Physiotherapy School Information

If you are looking for more information, contact the SSSC.

What is Physiotherapy?

Physiotherapists are primary health care practitioners who work collaboratively with clients and other practitioners to provide quality care. Physiotherapists primarily work in a rehabilitation setting, assisting patients to their maximum functioning and improving quality of life after accident or injury. Through evidence-informed practice, physiotherapists prevent, assess, and treat the impact that injury, pain, disease, and/or disorders have on clients’ movement, function, and health status. A physiotherapist can work both independently and as part of interprofessional teams to best serve patients needs.

Physiotherapists work with people in one-on-one or group-based settings. They provide treatment in all kinds of health care settings including hospitals, long-term care facilities, home care, community-based clinics, schools, and private practice clinics.

There are various different specialties within physiotherapy, including:

  • Cardio-Respiratory
  • Musculoskeletal
  • Oncology
  • Neurosciences
  • Pain Sciences
  • Pediatrics
  • Senior's Health
  • Sport
  • Women's Health

Within these fields, a physiotherapist can serve a wide demographic, from children to elderly, from office workers to professional athletes.


About the Programs

Education in physiotherapy in Canada includes a Master’s degree of approximately 2 years (24 months) in length. Many programs are continuous in nature, meaning there is no summer break, and classes or placement will occur through the summer semester.

Education in Physiotherapy in Canada include a master’s degree of approx. 2 years (24 months) in length. Many programs are continuous in nature, meaning there is no summer break and classes or placement occur through the summer semester.

Physical therapy programs are often in a school of Rehabilitation or Health Science in their respective university.

Most program include a balance of course material and clinical education experience. Therefore, some semesters you may be in the classroom learning theory and skills necessary for practice, while other semesters you will be shadowing a registered physical therapist in the field working in real life setting. Clinical education often includes going into various different areas of physical therapy practice to get a taste for all the different fields and demographics it serves.

Average Costs - Approximately $12,000/year (will vary between programs)


Course Pre-Requisites for Physiotherapy Schools in Canada 

Physiotherapy Schools in Ontario

McMaster University

  • 1 semester of human physiology
  • 1 semester of human anatomy
  • 1 semester of statistics or health research methods
  • 1 semester of humanities or social science

Click here for more information.

Queen's University

  • 2 semesters of introductory psychology
  • 1 semester of human anatomy
  • 1 semester of human physiology
  • 1 semester of statistics

Click here for more information.

University of Toronto

  • 1 semester of human physiology
  • 1 semester of human anatomy
  • 2 semesters of life and/or physical sciences
  • 2 semesters of social sciences and/or humanities, and/or languages
  • 1 semester of statistics

Click here for more information.

Western University

  • 1 semester of human / mammalian / vertebrate physiology
  • 2 semesters of science
  • 1 semester of statistics / research methods / research design
  • 2 semesters of social sciences / liberal arts

Click here for more information.

University of Ottawa (French Program)

  • 2 semesters of human anatomy and physiology
  • 1 semester of human psychology
  • 1 semester of research methodology or statistics

Click here for more information.

Physiotherapy Schools Outside of Ontario

Programs

Pre-Requisites Required

University of Alberta

  • 1 semesters of English
  • 1 semester of statistics
  • 1 semester of psychology
  • 1 semesters of humanities / social science
  • 1 semester of human anatomy
  • 2 semesters of human physiology
  • 1 semester of human movement
  • 1 semester of Canadian Indigenous history OR an online certificate course offered by Indigenous Canada free of charge

Click here for more information.

University of British Columbia

  • 1 semester of basic physiology
  • 1 semester of advanced physiology
  • 1 semester of human anatomy
  • 1 semester of statistics
  • 1 semester of English
  • 1 semester of physics
  • 1 semester of psychology

Click here for more information.

Dalhousie University

  • 2 semesters of human physiology
  • 1 semester of human anatomy
  • 1 semester of statistics, research methods, research design
  • 2 semesters of languages / humanities and/or social sciences with at least one semester of psychology
  • 1 semester of life sciences

Click here for more information.

University of Manitoba

  • 1 or 2 semesters of human anatomy
  • 1 or 2 semesters of human physiology
  • 1 semester of basic statistical analysis
  • 1 semesters of psychology
  • 1 semester of English literature

Click here for more information.

University of Saskatchewan

  • 2 semesters of human physiology
  • 1 semester of human anatomy
  • 1 semester of statistical methods

Click here for more information.

Note: Many schools prefer students who are residents of the province the university is situated in.


Application Process

For schools in Ontario, all applications take place through the Ontario Rehabilitation Sciences Programs (ORPAS).

For schools outside of Ontario, you must apply to the individual institution directly. 

Each institution may have varying admission deadline. As soon as Mid November, and as late as February. If you are considering schools outside of Ontario it is important to plan in advance.

Some institutions may require and In person or virtual interviews as part of their application process.


Grades

Most programs in Canada require you to have a B average in all prerequisites in order to be considered for admission.

However, in order to be considered “competitive” a GPA of 3.7/3.8 on a 4.0 scale is often required.


Extracurriculars

Physical Therapy programs often do not require you to input a variety of extracurricular activities you participated in during university. However, these can still provide valuable experiences to talk about in personal statements as well as provide opportunities to gain a letter of reference from the community. Being able to speak about how you have impacted your community, how you have served a variety of demographics, and having leadership experience can be assets to discuss in interviews and/or personal statements. Do the extracurriculars that interest you, and not what you think looks good.

Some programs however do require you to have some form of clinical experience in Physiotherapy. This means volunteering and/or working in a setting in which a physical therapist works.

Depending on the program, they may ask for a certain number of hours to be met. Look at the specific programs you are interested in to determine if they have a minimum hours requirement.

When to Start Volunteering?

It is suggested that as soon as you believe you have an interest in physical therapy, start looking for volunteer opportunity.

This will allow you time to find a placement, gain more hours, and reflect on your experience.

It also gives you more time to figure out if you do in fact like physical therapy.

How to Find a Placement?

If you or a family member have ever been to physical therapy, that clinic can be a good place to start to see if they are taking on volunteers.

  • Look on LinkedIn for a PT in your area. This allows you to potentially reach out to individual PTs rather then clinics. You will also be able to see where they work and their education. Meaning you can ask them about their education experience. 
    • Reaching out to people currently in their masters can also be a good option as they will be able to talk about their experience in a program and give more information about course load and curriculum. They may also be able to connect you with the location they volunteered in.
  • Cold calling private clinics to ask if they are accepting volunteers can lead to getting a volunteer position. 
    • It may take calling a few locations to find one who is taking on volunteers. Don’t be discouraged if you get a few No's. All it takes is one to say Yes in order to get in somewhere!

Suggested Tips While Volunteering

  • Keep notes of things that you observed (types of techniques used, types of injuries and ailments patients had)
  • Keep track of the progress you see any one patient have over the course of your time volunteering
  • Keep note of what you learned (this will allow you to call back to your experience when writing personal statements and show your knowledge of the field)
  • Keep note of how the PT interacted with patients (Patient interaction is a major part of the job!)

Casper

Casper is an online situational judgment test. It will ask you to answer in both typed and video format questions regarding ethical dilemmas in order to assess behavioural tendencies of applicants.

Many PT programs require you to have taken the CASPER test prior to application. You are responsible for coordinating time to study for and take the CASPER test on your own.


Personal Statement

Some PT programs may require you to write and submit a personal statement to questions the university provides with your application. You should be prepared to speak about your knowledge of the field, why you want to enter the profession, what skills you can bring to the profession and your experience volunteering and/or working with a diverse population.

Carrier services can help edit and refine any personal statement you may be working on. Start working on your personal statement as soon as possible (once the application portal opens) in order to allow yourself time to edit, seek advice from carrier services, and re-edit.

 

 

Search Carleton