Do I need to have a baccalaureate degree in order to enter into the Master of Science in Physical Therapy program?

Completion of a four year, 120-credit (or equivalent) baccalaureate degree in any field of study from an accredited post-secondary institution is required.

Please Note: Applicants may apply before their degree is completed. However, the degree requirements must be completed AND official grades appear on transcript by June 30 of the admission year in order to be eligible for admission. 

Does my undergraduate degree need to be in Kinesiology?
No, your undergraduate degree does not need to be in Kinesiology. Your undergraduate degree may be in any field of study as long as it is a four year, 120-credit (or equivalent) baccalaureate degree completed at an accredited post-secondary institution.
Are there any prerequisites?

Yes, you need to complete the following prerequisite courses. Prerequisites can show as in-progress on your transcript at time of application (i.e. being taken in the Winter term of the application year):

  • 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.
  • Human Anatomy (3 credits) Must be a separate course focusing on gross HUMAN anatomy. PTHER 350 is the recommended course. Must be completed within five years of applying. I.e. if you are applying in January 2025 your anatomy course must be completed after January 1, 2020.
  • Human Physiology (6 credits) Must focus on HUMAN physiology.
  • Human Movement (3 credits) PTHER 351 is the recommended course.
  • Canadian Indigenous History (Certificate or 3 credit course) Recommended course. If you choose to complete a credit course, please contact mscpt@ualberta.ca for information on approved courses.
I am not sure that a particular course is a match for your prerequisites. How can I find out?
Please see our Pre-Approved Anatomy Course List, our Pre-Approved Human Movement Analysis Course List, and our Pre-Approved Physiology Course list. If the courses you present are not on the pre-approved lists, or are in the other subject areas, you must have them approved PRIOR to applying by sending an email with the course outline to mscpt@ualberta.ca.
Do I need to complete my Human Anatomy, Human Physiology, and Human Movement prerequisite courses within the most recent 2 years?

The Human Anatomy prerequisite must be completed within 5 years of applying. For example, in the 2025 admission cycle the Anatomy prerequisite must have been completed after January 1, 2020.

We do recommend that applicants complete their Human Anatomy, Human Physiology, and Human Movement prerequisites within the most recent 2 years of application to the program for their own benefit. The Physical Therapy program requires a comprehensive background in Human Anatomy, Human Physiology, and Human Movement in order to succeed. We have found that students who have taken their Anatomy, Physiology, and Movement courses many years prior to starting in the program tend to struggle.

Do I need to have completed a full course load every year of my undergraduate degree in order to be admissible?
No, Physical Therapy (PT) does not have a course load requirement for admission. We do however recommend that PT applicants complete at least one year of a full course load in their undergraduate degree. The work and course load in Physical Therapy is quite heavy and it is beneficial for the applicant to have an idea of what that is like and to determine if they can handle it.
How is my GPA calculated? What is the minimum GPA requirement?

We determine your GPA by calculating your most recent 60 credits of university-level coursework taken prior to February of the admission year (This calculation does not include physical activity or studio courses, practicums, field experience, applied studies or work terms, or co-ops, nor can we use credit/no credit or pass/fail courses). A minimum GPA of 3.0 on the University of Alberta 4-point grading system or an equivalent standing from another recognized institution is required, but the average competitive GPA for Alberta applicants is >3.6 and for non-Alberta applicants is >3.9.

Do you include Spring/Summer courses in the GPA calculation?
Yes, if you completed eligible Spring/Summer courses within the most recent 60 credits (prior to February of the admission year) then they would be included in your GPA calculation.
If I retake a course will it replace the initial grade in my GPA calculation?

No, if both attempts at a course were completed within the most recent 60 credits (prior to February of the admission year) then the grades for both attempts would be included in the GPA calculation. Courses completed extra to degree will be counted only once within the GPA calculation, i.e., you cannot take the same course multiple times to boost your GPA.

Note that you must receive university credit for a repeated course in order for it to be used and weighted in the GPA calculation.

NEW for 2024 Admission Cycle:

Starting Fall 2023 Term (September 2023), and 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. Please note that introductory courses offered at a 300- and/or 400-level, are typically not included in the admission GPA calculation.    

Do you conduct a GPA calculation on prerequisite courses?
No, we do not conduct a separate GPA calculation on prerequisite courses. If they fall within the last 60 credits of eligible coursework completed then they will be included in your overall GPA calculation. If they fall outside of that, then we only look to ensure that they have been successfully completed.
If I need to upgrade my GPA, do I need to take senior-level courses?

If you are looking to upgrade your GPA to be competitive for admission to Physical Therapy, please ensure you take University level courses from an accredited post-secondary institution. Courses MUST be se senior level undergraduate courses (when possible). Courses do not need to be in a specific field.

NEW for 2024 Admission Cycle:

Starting Fall 2023 Term (September 2023), and 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. Please note that introductory courses offered at a 300- and/or 400- level, are typically not included in the admission GPA calculation. 

How long is the program?
The program is approximately 28 months long and involves approximately 30 courses and 31 weeks of clinical placement. Academic and clinical courses are held throughout the calendar year.
How many students are accepted each year?

We admit approximately 110 students each year.

Starting Fall 2024, 14 additional seats will be available in Augustana campus 

When are the entry points into the program?

The Summer term is the one and only entry point for the MScPT program. Applications for the MSc in Physical Therapy Course based program are accepted once a year. The online applications system (GSMS) opens on November 1 until January 15 (for international applicants) and February 1 (for domestic applicants) of the admission year.

The program begins in August, with a mandatory two-day Orientation at the end of July.

If I fulfill the minimum criteria of admission, what are my chances of entry?
Fulfilling the minimum criteria only guarantees consideration for admission. All applicants meeting the application requirements are ranked based upon GPA and the top 30% (approximate) are then invited to participate in the interview. Following the interview, applicants are re-ranked on an overall admission score and the top applicants are offered admission to the program. Successful applicants tend to significantly exceed the admission criteria both quantitatively and qualitatively.
When will applicants be notified about the interview?
Invitations with your specific interview time will be sent out to qualifying applicants in early March. Candidates invited to the interview will receive more information on the format at that time.
Is any work experience required?
No. Applicants will not be required to submit a Verification of Work or Volunteer Experience form.
When is the application deadline?
Please see Application Process: Step by Step for current dates and deadlines.
What documents are required and when are they due?
Please review the Application Process page on our website to review required documents for admission.
Is there an application fee, and if so, how do I pay it?

Yes, there is a nonrefundable application fee of $135. You must pay it by credit card just prior to the final submission of your online application form.

*Please note that as of September 1, 2021, the fee for applications to all graduate programs has increased from $100 CAD to $135 CAD. If you have questions about the fee, please contact grad.webadm@ualberta.ca.

Do I need to upload transcripts for work I completed at a vocational school?

Yes, you must upload a transcript (front and back page) in pdf format from each university, college, technical school, etc. ever attended. This includes transfer, exchange, graduate level, part-time, distance programs, general interest courses and spring/summer sessions, even though you may or may not have received transfer credit at another institution.

Please upload your official transcript(s) issued within the past 6 months of the admission deadline to the Graduate Studies online application portal (GSMS) before the application deadline. Applications missing transcripts or that have transcripts that do not meet our requirements will be considered incomplete and not reviewed for admission.

Transcripts should NOT be emailed, mailed or faxed to the department. We will not accept these transcripts or upload them to applications on behalf of an applicant. Transcripts uploaded to the application can not be password protected.  Password protected transcripts will be rejected and the application will be considered incomplete.

What if my first language is not English? Is there an English Language Proficiency (ELP) 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.

Please refer to Application Requirements for more information on accepted ELP exams and minimum scores.

Is there a residency requirement?
Yes, preference will be given to Alberta residents. A minimum of 15% of seats will be offered to out-of-province or foreign applicants.
Are reference letters and Curriculum Vitae (CV) requirements for this program?
No, the Department of Physical Therapy does not require them. Please do not send in a CV or any reference letters.
How do I indicate which Campus I want to attend?
You indicate your preferred location by completing the Site Preference Section of the Supplemental Application form.
How will it be decided which location I attend?
If your composite score following the interview is high enough to be given an offer, the Department of Physical Therapy will make all reasonable efforts to make an offer to your preferred campus location. In the event all seats are filled at your preferred location by applicants with a higher composite score, you will be offered a seat at your second or third choice and given the option of being placed on a waitlist for your preferred location. Please be aware that if you indicate you only want to attend one of the campuses, then you will only be considered for that location and your chances of admission may be reduced.
Should I check Beartracks to monitor the status of my application?
No, the Department of Physical Therapy does not use BearTracks for admissions purposes. You can track the status of your application in the Graduate Studies online application portal.
How much are the fees?
Check out this page.
Do international (visa) students pay more?
International students should review the Tuition Framework for International Students for information on tuition and fees.
Where do I send my documents?
Do not mail in hard copies of your documents. Required documents must be uploaded in the Graduate Studies online application before the application deadline.