Welcome to DPT
Working in cohorts
Hands-on learning
Human anatomy lab

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Doctor of physical therapy programs aren’t all the same. Ours has one focus: You.

Have you set your sights on a physical therapy career? At Wingate University, you can earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in three years. During that time, you prepare for the field by attending three semesters per year. Right from the start you’ll notice our student-centered approach that sets this program apart from other doctor of physical therapy programs.

At the end of your first week, you participate in The White Coat Ceremony, a professional commencement ceremony signifying the beginning of your professional career by donning your student’s white coat. From that point on, you and the other members of your cohort learn from faculty members who are distinguished practitioners with one goal: Your success.

Program Overview

 - Degree Offered: Entry -level Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)
 - Program Length: 9 Consecutive Semesters (including summers)
 - Total Number of credits: 130
 - Cohort Size: 44
 - Program Start: One start per year in January  - Spring Semester
 - Tuition: Click here

Hands-on learning

The curriculum provides you with the foundation of knowledge you need to perform the essential functions of a physical therapist. It’s a hands-on approach, and our facilities are designed to support your hands-on experience. You can learn about the human body in the Human Anatomy Lab and practice physical therapy techniques on members of your cohort in interactive labs. You gain stronger practical skills with 43 weeks of training in four different types of clinical settings. This program is designed to get you ready for the National Physical Therapy Exam when it’s time for you to take it.

Some highlights of our student-centered program

White Coat Ceremony

A white coat looks good on you. It’s the hallmark of a healthcare professional.

All Wingate University Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students receive their white coats during our Professional Commencement Ceremony, a special event that takes place in the Batte Center at the end of their first week of class.

The short white coat itself signifies the beginning of DPT students’ professional careers. And it could be the same for you. The ceremony is a tangible reminder that it’s time to leave the days of competing against fellow students behind and to begin collaborating with the members of your cohort. After all, if you decide to become a Wingate University DPT student, you’ll be part of a physical therapy program that places you at its center. 

Wondering if you’re white coat material? Eager to begin earning the white coat of a professional physical therapist? Attend an information session about the Wingate program. Applying is easy.

Human Anatomy Lab

We want you to excel in your physical therapy career. That begins with knowing the human body from the inside out.

Some physical therapy programs share their cadaver lab with other medical professional programs. Not at Wingate University. Our students dissect a human body in a designated Physical Therapy Human Anatomy Lab located in Burnside-Dalton on the Wingate, NC campus.

You and three to four colleagues are assigned a body that your group dissects from head to toe over the course of your first year. Our program is student-centered, and dissecting enables you to learn as much as you can about how the human body works. The state-of-the-art lab also features two high-definition cameras that make it possible for students to see every detail of the instructor’s work on one of several monitors spaced around the room. That’s because one offers a bird’s-eye-view and one is at an angle to provide students with the best view of what’s happening.

Want to learn more about our hands-on approach to learning, our facilities and how we prepare you for a professional physical therapy career? Just call or email us to let us know how we can answer your questions.

Our Facilities

You can use our physical therapy facilities any time you want. To study, learn and unwind.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program (DPT) facilities are located in the Burnside-Dalton Building on the Wingate, NC campus. As a DPT student, you’re going to be spending a lot of time working with the program’s students, faculty and staff in a building designed just for you. The best part about it: You may not want to leave.

Next-Level Labs

Our program is one of few offering a Human Anatomy Lab dedicated to physical therapy students to ensure they know the human body inside and out. In your first year, you’ll begin the process of dissection rather than relying on prosection. The lab includes two high-definition cameras one offers a bird’s-eye view and one is an angled view. The camera allows you to observe every aspect of instruction in class so you won’t miss a thing.

You can further improve your skills in our interactive labs featuring the same tables and equipment found in physical therapy offices. Assess one of your classmates as you follow along with the instructor. Wall-mounted TVs around the room provide live close-ups of what the instructor is talking about and demonstrating.

Study Breaks Matter

You won’t be punching a time clock or leaving at 5pm every day while earning your DPT degree. Between classes and clinics, your schedule is going to vary. And the optimal time for study isn’t the same for everyone. That’s why our students have secure 24/7 access to the physical therapy facilities. At a time that works best for you, you can study on your own or with a group in one of the breakout rooms.

Need a moment or five? Relax on a couch, watch TV or play a few games on one of the consoles in the lounge. Need a hot meal, a quick snack or a good cup of coffee? No problem. Two refrigerators, two microwaves and two Keurigs means you probably won’t have to wait.

Study, Bond, Decompress

This is your space. That includes the breakout rooms. Whether you’re solo or working with a group, each breakout room includes a TV so you can connect your laptop to it to share notes and other information.

Students are assigned a personal locker in the building too.

Neurologic Residency Program

Atrium Health and Wingate University Clinical Residency in Neurological Physical Therapy can prepare you to be a leader in the field of physical therapy.

Atrium Healthcare and Wingate University Clinical Residency in Neurological Physical Therapy is accredited by the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE). Residency Program Goals:

  1. Support the mission of Atrium Health and Wingate University by providing an organized educational opportunity that facilitates and accelerates excellence in neurologic physical therapy including evaluation, examination and progression of treatment interventions.
  2. Provide a curriculum consistent with the Description of Specialty Practice (DSP) in neurologic physical therapy practice so that residents will be prepared to sit for the ABPTS (NCS) certification exam.
  3. Offer a program that prepares physical therapists to better serve their organization and community as advanced direct access providers, clinical leaders and consultants/mentors for other clinicians.
  4. Promote engagement in clinical research in order to advance the body of knowledge in neurologic physical therapy.
  5. Encourage involvement in physical therapy professional organizations at the local, state and national levels in order to promote personal growth and development.

Residency Program Mission Statement:
    To provide a post-professional clinical education experience that will accelerate and facilitate the attainment of advanced knowledge and skills in neurologic physical therapy to improve health, elevate hope, and advance healing – for all.
    We seek to foster a growing body of skilled physical therapy providers that will elevate our entire clinical enterprise and the quality of rehabilitative services we provide to the community supporting our vision to be the first and best choice for care.

About the Program

The Neurologic Physical Therapy Clinical Residency at Atrium Health & Wingate University is a one-year comprehensive program delivering rotations across acute care, inpatient rehabilitation and outpatient rehabilitation settings. Residents provide 32 hours of patient care each week, (including four hours with a clinical mentor) and are employed by Atrium Health. Compensation includes a program-adjusted salary and a full benefits package.

This state of the art residency program engages participants in face to face didactic studies, lab sessions and directed learning activities with faculty and students of Wingate University’s Department of Physical Therapy and provides teaching opportunities in the Entry-Level DPT Program. The curriculum integrates scientific concepts that enhance patient examination, clinical decision-making, medical management and advanced treatment skills.

The didactic component of the program provides advanced instruction in relevant basic sciences, motor learning and motor control, pharmacology, imaging, differential diagnosis, outcome measures, critical inquiry, and the evidence-based process of neurological rehabilitation across the patient-client management model.

Completion of this program will prepare you for:

  • Advanced neurologic physical therapy practice
  • ABPTS Neurologic Clinical Specialist examination
  • Efficient and effective patient management
  • Application of evidence-based practices

How to Apply

Admission criteria include:

  • Complete the RF-PTCAS application and submit all supplemental materials.
  • Provide proof of U.S. citizenship or Permanent U.S. Resident status.
  • Hold a DPT degree from a CAPTE-accredited institution.
  • Show that you’re licensed to practice physical therapy in the United States and eligible for licensure in North Carolina. License to practice in North Carolina must be obtained prior to the start of the residency.
  • Hold membership in the American Physical Therapy Association.
  • Submit three letters of professional recommendation.
  • Write an essay.
  • Provide transcripts from the institution where you earned your DPT degree.
  • Meet all Essential Functions of a Physical Therapist.
  • Pay the application fee.
  • Complete an in-person or electronic interview.

Want more information?

For additional information, please email Diane Wrisley, PT, PhD, NCS, Director of Post-Professional Programs at Wingate University or call her at 704-233-8045. You can also email Jacqueline LaBarbera, PT, DPT, NCS Residency Co-director at Atrium Health or call her at 704-355-4461.


Outcomes Data

  Class of 2016 Class of 2017 Class of 2018 Two-Year Average
Graduation rate 95% 98% 100% 98.8%
Ultimate licensure exam pass rate 100% 100% * 100%
First licensure exams pass rate     90.2%**  
Employment rate 100% 100% 100% 100%
*still waiting on final numbers
**first time pass rate, not ultimate pass rate

Take the next step

But first things first: If you’re interested in joining our program, review the admission requirements for the program and then complete your PTCAS application when you’re ready.

Do you have more questions about the program? You’ll find answers on these pages. We also encourage you to schedule a visit to tour the facilities and meet students and professors during our information sessions.