Applications & Requirements
Physical Therapy Licensure Evaluation
Services and Fees
A file number will be assigned and notification will be sent upon receipt of the application.
This report identifies postsecondary institutions attended, dates of attendance, credential(s) earned, and the United States educational equivalent. A state board-specific credentials evaluation checklist, which identifies subject areas and U.S. semester unit values (where applicable), is also included.
Please note that evaluation reports may vary, depending on the individual requirements of each state board
One official board copy and one applicant copy are included in the report fee.
List of States
IERF evaluation reports are issued on special script-safe paper that cannot be altered.
You can apply for 2 types of licensure:
- Physical Therapist
- Physical Therapist Assistant
Please submit a set of photocopies (front and back) of all original documents, including translations. Otherwise, you will be assessed a $20 fee.
Evaluations are sent via regular mail unless otherwise requested.
You may request:
- Domestic Secure Mailing for $20 per address
- Domestic Next Day Delivery for $35 per address
- International Secure Mailing for $75 per address
If submitting original documents, we recommend that you select either Secure Mailing or Domestic Next Day Delivery (which will have a tracking number) for the return of your academic records. Otherwise your documents will not be returned to you, unless you instruct us in writing to return them via regular mail. IERF accepts no liability related to the loss or damage of documents during mailing.
- Payment in the form of a check, cashier's check, money order or credit card must accompany all applications, payable to IERF.
- Overseas payments must be in U.S. dollars and drawn on a United States bank. If payment is being made by a bank draft, an additional $15 processing fee is required.
Document Requirements for all States
Please note that only post-secondary studies will be included in the evaluation. Furthermore, all studies (academic or professional) from institutions that are not recognized in the home country will be excluded from the evaluation. These guidelines have been established by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT).
For studies completed outside the United States
Mailed DIRECTLY to IERF by the institution(s) of study
Transcript Request Form
The Transcript Request Form (TRF) must be forwarded to your educational institution.
Official Academic Records
Please note that all records received from the institution(s) of study will become the property of IERF and will not be returned to the applicant.
These must be issued in the original language:
- Transcripts/Mark Sheets/Examination Results indicating courses/subjects, hours of study/units/credits, and grades/marks/examination results.
- Diplomas/Graduation Certificates/Degree Certificates indicating that a degree/qualification has been earned or that a program of study has been completed, if applicable.
- Hours of Internship or Clinical Practice
Please note that all records received from the institution(s) of study will become the property of IERF and will not be returned to the applicant.
Detailed syllabi with course content information for all studies completed are required. (Detailed course content information is required for all PT classes taken. General course descriptions may be substituted for general education subjects ONLY). Please inform your institution(s) of study that the names of the subjects on the course syllabi have to match the names of the subjects on the academic records, in the same order they have been listed. Any discrepancies will delay the evaluation.
Mailed to IERF by the applicant
Please submit clear and legible photocopies of the front and back of the following documents:
Physical Therapy License/Membership
If you have passed the physical therapy licensure examination, hold a physical therapy license, or hold a professional membership in your country of study, please submit copies of all related documents.
Previous IERF Evaluation
If a physical therapy evaluation was previously done by IERF, please submit a copy of the original evaluation and checklist.
Additional Academic Records and Requirements
If relevant to your education, please submit the original degree certificates and transcripts for the International Baccalaureate, Diplôme de Baccalauréat, Advanced-Level Examinations, Maturità, Maturitätszeugnis, Certificat de Maturité, Abitur, or Attestato di Maturità.
If the school where you were trained has closed down and the educational records have not been archived at another academic institution, please submit a letter to IERF that explains your case.
Translations must be submitted for all records not officially issued in English. These include translations for transcripts, diplomas, course syllabi, professional licensure, etc. The translation must be in the same format as the original-language documents, line-by-line, word-for-word, and must be typed.
IERF has negotiated a special discount with University Language Services for our applicants who use their translation services. You can contact them directly through their website to learn more about the discount.
For studies completed within the United States
Please have the U.S. institution(s) send transcripts directly to IERF. Please note that all records received from the institution(s) of study will become the property of IERF and will not be returned to the applicant.
If you have passed the CLEP Examinations, please request that ETS send your test results directly to IERF. The institutional code for IERF is 2344. Please note that all records received from ETS will become the property of IERF and will not be returned to the applicant.
Application Procedure for Physical Therapy Licensure for California
Please note that applications for the Physical Therapy Board of California (PTBC) have a process which differs from other state boards. The information below has been provided for your convenience.
The PTBC does not consider applications from unqualified applicants. In order to be deemed a qualified applicant, he/she must have an evaluation done and demonstrate that his/her training meets the Board’s educational requirements that are outlined in the coursework evaluation tool (checklist).
There are no rush services for Physical Therapy licensure evaluations.
As required by the state boards, copies of all files are forwarded for consultation to a licensed practicing physical therapist, who is employed by IERF.
Allow a minimum of 60 business days (3 months) from the receipt of all required documentation (and/or fees) for your evaluation to be mailed.
How to Apply for an Equivalency Review
A foreign-educated applicant (whose education was received outside the United States) must first apply for an equivalency review, also known as an evaluation. Please refer to the Document Requirements.
How to Read the Equivalency Review
After the evaluation is completed, the coursework evaluation tool (checklist) is sent to the applicant, along with a summary report. The evaluation is largely based on an analysis and comparison of the information found on the academic records and the course syllabi against the requirements on the educational checklist. Deficiencies are noted when postsecondary education is lacking in these subject areas. Either the coverage was inadequate and/or there was no evidence found on the academic records and course syllabi.
The coursework evaluation tool (checklist) is broken down into categories within the areas of general education and professional education. For example, within general education, there are categories in the humanities, physical sciences, biological sciences, etc. Each category has a minimum number of credits required. If the applicant’s training does not cover each category and the minimum number of credits within each category, then his/her training will be found deficient.
If the applicant satisfies all the educational requirements on the educational checklist, he/she is issued the CERTIFICATE OF PROFESSIONAL DEGREE EQUIVALENCY. There will be one applicant copy and one sealed copy in an envelope, which the applicant must submit to the Physical Therapy Board of California with a separate application to the Board. For this reason, the sealed envelope must not be opened. If the sealed envelope is opened, there will be a $50 fee by IERF to re-issue a sealed copy of the CERTIFICATE OF PROFESSIONAL DEGREE EQUIVALENCY.
For information regarding one’s separate application to the PTBC, please refer to their website or contact the Board at
Physical Therapy Board
2005 Evergreen Street, Suite 1350
Sacramento, CA 95815
Phone: (916) 561-8200
If the applicant did not fulfill all the educational requirements on the educational checklist and he/she is found deficient, a CERTIFICATE OF PROFESSIONAL DEGREE EQUIVALENCY will not be issued and an application to the Physical Therapy Board of California will not be possible.
The applicant may decide whether or not to pursue licensure at this point. To continue with the licensure process, the applicant must be cleared of his/her deficiencies.
How to Meet the Educational Deficiencies Identified by the Equivalency Review
Based on the guidelines established by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) and the Physical Therapy Board of California, ONLY coursework completed at the postsecondary level (e.g., at a college or university) may be used to fulfill an educational requirement.
If the deficiencies are in relation to general education, coursework in the designated categories must be taken at a recognized junior college, college or university. To determine whether an institution is recognized and accredited in the United States, please click here.
To fulfill requirements in the area of general education, one may also take College-Level Examinations (CLEP) and receive credit for subjects. For more information on CLEP, please refer to the website.
If the deficiencies are in relation to professional education, coursework in the designated categories must be taken within a physical therapy program recognized by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy in the US. For information regarding such programs, please refer to the website. Note that continuing education courses may not be used to fulfill any educational requirements on the coursework evaluation tool (checklist).
When additional studies have been completed to meet one’s deficiencies, he/she may re-apply to IERF and request a re-evaluation. To do so, the applicant must submit the items below.
How to Appeal the Equivalency Review
If an applicant disagrees with any of the deficiencies, he/she may submit an appeal to IERF’s Review Committee by submitting it in writing along with the following:
- A letter of appeal indicating the reasons for the appeal
- Evidence that the subject areas in question were adequately covered during one’s postsecondary education at a recognized institution. The evidence should be found among the subjects listed on the academic records and the corresponding course syllabi. All details that apply should be highlighted. If they are not highlighted, the appeal will not be considered. Please also note that resubmission of a complete set of syllabi is not necessary, only syllabi for those courses which address the deficiencies in question.
$200 if the applicant or educational institution provides course information with more details and information than previously submitted. This additional fee is required as new documentation is being provided and it was not submitted at the time of the initial application and evaluation. This fee should not be submitted if the same course information is being submitted as before for the appeal.
Upon receipt of the above items, the appeal will be forwarded to the Review Committee for consideration. Appeals normally require 30 business days to process. The Committee will either direct that a revised report be issued or an explanation why the deficiencies have not been fulfilled. Applying for an appeal does not guarantee that any deficiencies will be removed from an evaluation.
All credentials evaluations are based on the documentation received for each applicant and the requirements of the State Board at the time of application. Please note that reference to a previously completed evaluation for another applicant is not grounds for an appeal.
The Review Committee will only consider up to two appeals per evaluation. Afterwards, the case will be closed. For this reason, we advise that each applicant carefully consider the supporting documentation which he/she will submit with the appeal. Further requests to have a case re-opened will be subject to a $250 fee, per appeal.
How to Contact IERF
Queries regarding the equivalency review process at IERF may be submitted to our Allied Health Department
- by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- by fax at 310.342.7086
Application Procedure for Physical Therapy Licensure for All States (Except California)
- There are no rush services for Physical Therapy licensure evaluations.
- As required by the state boards, copies of all files are forwarded for consultation to a licensed practicing physical therapist, who is employed by IERF.
- Allow a minimum of 60 business days (3 months) from the receipt of all required documentation (and/or fees) for your evaluation to be mailed.
- As required by all Physical Therapy state boards (except California), your evaluation will be addressed and mailed directly to the Board.
Terms and Conditions
Please review the following terms and conditions:
The evaluation reports prepared by IERF are advisory in nature and in no way limit an agency or institution in making its own determination as to the level of education and allocation of credit to be allowed for the foreign credentials. IERF is not liable for consequential damages if the desired equivalency is not recommended.
Any questions concerning specific requirements and procedures for licensure, employment, or admissions criteria should be addressed by the applicant to the appropriate licensing board, agency or institution.
Altered or Irregular Documents
If forged, altered, or falsified documents are submitted to IERF, the request for evaluation will be immediately cancelled. All documents (original and photocopies) become the property of IERF. No refund will be issued. The information will be made available to the appropriate parties (academic institutions, government agencies, professional organizations and other evaluation services).
In the event of any disputes between the applicant and IERF, such disputes shall be governed by California law and shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the Los Angeles County courts.
IERF services are conducted solely by regular mail and the internet. Academic records, however, may only be submitted by regular mail or Courier Service.
Changes to an application must be submitted in writing. Once the evaluation is completed, an applicant has 90 days from the date of issue of the evaluation report within which to raise any questions concerning its content. Thereafter, the file will be closed.
Damaged or Lost Documents
Original documents submitted by the applicant are returned by a secure mailing service. While every effort is made by IERF to ensure the proper handling of educational documents, IERF accepts no liability related to the loss or damage of documents.
Limited Liability of Service
While every effort will be made to complete the evaluation within the requested timeframe, IERF cannot guarantee processing times and assumes no liability related to the delay of an evaluation report.
IERF shall not be responsible for any incidental or consequential damages that an applicant may incur if the educational equivalency anticipated by the applicant is not issued as the evaluation report, based on IERF research, may differ from an applicant’s interpretation or that provided by another party. IERF shall not be liable for any damages resulting from the use of the evaluation report. Furthermore, the applicant agrees to reimburse IERF for any and all costs, including legal expenses, which may incur as a result of any claim that the applicant (or anyone having any interest in the applicant’s earnings or services) may make, based on the recommended equivalency.
Reassessment of Equivalencies
IERF bases its evaluation analysis on the best information available to professionals in applied comparative education in the United States at the time when the evaluation is made. When additional information becomes available, IERF reserves the right to reassess educational equivalencies when copies of an evaluation report are requested.
Evaluations based on documents not submitted with the original request are considered to be new evaluations, and a new payment of the fee is required. Requests to change a General Report to a Detail Report (or the reverse) will be subject to the fee applicable to that report. The amount paid for any previous evaluation report is not credited toward the charge for a re-evaluation.
No refunds will be issued once an application has been submitted, even if the applicant disagrees with the evaluation.
A check that is returned due to insufficient funds is subject to an additional $30 fee.
IERF reserves the right to contact educational and governmental institutions for additional information and/or verification of the authenticity of the credentials submitted, including, but not limited to, sending copies of credentials to the institution.
Authorization for Release
IERF may release information about an applicant’s status including copies of educational records where these are required by the agency for whom the evaluation is being prepared.
Refusal of Service
IERF reserves the right to refuse service to anyone.
Information Subject to Change
The information provided by IERF on this website and on the application is subject to change at any time.
If you are ready to apply, please take advantage of our interactive easy-to-use online application.
You may also download the forms below: