South Carolina Board of Physical Therapy
Licensure by Examination
The South Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners (SCBPTE) requires that applicants sit for and pass the National Physical Therapy Examinations (NPTE) as a prerequisite for licensure. The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) is the organization responsible for administering and developing these examinations. Although, SCBPTE neither administers nor develops the examination, it is responsible for ensuring that qualified candidates sit for the NPTE. No applicant who has failed the exam three (3) or more times is eligible for licensure whether or not the exams were taken in South Carolina. Exam scores must meet the criterion-referenced passing point equal to a scaled score of 600 based on a range of 200-800.
Applicants must be graduates of a Board-approved physical therapy program at a school, college or university located within the continental United States or its territories which has satisfied the accreditation standards of the Commission on Accreditation for Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). Individuals who are not must have their educational credentials evaluated to determine if their education is equivalent to the requirements of physical therapists educated in United States educational programs as determined by the Board. Physical therapy schools located outside of the USA or its territories that are accredited by CAPTE are not considered Board-approved programs.
Applicants who are not graduates of a Board-approved program must have their completed applications reviewed by the Board.
Applications are considered incomplete without all of the required documents, fees and photograph. Applications for licensure must be completed within one (1) year from the date it was received into the Board office. If not, the application and required documentation must be resubmitted with the applicable fees.
Any candidate with a documented disability may request special accommodations to take the examination. The Request for Accommodation form can be found online and must be submitted with the initial application.
Question Regarding the Computerized Exam
Please refer to the National Physical Therapy Examinations Handbook for Physical Therapists and Physical Therapist Assistants for any questions concerning taking the computerized NPTE.
Eligibility to Sit for the NPTE
South Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners (SCBPTE) makes the determination on applicants’ eligibility to sit for the NPTE. The decision is based on educational requirements and other guidelines listed in this application packet. Once the applicant has been deemed as eligible to sit for the exam, the Board will notify FSBPT of eligibility. The applicant must register online for the exam and pay the applicable fee. The fee must be paid when an application is submitted to SCBPTE. The website address is: www.fsbpt.org FSBPT will notify the applicant in writing when the SCBPTE has approved your request for examination with instructions on how to schedule the NPTE.
Applicants may check the status of their NPTE application or eligibility letter with the FSBPT online at https://www.fsbpt.net/pt or by calling (703) 739-9420. Applicants are also responsible for payment of the Test Center fees at the time the exam is scheduled.
SCBPTE will mail the examination results to all applicants. The exam results will not be given over the telephone. If an applicant passes the exam, SCBPTE will issue the license and mail a wall certificate and a wallet size license. If an applicant fails the NPTE, you may take the exam a second (2nd) time by submitting the application found online to Repeat NPTE. NPTE application and payment fee ($370) must be paid online to FSBPT. If the NPTE is failed a second (2nd ) time, applicants must take courses approved by the Board and required to furnish evidence of completing the required coursework, and Board appearance is required prior to the approval of a third (3rd) and final time.
Applicants must submit all required forms and documentation listed below to SCBPTE. All documents must have the original signature in ink. The Board will not accept faxes the original document must be sent in.
1. Application for Licensure as a Physical Therapist or Physical Therapist Assistant in South Carolina with all sections completed by applicant, include a current passport photograph and the non-refundable application fee of $120 payable to SCBPTE. Personal checks are acceptable. A $30 charge will be imposed for checks returned for insufficient funds.
2. A copy of the legal document with any change of name. (A copy of the marriage license, divorce decree indicating the name change, etc).
Mail the application for licensure, fee and all required documents to:
SC Board of Physical Therapy Examiners
P. O. Box 11329
Columbia, SC 29211-1329
Please make your Check Payable to SCBPTE
3. NPTE application and payment must be paid online at the time your application is submitted to SCBPTE. Register and pay the exam fee at www.fsbpt.net/pt
4. Verification of Completion of Graduation Requirements, Form C-20. The form must be mailed directly to SCBPTE from the school and received for admission to exam. If an official transcript is available the Form C-20 is not necessary but, the transcript must be mailed directly to SCBPTE from the school. SCBPTE will not accept transcripts issued to the students.
5. The Official transcript with registrar's seal and must include the physical therapy degree and date of the degree was conferred. The transcript must be mailed directly to SCBPTE from the school in a sealed envelope and must be on file in the Board’s office prior to a license being issued. If an original transcript is provided to a credentialing agency for evaluation, a copy of the transcript is acceptable only if submitted directly to SCBPTE from the credentialing agency. Transcripts that are received from applicants will not be accepted and will be returned to the applicant.
6. NPTE scores are accepted as a transfer score report only if the applicant has applied for original licensure by exam in another state and have completed the licensure process in that state. Applicant must make the request to FSBPT Score Transfer Service, 509 Wythe Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. You may contact FSBPT Score Transfer Service at (703) 739-9420 or firstname.lastname@example.org Scores reports must be submitted directly to SCBPTE from FSBPT. The Board will not accept score reports sent from any other sources. Scores are automatically reported to South Carolina for applicants who apply for original licensure by examination in this state.
7. Proof of proficiency in the English language is required for applicants whose native language is not English.
Applicants are required to make a passing score in the following areas:
- Writing – 24
- Speaking - 26
- Reading - 18
- Listening – 21
- Total score of 89
Exam arrangements can be made with:
P.O. Box 6151
Princeton, NJ 08541-61
Telephone: (609) 771-7100
The TOEFL code number for South Carolina is 9561. Enter this code on the answer sheet and/or the score report request form. Scores must be mailed directly to SCBPTE from Educational Testing Service. SCBPTE will not accept photocopies of score reports.
- Applicants who are not graduates of a Board-approved program must submit:
- A Credentials Evaluation Statement of professional education and training prepared by a Board-approved credentials evaluation agency. Approved Board credentialing agencies are: Foreign Credentialing Commission on Physical Therapy (FCCPT), International Consultants of Delaware (ICD), International Credentialing Associates (ICA) and International Education Research Foundation (IERF). It is the responsibility of the applicants to pay any expenses associated with the credentials evaluation. The Credential report must provide evidence and documentation that the applicants’ education outside a state or territory of the United States is substantially equivalent to the education of a physical therapist who graduated from an accredited physical therapy education program approved by the Board.
- Board Credentialing standards to be used in determining substantial equivalency: The approved credentialing evaluation agency must use the appropriate Course Work Tool ("CWT") 4th edition adopted by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. The appropriate CWT means the CWT in place at the time the foreign educated physical therapist graduated from their physical therapy program. Please visit FSBPT website to view the specific CWT and the requirements at: http://www.fsbpt.org/RegulatoryTools/CWT
- Documentation of successful completion of 1000 clinical practice hours under the on-site supervision of a SC licensed physical therapist after the exam has been passed and prior to issuance of a permanent license. The applicant will be required to submit a completed supervisory agreement form prior to the issuance of a provisional license. The provisional license will authorize the individual to work in South Carolina in order to obtain the required 1,000 clinical practice hours. The provisional license is valid for one (1) year from the date of issuance and may not renewed.