The PT License Process in Georgia

By Luna
The PT License Process in Georgia

How do you get a PT license in Georgia? Since physical therapists in Georgia earn an average salary of $88,429, it's worth exploring. What's more, the cost of living in Georgia is lower than the national average, so PTs usually spend less on groceries, housing, health, and other expenses. And since we're in the business of helping physical therapists as best we can, we're sharing how to become licensed in the beautiful Peach state. Here are the basic steps:

Step 1: Earn your Physical Therapy degree

Step 2: Apply for a license with the Georgia State Board of Physical Therapy

Step 3: Pass the required exams for Georgia

Step 4: Maintain and renew your license


Step 1: Earn your Physical Therapy degree

To become a licensed physical therapist in Georgia, you must obtain a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree from an accredited school. Schools must be accredited through CAPTE (Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education.) The current list of accredited schools in Georgia are:

Augusta University - Augusta, GA

Brenau University - Gainesville, GA

Georgia Southern University - Savannah, GA

Mercer University - Atlanta, GA

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine - Suwanee, GA

University of North Georgia - Dahlonega, GA

Before enrolling in a DPT program, you must first earn a bachelor's degree, ideally with a major in health sciences. A Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program typically takes about three to four years to complete.

Step 2: Apply for a license with the Georgia State Board of Physical Therapy

Once you complete your physical therapy degree program, you can apply for a license with the Georgia Board of Physical Therapy. Whether you fill out a paper application or submit via the Board's online portal, it must include the following:

*The Georgia Physical Therapy Practice Act requires anyone seeking a physical therapy license to complete a fingerprint background check. A license will not be issued without the receipt of a satisfactory result. The process is done through the Georgia Applicant Processing

Service (GAPS). Follow the Instructions for Applicants to Obtain Fingerprints for a Background Check to register, obtain your print location, and have your results sent to the Georgia State Board of Physical Therapy.

You may check the status of your physical therapy application through the Georgia Board of Physical Therapy's online portal

Step 3: Pass the required exams for Georgia

The Georgia Board of Physical Therapy requires that you pass two exams before becoming a licensed PT. Those are the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) and the Georgia Jurisprudence Assessment Module (GA JAM.) To take these exams, you must register with a separate agency, the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT.) Both tests evaluate your knowledge regarding the essential aspects of physical therapy. It's a good idea to review the NPTE Candidate Handbook before taking either exam.

National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE)

The NPTE exam determines if you're qualified to practice as a PT in Georgia. It's a multiple-choice exam consisting of 250 questions. One of the best ways to prepare for the NPTE is by taking a practice exam. When you're ready to take the official exam, take note of the NPTE eligibility requirements as well as the key dates and deadlines. You may register and pay online for the test via your Customer Dashboard

Once you've registered for the exam, you'll receive an emailed Authorization to Test letter (ATT) from FSBPT (also available online on your Customer Dashboard.) Your ATT letter will direct you to contact Prometric to schedule a time to sit for the exam. 

Georgia Jurisprudence Assessment Module (GA JAM)

The GA JAM exam is a test of Georgia's state laws and rules. Before you take the exam, it's best to review the below list of regulations. (Links to each are on FSBT's GA JAM page.)

  • Official Code of Georgia Annotated, Title 43, Chapter 33 - Georgia Physical Therapy Act
  • Official Code of Georgia Annotated, Title 43, Chapter 1 - Professions and Businesses, General Provisions
  • Rules of Georgia State Board of Physical Therapy
  • Georgia State Board of Physical Therapy Policy Statements
  • Georgia JAM Content Outline

You can register for the exam online via FSBPT, and the cost is $65. The GA JAM must be completed within 96 hours of purchase. You'll have 90 minutes to complete the exam's 50 multiple-choice questions. A passing grade of 80% or higher is required for licensure.

Step 4: Maintain and renew your license

Once you've completed and passed all of the above requirements, your license is issued for two years. It expires on December 31 of odd-numbered years. You may renew your license online

To renew your license, you'll need to obtain 30 hours of continuing education between each renewal. At least four of those hours must be in the subject areas of jurisprudence and ethics. Georgia licensees can fulfill the jurisprudence and ethics continuing education requirement by completing the GA JAM or taking a Georgia Ethics and Jurisprudence course from a Georgia college or university with an accredited PT program.

Also, as of March 15, 2021, all Georgia licensed physical therapists have the option to:

  • Register and report their continuing education coursework and submit proof of completion of continuing education experiences into CE Broker; and,
  • Record all continuing education taken to satisfy the requirements of license renewal before applying to renew their license.

To use CE Broker, Georgia licensees must create (at minimum) a basic limited-access account and record any completed continuing education activities. 

These are the steps required for getting and keeping your physical therapy license in Georgia. For additional support, we recommend you contact APTA Georgia, the state chapter of The American Physical Therapy Association. They are an excellent resource for all PTs in the state. From all of us at Luna, we wish you the best of luck and look forward to a possible partnership with you in the future.