The Master’s of Science in Physical Therapy (MSc PT) program at the University of Alberta is one of 14 physical therapy programs in Canada (10 English, 4 French). It is an accredited, graduate, professional, entry-level physical therapy (PT) program, and is one of the largest in Canada with approximately 110 students admitted per year.
It is a year-round, full-time program and can be completed within 30 months of study. All Canadian entry-level PT programs graduate physiotherapy generalists and are not programs of specialization. National entry-level competencies must be acquired in all practice areas (musculoskeletal, cardiorespiratory, neurology, oncology, pediatrics, etc.) by the end of the program.
The MScPT program at the University of Alberta has completed the accreditation review process administered by Physiotherapy Education Accreditation Canada (PEAC). PEAC is an incorporated body under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act and operates as the accrediting agency for physiotherapy education programs in Canada. The status of Accreditation: fully compliant was granted to the program on 23 September 2012 for the period until March, 2018. A description of Accreditation: fully compliant follows:
A program is in compliance with 100% of the accreditation criteria within the Accreditation Standards.
There are no deficiencies.
There could be identified issues and weaknesses that the program must improve upon.
Progress towards improving issues and weaknesses must be reported in regular Progress Reports to PEAC.
If progress is not made, the program's accreditation status could be changed to partially compliant or probationary.
The U of A MSc PT program is an applied program - knowing is important but you also must be able to demonstrate entry-level critical thinking and clinical skills. Students should be prepared for:
Year round study (completion of ~ 35 academic and clinical courses)
Multiple learning formats (lecture, seminar, lab, etc.)
Multiple assessment formats (oral, practical exams, written)
Clinical placements integrated throughout program
Capping exercise (skills exam and scholarly project with oral exam)
Academic courses and clinical placements are offered over the fall, winter and spring/summer sessions. These terms are coordinated into 7 Blocks of study over 8 consecutive University terms. The program runs over 30 months (2.5 years) total. This includes short breaks (1 to 3 weeks) in most blocks and a long break (6 weeks) in each summer term.
CohortTimelines 1st year Blocks 1-3 (August-July) 2nd year Blocks 4-6 (September-July) 3rd year Block 7 (September-December) Convocation
You only need to take one of these language tests:
Minimum required score:
The TOEFL – or Test OF English as a Foreign Language – offers a paper-based test (PBT). The final, overall PBT score ranges between 310 and 677, and is based on an average taken from the three test components (listening, structure, and reading). The writing part of this test is scored separately on a scale of 0-6. Read more about TOEFL (PBT).
Minimum required score:
The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).
Before starting a programme, you need to have a basic knowledge of the English language.
You need the following GPA score:
Applicants for graduate programs must have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA equivalent to 3 on a US 4.0 grading scale. Admitted applicants typically have an undergraduate GPA of 3 or better on a 4.0 scale. No exam grade should be lower than 4.5 (European grade scale) or D (American grade scale).
Your GPA (Grade Point Average) is calculated using the grades that you received in each course, and is determined by the points assigned to each grade (e.g. for the US grading scale from A-F).
Completion of a four-year baccalaureate degree or its academic equivalent in any field of study from an accredited post-secondary institution is required.
Minimum GPA of 3.0 on the University of Alberta 4-point grading system or an equivalent standing from another recognized institution is required. However, a GPA of >3.6 for Alberta applicants and >3.8 for out of province applicants on the most recent sixty credits of study is recommended for a competitive application.
Completion of five pre-requisite courses before June 1 in the year of admission:
English (3 credits) General course with assessment of reading, writing, literature and essay composition. Can be introductory level. Humanities or Social Science courses will not be accepted in lieu. Business Communication and Technical English courses are not acceptable.
Statistics (3 credits) General course covering basic statistical concepts and data analysis. PTHER 352 is one option.
Psychology (6 credits) Minimum of 3 credits must be from a designated Psychology introductory/general course. *Note* As of 2017 admissions, the 6 credit Psychology pre-requisite will change to 3 credits of introductory/general Psychology and 3 credits of Humanities or Social Sciences - for examples see 43.1.
Human Anatomy (3 credits) Must be a separate course focusing on gross HUMAN anatomy. PTHER 350 is the recommended course.
Human Physiology (6 credits) Must focus on HUMAN physiology.
Human Movement (3 credits) *Requirement as of 2017 admissions. PTHER 351 is the recommended course*
We recommend that the Human Anatomy and Human Physiology prerequisites be completed within the last two years upon application to the program. Applicants that have completed a 100-level Anatomy prerequisite course are strongly encouraged to take a pre-approved senior level (300-level or higher) Anatomy course to prepare them for the advanced Anatomy in the Physical Therapy program.As of 2017 admissions, the Anatomy prerequisite must be completed within the most recent 5 years of application to the MScPT program.
Please see the list of pre-approved human anatomy courses and pre-approved human physiology courses. If you do not see the courses you present on those lists, or have a question as to whether a human anatomy or human physiology course you have taken is acceptable, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, and provide a course description and syllabus for the course(s) in question.
Please be aware that 2015 Admissions was the last year that we accepted the majority of pre-approved combined Human Anatomy and Human Physiology courses for our Human Anatomy pre-requisite. Please check the pre-approved lists above to see if your combined course was affected by this change. As of 2016 Admissions, applicants must present a separate 3 credits of Gross Human Anatomy.
As of 2017 admissions, we will be implementing a 3 credit Human Movement prerequisite course. Applicants who have completed a baccalaureate degree in Kinesiology/Human Kinetics or Physical Education/Activity will be considered to have completed the pre-requisite coursework for introductory human movement and will have met this requirement. Applicants with a baccalaureate degree in Kinesiology/Human Kinetics or Physical Education/Activity should submit the name and course number of their human movement course outline for our records (they can be emailed to email@example.com). Applicants who have completed undergraduate degrees in other areas should register in PTHER 351 (Principles of Human Movement for Rehabilitation) online through the University of Alberta. If an applicant wants to complete the Human Movement prerequisite outside of the University of Alberta, the course taken must encompass analysis of human movement with an emphasis on kinetics, kinematics, normal gait analysis, motor control and balance.
For those students currently completing a thesis-based Masters degree: If you are interested in applying for the course-based Masters of Science in Physical Therapy program (MScPT), we strongly advise that you complete your thesis-based Masters prior to applying. The MScPT program is a full time, intensive program with long hours and placement requirements. It does not allow for the flexibility to complete your thesis while being immersed in the MScPT program.
If an applicant has completed education at an institution that does not reflect terms on their official transcript (i.e. the institution lists the year the courses were taken but does not distinguish between first and second or Fall and Winter terms) the applicant can submit a document issued directly from the institution (should be provided by the Registrar's Office) that indicates which courses were taken during which term.
At least 1 year(s) of work experience are required.
Volunteer or Work Experience Requirements
A minimum of 30 hours of volunteer or paid experience working hands on with individuals who have cognitive or physical disabilities.
The volunteer/paid experience should be completed within the last few years upon application to the program.
Applicants must have their primary work supervisor complete a Verification of Work Experience form and return the completed form to the applicant. The applicant then must upload the completed form to the Graduate Studies online application before the deadline.
A maximum of two separate forms are accepted.
StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.
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