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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 accredited institution, or have an education that has been determined to be substantially equivalent by a recognized credentialing agency.

  3. Attempt Limits.
    1. Maximum consecutive attempts is 3 per exam level. After 3 consecutive exam attempts at any exam level, candidates will not be able to register for the next exam date.
    2. Maximum attempts in a lifetime is 6 per exam level.
    3. No more than 2 scores of 400 or less after January 1, 2016 at an exam level.
  4. Security.
    1. Have complied with any test security requests made by FSBPT staff.
    2. Have completed any sanctions related to a disciplinary action taken by FSBPT.
  5. Approval.
    1. 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 the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (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.

2018 Eligibility Requirements:

Starting in mid-2018 FSBPT will implement two new requirements for individuals who are graduates of non-CAPTE accredited PT programs.

  1. Proof of TOEFL completion. When registering for the exam, candidates will be required to enter the date of their most recent TOEFL exam and the scores for each part. In 2018, and until further notice is given, candidates for the exam will simply provide the information on their most recent attempt. While FSBPT has recommended standards for TOEFL (see below), FSBPT does not plan to enforce TOEFL standards until January, 2020. Note: There are some exemptions to the TOEFL requirement.

    Acceptable documentation of TOEFL completion – Candidates will need to email FSBPT a copy of their TOEFL report. Documentation supplied by the candidate to FSBPT is acceptable. It is also acceptable for candidates to request ETS send a copy of the report directly to FSBPT.

    Additional Details

  2. Proof of Educational Equivalence. Graduates from non-CAPTE accredited programs will need to 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. When registering for the exam, candidates will need to enter the following information: 1) the name of the agency that performed the evaluation, 2) the name and version of the evaluation tool used to complete the evaluation, and 3) the outcome of the evaluation (substantially equivalent or not equivalent).

    While FSBPT recommends that individuals have an education that is evaluated as substantially equivalent using the CWT 6, FSBPT currently plans to require use of the CWT 6 no sooner than January 2020. In 2018, and until further notice is given, regardless of the tool used, upon supplying the credentials evaluation information, an individual will be allowed to register for the NPTE.

    Acceptable documentation of educational equivalence - Candidates must email FSBPT a copy of their education evaluation report. Documentation supplied by the candidate to FSBPT is acceptable.

    Additional Details

NOTES – FSBPT’s eligibility requirements 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.

FSBPT Recommended Standards/Planned 2020 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, 2020.

RECOMMENDED ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY

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

TOEFL Section  Minimum Score 
Reading 
22
Listening 21 
Writing 22 
Speaking 24

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

RECOMMENDED EDUCATIONAL EQUIVALENCE

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 2018 and 2020 Requirements

  2018 Requirements
FSBPT Recommendation/ 2020 Requirements
Implementation Date
Mid 2018
Currently planned for 2020
TOEFL Score
All scores accepted
Reading – 22
Listening – 21
Writing – 22
Speaking – 24
TOEFL Date of Exam
Any date accepted
Must be within 2 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