MSc in Physical Therapy


The Master's of Science in Physical Therapy (MScPT) program at the University of Alberta is one of 15 physical therapy programs in Canada (10 English, 5 French). It is an accredited, graduate, professional, entry-level physical therapy (PT) program, and is one of the largest in Canada with approximately 124 students admitted per year. 

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. 

Expected Attributes of the MScPT Graduate

MScPT graduates are professionals with the clinical knowledge, skills and attitudes that enable them to:

  • Integrate theory, research, clinical skills, and client values to identify, develop and implement intervention strategies that result in the best outcome for each client, family, and client population.
  • Practice in a manner inclusive of all whom they serve, are understanding of oppressive and systematic practises that result in the health disparities, and are active contributors to anti-racist and equitable physiotherapy service delivery.
  • Continually improve physical therapy services delivered to the public and contribute to the research and clinical knowledge in physical therapy.
  • Demonstrate adaptability and resilience, assume leadership roles, and work collaboratively to achieve appropriate outcomes for a variety of clients in diverse, complex and changing healthcare environments.

The MScPT Program 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 U of A MScPT 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)
  • Self-directed learning
  • 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. Please review the MScPT Program Flowchart. 
Cohort Timelines
1st year Blocks 1-3 (August-July)
2nd year Blocks 4-6 (September-July)
3rd year Block 7 (September-December)

Note: For students admitted to the MScPT program in 2024, mandatory orientation occurs on July 30 & July 31, 2024. The start date of the first course (PTHER 516 Anatomy) is August 1, 2024. Online access to course materials commences August 1, 2024. Anatomy is completed in an intensive format (lecture and lab 5 days per week) until August 30. All students will attend this course in-person. Fall term courses begin on Tuesday, September 3, 2024, in-person at Edmonton or Camrose or Calgary.

Upon successful completion of the MScPT program, graduates are eligible to take the national Physiotherapy Competency Examination (PCE). The PCE consists of a written and a clinical component. Once the PCE is passed, the graduate can apply for licensure to practice physical therapy.


Our Campuses

The University of Alberta MScPT course-based program is offered at three different campuses; Edmonton, Camrose and Calgary. Of the 124 students admitted to the program, approximately 24 study in Calgary, and 14 study in Camrose. Admission into any of our campuses is based on the same criteria and standards. All students begin the program with a one month residency in Edmonton to study anatomy and establish initial face-to-face connections with the colleagues they will be working with via technology throughout the remainder of their program. With the MScPT program's distributed education model, students at all campuses complete the same core program of required courses as their colleagues enrolled at the other campuses. Each campus will offer unique elective opportunities reflective of local expertise and community partnerships in addition to the online electives available to all.

Upon successful completion of the program students will receive a Master of Science degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Alberta and graduates will be eligible to write the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators entry-level proficiency exam.



The Master of Science in Physical Therapy 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 October 15, 2018, for the period to October 31, 2024. A description of Accreditation - Fully Compliant follows.


  • A program is in compliance with 100% of the accreditation criteria within the Accreditation Standards.
  • There is no criteria non-compliance.
  • There could be identified concerns that the program must improve upon and report back about in Progress Reports.
  • If progress is not made, the program's accreditation status could be changed to partially compliant or probationary at any time in the six year accreditation cycle.


  • If a program loses its accreditation status, its students may not be considered graduates of an accredited physiotherapy education program.
  • Students must be considered graduates from an accredited physiotherapy education program in Canada in order to be eligible to write the Physiotherapy Competency Exam and be licensed to practice in physiotherapy in Canada.
  • The program's accreditation status is important to graduating students with regards to becoming licensed to practice physiotherapy in Canada. It is recommended that students contact the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators ( for information regarding the process to become licensed as a physiotherapist in Canada following graduation.

More details regarding the definitions of the levels of accreditation are available at

The contact information for PEAC is:

Physiotherapy Education Accreditation Canada,
Suite 26, 509 Commissioners Road West,
London, Ontario. N6J 1Y5 (226) 636-0632

Please click on the PEAC website below for further information.

For more information about accreditation, licensure and the profession, please refer to the following governing bodies: