Physical Therapy

Advanced Standing Option

Applications for the Master of Science in Physical Therapy (MScPT) Advanced Standing Option for the 2015 cycle will be accepted starting Monday March 2, 2015. Please check back at that time for additional information pertaining to the 2015 cycle.

The MScPT Advanced Standing Option is a professional graduate degree program that allows eligible physical therapists with a BScPT from a Canadian university to acquire the MScPT degree. This 12-month program includes both online and on-site courses – a hybrid model providing an enriched educational experience.

Internationally educated physical therapists are not eligible for this program and are encouraged to review the information in the FAQ below.

The focus of this program is on the integration of research to practice. We will consider applications from eligible physical therapists who have completed a four-year undergraduate degree in Physical Therapy at a Canadian university with a minimum mid-B average.

Students have access to the University of Toronto’s extensive collection of online resources to support learning in an environment that is distinguished by academic excellence and research.

These quick links will enable you to better navigate the information on this page:

What are the principles of the MScPT Advanced Standing Option?

The Master of Science in Physical Therapy Advanced Standing Option is committed to the development of highly competent physical therapists with enhanced research skills that will provide patients with optimal health care in the realm of physical therapy. Central to the goals of the Advanced Standing Option is the assumption that graduates will become active leaders in rehabilitation and health care.

Graduates of this program will be consumers of research, able to gather and analyze evidence, to render sound decision-making and engage in evidence-based practice. Graduates will carry forward their advanced research and leadership skills to practice in unique, complex situations and in new and developing venues in the health care environment.

This program will enhance and expand upon the foundations of physical therapy practice to produce MScPT graduates who will:

  • Be innovative leaders in rehabilitation and the health care system
  • Serve as strong players with exemplary interpersonal skills secure in their evolving role within a changing health care delivery system
  • Be academic practitioners who, using advanced technologies will share their knowledge with students, clients, policy makers and other professionals for academic health science environments
  • Participate in clinical and health care research, contributing to the overall body of scientific knowledge

What is the length of the program and what degree will I receive?

The Master of Science in Physical Therapy Advanced Standing Option is one year in length and students graduate with a Master of Science in Physical Therapy degree.

What university background is required?

The Department of Physical Therapy, University of Toronto, will consider applications from eligible physical therapists who have completed a four-year undergraduate degree in Physical Therapy at a Canadian university with a minimum mid-B average. Applicants seeking admission to the MScPT Advanced Standing Option must meet the necessary requirements and submit the transcripts and documentation required by the University of Toronto, School of Graduate Studies (SGS). Students must be proficient in the computer and online environment. Applicants must be registered as independent practitioners with a relevant physiotherapy regulating body and/or have completed the PNE and are awaiting results.

Can internationally educated physical therapists apply?

Internationally educated physiotherapists are not considered for admission to the MScPT Advanced Standing Option program. The first step for internationally educated physiotherapists who wish to practice in Canada is to apply to the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators for an assessment of their educational qualifications.

If interested in bridging the gaps identified in The Alliance credential review or preparing for the Physiotherapy Competency Examination, please read more about our Internationally Educated Physiotherapists Bridging program.

Alternatively, if interested in graduate studies in the rehabilitation sciences, please visit the University of Toronto’s Graduate Department of Rehabilitation Science.

What are the components of the program?

The curriculum is divided into a unit structure:

  • PHT 1006Y Research and Program Evaluation for Physical Therapy Practice I (.75 credit)
  • PHT 1010Y Research and Program Evaluation for Physical Therapy Practice II (.75 credit)
  • PHT 1012Y Research and Program Evaluation for Physical Therapy Practice III (1.0 credit)
  • Elective Course – either online or on-campus (.5 credit)

Unit Descriptions

PHT1006Y – Research and Program Evaluation for Physical Therapy Practice I

(On-campus – 3 weeks; for PTs employed at Holland Bloorview, a 13 week online/onsite course is available)
This is the first of three units integrating practice in physical therapy with research and program evaluation. The focus of this unit is on developing student’s skills in critical appraisal, critical thinking and problem solving. Students will be introduced to a wide range of research designs currently being applied in the field of physical therapy spanning both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Learning strategies include seminars, small group work, in-depth analysis of the literature and both written and oral presentations. Students will develop their protocol for a collaborative group clinical research project, which will be conducted throughout the remainder of the year.

PHT1010Y and PHT1012Y – Research and Program Evaluation for Physical Therapy Practice II and III

(Online and on-campus,  325 hours)
In this unit, students carry out the research project that was developed in Unit 6.  Although research activities will be dependent on the design of the individual project, typically students will recruit subjects, collect data, develop an analysis plan and write a  final project paper. Students will complete the writing of the major paper according to the publication guidelines for a clinical research article for a professional journal. Students will attend on campus sessions to present their research in poster format at a formal Research Day. Students will communicate and collaborate in an online environment with their group members and research advisors and will meet each month online to discuss the progress of the research. Online and on-campus resources are available to students to assist them in carrying out their projects.

Elective Course  – Approved graduate course

(Online or on-campus, 0.5 credit)
Students will be required to take an approved graduate elective course to advance their knowledge in areas of relevance to their individual interests and clinical practices.

Sequence of Study and Program Length

Term Course & Details Date Location
Fall Term Orientation Day: Introduction and Overview to Advanced Standing Orientation normally occurs by mid September, and is typically one full day in length. Session is mandatory. On-campus
Fall term PHT1006Y: Research and Program Evaluation for Physical Therapy Practice 1  (0.75 credits) All students other than Holland Bloorview PTs: September 22 – October 10, 2014 On-campus
Fall term PHT1006Y: Research and Program Evaluation for Physical Therapy Practice 1  (0.75 credits) Holland Bloorview PTs: September 22 – December 12, 2014 Holland Bloorview
Fall, Winter and Summer terms PHT1010/12Y: Research and Program Evaluation for Physical Therapy Practice 2 and 3 (1.75 credits) January 5 to July 30, 2014 Online
(Students are required to attend several on-campus sessions in July to present their research, exact dates will be available later in the term)
Fall or Winter term Elective: Students can register in an approved online or face to face graduate course in other university departments Depends on course chosen by student On campus or online (if course is available online)

What is the time commitment?

Students are required to attend a one day mandatory session prior to the beginning of Unit 6. Unit 6 requires a three week full time on campus commitment. For PTs employed at Holland Bloorview, a 13 week online/onsite course is available. Most of the remainder of the Advanced Standing Option is offered in a web-based learning environment which allows students to communicate and collaborate with their research group members and Advisors at any time and from anywhere that there is access to the internet. Although the time spent each week on the group research projects will vary, dependent on the stage and progress of the project (data collection, statistical analysis or writing stages), students will need to expect to spend about 7.5 hours per week from September 2014 to late July 2015. This time commitment is flexible and the research and writing needed to complete the research project can be carried out at any time within this session. The only time that students are required to be online at a specific time is for synchronous montly chat sessions with advisers. The synchronous sessions will be scheduled at an agreed upon time. Students are required to return to campus at the end of Unit 10/12 to present the findings of their research.

Students also have the option (but are not required) of coming to the University at any time to use on-site University resources such as libraries, computer labs, meeting rooms or to meet with faculty.

How many students will be accepted?

Up to 15 students will be admitted in the 2014-15 academic year of the MScPT Advanced Standing Option.

How much are the tuition fees?

The cost of tuition for the 2013-2014 program was $10,514.28. This includes student incidental fees. The fees for the 2014-15 cycle will be set in the summer of 2014.

How to apply

Please follow these instructions carefully.

  1. Log into the online application below.
  2. Provide the biographical and educational information requested.
  3. Under “Degree Program” choose the “Master of Science in Physical Therapy – One year option program”, with full-time study selected.
  4. Be prepared to submit contact information for TWO referees. Be sure to inform your referees that you are doing this and that they will be contacted by e-mail.
  5. Submit your payment of $120 (online payment is preferred but mail-in payment is available – see below for full details).
  6. All applicants are required to upload one electronic or scanned transcript from each post-secondary institution attended, so be prepared to upload a scanned copy of your transcript. Remember to include the legend on the back of the transcript.
  7. Arrange to submit official transcripts from each post-secondary institution you have attended. Transcript(s) should be sent directly from the issuing institution to the Department of Physical Therapy. In the event that you personally pick up the transcript(s), do not open the envelope they are sealed in. The Department of Physical Therapy must receive the transcript(s) in the original sealed envelopes.
  8. Upload all other required documentation (CV and letter of intent) to application. Requirements for these documents are found in the online application.
  9. Be aware of the deadline dates for application and documents.

At the end of this process you should have submitted the following:

  • Contact information for TWO referees who can comment on your academic/research ability
  • Recent Curriculum Vitae with the following headings: Background, Education (Post-secondary & Continuing), Professional Development, Employment, Involvement in Research & Professional Activities, Publications, Presentations (for information on how to complete a CV, visit the University of Toronto Career Centre Curriculum Vitae page)
  • A letter of intent
  • Scanned transcripts (including a copy of the legend) and sealed official transcripts from each post-secondary institution you have attended

Full instructions for the CV component and the letter of intent are provided within the online application.

To apply, visit the Online Application website. (Please note that the 2015 cycle is not yet open. It will be open on March 2, 2015.)

Application Access

Once you access the SGS online admissions application and enter your contact information, an applicant identification number and a password will be emailed to you. You can leave and return to your application at any point until you move to the payment stage. At that point you can return to check on the status of this application including whether we have received your supporting documents. It is your responsibility to check the system frequently to verify that all documents have been received.


Payment of your application fee ($120) must be received by the School of Graduate Studies before your application can be considered.

Online payment by MasterCard or Visa is preferred. It is quick, secure, and handled by a reputable third party (MiraPay). Mirapay provides the School of Graduate Studies with payment confirmation only. SGS and the University of Toronto will not have access to your credit card information. Please note that the process requires that popup blockers on your web browser be disabled.

If you are unable to pay by credit card you may print an invoice from the application and mail it with a certified cheque, money order or bank draft to the School of Graduate Studies (SGS). Personal cheques are not accepted and will be returned, resulting in a delay in the processing of your application. Please allow at least ten business days for SGS to process payment. Please note that once you proceed with payment you will not be able to modify your application (except to update your contact information).


The department requires that your transcript be submitted in two ways. Note that both components are mandatory:

  1. All applicants are required to upload one electronic or scanned transcript from each post-secondary institution attended. Scanned copies of transcripts must be up to date and must include the transcript “legend” which is usually printed on the back of the paper transcript. More detailed requirements for scanning and submitting can be found below. The admissions committee will make its decision about your application based on this scanned transcript. Please ensure that the file is complete and readable before submitting.   The following option applies to transcripts from Canadian universities only: In lieu of a scanned copy of a paper transcript, applicants may upload a .PDF file of their academic history from their university’s student web service. Printing to pdf directly from your web browser is ideal; if this is not possible you may copy and paste the information into a word processing program and print to pdf from there. Where possible, the file should include the university’s grading legend and your name. Some universities do not include the same information on the student web service as they do on the transcript (e.g., class size or average). If the admissions committee determines that the file is incomplete you may be asked to submit a copy of the transcript instead.
  2. Additionally, all official paper transcripts are required at the time of application; please ensure that these are received before the document deadline. Your application will not be considered complete and will not be reviewed b the admissions committee until your official transcripts have been received and the information on the scanned transcript verified.

Transcripts should be mailed to:

Attention: Daniela Pirraglia, MScPT Advanced Standing Option
Department of Physical Therapy
Rehabilitation Sciences Building
160-500 University Ave.
Toronto, ON M5G 1V7

Incomplete Applications

Incomplete applications and applications without the appropriate application fee will NOT be considered.

When is the application deadline?

Online applications must be paid for and completed, and supporting documents (including letters of reference) received in the department by 11:59PM on May 15 2014 extended to May 26, 2014.

Need more information?

For further/additional information please contact Cathy Evans ( or 416-978-2768) or Daniela Pirraglia ( or 416-978-5476).