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Eligibility Requirements

Current Eligibility Requirements:

In order to be eligible to apply for the NPTE®, candidates must meet the following requirements from both the FSBPT and the state in which they seek licensure.

FSBPT Requirements 

  1. Registration and Payment
    Submit an online registration and pay the registration fee.

  2. Education.
    Have a degree appropriate for the exam level from a CAPTE (Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education) accredited institution, or have an education that has been determined to be substantially equivalent by a recognized credentialing agency.

  3. Attempt Limits
    • Maximum consecutive attempts is three per exam level. After three consecutive exam attempts at any exam level, candidates will not be able to register for the next exam date.
    • Maximum attempts in a lifetime is six per exam level.
    • No more than two scores of 400 or less after January 1, 2016 at an exam level.

  4. Proof of TOEFL Completion

  5. Proof of Educational Equivalence
    Graduates from non-CAPTE accredited programs must demonstrate that their education is substantially equivalent to the education of individuals who graduate from CAPTE-accredited programs, as determined by a recognized credentialing agency. View additional details.

  6. Security
    • Have complied with any test security requests made by FSBPT staff.
    • Have completed any sanctions related to a disciplinary action taken by FSBPT.

  7. Approval
    Be approved by the licensing authority (board) in the state or jurisdiction where you intend to be licensed.
Jurisdiction Requirements

To approve a candidate to sit for the NPTE, at a minimum, jurisdictions will require that the candidate is a graduate of or graduating from a PT or PTA program that meets the accreditation standards of CAPTE or has an education that is has been determined to be substantially equivalent by a recognized credentialing agency.

For a complete list of jurisdiction requirements visit the website for the state in which you are seeking licensure.

FSBPT’s eligibility requirements for the NPTE are independent from a state’s requirements. In addition to FSBPT requirements, individuals MUST meet their state requirements in order to be made eligible for the exam or be considered for licensure. FSBPT may update or revise these policies periodically, in response to external factors such as changes in federal or jurisdiction laws. It is advisable to check this page regularly while you are engaged in the licensing process.

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FSBPT Recommended Standards/Planned 2022 Eligibility Requirements:

To allow individuals ample time to meet the new standards, FSBPT is sharing “recommended standards” now and currently intends to implement these standards as requirements to be eligible to take the NPTE no sooner than January 1, 2022.


Obtain the following scores in each section of the TOEFL on one attempt.

TOEFL Section  Minimum Score 
Listening 21 
Writing 22 
Speaking 24

NOTE: TOEFL standards for states may differ from FSBPT’s recommended standard.


An individual must have an education that is deemed substantially equivalent to a CAPTE-accredited education. The agency performing the credentials evaluations should be authorized to use FSBPT’s Coursework Evaluation Tool. The education should be substantially equivalent based on the most recent version of the CWT, currently CWT 6.

Comparison of Current and 2022 Requirements

  Current Requirements
FSBPT Recommendation/2022 Requirements
Implementation Date
Currently in use
Planned for 2022
All scores accepted
Reading – 22
Listening – 21
Writing – 22
Speaking – 24
TOEFL Date of Exam
Any date accepted
Must be within two years of registration
Proof of TOEFL Score
Candidate or ETS
ETS Only
Credentialing Agency
Any Agency must use current FSBPT CWT
Educational Equivalence
Deemed substantially equivalent on any agency’s tool Substantially equivalent on FSBPT CWT 6
Proof of Equivalence
Candidate may supply their own copy of the agency’s report
Report must come directly from the credentialing agency