Physical Therapy

Combined MScPT/PhD

Beginning with admissions for 2018 the Department of Physical Therapy will offer a combined MScPT/PhD degree.

The combined MScPT/PhD program brings together two programs to achieve efficiencies that help exceptional students seamlessly complete combined clinical and research studies. Each year, two seats will be held for student admissions into the combined MScPT/PhD program.  If fewer than 2 suitable candidates are available, the position may be taken by an MScPT student (enrolled in the first year of their clinical program).  The program is expected to take between 5-6 years to complete.

Application and Acceptance into Combined Program

  • For acceptance into the combined MScPT/PhD program, students must meet the admission requirements (GPA, interview, prerequisites) of both programs.
  • Students will apply for MScPT program first and meet all the deadlines and requirements of that program.
  • Students wishing to additionally apply to the combined program should:
    • identify a faculty member who is willing to supervise their program, prior to their MScPT admission interview (usually mid to late April)
    • complete a research statement using the following directions. Please write a short description of the research interests you discussed with your potential supervisor. Explain how the proposed research relates to your career goals, listing your academic, research and professional plans.Describe how your background (academic training and work experience) makes you a suitable candidate to complete research in this field. Also, discuss why you’ve chosen to apply to the Rehabilitation Science program at the University of Alberta (word limit 500 words). Submit this directly to Angela Libutti at angela.libutti@ualberta.ca no later than April 30th in the year of admission.
  • Students who are admitted to the MScPT program, and complete the activities above, may be invited for an interview with the Program Director of the MScPT program and the Associate Dean-Graduate Studies in order to further explore interest and suitability for combined studies.

Flow of Program

Two options for flow of the program are available– start in the PhD or start in the MScPT (see Table 1).  The advantage and disadvantages of each route is as follows. Starting in the PhD (i.e., PhD Start in Table) allows the student to do the foundational research work prior to starting in the clinical program, which tends to have more rigid timetabling. The flow of the research studies, however, is interrupted by the clinical program.  This could work if the thesis was planned as a series of independent studies, which are not time sensitive.  Starting the clinical program first (i.e., MScPT Start in Table) runs the risk that a student might abandon the PhD portion of the program once the clinical portion is completed. However, the program was approved such that students are not permitted to go back into one of the programs (i.e., on its own – PhD or MScPT) once admitted into the combined program. This requirement highlights the importance of student commitment and suitability for the combined program at admission. The advantage starting in the clinical program is that it allows the student to develop their clinical research questions more effectively as they plan their research work. Subsequently, there is greater understanding of clinical practice and potentially relevant research questions that impact patient.  Flexibility will be allowed and considered on a case-by-case basis. Timing of the candidacy will be built into the program so that it occurs at the logical time for the particular program, rather than the current regulations of the PhD program, which is no later than the 3rd year of the PhD program. It is possible that the student will need an additional ½ to 1 year to complete the requirements for both programs (up to 6 years). See also detailed flow of program below.

Time

PhD first

MScPT first

Year 1

PhD course work/research

MScPT

Year 2

PhD research

MScPT

Year 3

MSc PT

PhD course work/research

Year 4

MScPT

PhD research

Year 5

PhD research/MSc clinical

PhD research/MSc clinical

Year 6 (if needed)

PhD Research/Clinical placement

PhD Research/clinical placement

Table 1. Outline of Flow of Combined Degree

Course Work

  • Students will complete all academic and clinical requirements of both programs, with efficiencies proposed to integrate common content from each program (see below). Required courses in the PhD Rehabilitation Medicine program are listed in the calendar and include 18 credit units (Rehab 600, 601, 603 at least one advanced statistics course, and 6 credit unit electives). Required courses in the MScPT (96 credit units) are as listed in the calendar.

Residency

The seats for the MScPT/PhD program are located in Edmonton. This allows maximal contact with researchers and fellow graduate students (both clinical and research).

Detailed Flow of Program (Note: individual variability is expected)

Stream

PhD Start

MScPT Start

Year 1

Fall

Rehab 600, 601,

Stats

Anatomy (August)

Block 1 course work

Winter

PTHER 572, research elective

Block 2 course work

Spring/Summer

PTHER 573 (option to take here or next summer), Thesis/Project work

Block 3 placement and coursework, 3* research elective/independent study

Year 2

Fall

PTHER 899/900 (in lieu of thesis if required), elective if needed, Thesis

Block 4 course work

Winter

Candidacy

Block 5 content minus PTHER 574 EBP III unless elective

Spring/Summer

Candidacy/Thesis till August

 

PTHER 516 (Anatomy)

PTHER 521 (Research placement)

Block 5 coursework

PTHER 899/900 individual in lieu of thesis

Thesis

Year 3

Fall

Block 1 course work

Rehab 600, 601,

Stats

Winter

Block 2 Coursework (minus 572), research work in lieu of 572

1 methodological/stats courses, elective course work

Spring Summer

Block 3 course work (minus 573, if taken above)

Placement, 3 * research elective/independent study

Thesis/Project work

Year 4

Fall

Block 4 course work

PTHER 900 ( completed through thesis work), Thesis

Winter

Block 5 content including PTHER 574 EBP III if used as elective

Candidacy ( this is in Year 4 which would require an exception to the timetable for candidacy mandated by FGSR)

Spring Summer

PTHER 521 (Research placement)

Block 5 coursework minus PTHER 900

Thesis

Candidacy/Thesis

Year 5

Fall

Thesis

Thesis

Winter

Thesis

Thesis

Spring/Summer

Defense

Defense

Year 6

Fall

Placements – PTHER 522/523

PTHER 901 OSCE

PROGRAM COMPLETION

Placements – PTHER 522/523

PTHER 901 OSCE

PROGRAM COMPLETION