MSc in Rehabilitation Science

Woman doing research

The MSc in Rehabilitation Science (MScRS) program is designed for graduate students interested in careers in academic and non-academic health and related interdisciplinary fields. The MScRS can serve as a stepping stone on the pathway to advanced research training for students planning to pursue a PhD in Rehabilitation Science or related fields. MSc Rehabilitation Science students have backgrounds in clinical areas (e.g., physical therapy, occupational therapy, communication sciences, kinesiology, law, public health or other health-related fields).


An eligible applicant must meet all Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (FGSR) requirements (see the FGSR Graduate Program Manual), as well as the following Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine (FRM) requirements:

  1. A bachelor's degree or the equivalent, or a previous clinical degree (BSc or MSc) in a rehabilitation discipline or a related field;
  2. a minimum GPA of 3.0 on the University of Alberta 4-point grading system or an equivalent standing from another recognized institution during the last two years of full-time study;
  3. acceptable scores on an approved test of competency in the English language. See full FRM Policies and Procedures manual for details;
  4. identified faculty member within the FRM who has agreed to supervise the applicant;
  5. three reference letters from individuals who are knowledgeable about the applicant's academic and research potential and capabilities;
  6. a current curriculum vitae; and
  7. 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. Talk about how your background (academic training and work experience) make 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).

The final decision regarding suitability/acceptability of the applicant for the MSc program in rehabilitation science lies with the RS-Graduate Programs Committee. The final decision regarding admission of an acceptable applicant to the MSc program lies with the FGSR.

Components of Program

The program consists of course work (a minimum 15 credit units at the graduate level, including three mandatory courses) and a thesis (including proposal and defense of thesis research). Students also take training in ethics and scientific integrity. The Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (FGSR) has a professional development requirement designed to help you determine your career path in both academic and non-academic settings.


There are two core mandatory courses within rehabilitation science (REHAB 500 and 512). They are designed to help students understand the theories and issues specific to rehabilitation science as well as design considerations in rehabilitation research. Students also take a mandatory statistics course and two electives pertinent to their thesis research.

Length of Program

The optimal time period for completion of the program is two years. A maximum of four years is permitted for completion.

Residency Requirements

The residence requirement of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (FGSR) is satisfied by full-time registration (9 credit hours/term) for two four-month terms of study and research at the University of Alberta.

Student Funding Opportunities

In the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, we will work with supervisors and students to create a funding package that will support students throughout their programs. Funding packages typically include supervisor and faculty funding (research assistantship, teaching assistantship), as well as studentship funding (i.e., through local, provincial and national awards). 

At this time, we guarantee funding for PhD students in Year 1 and 2, and MSc students in Year 1. 

Scholarships and Awards

The Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine offers recruitment awards to highly competitive students (i.e., students who will be competitive for national funding through the tri-council agencies). The call for applications for this award goes out to supervisors on March 15 and August 15 of each year. Contact your supervisor about applying for a Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine recruitment award.

PhD and MSc students are expected to apply, with the help of their supervisors, for studentships or fellowships from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), or the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), as well as provincial agencies (Alberta Innovates). In addition, the Graduate Program Committee may nominate eligible, newly admitted doctoral students for FGSR University of Alberta Recruitment Scholarships.

Students and supervisors are encouraged to read the information about these and numerous other awards in the University of Alberta Calendar, on the FGSR website under "Awards and Funding" and in the FGSR Graduate Program Manual.

Pre-Application Survey