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Top 10 Physiotherapy Schools in Canada 2023, Rankings

Physiotherapy, also known as Physical Therapy, is the science that deals with an understanding of outer treatment methods for improving, recovering or sustaining human beings. Also, physiotherapy includes understanding the overall functionality of the body as well as its locomotor system. To become a physiotherapist, it is a core prerequisite that you study and have a degree in physiotherapy and other physical therapy courses. In that regard, this is an expository and comprehensive article on the top 10 physiotherapy schools in Canada.

Annually, physiotherapists help thousands of Canadians from all age grades (babies and elderly ones inclusive) to manage and prevent the effects of chronic illnesses, diseases, neurological conditions, daily stress and strains of life, and trauma of accidents.

Interestingly, a degree in physiotherapy makes it possible for students to work in countless job sectors like clinics, hospitals, sports, schools, nursing homes, and more. If your intentions are pure toward a bachelor’s degree in physiotherapy in Canada, move on and read the list below to discover the best physiotherapy schools in Canada where you can study physical therapy.


1. University of Toronto

First on our list is the University of Toronto. Offering one of the best physical therapy courses in Canada, the U of T offers the Bachelor of Science Physician Assistant degree (BScPA), which is made available via the Faculty of Medicine, Department of Family and Community Medicine (DFCM), University of Toronto. This degree program is open to full-time professionals as well as second entry undergraduates.

Furthermore, the Bachelor of Science Physician Assistant degree (BScPA) is a professional degree course offered by the University of Toronto in conjunction with the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) and the Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences. The tripartite coalition between these schools makes the Physical Therapy program at U of T to be a very effective and robust program.



2. University of British Columbia

Do you want to have a well-rooted knowledge of how to become a physiotherapist in Canada? Then you might need to take physical therapy courses at one of the top leading university in Canada. The University of British Columbia is another leading institution in the field of Physical Therapy Programs in Canada. With the availability of state of art equipments and labs, the UBC’s scenic Point Grey Campus in Vancouver and the UNBC’s campus in Prince George are a good learning environment for international students and local students alike.

The program curriculum makes use of case-based and integrated approach, while also offering the course in a community of clinical educators and the department’s award-winning academic faculty of medicine. As one of the best physiotherapy schools in Canada, the University of British Columbia’s Department of Physical Therapy covers a certificate series, four degree programs, and an Internationally Educated Physiotherapist Exam Preparation Program. The latter provides students with training to aid internationally educated physical therapists for successful completion of their Physiotherapy Competency Examination.


3. McGill University

Those who study in this top physiotherapy university in Canada are trained to use physical modalities, exercise, assistive devices, manual therapy, as well as lifestyle management to aid people in acquiring maximal functional potential. Understanding that one who studies physical therapy courses should be a health professional who would make significant contributions to the multidisciplinary team via treatment planning and delivery, patient evaluation, research and consultation in clinics, education, community, and industry, the McGill University does not offer anything less.

As one of the best physiotherapy schools in Canada, the institution also provides students with basic health science foundation as well as undergraduate level courses, which is core to the practice of physical therapy.

The Physiotherapy program at McGill University is structured in such a way that it provides the student with a basic health sciences foundation and undergraduate level courses specific to the practice of Physical Therapy. The Physical Therapy curriculum emphasizes clinical reasoning, diagnostics, evidence-based practice, community rehabilitation, teamwork, and professionalism as essential components for the development of a humanistic, ethical, knowledgeable, competent critical thinking and problem-solving physical therapist.


4. McMaster University


Coming fourth on the list of the top 10 Physiotherapy schools in Canada is McMaster University. Known for its reputation in offering good courses, the institution also offers physical therapy courses, which are made available via the utilization of small group, problem-based and self-directed learning methods. In addition, the program at McMaster has a huge commitment to providing the required educational opportunity for all students of the institution, which is plausible, innovative, excellent, and consistent in alignment with the mission of the institution’s faculty of health sciences, which oversees the physiotherapy program.

Laying emphasis on series of problem-based, self-directed, and small group learning methods as well as clinical education and integrated academic education, the university also provides physical therapy courses, which in turn give students interprofessional and professional education opportunities in alignment with the university and community as a whole.

In respect to the university’s impact on students, McMaster University offers a good educational system, which is designed to help students develop a series of learning and life skills to promote stability and willingness to learn professional skills and, subsequently, impact positively in their societies and their line of professional.


5. University of Alberta


The University of Alberta is yet another top leading university in Canada offering physiotherapy. The undergraduate students of the physical therapy program at the University of Alberta have always been a core part of the large FRM (Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine) community.

One core objective of this physical therapy course is to provide students with physiotherapy skills, which meet the demand from the workplace as well as that of the ever-changing healthcare environment. Adding to clinical competency, all newbies in the field of physical therapy need to be trained effectively so they can develop strategies for evidence-informed decisions, autonomous practice, and program evaluation.


6. University of Ottawa

The University of Ottawa is another institution coming into the league of the top 10 physiotherapy schools in Canada. The University of Ottawa is one of the best physiotherapy schools in Canada. The physiotherapy program at the U of O is so robust and the academics are world-renowned. The department prides itself in raising professional physiotherapists who are fully equipped with skills and knowledge that will be useful for the career advancement.

Moreover, the program is in alignment with a client-centered approach as it places its focus on the integration of evidence-based results from well-conducted research on clinical decision-making. The program is properly designed based on core areas of learning like clinical sciences, and human movement sciences (kinesiology and pathokinesiology) while it also incorporates the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) framework as the standard for measuring and describing disability and health.

Lastly, it is important to note that the program is made available in alignment with the national physiotherapy curriculum guidelines as established by the Canadian Council of Physiotherapy University Programs. After completing their education, students who intend to register with the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario must be sure they have completed the Canadian physiotherapy competency examination (Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators).


7. University of Waterloo

One huge dedication made by this top physical therapy school in Canada is its international recognition for leadership, excellence, and innovation in physiotherapy education, research, and practice via dedicated academic, clinical, and professional partnerships.

The University of Waterloo trains students to be innovative and adaptive learners who are prepared to meet up with the functional and health needs of Canadians both now as well as in the future. To make this a reality, the University of Waterloo delivers collaborative, experiential learning and case-based opportunities, which prepare students (herein graduates) to master the core entry-level competencies for physiotherapy practice in Canada. Subsequently, graduates tend to embrace personal and professional growth thereby becoming leaders in the community they serve.


8. Western University

At the Western University, physiotherapy research and study is made up of investigation, which is dedicated to the understanding of the mechanisms underlying physical mobility alongside a focus on contributing to either the elements of physical therapy or the basic knowledge of physiotherapy practice, which does not exclude evaluation, assessment, prognosis, diagnosis, outcome measurement, treatment, and risk prevention.

Physical therapy courses at Western University comes with research training, which is made available to students in a series of related topics like:

  • Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation
  • Aging
  • Wound Management
  • Child Health
  • Motor Control and Neurosciences
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation
  • Knowledge Translation and Continuing Competency
  • Therapeutic Modalities


9. Queen’s University

The Queen’s University offers a four-year program leading to a fulfilled profession in physical therapy. As one of the leading physiotherapy schools in Canada, the institution aims to provide an outstanding learning environment for the education and enlightenment of future physiotherapy professionals. With core inquiries as well as evidence-based practice being utilized as the foundation of the physical therapy course in Queen’s University, the program has helped to promote the acquisition of skills, advanced academic behaviors, and enhanced academic skills, which are important for the practice of physiotherapy in Canada and across the globe.

Furthermore, since the physical therapy program at Queen’s University is completely accredited with the Physiotherapy Education Accreditation Canada (PEAC), graduates can then proceed to become registered with the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario.


10. Dalhousie University

Are you still thinking of how to become a physiotherapist in Canada or beyond? Then you should probably consider Dalhousie University, which is amongst the top 10 physiotherapy schools in Canada. Physical therapy courses at Dalhousie University give students the preparation and education to sustain them for clinical practice as a physiotherapist. Upon completion of the program, the students become fully prepared for the licensing exam, which is a prerequisite for the practicing of physiotherapy in Canada.

Interestingly, physical therapy courses at Dalhousie University is made available across trans-curricula themes and areas of study like:

  • Ethical reasoning and cultural sensitivity
  • Clinical reasoning and best practices
  • Professionalism, leadership, and collaboration
  • Therapeutic exercise communication
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Health promotion and secondary prevention
  • Clinical placements (one to two weeks and five to six weeks duration), under professional supervision, are taken via a series of facilities at intervals all through the program.

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