From Duke University to Winston-Salem State, there are a variety of Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs offered in the state of North Carolina. In order to maximize your options, you will likely apply to multiple programs. If you are looking to stay local and have even more choices or a more flexible option, you may want to consider online hybrid DPT programs as well. With all of the schools and degree formats available, making a decision can be hard. This resource will help you figure out what programs are a good fit for you.

Online DPT Programs vs On Campus Programs in North Carolina

When deciding which DPT programs are worth applying to, eliminating anything that does not mesh with any scheduling needs that you have is a good start. For example, don’t choose a program that mainly offers night classes if you need to be taking your classes during the day and have other evening commitments. Also consider your commute. If getting to campus would be a challenge for you, you may want to put more of your efforts into looking at online/hybrid options. If you are in need of added flexibility in your schedule, you may also want to consider online DPT programs.

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Online DPT Programs in North Carolina

Any online offering of an accredited doctor of physical therapy program is going to fall under the category of hybrid. Because there is a skills component to physical therapy that is best learned in person, any online program currently in existence does require you to report to campus on occasion for in person activities. Fortunately, these visits may be infrequent and your coursework will still be largely online, allowing you to reap the benefits of online learning. Just make sure to ask the schools you are interested in how often you will need to travel and consider how far you need to go so you can make a decision as to whether the travel is feasible for you.

The online aspect of a hybrid DPT program is either taught asynchronously or synchronously (or through both of these modes of delivery). Synchronous learning is anything that happens live, requiring students to join a lecture or activity in real time. If a student can complete an activity or view a lecture on their own time, they are learning asynchronously. Those who are looking to have a learning experience that is as close to the campus version as possible will want more synchronous learning. Those who need more flexibility will appreciate that asynchronous learning allows them to work on their studies when it is most convenient for them.

As with any program with a clinical component, you will need to report in person to clinical placement sites to get the experience you need to become certified as a PT. Check with the programs you plan on applying to about whether they will be able to place you at sites close to home.

On Campus DPT Programs in North Carolina

Anyone with an undergraduate degree is likely familiar with the process of going to class and taking exams at an on campus program. The coursework component of an on campus graduate program will have many similarities to this experience. As for the clinical requirements, these will likely take place off campus but in the community surrounding the university.

How Long Do North Carolina DPT Programs Take to Complete?

Earning a DPT may take two and a half to three years to complete, but could also take more or less time depending on the program. Ask the programs you are interested in about the specific layout of their curriculum and how long it will take to complete.

You can see the specific program lengths for all North Carolina on campus and online DPT programs in the tables below.

Typical Hybrid DPT Programs Available to North Carolina Students

The following hybrid Doctor of Physical Therapy programs are available to students in North Carolina.

School NameTypeLive ClassesOn-Campus RequirementsTime to Complete
Allen CollegeHybridSomeTwice per term3 years
Arcadia University (Sponsored)HybridYesUnspecified2 years
Baylor University HybridSomeTwice per semester2 years
Nova Southeastern University HybridSomeEvery 4th week4 years
South College HybridNoQuarterly2 years
Tufts UniversityHybridSomeEight visits2 years
University of Southern California (Sponsored)HybridYesUp to twice per semester3 years
University of St. Augustine HybridSomeTwice per month4 years

On Campus DPT Programs in North Carolina

The following DPT programs can be found on North Carolina campuses:

ProgramCityTime to CompleteGPA Requirement
Campbell UniversityBuies Creek3 years3.0
Duke UniversityDurham3 yearsN/A
East Carolina UniversityGreenville3 years3.0
Elon UniversityElon3 years3.2
High Point UniversityHigh Point3 years3.0
Methodist UniversityFayetteville3 years3.0
University of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel Hill3 years3.0
Western Carolina UniversityCullowhee3 yearsN/A
Wingate UniversityWingate3 yearsN/A
Winston-Salem State UniversityWinston-Salem3 yearsN/A

General Tips on How to Become a Physical Therapist in North Carolina

To become a physical therapist in North Carolina, here are some common steps:

  1. Earn your Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree – Consider looking for physical therapy programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) which may help you ensure you meet certification requirements in the future.
  2. Pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) – To do this, you will likely need to get approval from both the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) and the state of North Carolina.
  3. Get Licensed – You may want to make sure your NPTE score is set up to be transferred to the state organization governing PTs so that the state can issue your certification once you pass and check with the board to make sure you meet any additional requirements for licensure. This is a high-level overview, make sure to check out the North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners for exact requirements.