Handbook

Welcome to the Department of Physical Therapy and to the home of Rehabilitation Sciences Sector at 500 University Avenue. Faculty and staff are looking forward to seeing returning students and meeting the incoming Class of 2024.

This Handbook has been designed to provide essential information for both new and continuing PT students and faculty. We encourage you to read it in its entirety and refer to it frequently. The Handbook is designed to inform you about the rules and regulations that guide your time in the Department and provide you with helpful information to ensure your studies are productive.

The Student Handbook will be updated throughout the year to reflect changes in Department of Physical Therapy and University of Toronto procedures. References to specific Units and courses denote the current curriculum, unless noted otherwise.

Welcome from the Chair and Program Director

We look forward to welcoming you to exciting academic and co-curricular learning opportunities. As part of our preparations for welcoming you, we are very carefully considering the implications of the current COVID-19 guideline on the learning environment. Your health and the health of the community remain our priorities as we return to in-person educational settings in September, thus we will monitor and adjust according based on public health directives.

As one of 15 training sites for physical therapists across the country, our department is a key contributor to Canada’s rehabilitation sector and the University of Toronto’s vibrant health sciences network. At U of T, we have outstanding students and a PT faculty with great strengths in research and education. The current success of our program is made possible by the commitment of our faculty, students, staff, clinical, community and research partners.

In a recent external review (UTQAP) reviewers identified many strengths of the Department, including “a well-articulated academic strategic plan, a renewed integrative and innovative curriculum, a shared culture of respect for each other, strong clinical education leadership, engagement with the clinical community and innovative clinical education experiences integrated into curriculum, successful students who are supported in their learning environment, effective governance model with respected leadership who have a voice at appropriate decision-making tables, a unique and successful bridging program for internationally trained physical therapists, and an impressive faculty complement with a strong and diverse research track record.”

There is much to be excited about in the Department, the renewed curriculum, Physiotherapy Education Accreditation Canada (PEAC) status of fully compliant until July 2028, continued excellence in teaching and research productivity, faculty and staff awards and the ongoing implementation of our strategic plan “Physical Therapy for a Healthy, Inclusive World”. We look forward to realizing our vision to advance the teaching, science and practice of physical therapy as an essential part of individual health, and inclusive flourishing communities. In the next five years, the department will be true to its values of scientific excellence, innovative pedagogy, interprofessional collaboration, system impact, advocacy, EDI (equity, diversity and inclusion) and kindness.In the renewed curriculum, educators and learners share values that consist of three foundational pillars – critical thinking, an inquiry mindset and a strong sense of professionalism.

It’s an exciting time in physical therapy and it is an honour to be working together to lead this outstanding department.

Susan Jaglal & Sharon Switzer-McIntyre

Welcome from the Graduate Coordinator

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you as a graduate student to the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Toronto. I hope that your time in this program is one of the most rewarding experiences of your educational career. You were admitted to the Department of Physical Therapy because you have a strong desire to learn, have worked hard to excel, have made a commitment to contribute and have excellent people skills. We have every confidence that you will be successful in the program and become future leaders in the physical therapy profession.

As your Graduate Coordinator, I, along with Sarah McMahon, Student Liaison Officer, will advise you about the many services and programs that are available to you while studying at the University of Toronto. These services and programs include funding in the form of bursaries and scholarships, and academic and personal counseling related to issues that affect your ability to perform in the program as well as your overall health and well-being. Please feel free to drop by my office anytime to discuss matters regarding the academic program, personal issues, financial concerns or any issues affecting your progress in the program. My door is also open for all students looking for an ear to listen.

Faculty, staff, clinicians and students have great pride in our curriculum, which is constantly growing and evolving as the evidence guides us. Our renewed curriculum will even better prepare you for your journey of becoming a physiotherapist in our constantly changing healthcare system. You will continue to be part of this dynamic process now as you enter the program and the physical therapy profession.

This program will help you to become a physical therapist supremely equipped to practice in your chosen profession. You and your classmates will be encouraged to strive for excellence and guided toward a future that matters to you and to your future patients. I encourage you to participate in extracurricular activities as well as academic pursuits to ensure you have a balanced, enjoyable and healthy two years.

I look forward to meeting and getting to know each one of you as you progress through the program. Please remember I am here to help you, my door is always open.

Sincerely,

Jaimie Coleman

Ontario’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve. Changes will likely occur as the province and its municipalities adjust to new data about the virus. In these circumstances, please be advised that the manner of delivery of courses, co-curricular opportunities, programs, and services is subject to change, in accordance with university policies. The University thanks its students, faculty, and staff for their flexibility during these challenging times as we work together to maintain the standards of excellence that are the hallmark of the University.

Important Links

Resources to keep you on track and offer you the help you need throughout your time in the program.

Published by the Department of Physical Therapy, the Student Handbook outlines all academic and non-academic aspects of the program including policies, support services and resources. Current students are expected to read this information thoroughly. 

While this content is meant to assist current students, prospective students may find the information provided in this handbook useful when researching the program. Additionally, this handbook also provides extensive information on U of T services, including material on housing, funding, registration, health coverage, and the Toronto area.

Students should always refer to the Important Dates page for the most up-to-date curriculum schedule and other deadlines.

*For reference to curriculum information prior to September 2019; Students should refer to policies, procedures, and regulations in the current handbook.