Becoming a Physical Therapist in Arkansas – AR

In order to become a Physical Therapist in Arkansas, it is important to have a firm understanding of the human anatomy, basics of nutrition, and health. To obtain the necessary understanding of these subjects, the state of Arkansas requires that all Physical Therapists complete a college degree specializing in physical therapy, pass a state-administered exam, and obtain a state licensure. General education requirements must be met in order to acquire a college degree specializing in physical therapy. Once a degree is achieved, the state-administered exam must be passed before an application for the state licensure can be obtained.

1. Educational Requirements

To achieve the requirements necessary to become a Physical Therapist in Arkansas, you must attain a masters or doctoral degree from a properly accredited physical therapy program. Before becoming accepted into an accredited program, you must first complete the general education standards. These standards include: biology, psychology, chemistry, physics, statistics, professional writing, English, and humanities. Once these courses are complete and you have been accepted into an accredited program, your education will then turn focus to strictly the practice of physical therapy. Through an accredited program you must achieve one of the following: a MPT, MSPT, MS degree or a DPT doctoral degree.

2. State Administered Exam

After the proper degree has been acquired, the Arkansas state administered exam can be taken. The National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) is administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. The NPTE is scored using a raw scale. Using this scale, a score of at least 600 must be obtained in order to pass the exam and apply for the state licensure. This is a 5-hour exam that is composed of 250 questions. The results of the exam will automatically be transmitted to Arkansas’s licensing authority for approval. If a passing score is not acquired, the NPTE can be taken a maximum of 3 times over a 12-month period. At least a one-month period is required before retesting due to allowing the licensing authorities to analyze the test scores.


3. Obtaining a State Licensure

Once a passing score has been achieved on the NPTE, an application can be submitted to the Arkansas licensing authorities. It is required to take the Jurisprudence Exam. This exam is administered through the Arkansas State Board of Physical Therapy and must be taken in order to apply for the physical therapy license and any time a renewal is needed. This exam must be taken every odd-numbered year in order to maintain an active license. This exam is composed of 20 questions that cover the Practice Act and the Rules and Regulations of maintaining a license. A passing score of 70% must be achieved or a license will not be issued.


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