Winston-Salem State University

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Updated August 6, 2020

Winston-Salem State University appears in our ranking of the 10 Most Affordable Doctorate in Physical Therapy Online.

Winston-Salem State University was opened on September 28, 1892, as Slater Industrial Academy with an inaugural class of 25 by Dr. Simon Green Atkins, the son of former slaves. Partnered with the North Carolina Negro Teachers Association, it moved from a one-room schoolhouse to 14 donated acres in Greensboro in 1895. Thirty years later, the new Winston-Salem Teachers College created the nation's first HBCU elementary education bachelor's. In 1953, the School of Nursing began as the precursor to today's School of Health Sciences. Renamed again in 1971, Winston-Salem State University joined the 16-member UNC System that year. Generating a $420 million impact, WSSU now teaches 6,620 Rams, including Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy majors, at its 39-building Forsyth County home or online. Linked to 16,891 LinkedIn alumni, Winston-Salem has graduated Maria Howell, Earl Monroe, Louis Farrakhan, Cleo Hill, and others with 77 percent retention.

The U.S. News & World Report ranked Winston-Salem State the 36th best national HBCU, 164th top physical therapy school, and 84th best online health degree provider. On Niche, WSSU is America's 171st best kinesiology college, 228th most liberal university, 328th top faculty, and 479th best athletics department. College Factual honored Winston for the 73rd most popular health professions training and 39th top value. Similarly, Money magazine placed Winston-Salem State University 455th for an early-career salary average of $44,900. Diverse Issues in Higher Education picked WSSU 30th for African-American students. In 2018, Winston-Salem State was among the country's 96 Insight into Diversity HEED Award winners. Glorywebs noticed WSSU for the 81st best designed website. Washington Monthly also crowned Winston the 167th top master's institute for the 24th best graduation rate.

Winston-Salem State University Accreditation Details

In January 2020, Winston-Salem State University will begin its decennial institutional evaluation process with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to ensure continued eligibility for Level V accreditation under Chancellor Dr. Elwood Robinson, who earned the 2007 Omega Psi Phi Founder's Award. Headquartered 4.5 hours southwest via Interstate 85 in Decatur, this respected 11-state Appalachia accreditor is authorized by the U.S. Secretary of Education to double check the academic quality of WSSU's 35 baccalaureate, eight master's, and three doctoral majors, including online. The School of Health Sciences has approval from the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) that doesn't expire until December 31, 2023.

Winston-Salem State University Application Requirements

Enrolling at Winston-Salem State University is classified "moderately difficult" by Peterson's because 2,197 of the 4,068 Fall 2017 candidates were okayed for 54 percent acceptance overall. Post-grad Rams entering the Online Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy must have already finished an accredited B.S. or M.S. in the field. Holding valid North Carolina or out-of-state physical therapist licensure is mandatory. Three-credit college prerequisites, such as Chemistry, Physics, Anatomy, and General Biology, must be graded at least "C." The minimum GPA mark is 3.0, but the average is 3.65. Entry-level PTs must have inpatient and outpatient experience surpassing 50 hours. Taking the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) isn't necessary, but the median composite score is 306. Foreign applicants from non-English speaking nations need a minimum 213 TOEFL cBT or 550 pBT score though.

Winston-Salem State University's Department of Physical Therapy has rolling Online tDPT admission on a first-come basis. However, the recommended graduate deadlines are July 15th for Fall, November 15th for Spring, and May 15th for Summer. International learners generally allow extra time by applying before April 15th or September 15th. Hopeful entrants utilize the WSSU Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service website online for $50. Official information like transcripts is mailed to Anderson Center Suite 137 at 601 South Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Winston-Salem, NC 27110. Checklist items include the license copy, course-by-course report, résumé, reference letter, and optional test score. More details are available by contacting (336) 750-2074 or

Tuition and Financial Aid

For 2017-18, Winston-Salem State University billed full-time Doctor of Physical Therapy majors from North Carolina $5,872 per year. Non-resident tuition jumped to $13,987 annually. Required fees cost $2,540 extra. Health insurance plans totaled $2,587 yearly. Living at the Forsyth County campus' graduate apartments like The Ledges adds $6,451 for room and $3,578 for board. DPT students budgeted $1,300 for books, $1,322 for transport, and $1,571 for personal expenses too. Annual doctoral attendance equaled $22,342 in-state and $30,457 out-of-state. In contrast, the Online Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy charges North Carolinians $1,156 and non-residents $3,967 per term. The estimated virtual program total is $4,626 or $15,869 respectively.

According to the NCES College Navigator, the Financial Aid Office in Thompson Center gifts $29.06 million combined yearly for 78 percent of full-time WSSU Rams to collect $7,872 on average. Graduate funds include the Department of Education HBCU Fellowship, HRSA Title VIII Grant for Disadvantaged Students, RSA Rural Virtual Rehab Counseling Grant, RSA Rural Transition Grant, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Grant, and Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation Scholarship. The Thurgood Marshall College Fund presents 500+ awards, such as the Center for Advancing Opportunity Graduate Fellowship and Exelon Foundation Scholarship. The APTA Minority Scholarship for Academic Excellence has a December 1st deadline. Doctor of Physical Therapy majors apply for paid graduate assistantships for 10 hours per week. Complete the FAFSA form with code 002986 to borrow Federal Direct Unsubsidized or Grad Plus loans too.

Online Degree(s) Available

At Winston-Salem State University, the Distance Learning Division currently confers four bachelor's, two master's, one doctoral, and two certificate programs online. Health professionals specifically access more than 75 Blackboard courses asynchronously with a 14:1 student-faculty ratio for applied medical training. Benefits of the WSSU School of Health Sciences also include its S.G. Atkins Virtual Hospital, Rams Know H.O.W. Mobile Unit, Journal of Best Practices in Diversity, MSFit Program, Human Performance & Biodynamics Lab, O'Kelly Library, and CD Spangler Foundation funding. Post-PT graduates might pursue the following:

Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy

Directed by Dr. Hamdy Radwan, the 2001 Spirit Award for Trail Blazers recipient, WSSU's Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy gives scholar-practitioners the evidence-based methods to treat painful conditions restricting mobility. The 24-credit, part-time program integrates monthly online meetings to advance knowledge of motor skill problems from a globalized view. Virtual courses like Diagnostic Imaging, Women's Health, Clinical Decision Making, and Pharmacology don't require Piedmont Triad trips nor dissertations before completion in 24 months.

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