Physiotherapy Education in Canada for International Students
Physiotherapy is a highly regulated profession in Canada. One needs an active license to practice as a physiotherapist in Canadian provinces. The entry-level programs for physiotherapy in Canada start at the master’s level. These programs can either be Master of Physical Therapy or Master of Science in Physical Therapy. There are 15 physiotherapy colleges in all. Among them, 10 provide physiotherapy programs in English, while the other 5 offer in French. This blog discusses the English-taught Canadian physiotherapy programs. Start reading to discover more about the universities that provide these programs, their fees, criteria for entrance, etc.
Study Physiotherapy in Canada: Overview
|Accrediting body||Physiotherapy Education Accreditation Canada (PEAC)|
|Entry-level program||Master of Physical Therapy (MPT) or Master of Science in Physical Therapy (MScPT)|
|Duration of MPT||2 to 2.5 years|
|Average tuition fees||10,550 to 42,552 USD*/year|
|Medium of teaching||English|
|Licensing exam||Physiotherapy Competency Exam (PCE)|
|Licensing body||Canadian Alliance of Physical Therapy Regulatory Boards|
|Average salary of physiotherapists||68,720 USD*/year (Indeed)|
Top Physiotherapy Courses in Canada
Canadian physiotherapy colleges offer entry-to-practice physiotherapy programs at a master’s level. These programs are available as the Master of Physical Therapy or Master of Science in Physical Therapy. Their duration ranges from 2 to 2.5 years. After successful completion of the course, students get awarded the Master of Physical Therapy degree. The curriculum includes both academic learning and clinical experiential learning. Some universities offer equivalency programs for international physiotherapists to obtain a Canadian license.
- Equivalency in Physical Therapy Program by the McGill University
- Ontario Internationally Educated Physical Therapists Bridging (OIEPB) by the University of Toronto
Additionally, graduates can pursue a doctoral degree to expand their research in physiotherapy and rehabilitation.
Top Physiotherapy Schools in Canada
The Physiotherapy Education Accreditation Canada (PEAC) accredits all physiotherapy courses and colleges. The PEAC website has a list of all the accredited physiotherapy colleges in Canada. There are 10 Canadian physiotherapy institutions that offer their programs in English.
|University Name||QS Ranking||Entry-Level Degree Offered|
|McGill University||31||Master of Science (Applied) in Physical Therapy|
|University of Toronto||34||Master of Science in Physical Therapy|
|University of British Columbia||47||Master of Physical Therapy|
|University of Alberta||110||Master of Science in Physical Therapy|
|McMaster University||152||Master of Science (Physiotherapy)|
|Western University||172||Master of Physical Therapy|
|Queen’s University||246||Master of Science in Physical Therapy|
|Dalhousie University||308||Master of Science in Physical Therapy|
|University of Saskatchewan||473||Master of Physical Therapy|
|University of Manitoba||651-700||Master of Physical Therapy|
Tuition fees and cost of studying Physiotherapy in Canada
The table below contains a list of MPT/MSc PT tuition fees for international students.
|University Name||Duration of MPT/MSc PT Degree||Tuition Fees (USD*/year)|
|McGill University||2.5 years||13,505|
|University of Toronto||2 years||10,550|
|University of British Columbia||2.1 years (26 months)||42,552|
|University of Alberta||2.5 years||34,800|
|McMaster University||2 years||21,395|
|Western University||2 years||35,973|
|Queen’s University||2 years||30,600|
|Dalhousie University||2.3 years (28 months)||16,860|
|University of Saskatchewan**||2 years and 6 weeks||–|
|University of Manitoba**||2 years||–|
**Note: This program is only open to Canadian citizens and legal residents.
It costs a fortune to study in Canada. Students need to follow a strict budget to avoid unnecessary expenses. An unplanned budget can impact your chances of completing your studies. Here is a list of living expenses to consider in preparing a budget for physiotherapy courses in Canada.
|Living Expenses||Cost in USD*/year|
|Food||3,500 to 4,500|
|Accommodation||11,160 to 12,500|
|Student health insurance plan||700 to 1000|
|Books||500 to 800|
|Mobile phone package||300 to 720|
|Personal expenses||3,000 to 5,000|
Admission requirements for Physiotherapy in Canada
In Canada, there are only 10 physiotherapy colleges with English-language programs. Plus, two out of these 10 colleges do not offer admission to international students. As a result, getting into physiotherapy programs in Canada is quite difficult. Physiotherapy colleges give preference to students who are prepared to dedicate 2 or 3 years in an underserved area after graduation. Since there is a scarcity of physiotherapists in rural communities in Canada. Students should take this into account while writing their motivational letters. Universities also ask students to complete the following prerequisite courses as a part of their admission requirements.
- Human physiology
You may take them as part of an undergraduate degree or as additional university credit courses. Colleges require a minimum grade of 70% (or B) in the prerequisite courses. In addition to this, students should also provide proof of English language proficiency. Colleges accept both, TOEFL and IELTS scores. The following is a list of general admission criteria for Canadian physiotherapy universities.
- A four-year bachelor’s degree with high academic standing from a recognized university with a GPA of 3.0 or higher
- Prerequisite courses in physics, anatomy, psychology, statistics, and human physiology
- Official transcripts (Canadian equivalency, World Education Services)
- English Proficiency proof (TOEFL >100 for internet-based and 602 for paper-based or IELTS >7.5)
- CASPer test (if applicable)
- Volunteer work hours (preferred)
- Valid passport
- Student visa
- Reference letter
- Motivational letter
- Passport photographs
- Personal mini-interviews
- A copy of bank statement showing funds for at least one academic year of tuition
- Translation of mark sheets and certificates
- Private accommodation or university hostel booking
- Pre-departure briefing
- Travel and Medical Insurance
- Legalisation of documents
Canada is a highly diverse study destination. It welcomes students from all over the world. Although education is expensive in Canada, international students get a lot of benefits in terms of scholarships and bursaries. Both partial and fully paid scholarships are available. They fit into the following groups:
- Scholarships by the Canadian government
- Scholarships by respective embassies
- Scholarships by public universities
- Scholarships by private universities
- Scholarships by global organizations
- Scholarships by non-profit organizations
All physiotherapists in Canada should register with the appropriate provincial regulatory body. Each jurisdiction has its registration process. The registration requires successful completion of the Physiotherapy Competency Examination (PCE) after completion of a Master’s degree in Physiotherapy. The PCE consists of a written and a clinical portion. Upon passing, the graduates can apply for licensure to practice physiotherapy in Canada. The Canadian Alliance of Physical Therapy Regulatory Boards conducts this exam in June or November. It costs approximately 2,800 USD*. A licensed physiotherapist can work in the following areas of healthcare:
- Public hospitals
- Private hospitals
- Government organizations
- Armed forces
- Sports centers
- Wellness centers
- Private physiotherapy practice
The average salary of a physiotherapist in Canada is 68,720 USD*/year (Indeed). Students who are interested in research in physiotherapy can pursue further studies like a thesis-based master’s degree or doctoral degree in physiotherapy.
*Note: All prices mentioned in the USD are for reference only. Exchange rates may vary from time to time and from country to country.