How Can I Practice as a Physical Therapist in the USA?

To practice as a physical therapist in the USA, you must earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from a Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education-accredited physical therapist education program and pass a state licensure exam. The length of professional DPT programs is typically three years.


State Licensure Requirements:

Educational Evaluation – You must have your entry-level PT degree evaluated by a board-approved credentialing agency. The purpose of an Educational Credentials Review (ECR), also known as a credentials evaluation, is to compare the applicant’s education to the first professional degree of a graduate of a U.S. physical therapy (PT) degree program that has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). The ECR is a course-by-course comparison of the original source documents to a standard tool that defines substantial equivalency performed by independent credentialing agencies.

*USCIS has approved two credentialing organizations, the Foreign Credentialing Commission on Physical Therapy (FCCPT) and the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS), to verify the individual has met the minimum requirements and issue the certification.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) – All foreign-trained applicants must make these minimum scores, Internet-based : Writing 22; Speaking 24; Reading 22; Listening 21.

The National Physical Therapy Exam – The National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE®) for PTs is an essential part of the licensing process. The NPTE is only one part of the evaluation process used by licensing authorities to assess your competence. Contact your jurisdiction to find out what additional requirements there are, such as taking a jurisprudence exam or a jurisprudence assessment module.Once you are approved to take the exam, you can schedule your exam with .After passing the exam, your state will issue your license.

Jurisprudence Exam is a test of your state’s laws and rules. All licensed physical therapists (PTs) should be familiar with the practice act and rules under which they are allowed to work.