Application Requirements

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

Application Questions?

Hala Moraich
Academic Advisor, Physical Therapy
Email: mscpt@ualberta.ca

The Department of Physical Therapy is committed to an equitable, diverse and inclusive learning environment. The MScPT Program welcomes applications from qualified candidates from diverse backgrounds.

The following changes are now in effect for applicants applying to the MScPT program for admission in 2024:

  1. MScPT program is adding 14 seats to UofA Augustana Campus.  
  2. Starting Fall 2023 term (September 2023); with the exception of prerequisite courses, courses completed extra to degree MUST be senior undergraduate level (typically 300- and 400-level) courses to be included in the admission GPA calculation.     
  3. As of 2024 intake cycle, completing English (3 credits) undergraduate course AND Volunteer/Work experience are no longer requirements for admission. 
  4. The mandatory Supplemental Application will now be completed as a PDF document that will be uploaded to the online application in the GSMS system. This requires you to rank your campus choices, provide information about where you reside, and which of your courses meet our prerequisite requirements. The Supplemental Application is a mandatory part of the admissions process, and as such, applications that do not have this document uploaded will not be considered for admission.
  5. Transcript(s) submitted as part of the MScPT application package must have been issued within 6 months of the application deadline. Applicants missing transcripts or that have transcripts that do not meet our requirements will be considered incomplete AND not reviewed for admission.  

It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure they have thoroughly read ALL admission requirements and adhere to the due dates. 

Application 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.
Prerequisite Courses
  • 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. Sport Psychology and Exercise Psychology courses are not acceptable.

  • Humanities/Social Science (3 credits) Acceptable course subjects. (This must be met by taking a course with a course code that falls under the Humanities or Social Sciences headings of the table).

  • Human Anatomy (3 credits) Must be a separate course focusing on gross HUMAN anatomy. Combined Anatomy and Physiology courses are not acceptable (exception: KNES 259/260 from University of Calgary). PTHER 350 is the recommended course. Must be completed within 5 years of applying. For the 2024 intake, it must be completed after January 1, 2019. It may be in progress at the time of application. Please see our list of pre-approved Human Anatomy courses.
    • Applicants accepted into our MScPT program are expected to have a strong level of anatomy knowledge. Successful applicants are required to first compete PTHER 516 - Human Anatomy in order to move forward with the program. This is an intense graduate level course that is delivered in a condensed format over a one month timeframe. Students consistently give the feedback that their prerequisite course did not adequately prepare them for the level of detail required for PTHER 516. Based on this feedback, here are some key recommendations when considering a prerequisite course:
      • Taking a more senior level course (e.g, 3rd or 4th year course).
      • Taking the course more recently (e.g within 3 years).
      • Taking a regional anatomy course over a more generalised systems based course.
      • Taking a course with a strong focus on musculoskeletal anatomy.
      • Taking a course with a cadaver lab is not necessary but provides an advantage.
  • Human Physiology (6 credits) Must focus on HUMAN physiology. Please see our list of pre-approved Human Physiology courses.

  • Human Movement (3 credits) 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. Please also see our list of pre-approved human movement courses.

  • Canadian Indigenous History (3 credits OR certificate) can be satisfied by taking an approved credit course, or by taking the certificate course Indigenous Canada, a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC).
    • You do not have to be a University of Alberta student to take the MOOC. Students will receive a certificate upon completion that should be included in their application. Please have this certificate course completed by the time of application. The certificate course will not be included in the GPA calculation.
    • If an applicant chooses to take this prerequisite for credit, they should ensure that the course has been approved by the Department of Physical Therapy by emailing mscpt@ualberta.ca. Credit courses will be included in the GPA calculation, if applicable, and may also be used to satisfy the Humanities/Social Sciences prerequisite. Kinesiology or similar courses that focus on Indigenous health and wellness are not sufficient for this requirement.
Interview Requirements
The 2024 Interview will be conducted virtually. More information regarding the format will be sent to candidates invited to the interview.

  • Eligible candidates will be invited to participate in an Interview(s). The interview(s) is 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.
  • 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 interview prep courses are separate from the Department of Physical Therapy's interview(s) 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.

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 (exception: Athabasca University).
  • 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 mscpt@ualberta.ca prior to submitting their application to the program.
Indigenous Applicants

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

The University Calendar provides a definition of an Indigenous 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 Indigenous applicant is an Indian, Inuit or Métis person of Canada, or a person who is accepted by one of the Indigenous peoples of Canada as a member of their community.

Indigenous 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 Indigenous 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 at least 50
    • A TOEFL (internet based) score of of 102 - no less than a score of 23 for the speaking component, 24 for the listening component, 24 for the reading  component, and 27 for the writing component
    • A TOEFL (computer based) score of 237
    • An IELTS (Academic, not General exam) 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.

Important Information for Future Applications regarding Winter 2020 courses:

For post-secondary students applying to a program at the University of Alberta, grades issued for courses taken in Winter (Jan - Apr) 2020, whether from the U of A or elsewhere, will not be included in the calculation of admission GPAs. Credits from passed courses may still contribute to credit requirements if taken within the last 60 credits of eligible coursework.

University of Alberta grades of CR from Winter 2020 will contribute to the credit requirements for admission and will be accepted as satisfying program prerequisites. A grade of NC will not contribute to credit requirements for admission and will not satisfy program prerequisites.

Please see the University's original post for more information on these changes to admissions practices. If you have any questions please email mscpt@ualberta.ca.

  • 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.
  • See the list of pre-approved human anatomy courses, pre-approved human physiology courses,and pre-approved human movement 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 mscpt@ualberta.ca, and provide a detailed course outline and/or syllabus for the course(s) in question.

  • 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.

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