License Requirements

Introduction | General Requirements | Fees | Partial Refunds | Education Requirements | Proof of Education | Examination Requirements | Licensure by Endorsement | Limited Permits

Introduction

This page describes the basic requirements and procedures to follow in applying for a license and/or limited permit as a physical therapist or for a certificate to practice as a physical therapist assistant in New York State. Instructions for application forms can be found on a separate page Please also see general licensing information applicable to all professions.


General Requirements

Any use of "Physical Therapist" or "Physical Therapist Assistant" titles within New York State requires licensure.

To be licensed as a Physical Therapist or certified as a Physical Therapist Assistant in New York State you must:

  • be of good moral character
  • be at least 18 years of age
  • meet education and examination requirements
  • file an application (Form 1 and fee)

All required forms, along with the appropriate fee, must be submitted to the Office of the Professions at the address specified on each form. It is your responsibility to follow up with anyone you have asked to send us material.

The specific requirements for licensure are contained in Title 8 Article 136, Sections 6734 and 6740 of New York's Education Law and Part 77 of the Commissioner's Regulations.

You should also read the general licensing information applicable for all professions.


Fees

The fee for licensure as a physical therapist is $294.

The fee for a limited permit for a physical therapist is $70.

The fee for certification as a physical therapist assistant is $103.

The fee for a limited permit for a physical therapist assistant is $50.

NOTE: Effective February 9, 2003, limited permits may be issued to physical therapist assistants.

Fees are subject to change. The fee due is the one in law when your application is received (unless fees are increased retroactively). You will be billed for the difference if fees have been increased.

  • Do not send cash
  • Make your personal check or money order payable to the New York State Education Department. Your cancelled check is your receipt.
  • Mail your application and fee to:

    NYS Education Department
    Office of the Professions
    Division of Professional Licensing Services
    PO Box 22063
    Albany, New York 12201

NOTE: Payment submitted from outside the United States should be made by check or draft on a United States bank and in United States currency; payments submitted in any other form will not be accepted and will be returned.


Partial Refunds

Individuals who withdraw their licensure application may be entitled to a partial refund.

  • For the procedure to withdraw your application, contact the Physical Therapy Unit at opunit3@nysed.gov or by calling 518-474-3817 ext. 270 or by fax at 518-402-5354.
  • The State Education Department is not responsible for any fees paid to an outside testing or credentials verification agency.

If you withdraw your application, obtain a refund, and then decide to seek New York State licensure at a later date, you will be considered a new applicant, and you will be required to pay the licensure and registration fees and meet the licensure requirements in place at the time you reapply.


Education Requirements

Physical Therapist | Physical Therapist Assistant

Accredited Physical Therapist and Physical Therapist Assistant Programs

The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) is a nationally recognized accrediting agency for both physical therapist and physical therapist assistant programs. Lists of accredited programs are available on APTA's website at www.apta.org External Link Icon .The organization can be contacted at:

American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)
124 West Street South, 3rd floor
Alexandria, Virginia 22314-1488
Phone 800-999-APTA (2782)
Fax 703-684-7343
Web www.apta.org External Link Icon

Physical Therapist applicants:

To meet the professional education requirement for licensure as a physical therapist, if your education was from a:

  • New York State Registered or APTA Accredited Physical Therapy Program, you must have:
    • a master's or higher degree in physical therapy.
  • Program Located in the United States but not NYS Registered or APTA accredited, you must have:
    • completed a program satisfactory to the Department which is substantially equivalent to a master's or higher degree program in physical therapy registered by the department.
  • Physical Therapist Program Located Outside the United States that is not NYS Registered or APTA Accredited, you must have:
    • completed a program satisfactory to the Department which is substantially equivalent to a master’s or higher degree program in physical therapy registered by the Department and which culminates in a degree or diploma accepted as satisfying the educational requirements for the practice of physical therapy by the civil authorities of the country in which the studies were completed.

Physical Therapist Assistant applicants:

To meet the professional education requirement for certification as a physical therapist assistant, if your education was from a:

  • New York State Registered Physical Therapist Assistant Program or APTA Accredited Physical Therapist Assistant Program, you must have:
    • Completed a two-year college program for physical therapist assistants
  • Physical Therapist Assistant Program Located Outside the United States that is not APTA Accredited, you must have:
    • Completed a physical therapy or physical therapist assistant program determined by the New York State Education Department to be equivalent to a registered program for physical therapist assistants. When adequate program records are not available or a site visit is not feasible to determine equivalency, an applicant may demonstrate competency by passing a national examination satisfactory to the Department (see section on Examination Requirements).

Proof of Education for Physical Therapist and Physical Therapist Assistant

  • Graduates of New York State Registered Programs or APTA Accredited Programs
    You must have your Registrar's Office forward a completed Certification of Professional Education (Form 2) which documents that you have satisfactorily completed all requirements for your degree. The Registrar's Office must send the completed Certification of Professional Education (Form 2) directly to the NYS Education Department, Office of the Professions, Division of Professional Licensing Services, Physical Therapy Unit, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12234-1000.
  • Graduates of Programs Located Outside the United States that are not APTA Accredited
    If you seek to meet the education requirements with credentials from programs outside the United States that are not accredited by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), you must have your educational credentials verified by an independent credentials verification organization acceptable to the Department. You may check to see if your program is APTA-accredited on the web at www.apta.org/education/schoollistings External Link Icon or by calling the APTA at 703-684-APTA (2782).

There are two acceptable independent credentials verification organizations: the Foreign Credentialing Commission on Physical Therapy (FCCPT) or the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS). Such applicants should contact FCCPT or CGFNS at the addresses below for the application and instructions to complete the FCCPT or CGFNS credentials verification process for New York State licensure applicants.

NOTE: This verification process is not an evaluation or certification process. The credentials verification process is a process for verifying the authenticity of your education credentials.

The credentials verification service for New York State applicants by the FCCPT or CGFNS does not indicate approval by the New York State Education Department of the content of your education. After your educational credentials are validated by either of these organizations, they will be evaluated by the State Education Department.

You will be advised of the result of the New York State Education Department's evaluation of your education. When your application for the examination has been received, the licensing examination contractor will be notified if you are eligible for the exam.

You may wish to contact both FCCPT and CGFNS to evaluate which verification service would better meet your individual needs. FCCPT or CGFNS may be contacted as follows:

Foreign Credentialing Commission on Physical Therapy (FCCPT)
124 West Street South, 3rd Floor
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone 703-684-8406
Fax 703-684-8715
E-mail help@fccpt.org

or

The Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS)
PO Box 8628, Philadelphia, PA 19104-8628
Phone 215-349-8767
Fax 215-349-0026
Web www.cgfns.org External Link Icon


Examination Requirements

  • Physical Therapist

    The National Physical Therapy Examination, or an examination determined by the Department to be comparable in content, is required for physical therapy licensure in New York.

  • Physical Therapist Assistant

    Effective February 9, 2003, the National Physical Therapist Assistant Examination is required for physical therapist assistant applicants.

    If you are seeking licensure as a physical therapist assistant in another state, you must contact the licensing authority in that jurisdiction for examination application materials.

Application Procedure

You are encouraged to apply on-line with the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy through their web site at www.fsbpt.net/pt External Link Icon. You must file an application and fee for licensure, and your education must be approved before you will be eligible for the national examination as a New York candidate.

For More Information About the Computerized National Physical Therapy Examinations

The Computerized National Physical Therapy Examinations are administered at computer testing centers nationwide. Visit the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) Web site www.fsbpt.org/NPTE External Link Icon for additional information about these examinations, including examination content outlines, and answers to frequently asked questions.

Reasonable Testing Accommodations

If you have a disability and require reasonable testing accommodations for the examination, download the Reasonable Testing Accommodations request form (PDF 23 KB) and fill it out, following instructions for attaching copies of documentation. Send the form and documentation to the address given on the form. Documentation for reasonable accommodations usually includes a letter from an appropriate health care provider who has diagnosed and/or treated you, indicating the nature and extent of the disability, the proposed accommodations, the rationale behind the reasonable accommodations, and, if applicable, the types of accommodations that have been provided to you in the past. For questions concerning reasonable accommodations, you may contact the Professional Examinations Unit at opexams@nysed.gov or by calling 518-474-3817 ext. 290.


Licensure by Endorsement

An individual licensed in another jurisdiction may not practice in New York without being licensed in New York State. If you have been licensed to practice physical therapy in another jurisdiction but do not meet current New York education requirements, you may apply for a New York State license in physical therapy by endorsement. To qualify for licensure by endorsement, you must:

  • have at least 3 years of practice acceptable to the State Board for Physical Therapy in the 7 years immediately preceding the application for licensure by endorsement; and
  • have completed an education acceptable to the Department, which may include meeting the standards of an acceptable accrediting agency in effect at the time you graduated from your physical therapy program.

An application for endorsement of a license to practice physical therapy must include:

  • An Application for Licensure (Form 1) and the $294 fee for licensure and first registration;

  • Education:
    • For graduates of Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) accredited programs, verification of completing an education that meets standards acceptable to the Department (Form 2);
    • For graduates of programs that are not accredited by CAPTE, verification of educational credentials by an independent credentials verification organization acceptable to the Department (see Proof of Education for Physical Therapist and Physical Therapist Assistant section above);

  • Verification of successful completion of the National Physical Therapy Examination or another examination acceptable to the Department;

    • To transfer exam scores from the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy, contact:
    • Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy
      124 West Street South, 3rd floor
      Alexandria, VA 22314
      Phone 703-739-9420
      Fax 703-739-9421

      You can also apply on-line with the FSBPT at www.fsbpt.org External Link Icon to request that exam scores be submitted to the Department. Transferred exam scores will be reviewed by the Department to determine whether they are satisfactory;

  • Verification of the initial basis of licensure and verification of good standing in each jurisdiction in which you are licensed to practice a profession (Form 3);

  • A list of supervisors who will verify at least 3 years of practice in physical therapy in the 7 years immediately preceding the application for licensure by endorsement (Form 4); and

  • Verification of your licensed practice of at least 3 years by a colleague or colleagues (Form 4A).

In addition, you must be at least 21 years of age and of good moral character, as determined by the Department.

Full documentation of compliance with all New York State licensure requirements, including professional education, good standing, and experience, must be submitted directly to the Department by the appropriate entity. Documentation received directly from the applicant will not be accepted.

If you do not meet the requirements for endorsement of a physical therapy license, you must apply for licensure using the standard methods and meet all requirements for initial licensure in New York State.


Limited Permits

The fee for a limited permit as a physical therapist is $70. Effective February 9, 2003, limited permits may be issued to physical therapist assistants; the fee is $50. Limited permits for physical therapists and physical therapist assistants are valid for 6 months, effective February 9, 2003.

The Department may issue limited permits to an applicant for licensure which authorize the practice of physical therapy under the on-site supervision of a New York State licensed and currently registered physical therapist. On-site supervision means that the supervising physical therapist is in the same facility and readily available to the permittee. Up until February 9, 2003, a permit may also be issued to a physical therapy graduate who affirms in writing that her/his program deficiencies will be made up in no more than one year of study if the Department determines that the plan of study is reasonable.

An applicant receiving a limited permit is restricted to employment in a public hospital, an incorporated hospital or clinic, a licensed proprietary hospital, a licensed nursing home, a public health agency, a recognized public or non-public school setting, the office of a licensed physical therapist, or in the civil service of New York State or a political subdivision in New York State.

Practice Exemption:

New graduates of New York State or APTA accredited physical therapist education programs registered by the New York State Education Department may be employed for 90 days immediately following graduation without holding a limited permit. To be eligible to practice within these 90 days, you must have:

  • graduated from your physical therapist program and requested your school to complete and submit the Form 2 to the Office of the Professions;
  • submitted the Application for Licensure (Form 1) and paid the required licensure application fee;
  • submitted the Application for Limited Permit (Form 5), and paid the required limited permit fee, and
  • applied to take the licensing examination and paid the fee for the examination.

While practicing during these 90 days, you must be under the supervision of a New York State licensed currently registered physical therapist. As soon as the permit is received, you must give your employer the employer's copy.

Last Updated: October 2, 2014