Admission & Application

To be considered for admission to the Master of Physical Therapy (MPT) program, prospective students must meet the minimum requirements as described under the Requirements and Prerequisite Courses and Application Components tabs. Admission to the MPT Program is competitive; only 75 students are admitted each year. Western's admissions process does not include an interview. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.

Dates and Deadlines

  • Applications are accepted (using the ORPAS online system) beginning October 15
  • The last day to submit an ORPAS application is January 8
  • Last CASPer test date accepted is January 5
  • Offers of admission are sent out:
    • In May for domestic applicants
    • In March for international applicants

Requirements, English Language Proficiency and Prerequisite Courses

Requirements

Applicants must:

  • Have successfully completed a four-year bachelor's degree with high academic standing from a recognized university or postsecondary degree-granting institution
    • Applicant's in the final year of their bachelor's degree must provide proof of degree completion (ie. degree conferral) by June 30
    • The Master of Physical Therapy program is an intense, onsite, full-time program and applicants must demonstrate through their application and academic background that they can be successful in a full-time, onsite program. Applicants may submit a Special Consideration request outlining reasons for studying online and/or on a part-time basis.
    • Applicants, whose undergraduate degree was completed at an institution outside of Canada, must submit their transcripts for equivalency (see Application Components section below)

English Language Proficiency

Applicants whose first language is not English must show evidence of their proficiency in the use of the English language by satisfactory achievement within the last two years in one of the following:

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

  • A minimum overall score of 105 (internet-based) or 620 (paper-based) is requied
  • TOEFL scores must be sent directly to the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at Western University using TOEFL ID 0984
  • In addition, a copy of the TOEFL test score must be uploaded to the ORPAS application

The International English Language Testing Service (IELTS Academic)

  • A minimum overall score of 8 in both the overall and writing section is required
  • IELTS test score must be sent directly to the School of Physical Therapy from the testing agency
  • In addition, a copy of the IELTS test score must be uploaded to the ORPAS application

Duolingo English Test (for 2021 application only)

  • The Duolingo English Test will be accepted in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic
  • The minimum acceptable score is 135
  • Duolingo test scores must be sent directly to Western University, select ‘Western University – Graduate Studies’
  • In addition, a copy of the Duolingo test score must be uploaded to the ORPAS application

If, after admission, a student shows an inadequate command of spoken or written English, they must improve their proficiency to the satisfaction of the School of Physical Therapy. Students may be asked to withdraw from the program if their command of English interferes with their ability to provide quality professional health care services.

Prerequisites

Prerequisite courses may be taken at any recognized university. Prerequisite courses may have been taken as part of an undergraduate degree or as additional university credit courses. University, web-based and distance education courses are accepted providing they meet the prerequisite requirements.

All prerequisite courses must have been completed within the past seven years (from the ORPAS application deadline). A minimum grade of 70% (or B-) must have been achieved for each prerequisite course.

Pass/fail grades will not be accepted for the prerequisite courses unless completed during the winter 2020 term.

The following university level prerequisite courses or their equivalents are required:

  • Human/Mammalian/Vertebrate Physiology – 1 half course
    • We do not accept Animal Physiology, Invertebrate Physiology or Exercise Physiology to fulfill this requirement
  • Science – 1 full course (or 2 half courses) in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Anatomy, Biomechanics, or Exercise Physiology
    • We do not accept Earth Science or Health Studies courses to fulfill this requirement
  • Statistics/Research Methods/Research Design 1 half course
  • Social Science/Liberal Arts – 1 full course (or 2 half courses)
    • Example of courses include: Psychology, Sociology, Economics, History, Geography, Anthropology, Languages, Fine Arts, Philosophy, Ethics, Classical Studies, Film Studies, Comparative Literature, Humanities, Music, Dance, Visual Arts

Full courses are generally defined as six credit, full-year courses; half courses are defined as three credit, half-year courses.

Prospective applicants may complete summer courses and part-time academic year courses to fulfill the prerequisite course requirements. All prerequisite courses must be completed or in progress by the ORPAS application deadline (see above).

A transcript is required to show proof of “in progress” courses. The MPT Program must receive a final transcript that shows the final grade of the “in progress” course(s) by June 30 of the application year.

Application Components

CASPer

In addition to submitting an application through ORPAS (see below), applicants are required to complete a CASPer online, video-scenario, situational judgement test.

NOTE: Applicants must add Western’s School of PhysicalTherapy to their CASPer distribution list in order for their scores to be sent directly to us from CASPer.

For the 2021 application, the last CASPer test date that will be accepted is on January 5, 2021. Visit CASPer for all available test dates.

Applicants must update their CASPer account with their ORPAS Reference Number by February 1.

  • An ORPAS Reference Number is generated once an applicant submits their ORPAS application
    • We will not be able to match a CASPer test score to an ORPAS application without an ORPAS Reference Number
  • Applicants must use the same name and email address on their CASPer as they do on their ORPAS application

Failing to enter correct and identical information may mean that we are unable to match your CASPer results with your ORPAS application. In this case, we will consider your application incomplete and your application will be disqualified from further consideration.

We will not give further consideration to applicants whose CASPer score is below average, or whose test is missing or incomplete.


ORPAS Application System:

Transcripts:

  • Official transcripts must be sent directly to ORPAS from the originating academic institution
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended must be submitted, including transcripts for course work that is currently in progress, taken with a letter of permission, transfer credits, exchange credit program or advanced standing credits taken during high school or CEGEP
  • For transcripts issued in a language other than English, applicants must submit one official transcript in the original language, as well as one certified English translation
  • Applicants, whose undergraduate degree was completed at an institution outside of Canada or the United States, must submit their transcripts for equivalency using the two steps outlined below
    • Submit the foreign transcript to World Education Services (WES) for evaluation
    • Submit both the original transcript and the WES evaluation to ORPAS
    • WES assessment is not required for courses taken on exchange
    • Note: The applicant is responsible for any costs incurred in obtaining the WES evaluation.

Prerequisite Courses:

  • Identify the prerequisite category, institution, course code, course title, start date/credit, final grade, and course URL

Two standard letters of reference: 

  • References must be submited online through the ORPAS application
  • Academic Reference:
    • One reference 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
  • Professional Reference:
    • The second reference must be completed by a professional who can judge the applicant's performance and interpersonal skills from his/her perspective as a physical therapist, or someone who supervised the applicant working with individuals with special needs
    • References must not be submitted by relatives, friends or family friends
  • Referees should elaborate on the applicant's unique and exceptional qualities

Applicant Statement: (completed as part of the online application)

  • Maximum 6,250 characters (approx. 1,000 words)
  • The applicant's statement should include all of the following components:
    • An explanation of why they have chosen physical therapy as a career, demonstrating your knowledge of the profession and its scope of practice
    • A description of what they will bring to the physical therapy profession (e.g. strengths, experiences, attributes, leadership, skills and/or abilities)
  • The Applicant Statement should elaborate on the unique and exceptional qualities of the applicant rather than just their aspirations to become a physical therapist

Evidence of Paid or Unpaid Physical Therapy-related Experiences

  • Provide a brief list (maximum of 4) of any activities (volunteer or paid) directly related to the physical therapy field, including a clear outline of the types of patients/individuals and the applicant's role
  • This experience does not need to take place at a physical therapy clinic but should include working with patients/individuals with needs that could be serviced by a physical therapist
  • Documentation must include the total number of hours of involvement, as well as the applicant’s role and the population with which the applicant interacted
  • IMPORTANT: Enter the total number of hours, applicants who enter only the number of hours per week will not be credited since the total number of hours cannot be discerned

Evidence of Paid or Unpaid Non-Physical Therapy/Community Service Activities

  • Provide a brief description (maximum of 4 activities) of any other activities (volunteer or paid experiences) that provide evidence of involvement and leadership in increasing the well-being of individuals, groups or society in general
  • Documentation must include the total number of hours of involvement, as well as the applicant’s role and the population with which the applicant interacted
  • IMPORTANT: Enter the total number of hours, applicants who enter only the number of hours per week will not be credited since the total number of hours cannot be discerned

Supplementary Documentation

  • Applicants who are permanent residents of Canada must submit a copy of both the front and back (date on the back must be legible) of their Permanent Residency Card as part of their application

GPA Calculations and Averages

Grade point average (GPA) calculations are completed by ORPAS. Questions pertaining to GPAs should be directed to the MPT Admissions Coordinator at ptadmit@uwo.ca or 519-661-2111 ext. 84351.

A calculation of the sub-GPA for admission purposes will be completed based on the final 20 half courses of university academic study (i.e., the equivalent of 10 full courses or 60 credit hours) completed by December 31 of the fall term preceding the application deadline. Summer, part-time, intersession, distance education and undergraduate university courses taken beyond the four-year undergraduate degree are also included. Because the GPA does not include all university undergraduate courses, it is referred to as a sub-GPA.

For applicants currently enrolled in the fourth year of a bachelor's degree program, this calculation starts with the applicant's final fall term grades (completed by December 31) and moves back in chronological order based on the 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 marks from the following types of courses in the calculation of an applicant's sub-GPA:

  • Graduate degree
  • Internship/placement or activity-type courses
  • Bachelor of Education
  • Certificate or diploma program
  • Non-convertible grades (e.g. pass/fall)
  • Naturopathic or chiropractice medicine
  • Continuing Education programs

Exchange program grades are included in the admission sub-GPA if they are convertible.

Cut-off sub-GPA of Top 300 Selected Files for Admission Review

2018
2019 2020
3.77 3.81 3.78

Indigenous Applicants

Western’s MPT Program reserves up to two spots for Indigenous applicants who are Canadian citizens and who have fulfilled the necessary admission requirements. Consideration will be given to Indigenous applicants with a GPA (as calculated by ORPAS) of 3.4 or higher. An applicant must self-identify themselves as an Indigenous applicant on the online ORPAS application.

Students who self-identify as Indigenous must submit a consent form and documentation to the Office of Indigenous Initiatives at Western University. Visit MPT – Indigenous Applicant Admission Category page for additional information.

Transfer Students

Applicants who have already partially completed a physical therapy professional degree at another institution may make a request to transfer into Western University's MPT Program. Applicants must meet Western University's MPT Program’s admissions criteria, submit an application through the ORPAS website and indicate that they wish to be considered as a transfer student on the application. Applicants may apply for Special Consideration if admissions criteria are not met and may apply for Advanced Standing for specific courses according to MPT policy, if applicable. To apply for Special Consideration or Advanced Standing, contact the  MPT program. Transfer requests are considered on a case-by-case basis. All decisions are final and not open to appeal.

International Students

Up to two (2) spots are reserved for International students who have fulfilled the necessary admission requirements. Consideration will be given to International applicants with a sub-GPA (as calculated by ORPAS) of 3.4 or higher. An applicant must self-identify as an International student in the ORPAS application.

To be considered, applicants must complete all of the admission requirements as listed above.

Official transcripts must be sent directly to ORPAS from the originating academic institution. Official English translations must be completed by a certified translator and must be provided for all non-English documentation submitted.

Transcripts must be evaluated for equivalency. You are required to submit your international transcript to World Education Services (WES) for evaluation. Both the original transcript and WES evaluation must be submitted to ORPAS. You are responsible for any incurred costs in obtaining the WES evaluation. Please note that original transcripts sent to WES from your home university must also be sent to ORPAS.

Applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence of English-language proficiency; the IELTS is required. The applicant must have a minimum IELTS of 8.0 in both the writing section and the overall score to be considered for an offer without conditions. The official test results report must be uploaded into the ORPAS application and must be sent directly to the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, Western University by the testing agency and must be received by the application deadline.

If, after admission, the applicant shows an inadequate command of spoken or written English, they must improve their proficiency to the satisfaction of the Master of Physical Therapy program.. They may be asked to withdraw from the program if their command of English interferes with their ability to meet course and program progression requirements, including courses involving clinical placements in professional health-care facilities.

If the applicant's score on the IELTS overall or writing section are 7.0, they will be considered for a conditional offer. The condition will be removed once they complete and pass the English BOOST Program through Western’s English Language Centre (WELC).

The top applicants will be invited to participate in an interview in March. Applicants are required to successfully complete the interview process to the satisfaction of the Admission Committee. This interview will make use of video conferencing software like ZOOM.

All applicants who accept an offer to the Master of Physical Therapy program must arrive in Canada prior to July 1 of the incoming year and complete, as soon as possible, the International Student Orientation for Graduate Students offered through Western’s International & Exchange Student Centre.

Read more about services available for International Students at the International & Exchange Student Centre.

Internationally-Educated Physical Therapists

Internationally-educated physical therapists who wish to practice in Canada must first apply to the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators for an assessment of their educational qualifications.

  • Those whose degree is found to be substantially equivalent to a Canadian entry-to-practice level degree will not be considered for admission to the MPT program
  • Those interested in bridging gaps identified in the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators credential review should read more about the Ontario Internationally-Educated Physical Therapy Bridging (OIEPB) Program
    • Western does not offer this program

Admission Decisions

Applicants who have met the requirements and have completed the prerequisite courses, are eligible for admission. Place of residence, program of study and university where undergraduate courses and degree were completed are not criteria in the selection process.

The MPT Program uses the following process to determine admission to the program:

  • From all of the applications received, only the 300 applicants with the highest sub-GPA are given further consideration
    • The cutoff sub-GPA is dependent on that year’s applicant pool and therefore varies from year to year
  • The top 300 applicants’ files are screened for completeness including all necessary documentation, CASPer score, and appropriate prerequisites
  • CASPer ranking: Students who are ranked below average on the CASPer test may not be given further consideration
    • Students ranked more than two standard deviations above average, may be added to the files sent for external review even if they were not within the top 300 applicants ranked by sub-GPA
  • The Applicant’s Statement, Letters of Reference, volunteer/paid physical therapy experience and volunteer/paid non-physical therapy activities/community service are then assessed by three independent reviewers and a score is assigned using standardized rubrics for each of these areas
    • The rubric is not available for applicants to review
  • Final ranking for offers of admission is determined by the average of the scores from all three reviewers
    • Applicants not receiving a first round offer of admission, are placed in order of rank on the waiting list

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

NOTE: The Admissions Committee may need to contact applicants during the selection process. Information will be sent electronically to the address that was used to apply through ORPAS. It is important that applicants configure their email settings to accept messages coming from @uwo.ca addresses. Applicants are encouraged to check their junk/spam mail folders often to ensure important information is not missed during this time.

Before Accepting Offers

Before accepting an offer of admission to Western's MPT Program, applicants should be aware of the information listed below:

  • The Master of Physical Therapy (MPT) Program is a two-year, full-time program
    • Applicants should ensure that they are prepared to be a full-time student
  • Applicants must be prepared to act as patients for their fellow classmates for all class laboratories and practical examinations
  • All students entering the MPT program must be prepared to participate fully in scheduled human cadaver anatomy labs
  • All students admitted to the MPT program must obtain and submit documentation of a police Vulnerable Sector Screening (VSS)
    • Conviction of a criminal offence may affect a student’s ability to obtain the necessary clinical placements for successful graduation from the MPT program
  • Students in the MPT program may be required to care for persons with infectious diseases (including but not limited to hepatitis B, TB, HIV) and therefore must meet the Ontario, Ministry of Labour policies and guidelines for the protection of workers
    • Students are responsible for any costs incurred to fulfill medical, non-medical and Bill 18 MPT program and clinical site requirements

Student Outcome History

2017 2018
Graduation Rate 97% 100%
Licensure Exam Pass Rate 88% 96%
Employment Rate 100% 100%

Applying

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. The School of Physical Therapy will not contact applicants whose application files are incomplete.