Physical Therapy

MScPT Student Handbook

The Department of Physical Therapy

The Department of Physical Therapy is one of three departments in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Alberta. The other two Departments include the Department of Occupational Therapy and the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. Each of these Departments offers an entry-level professional Master's of Science graduate program. Professional programs allow graduates to become registered clinicians in a specific profession. The Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine also offers graduate programs in Rehabilitation Science.

Vision of the Department of Physical Therapy

The University of Alberta Physical Therapy Department is the place where:

  • the best students, educators, clinicians and researchers are drawn and inspired to learn and discover physical therapy;
  • innovation is embraced; and
  • active sharing and engagement with the community enhances lifelong health and the value of physical therapy.

Mission of the Department of Physical Therapy

Through leadership and vision, the Department of Physical Therapy promotes excellence in physical therapy practice by:

  • providing the highest quality of Physical Therapy education;
  • conducting research at the frontiers of rehabilitation science; and
  • engaging in collaborative community partnerships.

Vision of the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine

A respected global leader advancing the art and science of rehabilitation for the public good.

Mission of the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine

Through research and education we develop rehabilitation approaches to enhance the quality of life for the people we serve. Together with our students, alumni, and community partners, we work across disciplines to discover and translate innovation that advances clinical practice and health outcomes.

University of Alberta -For the Public Good

Physical Therapy - What Is It?

Physical Therapy or Physiotherapy (these are interchangeable) is a primary care, autonomous, client-focused health profession dedicated to:

  • improving and maintaining functional independence and physical performance;
  • preventing and managing pain, physical impairments, disabilities and limits to participation; and
  • promoting fitness, health and wellness.

Physical Therapy's unique contribution to health care stems from its advanced understanding of how the body moves, what keeps it from moving well and how to restore mobility.

What do Physical Therapists (Physiotherapists) do?

Physical Therapists (PTs) assess an individual's level of mobility, strength, endurance and other physical abilities to determine the impact of their illness or injury on their physical function, whether at work, rest or play. PTs diagnose the condition and any functional impairments and develop a plan to restore mobility, reduce pain and/or improve function. They work with individuals and when appropriate, their families, to understand how their conditions and impairments are affecting their daily life. PTs measure the individual's progress regularly and adjust the care accordingly. They also advise the individual on how to manage their condition independently and help the individual prevent avoidable recurrences or complications. PTs may also work with populations of individuals with similar health challenges within wellness, injury prevention and health promotion activities.