How To Prepare For Physiotherapy School Applications

Written by Reid Vander Vleuten

Reid graduated from Queen's University with a Master of Science in Physical Therapy in 2019. Since then, he has worked in private practice at a sports and rehab clinic. He is passionate about providing care across the lifespan with extra interest in concussion rehab and working with youth athletes.

September 3, 2021

When preparing for your Physiotherapy School Applications, there are a lot of moving parts. Some of you reading may have already discovered this. I remember looking at all the requirements for the schools I was applying to in the Social Sciences Building on Western’s campus and having immediate worry and anxiety as I was unsure if I’d have enough time for it all. Therefore, if you don’t want to be a nervous mess like I was, please keep reading!

This blog is designed to help you formulate a plan well in advance of the due date for your physiotherapy application.

Step 1: Learn about the physiotherapy profession.

If you’re like I was and just wondering where to start, I’d recommend you begin with learning about the profession of physiotherapy. Yes, even if you have volunteered in a clinic for multiple summers and believe you have a good understanding of the profession I challenge you to go back and keep learning. The profession of physiotherapy has a wide scope and is difficult to understand unless thoroughly researched. Therefore, take time before even looking at the application requirements to learn more about the profession you are applying to. It’s an incredible career choice but you should ensure it is 100% for you. If you’re already convinced and ready to be a physiotherapist, you can always learn something new about the profession.

Step 2: Do some research on physiotherapy programs.

Once you’ve dove into the profession and have a good handle about what physiotherapy is, you should research the schools you would like to apply to. I know, I know, more research. Bleh. But this is definitely worth it. Each school is unique in its own way. For example, the McMaster Physiotherapy Program emphasizes a problem-based learning style. The University of Ottawa program is taught in French and English. And the prairie provinces have strict rules in place for in-province vs. out of province applicants. Additionally, each school has different prerequisites and require different components for each application (references, interviews, etc.). To get to the point, the more you know about a program, the better you can tailor your application to their program. Lastly, you won’t waste time preparing an application for a school that it turns out you don’t have the pre-requisites for (aka me – whoops!).

Step 3: Start working on your application well in advance of the deadline.

When you’re all done identifying the pre-requisites of each program and what components are required for each physiotherapy program the real work begins. This is the step where you implement. I urge you to start very early as this process often takes revision (depending on the school you’re applying to). Depending on your situation, you may also be balancing a full time job or studies for the last year of your current degree. Great physiotherapy applications take a lot of time. I’d recommend you begin organizing your application at least 4 months in advance of when the application is due. This does not mean it has to be done 4 months ahead of time, but you should begin organizing your thoughts and notes for the components of the application. For example, if you are required to write a personal statement for a program application, you will want to be done well in advance of the due date as peer revision is extremely critical and important for the writing process. Work ahead and you will avoid a lot of unneeded stress a few days before the application deadline.

Step 4: Prep for potential interviews early.

Once you have completed all components of the application and submitted it on time, you begin the super exciting and fun time we like to call the waiting game. But like all good things, it comes to an end and that is when you get your invites to interviews. And when those invites arrive, they come quickly. Typically physiotherapy programs do not give you a lot of time between the invites and when the interviews actually occur. Especially with more and more schools relying on virtual interviews. Therefore, begin preparing for interviews early – maybe even before you get an interview if you are confident in your application. You should be researching the format of the interviews, styles of questions that are typically asked, and practicing answers to potential questions that may be asked. Remember, interviews occur during the school year. So whether you’re working full time or still in school, there will be a lot on your plate during that time. It never hurts to prepare too early.


As you now know, the application process for physiotherapy programs in Canada is rigorous and requires a lot of time and effort. If you need help becoming more organized and improving your application, we can help you! Our PT Application Booster and PT Interview Booster courses were specifically designed to help individuals in your shoes. Read up on the available course offerings and reach out if you have any questions! Looking forward to meeting you!

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