Physical TherapyWestern Health Sciences

Admission & Application Requirements

In order to be considered for admission to the Master of Physical Therapy (MPT) program, prospective students must meet the minimum requirements listed below. Admission is competitive and only 55 students are admitted each year. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.

Dates and Deadlines

  • Applications are accepted beginning in mid-October (date TBA)
  • The last day to submit an application is January 9, 2015
  • Offers of admission are sent out beginning in mid-May

General Requirements

  • Applicants must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents
  • A four-year bachelor's degree with high academic standing from a recognized university
  • Two Confidential Assessment forms - letters of reference - (with one being an academic reference)
    • R1 and R2 reference forms (PDF) are available from the ORPAS application package
  • Applicant Statement (completed as part of the online application)
    • Maximum 500 words
    • Explanation of why the applicant has chosen Physical Therapy as a career and outlining the applicant's knowledge of the profession and its scope of practice
    • Explanation of why the applicant has chose the Master of Physical Therapy (MPT) program at Western
    • Description of the strengths, experiences, attributes, leadership skills and/or abilities the applicant will bring to the profession
  • Applicants who first language is not English must show evidence of their proficiency in the use of the English language
    • Minimum scores: TOEFL - 105 IBT with a minimum of 23 on the speaking component and no other section score below 20; IELTS minimum score of 8

Prerequisite Courses

Successful completion of the following unviersity-level courses, or equivalent is required for students to be considered for admission. For non-Western courses, full courses are generally definied as six credit, full-year courses. Half courses are three credit, half-year courses. Only one prerequisite course may be graded as a pass/fail. All others must have standard grades.


  • 1 full course (or 2 half courses) in general or introductory science
  • This may include physical science (biology, chemistry or physics) or life science/health science (anatomy, physiology, biomechanics)


  • 1 half course in English or writing with a minimum 1500 words of essay writing completed at a university in a country where English is the first language
    • Course must have an ENGL or WRIT prefix
  • A defended master's thesis from a Canadian university would also fulfill this requirement
  • Essay courses from other academic departments will not be accepted

Social Science/Liberal Arts

  • 1 full course (or 2 half courses) in social science (psychology, sociology, economics, history, geography) or liberal arts (languages, fine arts, philosophy, ethics, classical studies, film studies, comparative literature, humanities, music, dance, visual arts)
  • A full course in English or writing cannot be used to fulfill both the English/Writing and Social Science/Liberal Arts prerequisites


  • 1 half course in human, mammalian, or vertebrate physiology (e.g. Western Physiology 1020, 1021, 2130, or equivalent)
  • Animal physiology, invertebrate physiology and exercise physiology are not accepted
  • Combined courses (e.g. human anatomy and physiology) will be given credit only for the human physiology component of the course (i.e. half credit for a full year course and a quarter credit for a half year course)


  • 1 half course in statistics (e.g. statistics, research methods, or research design

GPA Calculations and Averages

GPA Calculations

A calculation of the grade point average (GPA) for admission purposes will be completed based on an applicant's final 60 units of university academic study (i.e., the equivalent of 10 full courses or 20 half courses) completed by December 31 of the fall term preceding the application deadline. It will include summer, part-time, intersession, distance education and undergraduate university courses taken beyond the four-year undergraduate degree.

For applicants currently enrolled in the fourth year of a bachelor's degree program, this calculation will start with the applicant's final fall term grades (completed by December 31) and will move back in chronological order based on the order of courses listed on the transcript. Where grades must be extracted from a term to achieve the equivalent of 10 full courses, the average of that year (e.g., applicant's second year) will be used. Western does not include graduate degree course work, practicum/activity-type courses, Bachelor of Education, certificate or diploma program courses or courses with non-convertible grades (e.g. pass/fall) in the GPA calculation. Exchange program grades are included in the admission GPA if they are convertible.

GPA Averages

Year First Round Cutoff Final Acceptance
2013 3.84 3.83
2012 3.82 3.76
2011 3.79 3.73

Admission Decisions

Admission decisions are based on a strong, overall admission package consisting of:

  • Applicant`s statement
  • GPA based on last 10 full course equivalents (or 20 half course equivalents)
  • Paid or unpaid Physical Therapy-related experience
  • Paid or unpaid Non-Physical Therapy-related experience
  • Awards and Scholarships
  • Confidential Assessment forms - letters of reference - (one academic and one professional)

Successful applications generally exhibit:

  • Exceptional grade point averages obtained during previous university course work
  • Strong academic references from professors or research supervisors who know the applicant well
  • Strong second professional reference from an individual who can comment on the applicant's interpersonal skills and potential clinical strengths as a future clinician

Admissions decisions made by the School of Physical Therapy are final and not subject to appeal.

Additional Information

  • Completion of paid or unpaid Physical Therapy-related experience (submitted as part of online application) may be submitted as part of the application
    • Applicant will be asked to provide a brief list (maximum of 4) of any activities directly related to the physical therapy field, including a clear outline of patient experiences, job shadowing and volunteer opportunities, as well as research, co-op placements and employment. 
  • Completion of paid or unpaid non-Physical Therapy-related experience (submitted as part of online application) may be submitted as part of the application
    • Applicant will be asked to provide a brief description (maximum of 4 activities) of any other relevant activities that provide evidence of their involvement and leadership in increasing the well-being of individuals, groups or society in general. 
  • All applicants are encouraged to have some interaction working with individuals with physical and/or cognitive limitations
    • Examples of such interactions might include volunteer or paid work in a hospital, physical therapy clinic, group home, camp or school for physically or developmentally challenged individuals.  
  • One of the Confidential Assessment forms must be completed by an individual who holds an academic faculty position in a university, who has taught the applicant, and who is qualified to judge his or her academic ability.
    • Positions such as a Teaching Assistant or Athletic Therapist/Trainer do not qualify as academic referees.
    • The second confidential assessment form must be completed by someone who can judge the applicant's performance and interpersonal skills from their perspective as a physical therapist, employer or somone who supervised the applicants working with persons with special needs.
    • It is recommended that neither of the Confidential Assessment forms be submitted by either relatives or friends of the applicant.
  • Information outlining awards and scholarships the applicant has received to date may be submitted as part of the application (maximum of 4 entries).
  • Western's admissions process does not include an interview.
  • Prospective applicants may complete summer courses and part-time academic year courses in order to fulfill the prerequisite course requirements.
  • All prerequisite courses must be either complete, or in progress, by the ORPAS admission deadline (early January).
  • Any prerequisite course in progress as of the admission deadline must be completed by August 31. Please use the online Prerequisite Form to list your prerequisites.
  • World Education Services (WES) evaluation of transcripts and degree equivalency is required for all internationally educated applicants. These reports will be used only as a reference in the assessment of admission eligibility.
  • Internationally-educated physical therapists:
  • The two-year program requires full-time study. Applicants should ensure that they are capable of being full-time students.

Immunizations and Vulnerable Sector Screening

In order to protect the health of patients and health care workers, including health care students, clinical education facilities have specific medical and non-medical requirements for all of their employees. Students in the MPT program are required to submit valid documentation regarding health status, immunization and other medical and non-medical documentation, upon admission to the MPT program. These must be completed by a specified date during both first and second years of the MPT program in order for students to participate in clinical placements.  

All students admitted to the MPT program at Western University must obtain documentation of a Vulnerable Sector Screening (VSS). The VSS must include a search of the Pardoned Sex Offender Database. The VSS can typically be obtained through the local police department.

Students are responsible for any costs incurred to fulfill these requirements. Information about this is distrubuted to students accepted into the program.

Student Outcome History

2011 2012
Graduation Rate 100% 98% 98%
Licensure Exam Pass Rate 98% 95.7% 80%
Employment Rate 100% 100% 100%


Apply Now

Applications to the MPT program are coordinated by Ontario Rehabilitation Sciences Programs (ORPAS) and are handled online. The online application includes the submission of official transcripts and a personal submission. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that all parts of the application file are completed. It is recommended that applicants provide their referees with a stamped, addressed envelope to facilitate this process. The School of Physical Therapy will not contact applicants whose application files are incomplete.