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Physical Therapy

Degree Offered: M.P.T.



L. Boyd, K. Campbell, J. Eng, M. Hunt, L. Li, T. Liu-Ambrose, A. Scott.

Professor Emeriti

E. Dean, S. R. Harris.

Associate Professors

P. Camp, A. Greig, J. Guenette, S. Murphy, R. Roots, N. Virji-Babul.

Associate Professor Emeriti

L. Bainbridge, D. MacIntyre, D. Redenbach.

Assistant Professors

D. Anekwe, A. Ellis, R. Fletcher, C. Pollock, J. Whittaker, A. Woof.

Program Overview

Physical therapists specialize in the assessment and treatment related to movement. Common movement disorders result from impairment of the neuromuscular, musculoskeletal, respiratory or cardiovascular systems. Following assessment of their clients, physical therapists often use physical agents such as therapeutic exercise, heat, cold, and electrical stimulation to increase muscle strength and function, reduce pain, promote general health and fitness, and prevent disability. As specialists in movement dysfunction, physical therapists also provide expertise in human mobility, carefully analyzing gait patterns and prescribing treatment regimens or devices (such as braces, crutches, or wheelchairs) to enable clients to move independently through their environments.

The M.P.T. degree provides the professional education necessary to obtain a license to practice physical therapy. It differs from the advanced or research M.Sc. in Rehabilitation Sciences, which prepares practitioners with advanced research skills and requires completion and defense of a thesis.

Master of Physical Therapy Distributed Program

The Master of Physical Therapy offers a distributed program at geographically separated campuses. Students are admitted to one of three cohorts: the Master of Physical Therapy-North cohort located at the University of Northern British Columbia, or the Master of Physical Therapy-Fraser Valley cohort, or the Master of Physical Therapy-Vancouver cohort located at UBC’s Point Grey Campus in Vancouver.

Master of Physical Therapy

Admission Requirements

Candidates must meet minimum entry requirements established by Graduate and Post-Doctoral Studies

Admission is offered on a competitive basis. The annual enrolment and class size are limited. Admission requirements include:

Completion of a recognized bachelor's degree in any field and the successful completion of the following prerequisites:

  • 3 credits of any university level Physics*;
  • ENGL 110 (or equivalent);
  • Human Anatomy (3 credits; UBC CAPS 391 or equivalent);
  • Human Physiology (6 credits; UBC CAPS 301 or equivalent);
  • Psychology (3 credits or equivalent);
  • Statistics (3 credits or equivalent).

*This requirement can also be fulfilled by Physics 12 (or out of province equivalent Grade 12 Physics).

An academic standing of at least 72% (B) final mark is required in each pre-requisite course.

Academic standing of at least 76% (B+) average in senior-level courses (300- and 400-level).

All applicants must complete the Computer-based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics (CASPer) as part of the admission process and request results be sent to the UBC Department of Physical Therapy. Information and online registration are available on the CASPer website. CASPer results are valid for one year. Applicants who completed the assessment in previous years must retake it for the current application cycle.

A minimum of 70 hours of volunteer or paid work that includes direct contact involving interaction with persons with cognitive, emotional, or physical disabilities at no more than two facilities.

Applicants who would like to be considered for admission to the distributed Master of Physical Therapy- North Cohort at the University of Northern British Columbia must complete two supplementary application forms, available to download on the M.P.T Program website: the rural suitability form and the lived experiences form. These forms are used to asses candidates’ suitability for the distributed cohort. Applicants to the Master of Physical Therapy- North cohort must meet all other admissions requirements.

Applicants who would like to be considered for admission to the distributed Master of Physical Therapy-Fraser Valley cohort at the University of British Columbia must indicate their preference in the online application. Candidates’ suitability will be assessed based on their overall M.P.T. program application. Applicants to the Master of Physical Therapy-Fraser Valley cohort must meet all other admissions requirements.

Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must present evidence of English language proficiency prior to being extended an offer of admission. For more information, refer to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies’ English Language Proficiency Requirements. Required minimum English language proficiency scores for admission to the program are:

  • TOEFL: 100 (iBT)
  • IELTS (Academic): overall 7.5, with a minimum score of 7.0 in each component
  • CAEL: overall 80
  • PTE (Academic): overall 70

See program website for additional information on admission.

Primary consideration for admission is given to residents of British Columbia.

Applicants who meet the above minimum requirements are eligible for interview consideration. Candidates are selected for interview based on their academic standing in the last 30 senior-level credits plus the prerequisite courses. The interviews are in multi-mini interview format. Fulfilment of the minimum requirements does not guarantee an interview.

Program Requirements

Students must successfully complete all academic requirements (83 credits of coursework):

  • ANAT 392
  • RHSC 420
  • PHTH 511, 514, 516, 517, 521, 524, 526, 527, 528, 531, 534, 538, 544, 545, 546, 548, 552, 554, 558, 564, 565, 566, 574, and 576
  • Clinical Education Requirements

Master of Physical Therapy (M.P.T.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Rehabilitation Sciences Dual Degree Program Option

Program Overview

The M.P.T./Ph.D. program is a dual degree program option. Its purpose is to provide selected and highly qualified students the opportunity to combine their physical therapy learning experience with intensive scientific training in pursuing a career as clinician-scientists. Graduates of the M.P.T./Ph.D. program option are trained as competent physical therapists as well as skilled scientists who can sustain a successful and competitive clinical investigative career.

Admission Requirements

Students wishing to pursue the dual M.P.T./Ph.D. degree program option must meet the admission requirements for and be accepted by both the M.P.T. and Ph.D. Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Sciences programs.

Applicants must apply to both programs concurrently, and indicate that they are seeking admission into the dual degree program option. This process can be noted on the online application.

Students already admitted to one or the other program may apply to the dual degrees program option during their first year of enrolment. Students wishing to transfer to the program from another UBC program must meet the admission requirements and be accepted by both the M.P.T. and Ph.D. programs.

Potential candidates must be selected by the M.P.T. Admissions Committee prior to being accepted to the M.P.T./Ph.D. program option.

For details, see the M.P.T. program.

For more details on the M.P.T./Ph.D. program, contact Dr. Michael Hunt, Program Director, at 604.827.4721.

Program Requirements

Students must complete all the required courses in the Master of Physical Therapy program as well as the Ph.D. program in Rehabilitation Sciences, including RHSC 500 and RHSC 502. Appropriate elective coursework for the Ph.D. component is selected in consultation with the student's committee. The major requirement for the Ph.D. is completion of a research dissertation meeting the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies requirements.

Contact Information

Department of Physical Therapy
Friedman Building
212-2177 Wesbrook Mall
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z3
Tel: 604.822.8225
Fax: 604.822.1870

Page last updated: June 2, 2022

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