Information for International Applicants

The MPT Program at Western is committed to facilitating the development of healthcare practitioners prepared to serve the diverse health and functional needs of Canadians and international communities. We acknowledge and embrace an environment of respect, and we value the unique life experiences of international applicants. We deliver on this commitment through equitable admission practices, and our processes for reviewing and evaluating international applicant files reflect these values.

Our Commitment

The MPT Program promotes accessibility and fosters an environment of respect where international applicants can thrive. We are proud to designate 20 seats in the program for international students. We endeavour to elevate applicants who can enrich the program and profession through their life experience and may benefit from a pathway of study in Canada. We accept direct applications to the program by emailing or filling out this survey. There is no deadline for applications submitted directly to the program as we review files on an ongoing basis, however submission date of the application may impact program start date.

The Government of Canada recently announced a cap on new study permits. We have been assured that this cap will not affect incoming Master’s or Doctoral applicants.

If you have any immigration-related questions, Western International’s immigration advisors are happy to help. Please visit Western International’s website, make an appointment with an advisor, or contact the advising team at

Why Study Physical Therapy at Western?

  • Our Beautiful Campus: Get a great view of Western's campus and discover our dynamic community of learning .

  • World-Renowned Excellence: Western University among the top 1% of higher education institutions worldwide (Center for World University Rankings 2023).
  • Global Campus: Our diverse community of 43,352 students includes over 4,759 international students from 129 different countries.
  • Student Services: Western University among the top 3 universities in Canada for exceptional student services according to Maclean's University Rankings for 2024.
  • Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings: Western University placed #114 overall out of nearly 1,500 institutions for 2024.
  • Outstanding Sustainability Rankings: Western University boasts impressive rankings, standing as the only Canadian institution to place in the top 10 for sustainability in both the QS and THE rankings:
  • Exceptional Career Outcomes: Graduates of the MPT program at Western University enjoy a remarkable 100% employment rate.

Considerations Before Applying

The Master of Physical Therapy program is an intense, full-time program, and applicants should aim to demonstrate through their application and academic background that they can meet the demands of the professional journey. We aim to admit applicants who have demonstrated the academic and personal attributes which will allow for successful completion of the program. Thus, consideration will be given to international applicants with a sub-GPA of 3.4 or higher who also meet the application requirements. If you accept an offer of admission through this stream, you are agreeing to enroll as an international student and to pay international fees for the duration of the program.

How to Apply

International students may apply through ORPAS if they prefer; however, this is not required, and applicants may apply directly to the program. If applying through ORPAS, applicants must self-identify as an international student.  If you have any questions about the application process or want to apply, please complete this survey or email To be considered, applicants must fulfill all admission requirements.

Requirements, Prerequisite Courses and English Language Proficiency


Applicants must:

  • Have successfully completed a four-year bachelor's degree with high academic standing from a recognized university or postsecondary degree-granting institution
    • Applicants in the final year of their bachelor's degree must provide proof of degree completion (ie. degree conferral) by June 30
    • Applicants whose bachelor's degree was completed at an institution outside of Canada, must submit their transcripts for equivalency (see Application Components section below)

NOTE: Applicants may submit a request for special consideration due to extenuating circumstances that may have affected their application. Please see the Special Considersation section below.

Prerequisite Courses

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
  • Human Anatomy – 1 half course
  • Science – 1 half course 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
  • Canadian Indigenous History – certificate or 1 half course
    • Requirement can be satisfied by taking the for certificate course Indigenous Canada, a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). Submit course completion certificate by June 30th of application year.
    • Requirement be satisfied by taking a for credit half-course in Indigenous history.

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.

Note: We are only checking that prerequisite courses have a minimum grade of 70% and were completed within the last seven years (as of the application deadline). Prerequisite courses will only be included in the subGPA, if they fall within the last 20 half courses used in the subGPA calculation.

English Language Proficiency

Applicants whose first language is not English and who have not completed a four-year degree at an English language institution must provide evidence of their English-language proficiency by achieving the minimum required scores, within the last 2 years, on the TOEFL, IELTS, CAEL, or Duolingo test. Test scores must be sent directly to the program ( from the agency, and a copy of the score must be uploaded with your application.

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

  • A minimum overall score of 105 (internet-based) or 620 (paper-based) is required.
  • TOEFL scores must be sent directly to the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at Western University using TOEFL ID 0984.

The International English Language Testing Service (IELTS Academic)

  • A minimum overall score of 7.5 in both the overall and writing sections is required.

The Canadian Academic English Language Assessment

  • A minimum score of 80 is required.

The Duolingo English Test

  • A minimum score of 135 is required.

Application Components


In addition to submitting an application through ORPAS or the School of Physical Therapy, applicants are required to complete an online, video-scenario, situational judgement test called Casper. Casper testing takes place outside of the ORPAS or direct application.

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

For the 2024 application, the last Casper test date that will be accepted is on January 25, 2024. Visit Casper for all available test dates.

Applicants must use the same name and email address on the Casper as they do on their application.

Failing to enter correct and identical information may mean we are unable to match an applicant's Casper results with their application. In this case, we will consider an application incomplete and the application will be disqualified from further consideration.

We will not consider applicants with incomplete or missing Casper scores.

Altus Suit Snapshot or Duet is not required for application to this program.



  • Official transcripts must be sent directly to either ORPAS or the School of Physical Therapy, depending on which application system you are using, 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, if applicant attended school in Quebec).
  • 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 original transcript to World Education Services (WES) for evaluation.
    • Submit both the original transcript and the WES evaluation to ORPAS or the School of Physical Therapy, as well as any certified English translations if applicable.
    • 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 submitted online. Referees should elaborate on the applicant's unique and exceptional qualities rather than solely discuss the work they completed or contributed to. Based on their experience with the applicant including achievements in academic, extra-curricular, community and/or personal contexts, referees will be asked to provide their perception of the applicant with respect to the following:

  • Academic strengths and weaknesses;
  • Moral and ethical development;
  • Motivation and desire to enter rehabilitation sciences; and
  • Ability to relate to people in a compassionate and caring manner. 

Guidance for Reference Letters: Unconscious biases are common; they benefit some individuals and disadvantage others. Unconscious bias within letters of recommendation or reference can contribute to underrepresentation of individuals from equity-deserving groups and can have unintended negative effects on the overall success and career of individuals—especially individuals from equity-deserving groups. To limit the influence of unconscious bias, please consider the following when completing a reference:

  • Focus on the applicant and how the applicant demonstrates the qualities listed above.
  • Separate how you feel about the applicant from the facts that you know about them.
  • Avoid using stereotypical adjectives when describing the applicant’s character, skills, and qualities. For example, try to avoid words such as: nice, kind, agreeable, sympathetic, giving, warm, nurturing, maternal, etc.
  • When using superlative descriptors, such as excellent or outstanding, support them with evidence/examples.
  • Include personal information about the applicant only if it is directly relevant to the reference.
  • Consider whether your letter unintentionally includes gaps, or doubt-raising, negative or unexplained statements, such as ‘might make an excellent leader’ versus ‘demonstrates the qualities of a leader’.
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 and will not be accepted.
Professional Reference:
  • The second reference must be completed by a professional who can judge the applicant's performance and interpersonal skills from their perspective as a physical therapist, or someone who supervised the applicant working with individuals with differing abilities.
  • References  must not be submitted by relatives, friends or family friends.

Applicant Statement:

Your statement (4,700 characters or approximately 750 words) should include all of the following components:

  • An explanation of why the applicant has chosen physical therapy as a career, demonstrating their knowledge of the profession and its scope of practice.
  • A description of what the applicant will bring to the physical therapy profession (e.g. strengths, experiences, attributes, leadership skills and/or abilities).
  • A reflection on how the applicant feels the principles of equity, diversity, inclusion and decolonization are important in the physical therapy profession
    • Applicants who self identify as Indigenous should speak to how their identity will impact their future practice.
  • The Applicant Statement should elaborate on the applicant's unique and exceptional qualities 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 list (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.
  • 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.

GPA Calculations and Averages

Grade point average (GPA) calculations are completed by ORPAS or the program, depending on which application was selected. Questions pertaining to GPAs should be directed to the MPT Graduate Affairs Assistant at or 519-661-3360.

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.

Special Consideration and Arrangements

Special Consideration

Applicants seeking special consieartion for extenuating circumstances that may have affected the competitiveness of their application, may submit a Request for Special Consideration Form to the MPT Admission committee for Review, with rationale for why the application may not meet requirement and how the applicant has ensured preparation for the program. Examples of reasons for seeking special consideration include outdated prerequisites or terms with courses taken part-time or with a lower subGPA. All requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Supporting documentation (medical, personal, academic, etc.) must accompany the requests for special consideration. REQUESTS FOR SPECIAL CONSIDERATION must be submitted by the application deadline. Send an email to for more information and to receive a copy of the Request for Special Consideration form.

Interview Process

Applicants being considered for admission will be invited to participate in an interview. Applicants are required to complete the interview process as part of the admission process. This allows applicants to meet the admissions committee, learn more about the program, and ask questions about the MPT Program and student experience at Western. This interview will make use of video conferencing software like Zoom.

Before Accepting an Offer

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

  • The Master of Physical Therapy (MPT) Program is a two-year, full-time onsite program.
    • Incoming students should ensure they are prepared to be a full-time student
  • For many laboratory sessions it is useful to wear clothing that allows access to anatomical structures and landmarks (e.g., shorts and t-shirt). However, students are encouraged to wear clothes they are comfortable and can move around in. Students acting as simulated patients may be asked to remove articles of clothing (e.g., socks, shirt), but clothing removal is not a requirement. We ask that all students respect the privacy of their peers and treat simulated patients in the same manner they would treat patients and clients in the community.
  • The ability to practice clinical skills in a healthcare program is an integral part of professional training. As a student in a Physical Therapy program, experiencing the interventions you will propose for clients will allow you to better understand the patient perspective. Informed consent to participate in laboratory sessions or assessments will be assumed unless a student states otherwise. However, a student may not be comfortable with some interventions for a variety of reasons and the right to withdraw consent as a simulated patient will always be applied, as this is a fundamental aspect of any Physical Therapy intervention. Students acting as simulated patients can withdraw consent at any time without judgement or bias if they are not comfortable with the proposed practical technique to be performed.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of human functional anatomy is considered essential to Physical Therapy practice. Cadaveric anatomy education is a privilege of body donation programs. The foundational functional human anatomy course in the MPT program requires cadaveric based learning and students must be prepared to participate fully in all scheduled sessions. All students entering the MPT program must be prepared to participate fully in scheduled human cadaver anatomy labs.

Vulnerable Sector Screening

All students admitted to the MPT Program at Western University must obtain and submit documentation of a police Vulnerable Sector Check (VSC). You may be required to provide this documentation from each country that you have resided in for the past five years. The VSC must include a search of the Pardoned Sex Offender Database and can typically be obtained through your local police department. This is a requirement of the MPT Program and affiliated health care facilities prior to beginning clinical placements.

Conviction of a criminal offence or failure to provide required documentation may affect your ability to start and complete the necessary clinical placements for successful graduation from the MPT program.

Medical Requirements

All medical requirements are mandatory. Students in the MPT Program may be required to care for persons with infectious diseases (including but not limited to hepatitis B, tuberculosis [TB] and human immunodeficiency virus [HIV] or COVID-19) and they must meet the Ontario Ministry of Labour policies and guidelines for the protection of workers.

If you are accepted into the MPT Program, we will send you documentation regarding mandatory medical and non-medical requirements for completion of clinical placements and other requirements, as specified by the Program. For example:

  • Policies
  • Immunizations
  • The VSC
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation for health care providers (CPR-level C only)
  • Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (MCU-WSIB) student coverage
  • Infection control

Upon admission, you are required to obtain and provide up-to-date documentation of immunizations, including:

  • 2-step TB
  • Flu vaccinations
  • Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR)
  • Pertussis
  • Poliomyelitis
  • Tetanus/diphtheria
  • Varicella
  • COVID-19

All medical requirements are mandatory. Students in the MPT Program are required to take part in clinical placements in different practice settings, including acute care and rehabilitation hospitals. Students must be aware that at this time, most placement partners, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, and community clinics, have pre-placement policies for students that include mandatory COVID-19 vaccination requirements. Students will be required to be compliant with the policy requirements of our placement partners in order to attend placements in those facilities.

You must update medical and non-medical requirements during the second year of the program. If students are not compliant with these policies, they will not be able to attend the necessary clinical placements and will fail to meet clinical graduation requirements. Students that fail to meet clinical graduation requirements will not be eligible to complete the program.

Students are responsible for any costs incurred to fulfill medical, non-medical and MPT program and clinical site requirements.

  • Regulation requires health and safety awareness training for every worker and supervisor under Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). Under Bill 18, anyone completing an unpaid work term is considered an employee and needs to complete Health and Safety Education Modules. You need to complete safety training modules and submit the following prior to being registered in year 1 of the program:
  • Hand Hygiene Module
  • Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) Module
  • Workplace Violence and Harassment Module
  • Privacy and Cyber Security Module
  • Occupational Health and Safety Awareness Training
  • Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)
  • College of Physiotherapist of Ontario: Infection Control and Equipment Maintenance Standard
  • As verification of completion of these modules, you must submit:
    • Results page from each of the 4 TAHSN eLearning Modules (hand hygiene, WHMIS, workplace violence and harassment, and privacy and cyber security)
    • Occupational Health and Safety Awareness Training “Certificate of Completion”
    • AODA “Certificate of Completion”
    • Signed copy of the Infection Control Reading page

You may also be required to complete site-specific modules prior to starting an internship course.

Upon Accepting an Offer

We recommend that students new to Canada arrive by July 1 to prepare for their time in the program. All international students should complete the International Student Orientation for Graduate Students offered through Western’s International & Exchange Student Centre as soon as possible. You must present your Study Permit to the School of Physical Therapy by September 1 of each academic year.

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

Co-Op Work Permit for Placements

Master of Physical Therapy program requires students to complete 30 weeks of clinical placements as part of your studies; thus, you will need a co-op work permit alongside your study permit as an international student.

It is very important for international students to understand the rules and regulations when it comes to working as an international student in Canada. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure co-op permit is obtained prior to starting the program.

To avoid delays, the best time to apply for the co-op work permit is at the same time that you apply for your study permit. Upon request, we will supply you with a letter to include with your co-op work permit application stating that the placements are a required part of your studies.

A Co-op permit is a special type of work permit that allows you to work in Canada as part of your academic program. Eligibility for a co-op permit depends on following 4 conditions.

Co-op Permit Conditions

Western MPT Program

Students must have (or be applying to) a valid study permit alongside the co-op permit.

You need a valid study permit to be able to study at Western MPT program.

Employment must be an essential part of your academic program.

Clinical placements are required as part of your studies.

Applicants must have a letter from the school that confirms all the students in your program need to complete work placements to get their degree.

You will be provided with a co-op letter as a part of your acceptance letter upon request.

Co-op or internship totals 50% or less of study program.

Placement totals less than 50% of MPT program.

For more information regarding applying to a co-op work permit. Or you can visit IRCC Website.

To book an appointment with Western University International Student Advisors for assistance and your questions.