ORPAS – Western University

Last updated: October 15, 2020

Note: This application guide contains information for fall 2021 admission.

University program information changes regularly. View the application for the most up-to-date details.

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School of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Western’s School of Communication Sciences and Disorders (SCSD) educates graduate students in the professions of audiology and speech‑language pathology (SLP).

Audiologists and speech‑language pathologists work with people who have hearing, speech, language, voice, swallowing and cognitive-communication impairments. They also investigate the symptoms, causes and treatments of such impairments, and conduct research into normal hearing, speech, language, voice, swallowing, and communication mechanisms and processes.

Our school offers academic, clinical and research facilities for specialized instruction in audiology and SLP, including in‑house laboratories and audiovisual/computer‑based learning facilities.

We also house the H.A. Leeper Speech and Hearing Clinic and the National Centre for Audiology, which provide well‑equipped facilities for assessing and treating hearing, speech, language and voice disorders, and for counselling and research. The clinical activities are supervised by full‑ and part‑time clinical faculty.

Entry to the graduate programs in audiology and SLP is very competitive. Be aware that the number of students who seek admission to the program considerably exceeds the number of places that are available. You must meet the minimum requirements listed in the Admission Requirements section of our website. However, meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.

Admission Requirements for Audiology and SLP Programs

COVID-related Changes to the SCSD Admission Requirements

We recognize that due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many Audiology and SLP clinicians will not be able to provide applicants with the volunteer hours or the clinical reference letters that are usually required.

Therefore, for the 2021 admission cycle we are making the following changes:

  • Volunteer hours will not be required, but you will still have an opportunity to describe any volunteerism already completed.
  • A Clinical Reference Form will not be required. In its place you must submit a professional or personal reference letter (using a third academic reference form) from someone who knows you well from a non-academic setting (e.g., work supervisor, coach, clergy member).
In light of these accommodations, and respecting the ongoing COVID-19-related challenges faced by many Audiology and SLP practice sites nationwide, we urge you not to request any clinical references or additional professional volunteer opportunities during this application cycle.

If you have already completed clinical hours in Audiology or SLP and have arranged for the clinician to provide you with a reference, you can still submit those hours and submit a reference using the same form as the Academic Reference.

Audiology

You must meet the following requirements:

    1. Successfully completed a 4‑year university degree prior to entering the program.

 

  1. Successfully completed at least 1 half-year course from each of the following 4 prerequisite categories:
    1. Developmental Psychology or Normal Lifespan Development
    2. Statistics
    3. Human Anatomy or Human Physiology
    4. Social Science/Psychology/Linguistics

    We recommend that you complete at least 1 course in mathematics, physics or engineering science.

  2. Maintained a minimum “B” average (3.0 on the ORPAS scale) in the 10 full-year courses or 20 half-year courses most recently completed. We will include grades from both undergraduate and graduate course work.
  3.  
  4. Completed a minimum of 14 hours of supervised experience in a communication disorders setting with a registered audiologist and provide a completed Clinical Reference Form, included in the ORPAS application. (Note: We have waived this requirement for fall 2021 applications. Read more about our changes to admission requirements.)
  5.  
  6. Provide at least 2 letters of academic reference. If you have not taken courses at the university level for more than 5 years, you may provide references from employers or professional colleagues who are able to comment on your suitability for graduate studies.
  7.  
  8. Provide a Statement of Intent (completed online as part of the application).

Speech‑Language Pathology

You must meet the following requirements:

    1. Successfully completed a 4‑year university degree prior to entering the program.

 

    1. Successfully completed at least 1 half-year course from each of the following 6 prerequisite categories:
      1. Developmental Psychology or Child Development
        • At least 1 of these courses must include a section on normal language acquisition/development.
      2. Introduction to Linguistics
        • At least 1 of these courses must include a section on normal language acquisition/development.
        • Must include a section on phonetics.
      3. Statistics
      4. Human Anatomy, Human Physiology
      5. Life/Biomedical/General Sciences
      6. Social Science/Psychology/Linguistics

We recommend that you take additional courses listed in items (e) and (f).

    1. Maintained a minimum “B” (3.0 on the ORPAS scale) average in the 10 full courses or 20 half courses most recently completed. We will include grades from both undergraduate and graduate course work.

 

    1. Completed a minimum of 14 hours of supervised experience in a communication disorders setting with a registered speech‑language pathologist and provide a completed Clinical Reference Form, included in the ORPAS application. (Note: We have waived this requirement for fall 2021 applications. Read more about our changes to admission requirements.)

 

    1. Provide at least 2 letters of academic reference. If you have not taken courses at the university level for more than 5 years, you may provide references from employers or professional colleagues who are able to comment on your suitability for graduate studies.

 

  1. Provide a Statement of Intent (completed online as part of the application).

Transcripts

You are required to submit official transcripts to ORPAS from each postsecondary institution that you have attended, even if the course(s) are posted on your home university transcript or are not relevant to your application. This includes transcripts for course work that is currently in progress, taken on Letter of Permission, taken for transfer credit or on an exchange.

For transcripts issued in a language other than English, you must submit 1 official transcript in the original language as well as 1 certified English translation. International transcripts should be accompanied by a WES evaluation. You are not required to provide a WES evaluation for transcripts for courses taken on exchange.

Calculation of Grade Point Average (GPA)

We will complete a calculation based on your final 60 units of university academic study (the equivalent of 10 full courses or 20 half courses) completed by December 31 of the application year, and will include graduate-level courses, summer, part‑time, intersession, correspondence and failed university courses taken beyond the 4‑year undergraduate degree.

If you are currently enrolled in the fourth year of a baccalaureate program, this calculation will start with your final fall grades (completed December 31) and will move back in chronological order based on the order of courses listed on the transcript.

Where grades must be extracted from a term to achieve the equivalent of 10 full courses, we will use the average of that term (e.g., your second year). We do not include placement/internship/activity/co-op‑type courses, Bachelor of Education, college-level certificate or diploma program courses and non‑convertible grades (including “Pass”) in the calculation. We include exchange program grades in the admission average if they are convertible.

We base admission decisions on a strong, overall admission package consisting of:

  1. Your academic background and preparation for further study
  2. The GPA of previous university course work
  3. Your volunteer experience in the field and in related areas (Note: We have waived this requirement for fall 2021 applications.)
  4. Letters of academic reference
  5. A letter of clinical reference (Note: We have changed this requirement for fall 2021 applications to a professional or personal reference letter.)
  6. A Statement of Intent

Successful applications generally exhibit exceptional GPAs obtained during previous university course work, have strong academic references from professors who know them well and a strong clinical reference that reflects their interpersonal skills and potential clinical strengths as a future clinician.

Note: We have waived the clinical reference requirement for fall 2021 applications. In its place you must submit a professional or personal reference letter. Read more about our changes to fall 2021 admission requirements.

Academic references should contain letters from your former professors that support and explain the ratings they have provided on the rating form. Your Statement of Intent should elaborate on your unique and exceptional qualities and future goals rather than on your aspirations to become an audiologist or speech‑language pathologist.

Admission decisions made by the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders are final and not subject to appeal.

If your first language is not English, you require a minimum Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 105 on the internet-based version, an overall score of 8 on the IELTS or a score of 135 on the Duolingo English Test.

Notes:

  • For TOEFL and IELTS test results, the Testing Agency must send test results directly to the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, Western University, by the application deadline. Western’s TOEFL ID is 0984.
  • For the Duolingo English Test, you must send test results directly to the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, Western University, by the application deadline and upload a PDF of your test results to your ORPAS application using Secure Applicant Messaging (SAM).

Permanent Resident (Landed Immigrant) Status

If you are a permanent resident (landed immigrant) of Canada, you must submit a copy of the front and back of your permanent resident card as part of the application, using SAM. The date on the back of the card must be legible.

Statement on Potential Health Risks/Immunization Requirements

Students in Communication Sciences and Disorders may be required to care for persons with infectious diseases (including hepatitis B and HIV). If you are accepted to the program, we will send you complete documentation about health status policies and immunization requirements, where applicable. Documentation of immunization and tuberculin status is required.

Graduate Degrees Offered

We offer the following degrees:

  1. Master of Clinical Science (MClSc) – Communication Sciences and Disorders (Audiology)
  2. Master of Clinical Science (MClSc) – Communication Sciences and Disorders (SLP)

Students enrolled in these MClSc Degree programs receive comprehensive, professional education in audiology or SLP. The focus of the MClSc Degree is on developing clinical excellence. The MClSc Degree provides a solid foundation of critical thinking and problem solving necessary for clinical practice.

Requirements for MClSc

The minimum requirements for completion of each degree are:

  1. 6 full‑time terms of graduate work,
  2. satisfactory fulfillment of the prescribed curriculum in audiology or SLP and
  3. an accumulation of at least 350 supervised clinical practicum hours approved by the SCSD.

Certification/Registration

Graduates of the MClSc Degree meet all existing requirements for:

  • membership and certification by Speech‑Language and Audiology Canada,
  • membership by the Ontario Association of Speech‑Language Pathologists and Audiologists and
  • licensing from the College of Audiologists and Speech‑Language Pathologists of Ontario (CASLPO).

Registration with CASLPO is required by law for professionals practicing audiology and SLP in Ontario.

Student Support

There are numerous scholarships, awards and bursaries available, some of which are listed in this section. Log in to the SCSD website for detailed information about each.

Examples include:

  • Andy Leeper Memorial Award
  • Barbershoppers Entrance Award
  • Daniel Ling Scholarship
  • Jean Kienapple Memorial Scholarship
  • Leeper Family Award
  • Maureen Williams Memorial Award
  • Overall Academic Achievement
  • Overall Clinical Achievement
  • Peter Newby Award
  • Richard C. Seewald Entrance Scholarship in Audiology
  • Strachan Memorial Award
  • TA Award
  • W.A. Cole Award in Audiology

Contact Information

School of Communication Sciences and Disorders
Faculty of Health Sciences
Elborn College, Room 1000
1201 Western Road
Western University
London ON  N6G 1H1

Telephone: 519‑661‑3227
Email: earmouth@uwo.ca

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School of Occupational Therapy

The first in Canada to offer a graduate professional program in occupational therapy, Western University’s School of Occupational Therapy offers a dynamic learning environment supported by innovation in teaching and research.

MSc in Occupational Therapy (MScOT)

This 2‑year graduate program is designed to prepare students who have varied undergraduate backgrounds for entry-level occupational therapy practice. The program is accredited by the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists.

Our program combines classroom, group and individual study, as well as fieldwork experiences to integrate the theoretical content and skills essential for practice.

Learning experiences extend beyond the classroom and include fieldwork, skills labs, case studies, clinical mentorships and evidence-based community development projects.

If you wish to become an occupational therapist and are self‑directed, motivated, flexible, resourceful and committed to lifelong learning, you are an ideal student for the program.

Essential Skills and Attributes Required

Prior to applying, all applicants should read and understand the Essential Skills and Attributes Required for the Study of Occupational Therapy document [PDF] for skills and abilities expected of candidates in occupational therapy entry-to-practice programs.

COVID-19

Western’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be informed by the advice of federal, provincial and local health authorities and prioritizes the health and safety of students, faculty and staff. We are developing plans for our academic programs based on the best information available, however, given the ever-changing nature of this public health situation, these schedules and plans may change as required.

For 2021, applicants have to be prepared for program delivery to be dependent on the public health situation as of September 2021, and that the program may be delivered through a mixed model of onsite and online course delivery, if required.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must:

  • hold a 4‑year undergraduate degree from an accredited university or postsecondary degree-granting institution.
    • if you apply in the final year of your bachelor’s degree, you must provide proof of degree completion (i.e., degree conferral) by June 30, 2021.
  • have a minimum sub-GPA of 3.4.
    • Meeting the minimum sub-GPA does not guarantee admission. For 2020, the average sub-GPA of the incoming class was 3.70.
  • show evidence of English-language proficiency, if applicable.

Applicants are ranked based on their CASPer test score and their sub-GPA. We consider the top ranked applicants for admission.

Components of a complete application include:

  1. An ORPAS application.
  2. Official transcripts from each postsecondary institution attended.
  3. Responses to questions in the “Personal Submissions” section of the application.
  4. Completed CASPer test.
  5. Other supporting documentation, as required, as indicated in Supporting Information.
  6. Application fee payment.

Transcripts

You are required to submit official transcripts directly to ORPAS from each postsecondary institution you attended. This includes transcripts for course work that is currently in progress, taken on Letter of Permission, taken for transfer credit or on an exchange. If you are applying in your final year of your bachelor’s degree, you must provide proof of your degree completion (i.e., degree conferral) by June 30, 2021.

International Transcripts

For transcripts outside of Canada and the US, you must submit:

  • 1 official transcript sent from the institution directly to ORPAS
  • 1 certified English translation, if the transcript is not in English
  • World Education Services (WES) evaluation of the transcript
    Note: A WES evaluation is not required for courses taken on exchange.
  • If possible, a legend from the university explaining the grading scale

Personal Submission

You are required to provide a written response to 4 points (5,000 character limit).

CASPer

All applicants are required to complete a CASPer test.

CASPer is an online test that assesses non-cognitive skills and interpersonal characteristics that we believe are important for successful students and graduates of our program, and will complement the other tools that we use for applicant screening.

Note: Add Western’s School of Occupational Therapy to your CASPer distribution list for your score to be sent directly to us from CASPer.

For the 2021 application, the last CASPer test date that we will accept is January 5, 2021. Visit CASPer for all available test dates.

You must update your CASPer account with your ORPAS Reference Number by February 1, 2021.

  • Once you submit your ORPAS application, you will receive your ORPAS Reference Number. We will not be able to match your CASPer test score to your ORPAS application without your ORPAS Reference Number.
  • Use the same name and email address on CASPer as you do on your ORPAS application.

We will not consider applicants with incomplete or missing CASPer scores.

Read more about CASPer
Testing Dates
CASPer FAQ

International Applicants

  • We reserve 2 spots for international applicants who have completed a 4-year undergraduate degree and have a competitive application.
  • Internationally trained occupational therapists are not eligible to apply.

Indigenous Applicants

We reserve 2 spots for Indigenous applicants who are Canadian citizens and have completed a 4-year undergraduate degree. We will consider Indigenous applicants with a sub-GPA of 3.4 or higher. In order to be considered for these spots, you must indicate your Indigenous status in your application.

Supporting Information for Permanent Residents of Canada

If you are a permanent resident (landed immigrant) of Canada, you need to provide proof of your residency. A copy of the front and back of the permanent resident card must be submitted to ORPAS by the application deadline. The date on the back of the card must be legible.

English-language Proficiency

If your first language is not English, you must provide evidence of your English-language proficiency by achieving the minimum required scores, within the last 2 years, on 1 of the following tests.

  • The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): The minimum acceptable score is 105, with a minimum of 23 on the speaking component and no other section below 20.
    • TOEFL scores must be sent directly to the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at Western University using TOEFL ID 0984.
    • In addition, you must upload a copy of your TOEFL test score to your ORPAS application.
  • The International English Language Testing Service (IELTS Academic): The minimum acceptable score is 8 out of 9 for each band.
    • The testing agency must send your IELTS test score directly to the School of Occupational Therapy.
    • In addition, you must upload a copy of your IELTS test score to your ORPAS application.
  • For the 2021 application only, the Duolingo English Test will be accepted in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The minimum acceptable score is 135.
    • Duolingo test scores must be sent directly to Western University. Select “Western University – Graduate Studies”.
    • In addition, upload a copy of your Duolingo test score to your ORPAS application using Secure Applicant Messaging (SAM).

Applicants whose first language is not English may be exempt from providing proof of English-language proficiency if they have studied full-time for at least 4 years at a university where English is the medium of instruction in a country where English is the official language. This does not apply to English preparatory programs.

Note: For applicants applying during their fourth year of undergraduate studies, 4 years will be counted as of June 30 of the application year.

If, after admission, you show an inadequate command of spoken or written English, you must improve your proficiency to the satisfaction of the School of Occupational Therapy. We may ask you to withdraw from the program if your command of English interferes with your ability to provide quality professional services.

Additional Considerations

  • We will not consider your application if you are currently registered in another Canadian occupational therapy program.
  • We will not consider your application if you have been required to withdraw from a professional rehabilitation sciences program.
  • Admission decisions made by the School of Occupational Therapy are final and not subject to appeal.

You must be cognizant that the MScOT Program is an intense program, offered on a full-time, in-class basis only. Your application must support your ability to keep up with a full-time workload.

Calculation of Sub-GPA

Your sub-GPA will be calculated based on your most recent 20 half courses (equivalent to 10 full courses or 60 credit hours) completed by December 31 of the application year.

Such calculations will also include marks from the following types of courses:

  • summer,
  • part‑time,
  • intersession,
  • distance studies,
  • exchange program,
  • failed university courses,
  • courses taken beyond the 4‑year undergraduate degree or
  • graduate-level university courses.

If you are currently enrolled in the fourth year of a baccalaureate program, this calculation will start with your final fall grades (completed December 31) and will move back in chronological order based on the order of courses listed on the transcript.

Where grades must be extracted from a term to achieve the equivalent of 20 half courses, we will use the average of that year (e.g., your second year). We do not include skill/activity-type courses (e.g., sports performance courses, music performance courses, arts performance courses), placement/internship courses, Bachelor of Education, college certificate or diploma program courses or non‑convertible grades (including “Pass”) in the calculation.

ORPAS does not use grades from graduate or International Exchange courses (outside of North America) in the calculation of sub-GPA; however, we will re-calculate your sub-GPA to include the grades from these courses.

The Admissions Committee reserves the right to refuse courses not considered eligible, or comparatively equivalent, to undergraduate or graduate study in the liberal arts or sciences. If convertible, the grades obtained in an exchange program are included in the admission sub-GPA.

Application Evaluation

In evaluating applications, the Admissions Committee considers your overall academic background and your CASPer score. The School of Occupational Therapy does not conduct interviews.

Deposit

If you accept an offer of admission to the MScOT Program, you must pay a $500 non-refundable tuition deposit to hold your spot in the class. We will apply the tuition deposit to the fall term tuition upon registration.

Fieldwork

Fieldwork is a required component of the program.

The Program has 4 block fieldwork placements that have an assigned course number and are graded on a pass/fail basis. You are required to pass all fieldwork placements to advance in the program.

During fieldwork, you have the opportunity to integrate theory with practice under the direction of a registered occupational therapist. Fieldwork placements expose you to a broad range of clients, different models of practice and a variety of practice settings. Opportunities for fieldwork experiences are diverse.

We are located in London, Ontario, which has one of Canada’s largest health care centres. The program has priority for placements primarily in Southwestern Ontario, and opportunities to travel internationally and to Northern Ontario, when possible.

Close ties to world‑class hospitals, community agencies and private facilities provide the opportunity for you to engage in varied clinical experiences.

Upon completing the program, you will have accumulated at least 1,000 hours of fieldwork experience. Additional fieldwork hours may also be integrated in other courses in the curriculum.

Statement on Potential Health Risks/Immunization Requirements

In Occupational Therapy, you may be required to care for persons with infectious diseases (including hepatitis B or HIV). If you are accepted to the program, and as applicable, you will receive complete documentation about health status policies and immunization requirements.

We require documentation of immunization and tuberculin status.

Police Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Check

Due to the increased number of fieldwork sites that require you to have a Police Record Check with a Vulnerable Sector Check, you are required to complete this process upon admission.

Licensing for Practice as an Occupational Therapist

Licensing is a provincial requirement in Ontario. The regulatory body is the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario.

To register for a license, you must successfully complete all academic and fieldwork requirements at a university program in Occupational Therapy, accredited by the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists, and pass the national certification examination.

Contact Information

School of Occupational Therapy
Faculty of Health Sciences
Elborn College
Western University
London ON  N6G 1H1

Phone: 519-661-2111, ext. 84351
Email: askot@uwo.ca

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School of Physical Therapy

Located in Elborn College on the southwest corner of Western’s campus, the School of Physical Therapy offers personal attention through low student-to-faculty ratios. Classroom and research areas are modern and spacious. We have 15 full‑time faculty members, and are proud to have 18 clinicians who teach full and/or sections of courses. There are more than 110 clinical facilities within Southwestern Ontario that offer a broad spectrum of clinical placement experiences for the Master of Physical Therapy (MPT) students.

The mission of our MPT Program is to prepare graduates for entry-to-practice as autonomous primary care physical therapists with the requisite competencies to provide leadership and service to individuals and communities within a complex, dynamic global health care environment.

The MPT Program is celebrated for its collaborative, team-based learning and practice setting‑based curriculum, which utilizes various teaching methods, including lectures, clinical skills laboratories, seminars, case‑method learning, problem‑based learning, self‑study, research projects and clinical placements. We prepare you for your role as a clinical practitioner, communicator, collaborator, manager, advocate, scholarly practitioner and health care professional across all areas of practice and practice settings.

The MPT Degree is awarded upon the successful completion of the 24‑month curriculum, which includes approximately 60 weeks of classroom/laboratory work and 30 weeks of clinical education.

Program requirements are completed by the end of August of the second year. Graduates of the MPT Program will be awarded their degree in the fall convocation.

Application Requirements

Refer to MPT Professional Program for more detailed information about these requirements.

We will consider you eligible for admission if you have all the necessary requirements, including prerequisite courses, and a complete application.

The following criteria are required:

  1. A 4-year baccalaureate degree
  2. Transcripts
  3. Two standard letters of reference
  4. Prerequisite courses
  5. Your Applicant’s Statement
  6. Physical therapy‑related experience (voluntary or paid)
  7. Non-physical therapy/community service (voluntary or paid)
  8. CASPer
  9. Proof of permanent resident (landed immigrant) status
  10. English-language proficiency
  11. Full-time Study
  12. Human cadaver anatomy dissection labs
  13. Act as a patient for your fellow classmates

4-year Baccalaureate Degree

A 4-year baccalaureate degree with high academic standing from a recognized university or postsecondary degree-granting institution is required.

  • If you apply in the final year of your bachelor’s degree, you must provide proof of degree completion (i.e., degree conferral) by June 30, 2021.
  • The MPT Program is an intense, on-site, full-time program and applicants must demonstrate through their application and academic background that they can be successful in a full-time, on-site program. Applicants may submit a Special Consideration request outlining reasons for studying online and/or on a part-time basis.

Transcripts

You are required to submit official transcripts to ORPAS from all postsecondary institutions that you have attended. This includes transcripts for course work that is currently in progress, course work taken on Letter of Permission, transfer credits, advanced standing credits or course work taken on an exchange.

  • For transcripts issued in a language other than English, you must submit 1 official transcript in the original language, as well as 1 certified English translation.
  • A World Education Services (WES) evaluation is required for undergraduate degrees completed outside of Canada or the United States.

Note: WES evaluation is not required for courses taken on exchange.

Letters of Reference

Two standard letters of reference are required:

  • Academic: One reference must be completed by an individual who holds an academic faculty position in a university, who has taught or supervised you, and who is qualified to judge your academic ability relative to a number of other students. Positions such as a teaching assistant or athletic therapist/trainer do not qualify as academic referees.
  • Professional: The second reference must be completed by a professional who can judge your performance and interpersonal skills from their perspective as a physical therapist or someone who supervised you working with individuals with special needs.

Notes:

  • References must not be submitted by relatives, personal clinicians, friends or family friends.
  • Referees should elaborate on your unique and exceptional qualities.

Prerequisite Courses

Prerequisite courses must be taken at a recognized university. Prerequisite courses may be taken as part of an undergraduate degree or as additional university credit courses. We accept university online courses providing they meet the prerequisite requirements. All prerequisite courses must be completed in the past 7 years (from the ORPAS application deadline) and a minimum grade of “B-” or 70% must be achieved for each prerequisite course. Pass grades are not accepted for the prerequisite courses unless completed during the winter 2020 term.

The following university-level prerequisite courses or their equivalents are required:

  • Human/Mammalian/Vertebrate Physiology – 1 half course.
    • We do not accept Animal Physiology, Invertebrate Physiology or Exercise Physiology to fulfill this requirement.
  • Science – 1 full course (or 2 half courses) in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Anatomy, Biomechanics, or Exercise Physiology.
    • We do not accept Earth Science or Health Science courses to fulfill this requirement.
  • Statistics/Research Methods/Research Design – 1 half course.
  • Social Science/Liberal Arts – 1 full course (or 2 half courses).
    • Example of courses include: Psychology, Sociology, Economics, History, Geography, Anthropology, Languages, Fine Arts, Philosophy, Ethics, Classical Studies, Film Studies, Comparative Literature, Humanities, Music, Dance, and Visual Arts.

Full courses are generally defined as 6‑credit, full-year courses; half courses are defined as 3‑credit, half-year courses.

You may complete summer courses and part‑time academic‑year courses to fulfill the prerequisite course requirements. All prerequisite courses must be either completed or in progress by the ORPAS application deadline.

A transcript is required to show proof of in-progress courses. We must receive a final transcript that shows the completion of the in-progress course(s) by June 30 of the application year.

Applicant’s Statement

Your statement (6,250 characters maximum or approximately 1,000 words), which is completed online as part of the application, should include all of the following components:

  • An explanation of why you have chosen physical therapy as a career, demonstrating your knowledge of the profession and its scope of practice.
  • A description of what you will bring to the physical therapy profession (e.g., strengths, experiences, attributes, leadership skills and/or abilities).
  • Your Applicant’s Statement should elaborate on your unique and exceptional qualities rather than just on your aspirations to become a physical therapist.

Physical Therapy-related Experience (Voluntary or Paid)

Provide a brief list (maximum of 4) of any activities (volunteer or paid) directly related to the physical therapy field, including a clear outline of the types of patients/individuals and your role. This experience does not need to take place at a physical therapy clinic but should include working with patients/individuals with needs that could be serviced by a physical therapist. Documentation must include the total number of hours of involvement, as well as your role and the population with whom you interacted.

Important: Enter the total number of hours only. Applicants who enter the number of hours per week will not be credited since the total number of hours cannot be discerned.

Non-physical Therapy/Community Service (Voluntary or Paid)

Provide a brief description (maximum of 4 activities) of any activities that provide evidence of your involvement and leadership in increasing the well-being of individuals, groups or society in general. Documentation must include the total number of hours of involvement, as well as your role and the population with whom you interacted.

Important: Enter the total number of hours. Applicants who enter the number of hours per week will not be credited since the total number of hours cannot be discerned.

CASPer

You are required to complete a CASPer online video scenario, situational-judgement test. CASPer testing takes place outside of the ORPAS application.

  • You have to add Western’s School of Physical Therapy to your CASPer distribution list for your CASPer results to be sent directly to us from Altus Assessments.
  • Testing dates are listed on the CASPer website. For the 2021 application, the last CASPer test date that we will accept is January 5, 2021
  • You must update your CASPer account with your ORPAS Reference Number by February 1, 2021.
    • Once you submit your ORPAS application, you will receive your ORPAS Reference Number. We will not be able to match your CASPer test score to your ORPAS application without your ORPAS Reference Number.
    • Use the same name and email address on your CASPer account as you do on your ORPAS application.
  • Failing to enter correct and identical information may mean that we are unable to match your CASPer results with your ORPAS application. In this case, we will consider your application incomplete and your application will be disqualified from further consideration.
  • We will not give further consideration to applicants whose CASPer score is below average, or whose test is incomplete or missing.
  • Questions about CASPer should be directed to Altus Assessments.

Permanent Resident/Landed Immigrants

If you are a permanent resident (landed immigrant) of Canada, you must submit a copy of both the front and back (date on the back must be legible) of your permanent residency card as part of your application.

English-language Proficiency

If your first language is not English, you must provide evidence of your English-language proficiency by achieving the minimum required scores, within the last 2 years, on either the TOEFL or IELTS test.

  • TOEFL: A minimum overall score of 105 is required.
    • TOEFL scores must be sent directly to the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at Western University using TOEFL ID 0984.
    • In addition, you must upload a copy of your TOEFL test score to your ORPAS application.
  • IELTS (Academic): A minimum score of 8 in both the overall and writing section is required.
    • The testing agency must send your IELTS test score directly to the School of Physical Therapy.
    • In addition, you must upload a copy of your IELTS test score to your ORPAS application.
  • For the 2021 application only, the Duolingo English Test will be accepted in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The minimum acceptable score is 135.
    • Duolingo test scores must be sent directly to Western University. Select “Western University – Graduate Studies”.
    • In addition, upload a copy of your Duolingo test score to your ORPAS application using Secure Applicant Messaging (SAM).

If, after admission, you show an inadequate command of spoken or written English, you must improve your proficiency to the satisfaction of the School of Physical Therapy. We may ask you to withdraw from the program if your command of English interferes with your ability to provide quality professional health care services.

Full-time Study

The 2-year MPT Program is both academically and physically challenging. The program requires full-time study. You must be capable of being a full-time student.

Human Cadaver Anatomy Dissection Labs

As a student of the MPT Program, you must attend and participate in human cadaver anatomy dissection labs.

Act as a Patient

As a student of the MPT Program, you must act as patients for your fellow classmates for all class laboratories and practical examinations.

Transfer Students

If you have already partially completed a physical therapy professional degree at another institution, you may make a request to transfer into Western University’s MPT Program.

You must meet Western University’s MPT Program’s admission criteria, submit an application through the ORPAS website and indicate that you wish to be considered as a transfer student on the ORPAS application.

You may apply for special consideration if you do not meet the admission criteria. You may apply for advanced standing for specific courses according to MPT policy, if applicable. To apply for special consideration or advanced standing, email the School of Physical Therapy. We consider transfer requests on a case-by-case basis. All decisions are final and not open to appeal.

Indigenous Students

We reserve up to 2 spots for Indigenous students who are Canadian citizens and who have fulfilled the necessary admission requirements. We will give consideration to Indigenous applicants with a sub-GPA (as calculated by ORPAS) of 3.4 or higher. You must self-identify as an Indigenous student in the ORPAS application to be considered for these spots.

If you self-identify as Indigenous, you must submit a consent form and documentation to the Office of Indigenous Initiatives at Western University.

Read more about Indigenous Services.

International Students

We reserve up to 2 spots for International students who have fulfilled the necessary admission requirements. We will consider International applicants with a sub-GPA (as calculated by ORPAS) of 3.4.

To be considered, you must complete all of the requirements listed on the MPT Admissions website. Official transcripts must be sent directly to ORPAS from the originating academic institution. Official English translations must be completed by a certified translator and must be provided for all non-English documentation submitted.

Transcripts must be evaluated for equivalency. You are required to submit your international transcript to WES for evaluation. Both the original transcript and WES evaluation must be submitted to ORPAS. You are responsible for any incurred costs in obtaining the WES evaluation.

Note: Original transcripts sent to WES from your home university must also be sent to ORPAS.

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence of English-language proficiency; the IELTS is required. You must have a minimum IELTS of 8.0 in both the writing section and the overall score to be considered for an offer without conditions. You must upload the official test results report to your ORPAS application, and request that the testing agency send a report directly to the School of Physical Therapy at Western University. Western must receive your IELTS test scores by the application deadline.

If, after admission, you show an inadequate command of spoken or written English, you must improve your proficiency to the satisfaction of the MPT Program, School of Physical Therapy. We may ask you to withdraw from the program if your command of English interferes with your ability to meet course and program progression requirements, including courses involving clinical placements in professional health care facilities.

If your score on the IELTS overall or writing section is 7.0, we will consider you for a conditional offer. The condition will be removed once you complete and pass the English BOOST Program through the Western English Language Centre.

The top applicants will be invited to participate in an interview. Applicants are required to successfully complete the interview process to the satisfaction of the Admissions Committee. This interview will make use of video conferencing software like Zoom.

All applicants who accept an offer to the MPT Program must arrive in Canada prior to July 1 of the incoming year and as soon as possible complete the International Student Orientation for Graduate Students offered through Western’s International & Exchange Student Centre.

Read more about services available for International Students at the International & Exchange Student Centre.

Admission Decisions

If you have met the requirements and completed the prerequisite courses, you are eligible for admission. Place of residence, program of study and university where undergraduate courses and degree were completed are not criteria in the selection process.

The MPT Program uses the following process to determine admission to the program:

  1. From all of the applications received, we give further consideration only to the 300 applicants with the highest sub-GPA. The cut-off sub-GPA is dependent on that year’s applicant pool and therefore varies from year to year. The cut-off for the 2020 applicant pool was 3.78.
  2. We screen the top 300 applicants’ files for completeness, including all necessary documentation, CASPer and appropriate prerequisites.
  3. Three independent reviewers then assess the applicant’s statement, references, physical therapy experience, non-physical therapy activities/community service and assign a score using standardized rubrics for each of these areas. A total final score for each applicant’s file is then calculated. Rubrics are not available for applicants to review
  4. CASPer ranking: We will not give further consideration to applicants who rank below average on CASPer. Applicants who rank more than 2 standard deviations above average may be added to the files sent for external review, even if they were not within the top 300 applicants ranked by sub-GPA.
  5. The final overall score calculated for each applicant determines the final ranking for offers of admission. We place applicants not receiving a first round offer of admission on the waiting list in order of rank.

Admission decisions made by the School of Physical Therapy are final and not subject to appeal.

Note: The Admissions Committee may need to contact you during the selection process. Information will be sent to the email address that you used on your ORPAS application. It is important that you configure your email settings to accept messages coming from @uwo.ca addresses. We encourage you to check your junk/spam mail folders often to ensure important information is not missed during this time.

Grade Point Average (GPA) Calculation

GPA calculations are completed by ORPAS. If you have questions pertaining to your GPA, contact MPT Admissions by email or by phone at: 519-661-2111, ext. 84351.

A GPA calculation for admission purposes will be completed based on your final 20 half courses of university academic study (i.e., the equivalent of 10 full courses or 60 credit hours), completed by December 31 of the fall term preceding the application deadline. It will include summer, part-time, intersession, distance education and undergraduate university courses taken beyond the 4-year undergraduate degree. Because the GPA does not include all of your university undergraduate courses, it is referred to as a sub-GPA.

If you are currently enrolled in the fourth year of a bachelor’s degree program, this calculation will start with your final fall term grades (completed by December 31) and will move back in chronological order based on the order of courses listed on your transcript. Where grades must be extracted from a term to achieve the equivalent of 20 half courses, we will use the average of that year (e.g., applicant’s second year).

We do not include marks from the following types of courses in the calculation of an applicant’s sub-GPA:

  • Graduate studies
  • Placement/internship/activity-type courses
  • Bachelor of Education
  • Certificate or diploma program
  • Non-convertible grades (e.g., pass/fail)
  • Naturopathic or chiropractic medicine
  • Continuing Education programs

GPA varies between academic institutions and the GPA provided by ORPAS may not be equivalent to the GPA provided by your institution. ORPAS uses the Undergraduate Grade Conversion Table to process your GPA. Refer to this table on the ORPAS website for further details on the conversion scale used in this process.

Exchange program grades are included in the admission GPA if they are convertible.

Clinical Experience

Clinical experiences are a required component of the MPT Program. During these experiences, you are provided with supervision and instruction by registered, practicing physical therapists. Students will acquire at least 1,025 hours over the course of 4 to 5 placements. Clinical placements can range in length from 6 to 8 weeks.

Location of Clinical Experiences

Western’s MPT Program has more than 110 high-quality clinical experience sites located within Southwestern Ontario. This area extends from Sarnia and Windsor in the west, to Owen Sound in the north, St. Thomas in the south and Kitchener/Waterloo in the east.

The MPT Program assigns all clinical placements. Admitted MPT students must be prepared to go to any of the assigned affiliated health care facilities in Western’s catchment area in Southwestern Ontario to fulfill their clinical experience requirements. You will be required to relocate within the Western catchment area for at least 2 clinical placements, which are greater than a 1-hour drive from London. Having access to a car during clinical placement time periods would be of substantial benefit but is not essential.

Police Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Check

All students admitted to the MPT Program at Western University must obtain and submit documentation of a police Vulnerable Sector Check (VSC). The VSC must include a search of the Pardoned Sex Offender Database and can typically be obtained through your local police department. This is a requirement of the MPT Program and affiliated health care facilities prior to beginning clinical placements.

Conviction of a criminal offence may affect your ability to obtain the necessary clinical placements for successful graduation from the MPT Program.

Statement on Medical and Non-medical Requirements/Potential Health Risks

Students in the MPT Program may be required to care for persons with infectious diseases (including but not limited to hepatitis B, tuberculosis [TB] and human immunoinsufficiency virus [HIV]) and therefore must meet the Ontario Ministry of Labour policies and guidelines for the protection of workers. If you are accepted into the MPT Program, we will send you documentation regarding mandatory medical and non-medical requirements for completion of clinical placements and other requirements, as specified by the Program. For example, policies, immunizations, VSC, cardiopulmonary resuscitation for health care providers (CPR-HCP), first aid, Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (MCU-WSIB) student coverage, infection control.

Upon admission, you are required to obtain and provide up-to-date documentation of immunizations, including 2-step TB, varicella, measles/mumps/rubella (MMR), pertussis, tetanus/diphtheria, polio and flu vaccinations. All medical requirements are mandatory.

You must update medical and non-medical requirements during the second year of the program. Without the required immunizations and documentation, you may/will be unable to obtain the necessary clinical placements for successful graduation from the MPT Program.

You are responsible for any costs incurred to fulfill medical, non-medical and Bill 18 MPT Program and affiliated health care facilities clinical placement site requirements.

Licensing

Physical therapists must be licensed or registered to practice physical therapy in Canada. All physiotherapy regulators in Canada, except Quebec, require successful completion of the national Physiotherapy Competency Examination (PCE) administered by the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators before being granted the right to practice. The national PCE has 2 components: A written and a practical/clinical component.

The written component of the PCE may be done as early as the final academic term of the university program. You may not sit the clinical component of the PCE until you have passed the written component and after the academic program is successfully completed.

Requirements for registration differ from province to province and territory to territory. Contact each provincial or territorial physiotherapy regulatory board for their specific requirements.

Accreditation

The MPT Program at Western University has completed the accreditation review process administered by Physiotherapy Education Accreditation Canada (PEAC). PEAC is an incorporated body under the Canada Corporations Act and operates as the accrediting agency for physiotherapy education programs in Canada. The status of Accreditation – Fully Compliant was granted to the Program on September 24, 2016, for the period until October 31, 2022. A description of Accreditation – Fully Compliant, follows.

Accreditation – Fully Compliant

  • A program is in compliance with 100% of the accreditation criteria within the Accreditation Standards.
  • There are no deficiencies.
  • There could be identified issues and weaknesses that the program must improve upon.
  • Progress towards improving issues and weaknesses must be reported in regular Progress Reports to PEAC.
  • If progress is not made, the program’s accreditation status could be changed to partially compliant or probationary.

Contact PEAC for more information.

Internationally Educated Physical Therapists

If you are an internationally educated physical therapist who wishes to practice in Canada, you should first apply to the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators for an assessment of your educational qualifications.

If your degree is found to be substantially equivalent to a Canadian entry‑to‑practice level degree, we will not consider you for admission to the MPT Program.

If you are an internationally educated physical therapist interested in bridging any gaps identified in the Alliance’s credential review, you may read more about the Internationally Educated Physical Therapy Bridging Program. Western does not offer this program.

Contact Information

Master of Physical Therapy Program, School of Physical Therapy
Faculty of Health Sciences
Elborn College, Room 1011
Western University
London ON  N6G 1H1

Telephone: 519-661-2111, ext. 84351
Email: ptadmit@uwo.ca

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