Department of Physical Therapy

Student helping a patient

The Brenau Doctor of Physical Therapy Program is steeped in innovative approaches to promote active and experiential learning. Housed in the Ivester College of Health Sciences, the faculty and staff have built an effective program in a strong interprofessional setting. In this program, you’ll experience a contemporary and creative learning environment both on campus and in the community. Brenau DPT has a strong service profile, and will engage you in many service learning and leadership opportunities. Ultimately, the patient is the best teacher. So, we’ve anchored this program with a patient-centered approach to training the best entry-level therapists at their highest potential.

Read more about the genesis of Brenau University’s PT program in the “Turning Pro” in the Winter 2013 edition of the Brenau Window.

Vision Statement

The DPT program will develop extraordinary clinical practitioners who will serve, lead, and inspire.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Brenau Department of Physical Therapy is to challenge our students to live extraordinary lives through the implementation of our college’s motto:  Thoughtful, Intentional, Strategic.  We ready our students for success in today’s healthcare arena through the application of an experiential learning approach that integrates clinical and didactic learning. Our students will be prepared to consistently practice with integrity and competence in a variety of settings.  We will provide students with learning environments and opportunities dedicated to the student’s individual development as well as the advancement of physical therapy practice.  Our culture will engender excellence, scholarship, altruism, integrity, interdependence and a sense of purpose in each of our students.

Physical Therapy Department Goals

Program Goals

  • The program is a regional leader in training entry-level physical therapists strong in evidence-based practice and excellence in clinical practice.
  • The program prepares entry-level physical therapists for leadership roles in clinical practice and professional advocacy.
  • The program models excellence in applied knowledge to clinical practice through a curriculum that is maximally integrated with clinical education and the provision of continuing education for graduates and practicing professionals.

Faculty Goals

  • Faculty will pursue excellence in the classroom in order to contribute to curricular development, promote integrated experiential learning experiences and ingrain innovative learning experiences for the students.
  • Faculty will foster university, community and professional relations in order to demonstrate commitment to service at all levels of engagement.
  • Faculty will be engaged in at least one scholarly area each year, and will promote evidence-based practice in the classroom.
  • Faculty will model professional behaviors for the student.

Student Goals

  • Be competent, ethical physical therapists who will continue to grow professionally by their lifelong acquisition and refinement of knowledge, skills, values and professional behaviors.
  • Be scholarly and resourceful physical therapists with the capacity to routinely integrate the best evidence available into their practice.
  • Use sound clinical judgment to make optimal decisions for and with their clients.
  • Serve as principal members or leaders in interdisciplinary healthcare practice, health policy, and research.
  • Engage in efforts to provide their services to people in need locally, nationally, or globally.

Why Choose Brenau University?

The Faculty

  • Focused on the individual student.
  • Highly-respected nationally and internationally.
  • Innovative and dynamic.
  • Fully represented at the local, state and national levels in professional organizations.
Mary Thigpen, associate professor, director of clinical education, leads a Doctorate of Physical Therapy lab class on Wednesday, May 25, 2016, in Gainesville, Ga.

Early Patient Experience

Early Mobility Program: Starting in the second semester, students begin their clinical education rotations in an inpatient setting at the local Northeast Georgia Medical Center.

Brenau Rehabilitation Practice: an outpatient clinic where students have the opportunity to shadow faculty members during client appointments, along with providing research opportunities for students and faculty.  Students have access to this clinic throughout their time at Brenau and is conveniently located within the department.

Life Enrichment and Wellness Cooperative: neighborhood outreach and wellness program where students engage with members of the community during group exercise and motor control classes starting in the 3rd semester.

Pro-Bono Clinic: a student-led clinic operating to provide PT services to low-income members of the community.  Students are able to evaluate, diagnose and treat clients free-of-charge under the supervision of faculty and community PT volunteers starting in their 5th semester.

Student Learning Clinic: As a program that strives to offer continued hands-on learning experiences to our students, the Student Learning Clinic (SLC) was developed in the spring of 2022. The SLC offers opportunities to 2nd & 3rd year DPT students to evaluate and treat Brenau University students, faculty and staff. They are directly overseen and guided by licensed physical therapy (PT) faculty of the Department of Physical Therapy

PT Students helping a patient into a wheelchair

Excellent Facilities

The DPT program is part of a $6.7 million dollar transformation of Brenau’s Downtown Center, where classes are held in the newly renovated 4,500 square foot event facility.

State-of-the-art Human Anatomy Lab located on the second floor of the Downtown Center features 10 cadaver dissection stations with modern camera and MondoPad recording and viewing options for students.

Students in their white coats

Student Outcomes

Graduation rate for students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Brenau University
Class Graduation Rate
Class of 2018 95%
Class of 2019 95%
Class of 2020 95%
Class of 2021 95%
Class of 2022 95%
2 year average of graduation rate 95%
State licensure exam pass rate for Brenau University Doctor of Physical Therapy graduates
Class Ultimate Pass Rate
Class of 2018 97.4%
Class of 2019 100%
Class of 2020 94.7%
Class of 2021 97.4%
Class of 2022 92.1%
2 year average of exam pass rate 94.7%
Employment rate for Brenau University Doctor of Physical Therapy graduates
Class 6 month employment rate
Class of 2018 100%
Class of 2019 100%
Class of 2020 100%
2 year average of employment rate 100%
Students in cap and gown at graduation

DPT Student Handbook and Tuition Information

Download Brenau DPT Student Handbook 2022-2023 (PDF) Updated 5.12.2022

Download Estimated Cost of Tuition and Fees 2022-2023 (PDF) Updated 3.29.2022

** The Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters of the Doctor of  Physical Therapy (DPT) program will be delivered in a hybridized format. All lecture sessions will be delivered online according to the modified schedule and utilizing both synchronous and asynchronous activities. All lab sessions will occur on campus according to the modified schedule and stratified and sequenced according to the PT Lab Zones plan.  Lab instruction, practice and assessments will occur only with assigned semester-long lab partners, with social distancing otherwise, and with all appropriate PPEs. Masks are required unless medical documentation is provided.  The University mandate of a 14-day self-quarantine following out of state travel will be followed.  Any student uncomfortable or unable to participate in the required on-campus lab sessions must notify their advisor prior to August 1, 2020. **


The Department of Physical Therapy at Brenau University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; telephone: 703-706-3245; email:; website:  If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 678-971-1832 or email

APTA Reach100 Challenge

Reach100 is a nationwide call to membership for PT and PTA students to demonstrate their commitment to American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) membership.  Brenau Department of Physical Therapy received Honorable Mention for 76% of students participating in the 2019 program.

Contact Information:

Brenau University
Ivester College of Health Sciences
Department of Physical Therapy
Brenau Downtown Center
301 Main St. SW
Gainesville, Georgia, 30501.

Contact Tiffany Wilson for more information:
Office: +1-678-971-1832
Fax:  678-971-1834


QUESTIONS? Contact us: Ph. 800-252-5119 ext. 6100 |