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

  • ORPAS online applications are accepted beginning in mid October
  • The last day to submit an application is January 8, 2016
  • 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 standard letters of reference (ORPAS Confidential Assessment Forms).
    • One Confidential Assessment Form must be completed by an individual who holds an academic faculty position in a university, who has taught or supervised the applicant, and who is qualified to judge the applicant's academic ability relative to a number of other students. 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 a professional who can judge the applicant's performance and interpersonal skills from his/her perspective as a physical therapist, employer or someone who supervised the applicant working with persons with special needs.
    • It is recommended that neither of the Confidential Assessment forms be submitted by either relatives or friends.
    • Letters of Reference that elaborate on the applicant's unique and exceptional qualities are valued.
  • 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
    • The Applicant Statement should elaborate on the applicant's unique and exceptional qualities rather than just on their aspirations to become a physical therapist
  • Completion of paid or unpaid Physical Therapy-related experience (submitted as part of online 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 other volunteer or paid experience (submitted as part of online 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.
  • Information outlining honours, awards and scholarships the applicant has received to date may be submitted as part of the application (maximum of 4 entries).
  • Applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence of English-language proficiency; the TOEFL or an IELTS is recommended.
    • A minimum TOEFL score of 620 (paper‑based), 105 (internet‑based), or an IELTS score of 8 is required.
    • If, after admission, the applicant shows inadequate command of spoken or written English, they must improve their proficiency to the satisfaction of the School of Physical Therapy.
    • They may be asked to withdraw from the program if their command of English interferes with their ability to provide quality professional services.
    • NOTE: Test results must be sent directly to Western University.

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 or American 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/Average 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.

Average Grade of Incoming Class

Year Average Grade
2015 87.2%
2014 88.8%
2013 88.6%

Admission Decisions

If you have the necessary prerequisites, you will be considered eligible for admission. Place of residence, program of study and university where studies have been undertaken are not criteria in the selection process.

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
  • Other paid or volunteer experience
  • Honours, 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

  • 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.
  • Internationally-educated physical therapists:
  • The two-year program requires full-time study. Applicants should ensure that they are capable of being full-time students.

Vulnerable Sector Screening and Immunizations

Vulnerable Sector Screening

Students admitted to the MPT program at Western University must obtain documentation of a police 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. This
is a requirement of the School of Physical Therapy and our affiliated health care facilities. Conviction of a criminal offence may affect your ability to obtain the necessary clinical placements for successful graduation from the Master of Physical Therapy program.

Immunization and Other Non-Medical Requirements

To protect the health of patients and health care workers, including health care students, clinical health care facilities that provide clinical education have mandatory, specific medical and non‑medical requirements for all health care students and employees, with no exceptions. Therefore, students are required to submit valid documentation about health status, immunization and other medical and non‑medical documentation, upon admission to the MPT program (e.g., childhood immunizations, annual TB and flu shots, Vulnerable Sector Screening/clearance, CPR, first aid, etc.). Failure to fulfill these requirements by a specified date will result in a delay, or the student’s inability to successfully participate in clinical placements and graduate from the MPT program. Please contact the School of Physical Therapy if you have any concerns related to medical and non‑medical requirements. Students are responsible for any costs incurred to fulfill these requirements (i.e., approximately $500).

Student Outcome History

2013 2014
Graduation Rate 100% XX%
Licensure Exam Pass Rate 82% XX%
Employment Rate 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.