Master of Science (Physiotherapy) (MSc Physiotherapy)

The MSc (Physiotherapy) entry to practice program is full-time and offered over a continuous 25-month period. The curriculum prepares students with the professional education and experience necessary to apply for the national licensing examination. The School of Physiotherapy at Dalhousie is the only school serving Atlantic Canada; as such, a provincial quota system is in place with a specified number of seats allocated annually for residents of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. A small number of seats are open to non-residents. Therefore, admission is offered on a competitive basis and enrolment is limited.

Admission Requirements

  • Candidates must satisfy the general requirements for admission to the Faculty of Graduate Studies.
  • A four-year undergraduate degree or equivalent in any field of study from Dalhousie University or from a recognized academic institution with a minimum grade point average of 3.3 or letter grade of B+ in the last 60 undergraduate credit hours. Degrees that have a focus in Neuroscience, Psychology, Kinesiology, Human Movement Science, Exercise Science, Human Physiology, Health Promotion, Ergonomics and Anatomy are favorable backgrounds for the study of Physiotherapy.
  • The completion of Altus Assessments CASPER examination. Please see School of Physiotherapy website for more details pertaining to this admissions requirement.
  • The following courses or their equivalents are prerequisites for admission:
    • Statistics (three credit hours, e.g. Statistics, Research Design, Research Methods)
    • Human Physiology (six credit hours, equivalent to PHYL 1010.06: Human Physiology)
    • Human Anatomy (three credit hours, equivalent to ANAT 1010.03: Basic Human Anatomy)
    • Languages and Humanities and/or Social Sciences (six credit hours, e.g. Sociology, Economics, Psychology, History, Fine Arts, English, Classical Studies, Music, Dance, Film Studies, Philosophy, Religion, Anthropology, Political Science. At least 3 credit hours must be Psychology)
    • Life Sciences (three credit hours, e.g., Biology, Chemistry, Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Biophysics, Neuroscience, Biomedical Engineering)
    • Strongly recommended: to take Physics and/or Biomechanics in Human Movement (three or six credit hours) to prepare for studies in Physiotherapy at Dalhousie University.
  • Reference Letters - two academic, confidential reference letters.
  • 40 hours of community volunteer experience over the last two years
  • Clinical Education Requirements - In order to satisfy the requirements for the clinical internship components of the program, students must provide proof of immunization to the Coordinator of Clinical Education for: Diphtheria-Tetanus, Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Hepatitis B. Before students can enter the clinical setting, they must provide verification of a Tuberculosis skin test and serology for Measles, Rubella, Varicella and Hepatitis B. In addition, a recent satisfactory criminal record check, including a vulnerable sector survey, and a valid CPR (level C) certificate, is required prior to our start date in September.
  • Equitable & Inclusion Admissions Policy- The School of Physiotherapy is committed to increasing the admission of and number of graduates from historically underrepresented groups: persons of Aboriginal/Indigenous ancestry, members of racialized groups, persons of African descent, Acadians, persons with dis/Abilities, and persons belonging to minority sexual orientation and/or gender identity (SOGI) groups. Admission prerequisites are required for all applicants. However, applicants who apply under the Equitable Admissions Policy are considered on the basis of their qualifications for graduate study in physiotherapy rather than in relation to other candidates.The School of Physiotherapy encourages applicants who wish to apply under the Equitable Admissions Policy to indicate so on the Graduate Application Form and their Supplementary Application Form.
  • Applicants who meet the above minimum requirements are eligible for interview consideration. The interview score is based on communication and problem-solving analysis (eligibility for interview is based on the GPA). Fulfillment of the minimum requirements does not guarantee an interview.

Deadline for application is January 31.

Physiotherapy Registration

Physiotherapists educated in Canada must be registered with the appropriate regulatory body. The School itself has no jurisdiction in matters related to regulation, and Dalhousie University cannot accept responsibility for changes in regulatory regulations which may occur from time to time.

The degree program at Dalhousie University is designed to fulfill the present registration requirements by the time students graduate. A Physiotherapy Competency Examination was implemented in 1993. Successful completion of the national competency exam is required for registration in all provinces except Quebec. Graduates are strongly advised to seek further information and clarification from the appropriate provincial College of Physiotherapists.

Association Membership

Information regarding membership in various Physiotherapy Associations can be obtained from the following sources:

The Canadian Physiotherapy Association
955 Green Valley Crescent, Suite 270
Ottawa, ON K2C 3V4

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
14 Bedford Row
London, WC1R 4ED, England

The American Physical Therapy Association
1111 North Fairfax Street
Alexandria, Virginia, 22314-1488 USA


The Master of Science (Physiotherapy) program at Dalhousie University has completed the accreditation review process administered by Physiotherapy Education Accreditation Canada (PEAC). PEAC is an incorporated body under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act and operates as the accrediting agency for physiotherapy education programs in Canada. The status of Accreditation – Probationary was granted to the program on April 30, 2020. A description of Accreditation – Probationary follows.

Accreditation – Probationary

  • A program is non-compliant in a CORE criterion OR
  • A program is in compliance with less than 50% of the accreditation criteria in one standard OR
  • A program is in compliance with less than 80% of the accreditation criteria in more than two standards OR
  • A program fails to demonstrate progress in addressing the identified concerns in its required Progress Report(s)


  • If a program loses its accreditation status, its students may not be considered graduates of an accredited physiotherapy education program.
  • Students must be considered graduates from an accredited physiotherapy education program in Canada in order to be eligible to write the Physiotherapy Competency Exam and be licensed to practice physiotherapy in Canada.
  • The program’s accreditation status is important to graduating students with regards to be coming licensed to practice physiotherapy in Canada. It is recommended that students contact the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators ( for information regarding the process to become licensed as a physiotherapist in Canada following graduation.

More details regarding the definitions of the levels of accreditation are available at or by contacting Physiotherapy Education Accreditation Canada, Suite 26, 509 Commissioners Road West, London, Ontario, N6J 1Y5, (226) 636-0632,

Practicum/Fieldwork Placements Outside Halifax

Students enrolled in entry-to-practice graduate programs of study in the Faculty of Health Professions are advised that they may have to do some or all of their required clinical education/fieldwork at sites outside Halifax, and hence may have to incur additional personal expenses for travel and temporary accommodation.

In some situations, sites may require a payment to the site for support of clinical education/fieldwork supervision, and some sites may require separate disability insurance in lieu of eligibility for Worker Compensation coverage. Such costs are the responsibility of the student.

Interprofessional Health Education

Students are required to maintain enrolment in IPHE 5900 for the duration of their studies. Please register in IPHE 5900.00 (section 4). Successful completion of this course is a requirement for graduation, and will be recognized further with the awarding of a special Certificate in Interprofessional Collaboration to be presented by the Faculty of Health Professions. Students are asked to consult with their individual school/college to determine the specific guidelines and expectations regarding the required portfolio.