The U of T PT Program

What is the goal of the U of T MScPT curriculum?
The goal of our curriculum is to develop highly competent academic practitioners who will consistently demonstrate the essential competencies of a practicing physical therapist in a wide range of settings upon graduation. The Ontario Council of University Programs in Rehabilitation Sciences (OCUPRS) created a document, Essential skills and attributes required for the study of Physical Therapy/Physiotherapy, which contains information on the skills and attributes required for success in completing a university program in PT.

What is the curriculum like?
We utilized evidence-based learning in our program. Our curriculum is based upon the latest research and prepares graduates for practice in a changing health and social environment. Students develop their abilities to critically analyze and problem solve, integrating information from empirical and scientific literature and from practical experience. Through the integration of theory, research, and practice in every day of the program, students are able to render sound clinical judgments and to continually evaluate their findings and therapeutic approaches. Different teaching methods are employed in the Program (e.g., small group learning, case based learning, evidence-based practice, seminars, structured clinical session, and lectures).

What is the SPEC curriculum?
Our Social Political Ethical and Cultural Issues in Health and Healthcare curriculum (known as SPEC) is focused on bringing a critical theoretical lens to the work that we do in physiotherapy, driven by principles of anti-oppression and mitigating inequity. It’s a theme that runs throughout the 24-month program. The SPEC curriculum examines how wider social-political forces and historical antecedents shape contemporary understandings of health, disease, and disability, and the delivery of physiotherapy. 

What types of clinical sites are affiliated with your program?
There are over 200 exemplary and diverse clinical sites associated with the Department. They are acute general hospitals, long term care facilities, paediatric centres, out-patient clinics, rehabilitation centres, community care access centres, community services, northern sites, industry, private practices and administrative services.

What is your catchment area?
Our clinical education sites are located within the Greater Toronto Area and include Oakville in the west, Ajax/Pickering in the east and Barrie in the most northern area of the catchment. Our Clinical Partners page has a full listing of all affiliated sites.

What are some other reasons to apply to your program?
As part of the Faculty of Medicine, we have access to all of the resources of one of the finest medical faculties in the country. Being in a large urban centre we also have access to a wide variety of community settings for clinical internships and structured clinical sessions. Our own faculty all hold graduate degrees and are involved in research.

What is the philosophy behind the structure of the PT program at U of T?
The Master of Science in Physical Therapy Program is an entry-level to practice program. We are committed to the development of highly competent physical therapists who will provide patients with optimal health care. This competence will entail acting on the professional principles and general strategies embedded in the practice of physical therapy. Central to the goals of the program are the assumptions that graduates will become active consultants and leaders in rehabilitation and health care consultants in the health care system. They will be able to gather and analyze evidence, be consumers of research, identify professional issues, render sound decision-making, exercise good judgment and engage in evidence-based practice.

Graduates will practice in unique, complex situations and new and developing venues that demand insights and understanding of conflicting values and ethical stances in varied social, cultural and organizational contexts. They will be expected to develop confidence, competence and ethical sensitivity towards individuals and groups and demonstrate these attributes in the context of the varied health care delivery systems while assuming responsibility for their decisions.

Can I take the program on a part-time basis?
No.

Is there a January start date for new students?
No. The program begins only in September every year.

Is it possible to transfer into physical therapy at U of T from another PT program?
No. The unique structure of our curriculum makes transfers between programs impossible.

What kind of students are you looking for?
We look for a wide range of well-rounded students from a variety of backgrounds and life experiences. Individuals who are self-confident, strong leaders, and who have strong problem-solving abilities will flourish in this program and will find this program a good fit. We accept applications from individuals with a disability or of aboriginal descent as well as those who hold graduate degrees.

Can I speak to a current student?
Graduate and Life Sciences Education (GLSE) Student Ambassadors have generously volunteered their time to help make your MSc and PhD decision. They are also there to help current students transition into graduate school. These student ambassadors can answer your questions via e-mail or skype. (We may not always have a PT representative as this position is dependent on students’ volunteering their time to participate.)

What’s it like to be a PT student at U of T?
If you are interested in learning more about student life, there is a student-led Instagram account* which can be found at @uoftpt_students (https://www.instagram.com/uoftpt_students/?hl=en). You can check out their posts and highlight reels to learn more about day-to-day life in the program and get the inside scoop on what it’s like to be a University of Toronto PT student!

*The views and information expressed through this Instagram account are those of the individuals posting – not those of the Department of Physical Therapy, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, or University of Toronto. All liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on the contents of this Instagram account are hereby expressly disclaimed. The content on this Instagram account is “as-is;” no representations are made that the content is error-free. 

What is the length of the program and what degree will I receive?
The Master of Science in Physical Therapy program is 24 months in length, including summers. Students can expect to be in classes or in clinic from 8/9AM to 4/5PM every weekday. Students will graduate with a Masters of Science in Physical Therapy (MScPT).

What is the graduation rate, licensure examination pass rate, and employment rate for your recent graduates?
Here is the “MScPT Program Student Outcomes” chart from the last several years:

Student Cohort Graduation Rate (%) Pass Rate of First Time Takers on Licensure Exam (%) Employment Rate* (%)
2014 97 94 100
2013 99 91 100
2012 96 91 100
2011 99 92 100
2010 98 96 100

*Employment data was collected by the Department six months after graduation through a graduate survey.

What is the cost of the program?
Fee information is available on our Fees & Tuition page.

Is financial support available?
Students may have access to a variety of funding sources to finance their education, including provincial loan programs, lines of credit, savings, part-time earnings, awards, and bursaries. For most students, it will be necessary to incur some debt, through access to government student assistance programs and a private line of credit with a financial institution. Visit our Financial Aid & Awards page (under the current students section) for specific information on the various funds available. Please note that we do not offer any entrance scholarships.

We strongly recommend that all incoming students apply for the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) or other provincial student loan programs. Students should apply for OSAP by June 30 so that loans are available by early September.

Additional financial information can be found at U of T’s Enrolment Services’ Financial Aid page.

If I am accepted can I receive help finding a place to live?
The U of T Student Housing Service can assist you in arranging housing. They are located at Koffler Student Services Centre, 214 College Street, Toronto. Graduate House a residence specifically designed for graduate students, may be one option you could consider.

I still have a specific question. What should I do?
You should first review our How to Apply page and our other FAQ sections. If you still need help, e-mail physther.facmed@utoronto.ca or call us at 416 946 8641.