade of “C: or higher in the prerequisites courses listed above and cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • Application fee of $50 which must be submitted by check, certified check or money order made payable to WSSU Admissions/Physical Therapy and mailed to:
Office of Graduate Admissions
Winston-Salem State University
Anderson Center - Suite 137
601 S. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive
Winston-Salem, NC  27110


Course of Study


All courses are taught in an established sequence as part of the lock step progression in the DPT program. In order to proceed through the curriculum, all previous prerequisite courses (previous semester’s courses) must be met successfully with a C or better including Clinical Education Courses and cumulative GPA of 3.0.

Additional information about program’s course requirements: WSSU requires that all “hard sciences” are taken in the past 10 years; they are Biology I, Chemistry I and II, Physics I and II, Anatomy and Physiology I and II, and Upper Level Biology. 

Additionally, WSSU requires a General Psychology, General Statistics, and 2 Social or Behavioral Science courses. Please see the DPT Admissions page of the WSSU PT website for further information on these course pre-requisite requirements.


Required Courses