Physical Therapy

Application Requirements

**Please refer to the Application Process: Step by Step page PRIOR to applying for important information regarding the application process and deadlines.



We are happy to meet with prospective students to discuss the application requirements and procedures; however, please call or email to make an appointment as we cannot guarantee that we will be able to accommodate walk-ins.

Academic Requirements

  • 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 >3.9 for out of province applicants on the most recent sixty credits of study is recommended for a competitive application. GPA is calculated on the most recent 60 credits of university-level coursework taken (courses must be transferable to the University of Alberta to be included). Practicums, work terms, field studies, and physical activity/studio courses are not included. However, senior-level physical activity courses may be included at our discretion. For more information on how GPA is calculated please visit the FAQ section.
  • Completion of the following pre-requisite courses:

    • English (3 credits) General course with assessment of reading, writing, and essay composition. Can be introductory level. Technical English and Business Communication courses are acceptable.
    • Statistics (3 credits) General course covering basic statistical concepts and data analysis. PTHER 352 is one option.
    • Psychology (3 credits) Must be from a designated introductory/general Psychology course.
    • Humanities/Social Science (3 credits) For acceptable course subjects see this table.
    • Human Anatomy (3 credits) Must be a separate course focusing on gross HUMAN anatomy. PTHER 350 is the recommended course. Must be completed within 5 years of applying. I.e. if you are applying for the 2020 intake, your anatomy must be completed after January 1, 2015, and before February 1, 2020.
    • Human Physiology (6 credits) Must focus on HUMAN physiology.
    • Human Movement (3 credits) PTHER 351 is the recommended course.
    • Canadian Indigenous History (please see below for more information) NEW FOR 2019*


  • 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 covered in the Physical Therapy program.
  • 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.
  • PTHER 350 and PTHER 351 will be offered in Spring/Summer 2019, in addition to the Fall and Winter terms.

The following changes are now in effect for applicants applying to the MScPT program for admissions in 2020:

1. The following change is in effect: Completion of the University of Alberta's Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Indigenous Canada is a new requirement for admission. Applicants may take the Certificate course at a modest fee to fulfill this prerequisite. Applicants who have taken NS 200 or AUHIS 369 at the University of Alberta will be considered as having met this requirement. INST 369 from Athabasca University will also be accepted. If you have taken another Canadian Indigenous History course that you believe meets our requirements please email a detailed course outline and/or syllabus to for review.

Applicants who choose to take the Indigenous Canada MOOC for credit, or take another approved 3-credit course, can use the resulting 3 credits towards the Humanities/Social Sciences prerequisite while also satisfying the Canadian Indigenous History course requirement. Note that you must be a University of Alberta student to take the Indigenous Canada MOOC for credit. 

2.  A 3 credit Human Movement prerequisite course will be required. 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 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 is unable to take PTHER 351 at the University of Alberta, we have developed a small list of courses from other Universities that we will consider equivalent.

3. The standalone Anatomy prerequisite course must be completed within the last 5 years (ie. the Anatomy prerequisite course must be completed after January 1, 2015).

4. The Anatomy prerequisite course grade will be weighted separately in the overall admission score.  Therefore, Anatomy must be completed after January 1, 2015 and must be completed before February 1, 2020. If your Anatomy is not complete by February 1, 2020 you will be ineligible for application in the 2020 admission year. All other prerequisite courses can still be completed in the Winter term of the year of admission (registration by February 1 and completion/grades reported by June 1). 

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. Working with family members is not acceptable.
  • The volunteer/paid experience should be completed within the last few years upon application to the program.
  • Experience gained as part of a program of study (practicum, work term, co-op, placement) is not acceptable, regardless of whether it counts for credit or not. 
  • 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.

Interview Requirements 

  • Candidates will be invited to participate in a Multiple Mini Interview (MMI). The MMI is a series of short, multi-station interviews based on predefined scenarios designed to evaluate the interviewee's critical thinking ability, ethical decision making ability, communication skills and the non-cognitive/humanistic skills required for success in a clinical environment. View sample questions.
  • The interview evaluation constitutes a significant component of the overall admissions assessment.
  • During the interview, invited applicants will move through a total of eight different stations; spending approximately eight minutes at each station. A different interviewer will be at each of the stations, therefore an applicant has the opportunity to share his/her experiences and thoughts with a variety of individuals. The length of the entire interview will be 64 minutes.
  • All applicants who are invited to participate in the interview process will be required to sign a Confidentiality Agreement to ensure the security of the interview questions/scenarios. 
  • The University of Alberta's CAPS MMI prep course and any other MMI prep courses are separate from the Department of Physical Therapy's Multiple Mini Interview and are not connected in any way.
  • Please Note: Physical Therapy is a regulated health profession that is governed by the Health Professions Act in a manner that protects and serves the public interest. The Code of Ethics for Physical Therapists in Alberta (  describes the set of ethical principles and values that guide physical therapists’ interactions with patients, healthcare professionals, and the public.  Professionalism is a core value of the Code of Ethics and is also central to the Department of Physical Therapy. Physical Therapists are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that maintains public confidence in the integrity and dignity of our profession. In selecting students for the MScPT program we are looking for applicants who  will conduct themselves in a manner befitting our profession. As such, any and all communications and interactions with the Department of Physical Therapy before, during and after the interview are considered part of the interview process and may be taken into account during admission deliberations. Admission may be denied to applicants who communicate or act in a manner that may be considered inappropriate or unprofessional regardless of academic standing or interview performance.

Alberta Residency Requirement

Preference will be given to residents of Alberta. Approximately 15 percent of the available seats will be designated for out-of-province and international applicants. An applicant will be considered an Alberta resident if at least one of the following applies:
  • The applicant currently has a permanent residence in Alberta.
  • The applicant is a graduate of the University of Alberta or any other university within Alberta. 
  • The applicant is currently serving or is a member of a family unit in which the spouse, a parent or a legal guardian is serving in the Canadian Armed Forces or R.C.M.P in Alberta.
  • If an applicant has graduated from an Alberta post-secondary institution, but does not have a residence in Alberta and does not consider Alberta their hometown, they need to contact the Admission Coordinator at 780.492.7844 or prior to submitting their application to the program. 

Proof of Alberta residency, in the form of government issued ID or other documentation, may be requested and must be shown to remain in the pool of Alberta applicants.

Admission Offers for Aboriginal Applicants

Applicants of Aboriginal ancestry (First Nation, Inuit, Metis) are first considered in the general pool of applicants. If Aboriginal applicants are not competitive for the general pool they may then compete for the two seats reserved for Aboriginal students. Applicants applying for the two seats reserved for Aboriginal students must meet the minimum GPA to qualify for an interview and must receive a passing score on the interview. Applicants applying for the two seats reserved for Aboriginal students must be Canadian citizens; preference will be given to Alberta residents.


The University Calendar provides a definition of an Aboriginal Applicant: For the purpose of application and admission to the University of Alberta, and in accordance with the Constitution Act, 1982, Part II, Section (35)2, an Aboriginal applicant is an Indian, Inuit or Métis person of Canada, or a person who is accepted by one of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada as a member of their community.

Aboriginal applicants must be aware that proof of ancestry does not guarantee admission to any program. All positions at the university are competitive, and admission committees will make their selections from among the best-qualified candidates. Please refer to the University Calendar for examples of acceptable proof of Aboriginal ancestry.

English Language Proficiency Requirement

  • Applicants must demonstrate a high level of proficiency in English as English is the primary language of instruction at the University of Alberta. Physical Therapists within Canada require a high level of English language skills to effectively communicate with patients and other professionals.
  • Applicants with degrees/qualifications in a language other than English may need to demonstrate English Language Proficiency through an approved English language exam, or the completion of EAP 550 through the Faculty of Extension at the University of Alberta. 
  • The Department of Physical Therapy considers the following as the minimum requirement;
    • A TOEFL (paper based) score of 580. You must also complete a TSE with a score of atleast 50
    • A TOEFL (internet based) score of 92 - no scale score less than 20
    • A TOEFL (computer based) score of 237
    • An IELTS overall band score of 7.5 with no less than 7.0 on each band 
    • For all other approved English language examinations the approved score is the minimum score accepted by FGSR. The Department of Physical Therapy also reserves the right to require further demonstration of English language proficiency (Section 203.2.4 of the University of Alberta Calendar).
    • Please be aware that scores more than two years old cannot be verified; therefore if your exam was completed more than two years ago you will be required to re-take the test. 

International applicants should review this presentation for further assistance.

Please see Application Process: Step By Step for further details on How to Apply.