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FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

This page contains answers to common questions handled by our staff, along with some tips and tricks that we have found useful and presented here as questions.

  • Question:  Where can I find more information on physical therapy?
  • Question:  What happens when I graduate?
  • Answer:  Licensure is required of all physical therapist assistants. You must first pass an exam prior to receiving licensure.
  • Question:  What is the purpose of licensure?
  • Answer:  The intent of licensure is to protect the public from practice by incompetent providers. Typically, a licensing board assesses the minimal competency necessary to perform at the entry level of practice.
  • Question: Do all jurisdictions require licensure for PTs and PTAs?
  • Answer:  All jurisdictions require licensure for PTs. However, the type of regulations for PTAs varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, including licensure, certification, and registration. Additionally, in some jurisdictions, PTAs are not regulated. Contact the individual jurisdiction licensing agencies for details.
  • Question: Is the same national examination given in all jurisdictions?
  • Answer: Yes, the licensure examination is a uniform examination used by all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
  • Question: Is the national examination the only measure licensing boards use to assess competency of physical therapy providers?
  • Answer:  No, the national examination is only one part of the evaluation processes used by licensing boards. Each jurisdiction, at its discretion, may supplement the examination with other requirements such as an oral or practical examination or a period of clinical practice prior to licensure.
  • Question: Is APTA responsible for licensure of PTs and PTAs in the United States?
  • Answer:  No. The responsibility for licensure rests solely with the jurisdiction and the licensing agencies in accordance with the authority established by each jurisdiction's licensure laws.
  • Question: Are there separate examinations for PTs and PTAs?
  • Answer: Yes. The PT examination is designed to determine the entry-level competence of a candidate who has graduated from an accredited school of physical therapy or an equivalent international program. The PTA examination is designed to determine the entry-level competence of a candidate who has met the academic or equivalent requirements set by each jurisdiction for physical therapist assistants.
  • Question: How do PT and PTA candidates apply for the licensure examination?
  • Answer:  Candidates should contact the licensing agency in the jurisdiction in which they want to practice. Applications need to filed early, sometimes up to 90 days in advance of the desired examination date.
  • Question: If the PT or a PTA wishes to practice in another jurisdiction, does he or she have to apply for a license in that jurisdiction?
  • Answer: Yes. Every jurisdiction has its own requirements for licensure for those who already hold a license in another jurisdiction. Because these requirements can vary greatly, prospective applicants should contact the jurisdiction directly.
  • Question:  When are classes offered?
  • Answer: The PTA program is primarily a day program with only 2 courses offered in the evenings. Classes meet 2 - 5 days per week, depending on the semester.
  • Question:  What are the prerequisites for the program?
  • Answer:  The only pre-requisites are those listed on the pre-requisite page of the application. Most general studies courses are not prerequisites for this program, instead they may be completed during the program. Some students choose to complete the general studies courses prior to entrance into the PTA program.
  • Question:  When is the application deadline?
  • Answer:  For Fall 2017 entry, the application deadline is May 9, 2017.
  • Question:  How much does the program cost?
  • Answer:  Refer to the PTA application packet for up-to-date listing of normal fees.
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