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Physical Therapy

Degree Offered: M.P.T.


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

Professors Emeriti

E. Dean, S. R. Harris.

Associate Professors

P. Camp, N. Virji-Babul, J. Whittaker.

Associate Professors Emeriti

L. Bainbridge, D. MacIntyre, S. Murphy, D. Redenbach.

Assistant Professors

C. Ardern, C. Pollock.

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 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 four cohorts: Master of Physical Therapy-North, at the University of Northern British Columbia; Master of Physical Therapy-Fraser Valley, located in Surrey; Master of Physical Therapy-Victoria, located in Greater Victoria; Master of Physical Therapy-Vancouver at UBC’s Point Grey Campus in Vancouver.

Master of Physical Therapy

Admission Requirements

Candidates must meet minimum entry requirements established by Graduate and Postdoctoral 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_V 110 (or equivalent);
  • Human Anatomy (3 credits; UBC CAPS_V 391 or equivalent);
  • Human Physiology (6 credits; UBC CAPS_V 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 Program will have the opportunity to indicate their M.P.T Program site preferences (M.P.T. Vancouver, Fraser Valley, North, or Victoria) on the online application. 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 also complete a supplementary application form. This form is available to download on the M.P.T. Program website. The form is used to assess candidates’ suitability for the distributed M.P.T.- North cohort. All candidates must meet the same M.P.T Program admissions requirements regardless of their site preference.

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.

Post-Acceptance Requirements

In order to accept their offer of admission, applicants must pay a specified acceptance deposit. The deposit will be applied toward the applicant's first tuition payment; the deposit is non-refundable.

All admitted MPT students are required to undergo an immunization review with university student health services at their MPT program site location, to ensure they are up-to-date on all immunizations required by the Office of the Provincial Health Officer and the Provincial Health Authorities. Once immunization records are reviewed, students may be required to book additional vaccination appointments with student health services to complete necessary vaccination and/or lab tests. Students are responsible for obtaining their immunization records for diseases outlined in the Student Practice Education Communicable Disease Prevention Guidelines before booking an appointment with their MPT program site student health services provider.

All MPT students are required to follow guidelines and mandates for health care workers, including immunization and vaccination requirements, set by both the Provincial Health Officer and the Provincial Health Authorities. These may change during the course of the program. Health care workers include MPT students on placements. In order to participate in any activities with patients, MPT students must meet all immunization requirements. Students who are unable to complete the required clinical hours during the program due to missing immunization requirements will not be able to graduate from the Master of Physical Therapy program.

All applicants who accept an offer are required to consent to a Criminal Record Check. The ability for a student to complete their clinical placements is contingent on the applicant being granted a student registration with the College of Physical Therapists of BC (CPTBC). The registration procedure includes a criminal record check, which is processed by CPTBC.

Program Requirements

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

  • ANAT_V 392
  • RHSC_V 420
  • PHTH_V 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. 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. Kristin Campbell, Program Director, at 604.827.4704.

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_V 500 and RHSC_V 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

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