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Welcome to Brenau’s Department of Physical Therapy

We are excited that you are visiting our program and welcome you to learn more about us. Heather Ross Ph.D., P.T., the new Chair, and Mary Thigpen PhD, PT, are both longstanding physical therapy clinicians and educators who embrace innovation. We are building a unique opportunity for those of you interested in pursuing your Doctorate of Physical Therapy. We plan to provide you with the most up-to-date learning environment in an interdisciplinary setting. We are focused on helping our new students become the best entry-level therapists at their highest potential. We will provide a healthy blend of didactic and practical learning throughout the curriculum.

Ultimately, your patient is your best teacher, thus we believe in the concept of a patient-centered approach to your DPT experience.

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.

Tracy Wright, the Director of Clinical Education in the Physical Therapy Department at Brenau, helps Kellee Kinght, Allison Meehan and Lauren Patton identify leg and foot muscles during anatomy lab.
Tracy Wright, the Director of Clinical Education in the Physical Therapy Department at Brenau, helps Kellee Kinght, Allison Meehan and Lauren Patton identify leg and foot muscles during anatomy lab.

Program Goals

  • Provide DPT students with ongoing, integrated learning experiences that will prepare them to consistently practice with integrity and competence in a variety of settings.
  • Challenge students to live extraordinary lives of personal and professional development through an inventive, strategic, experiential, collaborative and evidence-based educational approach.

Our graduates will:

  • 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.

Expected Student Educational Learning Outcomes:

  • Students will be highly competent in the diagnosis and treatment of movement disorders and poised to move forward as autonomous practitioners and professionals of choice for movement disorders.
  • Students will approach each patient compassionately and holistically, assessing and integrating the unique characteristics of every client they encounter, including the clients’ physical and psychosocial status, values, preferences, and needs
  • Students will practice in a manner consistent with established legal and professional standards and ethics.
  • Students will demonstrate a record of safe and effective physical therapy practice in a variety of clinical settings.

Brenau DPT Student Handbook

Download Brenau DPT Student Handbook 2019-2020

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.

Excellent Facilities

  • Classes will be held in the newly-renovated Downtown Center in the heart of Gainesville
  • The DPT program is part of a $6.7 million dollar transformation of the Downtown Center
  • State-of-the-art Human Anatomy Lab

Early Patient Experience

  • A partnership with the nearby Northeast Georgia Health System will allow early immersion of students in the clinic starting in the second semester.
  • A faculty practice will be on-site to allow students access to the clinic along with providing  research opportunities for students and faculty
  • An on-site Life Enrichment and Wellness experience with community outreach and wellness

Student Outcomes

  • Graduation Rates
    • The graduation rate for our charter class of 2018 is 95%.
  • NPTE (National Physical Therapy Exam) Pass Rate
    • The ultimate pass rate for our charter class of 2018 is 92%.


The Department of Physical Therapy at Brenau University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia  22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email:; website:  If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 678-971-1832 or email

The site linked to below is not owned, maintained or endorsed by Brenau University. Any information that you provide will be available to a third party. The site is not included in the Brenau University legal and privacy policy and will have its own policy regarding the collection and dissemination of data.

HIPAA training and certification for our students is provided by HIPAA EXAMS, Inc.

Contact Information:

The Department of Physical Therapy is located at:
the Brenau Downtown Center
301 Main St. SW
Gainesville, Georgia, 30501.

Department of Physical Therapy
Brenau University
Ivester College of Health Sciences

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

General inquiries:, +1-770-534-6299 or +1-800-252-5119 | Admissions:, +1-770-534-6100 or +1-800-252-5119 ext. 6100