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Study Physiotherapy in Canada

ACAlpina ChariJul 19, 2022

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
Laboratory materials   250
Mobile phone package  300 to 720
Personal expenses 3,000 to 5,000
Transportation 500

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. 

  • Physics 
  • Anatomy 
  • Psychology 
  • Statistics
  • 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)
  • Resume
  • 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

Canada is acclaimed for its tough admissions process. You can make this process a little less stressful by using our Gyanberry admission services. We also offer value-added services like

  • Translation of mark sheets and certificates
  • Private accommodation or university hostel booking
  • Pre-departure briefing
  • Transport
  • Travel and Medical Insurance
  • Legalisation of documents

Scholarships

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   

Career scope

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
  • Academia
  • Research

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are 15 physiotherapy colleges in Canada. But only 10 out of these colleges offer their programs in English. 

In Canada, physiotherapy entry-level programs begin right at the master’s level.

Yes, the Canadian physiotherapy field is regulated. All physiotherapists who wanted to practice in Canada should have an active license.

As per Indeed statistics, the average salary of physiotherapists in Canada is 68,720 USD*/year. 

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