246-915-110  <<  246-915-120 >>   246-915-130

Physical therapist applicants from unapproved schools.

(1) Applicants who have not graduated from a physical therapy program approved by the board must:
(a) Have a bachelor's degree in physical therapy with all credits earned at an institution of higher learning that confers at least a bachelor's degree in physical therapy which is approved by the country's Ministry of Education/Health, or governmental entity;
(b) Have a valid, unencumbered license or authorization to practice physical therapy in the country in which the physical therapy education was obtained;
(c) Have graduated from a program of physical therapy education with requirements substantially equal to those required of graduates of board-approved programs;
(d) Submit an application for review by the board;
(e) Submit official transcripts from the physical therapy program showing degree date; and
(f) Submit transcripts, fees, and other documentation to a credentialing service approved by the board and request the evaluation report be sent directly to the board.
(2) In addition to the other requirements of this rule, the applicant must demonstrate a working knowledge of English by obtaining:
(a) Scores of at least:
(i) 4.5 on the test of written English (TWE);
(ii) 50 on the test of spoken English (TSE); and
(iii) 220 on the computer-based test of English as a foreign language (TOEFL) or 560 on the paper-based TOEFL; or
(b) Scores on the test of English as a foreign language (TOEFL) internet-based test (IBT) of at least:
(i) 24 on the writing section;
(ii) 26 on the speaking section;
(iii) 21 on the reading section;
(iv) 18 on the listening comprehension section; and
(v) 89 on the overall examination.
(3) The board may request additional supporting documentation as necessary.
(4) The degree's total credits must be at least one hundred twenty-three. A semester credit is equal to fifteen hours of classroom instruction per semester. For courses with a laboratory component, a semester credit is also equal to thirty hours of laboratory instruction per semester. (A semester credit equals 0.67 quarter credits.)
The applicant may meet the objective of one hundred twenty-three semester credits requirement by using additional elective credits in either general or professional education beyond the minimal requirements.
(5) Substantially equal physical therapy education as used in subsection (1)(c) of this section, shall include a total of one hundred twenty-three semester credits or equivalent credits of college education including:
General education - at least fifty-four semester credits:
(a) Humanities - nine semester credits which may include English, speech, foreign language, literature, music/art, philosophy and other humanities courses;
(b) Social sciences - ten semester credits which may include history, social sciences, philosophy, civilization, psychology, sociology, economics and other social science courses;
(c) Biological, natural, and physical science - eight semester credits which may include chemistry, mathematics, physics, biology, zoology, anatomy, kinesiology, physiology and other biological and natural science courses. In addition, the applicant must have one semester (five semester credits) of chemistry with laboratory and one semester (four semester credits) of physics with laboratory.
(6) Professional education. An applicant who has graduated from an unapproved school must complete at least sixty-nine semester credits in the following topics:
(a) Basic health sciences. At least one semester (at least four semester credits) in each of the following topics:
(i) Human anatomy (specific to physical therapy);
(ii) Human physiology (specific to physical therapy);
(iii) Neurological science;
(iv) Kinesiology or functional anatomy;
(v) Abnormal or developmental psychology; and
(vi) Pathology.
(b) Clinical sciences. The essential element of physical therapy education is teaching the student to assess and treat appropriately across the spectrum of age. Therefore, any educational course work should contain all of the following:
(i) Clinical medicine pertinent to physical therapy. Including, but not be limited to:
(A) Neurology;
(B) Orthopedics;
(C) Pediatrics;
(D) Geriatrics.
(ii) Physical therapy course work including, but not limited to:
(A) Physical agents;
(B) Musculoskeletal assessment and treatment;
(C) Neuromuscular assessment and treatment;
(D) Cardiopulmonary assessment and treatment;
(E) Wound debridement/wound care;
(F) Pharmacology.
(c) Clinical education. Clinical education must include demonstrated application of physical therapy theories, techniques, and procedures, as supervised by a physical therapist. The applicant must have at least two clinical affiliations of no less than eight hundred hours total.
(d) Related professional course work. The applicant must complete three semester courses in the following topics:
(i) Professional ethics;
(ii) Administration;
(iii) Community health;
(iv) Research;
(v) Educational techniques; and
(vi) Medical terminology.
(7) Applicants must have received a grade of "C" or higher in all professional education course work.
(8) The applicant may apply for the College-Level Education Program (CLEP) and their scores may be applied toward college credit. The board will consider the conversion of CLEP scores to college credits provided by a board-approved credentialing agency.
(9) The board may allow applicants who have not graduated from a physical therapy program approved by the board to correct deficiencies by completing board-approved course work. To obtain course work preapproval, the applicant must submit a written request along with the course description/syllabus for the proposed course.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 18.74.023. WSR 08-17-026, § 246-915-120, filed 8/13/08, effective 8/13/08; WSR 07-07-066, § 246-915-120, filed 3/15/07, effective 4/15/07; WSR 94-05-014 (Order 403B), § 246-915-120, filed 2/4/94, effective 3/7/94; WSR 93-04-081 (Order 328B), § 246-915-120, filed 2/1/93, effective 3/4/93; WSR 92-08-039 (Order 259B), § 246-915-120, filed 3/24/92, effective 4/24/92; WSR 91-02-011 (Order 103B), recodified as § 246-915-120, filed 12/21/90, effective 1/31/91; WSR 84-13-057 (Order PL 471), § 308-42-125, filed 6/19/84.]
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