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 70 students are admitted each year. Western's admissions process does not include an interview. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.
- Applications are accepted (using the ORPAS online system) beginning October 15, 2019
- The last day to submit an application is January 8, 2020
- Offers of admission are sent out beginning in mid-May
- Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada
- 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
- Have successfully completed a four-year bachelor's degree with high academic standing from a recognized university
- Canadian citizens or permanent residents, whose undergraduate degree was completed at an institution outside of Canada, must submit their transcripts for equivalency (see Application Components section below)
- Demonstrate proficiency of the English language
- Applicants for whom English is not their first language, must provide evidence of English-language proficiency
- The recommended tests are the TOEFL or the IELTS
- A minimum TOEFL score of 620 (paper-based), 105 (internet-based), or an IELTS score of 8 is required
- Test results 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 (Western’s TOEFL ID is 0984)
- If, after admission, a student shows an inadequate command of spoken or written English, they must improve their proficiency to the satisfaction of the MPT Program, 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
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% must have been achieved for each prerequisite course. Pass/fail grades will not be accepted for the prerequisite courses.
The following university level prerequisite courses or their equivalents are required (use the online Prerequisite Form in the application package):
- One half course in human, mammalian or vertebrate physiology. Animal physiology, invertebrate physiology or exercise physiology is not accepted
- One full course (or two half courses) in science (e.g., chemistry, physics, biology, anatomy, biomechanics, exercise physiology)
- One half course in statistics, research methods, or research design
- One full course (or two half courses) in social sciences (e.g., psychology, sociology, economics, history, geography, anthropology, women’s studies) or liberal arts (e.g., languages, fine arts, philosophy, ethics, classical studies, film studies, comparative literature, humanities, music theory, dance theory, 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.
In addition to submitting an application through ORPAS (see below), applicants are required to complete a CASPer online, video-scenario, situational judgement test.
CASPer testing takes place outside of the ORPAS application system, but requires an OUAC Application ID, which is only generated once an applicant submits their ORPAS application. Applicants must complete the CASPer test by January 20. Specific CASPer testing dates for Western are listed on the CASPer website.
Applicants have two options for completing the CASPer test:
- Complete the CASPer test after submitting an ORPAS application
- Complete the CASPer test before submitting an ORPAS application
- Applicants should update their CASPer account with the appropriate OUAC Application ID once the application has been submitted
CASPer test results for each applicant will be forwarded directly to Western's School of Physical Therapy from Altus Assessments, the agency that adminsters the CASPer test. Any CASPer test that does not contain the OUAC Application ID by the end of the second week of February will not be forwarded to Western's School of Physical Therapy. Applicants do not receive the results of their test. Applicants rated as below average or with incomplete or missing CASPer scores will not be considered for admission. Questions about CASPer should be directed to Altus Assessments. If required, Altus Assessments also provides technical support during the test.
To complete the CASPer test, please visit takecasper.com.
ORPAS Application System:
- Official transcripts must be sent directly to ORPAS from the originating academic institution
- Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended must also be submitted, including transcripts for course work that is currently in progress, taken with a letter of permission, transfer credits, or advanced standing credits taken during an exchange or 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
- Canadian citizens or permanent residents, whose undergraduate degree was completed at an institution outside of Canada, 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
- Note: The applicant is responsible for any costs incurred in obtaining the WES evaluation. Original transcripts sent to WES from the home university must also be sent to ORPAS. Some institutions outside of Canada are exempt from this requirement. Inquiries about whether a university's transcripts are exempt should be directed to the ORPAS Admissions Coordinator for the Faculty of Health Sciences professional programs at Western University at 519-661-2111 ext. 84351.
- Identify the prerequisite category, institution, course code, course title, start date/credit, final grade, and course URL
Two standard letters of reference:
- Use of the ORPAS Confidential Assessment Form available on the ORPAS website is required
- 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, or someone who supervised the applicant working with individuals with special needs
- The Confidential Assessment Forms should not be submitted by relatives, friends or family friends
- Confidential Assessment Forms should elaborate on the applicant's unique and exceptional qualities
Applicant Statement: (completed as part of the online application)
- Maximum 2500 characters (approx. 400 words)
- Applicants should explain why they chose physical therapy as a career and outline their knowledge of the profession and its scope of practice
- Applicants should explain why they chose Western’s Master of Physical Therapy (MPT) program
- 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 and paid or unpaid community service activities
- 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
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
Accomplishments (maximum 360 characters or approx. 50 words per accomplishment)
Applicants should describe two accomplishments of which they are most proud. Accomplishments do not need to be related to physical therapy. Examples could include, but are not limited to:
- Recognition for outstanding community service
- Entrepreneurial initiatives
- Publication of a research study in a scientific journal
- Development of a new club/program
- Overcoming adversity
- Awards or scholarships
Grade point average (GPA) calculations are completed by ORPAS. Questions pertaining to GPAs should be directed to the ORPAS Admissions Coordinator for Western's Faculty of Health Sciences at 519-661-2111 ext. 84351.
A calculation of the GPA for admission purposes will be completed based on the 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. 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
- Bachelor of Education
- Certificate or diploma program
- Non-convertible grades (e.g. pass/fall)
Exchange program grades are included in the admission GPA if they are convertible.
Cut-off sub-GPA of Top 300 Selected Files for Admission Review
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 Indigenous Services at Western University. Visit Indigenous Services (519-661-2111 x84095) for additional information.
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.
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
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 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, volunteer/paid non-physical therapy activities/community service, and accomplishments 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 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
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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.