Admission Requirements

Graduate with their partner on graduation day

Our interprofessional online learning environment includes learners from a variety of disciplines such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, chiropractic practice, kinesiology, dietetics, massage therapy, and dental hygiene. We also welcome graduates who are qualified to practice in other health professions.

Both the Graduate Certificate in Rehabilitation (GCR) and the Masters in Rehabilitation Sciences (MRSc) have the same admission requirements. A number of learners start with the GCR program and then can apply to the MRSc in due course.

Final admissions decisions for the MRSc admissions are subject to formal approval by the Faculty of Graduate and Post-Doctoral Studies.


Completion of a recognized four-year baccalaureate degree in a health profession from an accredited academic institution, or a UBC-recognized equivalent that qualifies you to provide health services to patients or clients in a rehabilitation health care setting. Applications from prospective learners with three-year degrees in a health profession are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Academic Standing

A minimum B+ (76%) average in senior level courses (300 and 400 level) is required. Although often labeled 3rd and 4th year courses they may be taken at any time throughout your studies. Completion of an introductory course in statistics is recommended but does not need to be a 300 or 400 level course.

International Applicants: Academic entry requirements from education programs other than Canada can be reviewed on the Faculty of Graduate and Post-Doctoral Studies website. Degree requirements and academic standings vary from the Canadian admissions requirements listed above.

Prior Work Experience

Applicants must:

  • be practicing health professionals in a regulated health or human services discipline
  • have a minimum of three (3) years of rehabilitation work experience in a health care setting where they have their own caseload, and assess and treat patients independently.
    • Settings may include community/home health practice, private practice, hospital-based, industry, schools, rehabilitation centres, etc.

English Competency

Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Other applicants may be asked to demonstrate English proficiency even if the primary language of instruction was English. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application. Acceptable English language proficiency tests are:

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): a minimum score of 108 (Internet-based exam) with a minimum score of 26 in Listening & Reading; 23 in Speaking; 28 in Writing
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing Service): a minimum overall band score of 7.5 is required with a minimum score of 7.0 in each component of the academic (NOT general) IELTS test
  • MELAB (Michigan English Language Assessment Battery): a minimum overall score of 88
  • CAEL (Canadian Academic English Language Assessment): a minimum overall score of 80
  • CELPIP (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program): a minimum score of 5 for each component of the academic (NOT general) CELPIP test.
  • PTE (Pearson Test of English): a minimum overall score of 76 (CEF level 1) on the academic (NOT general) PTE test.

Note: The language requirements are high for this program because it takes place entirely online; therefore, we require more advanced written communication skills. See further details about English Proficiency Tests. We recommend that you ensure you have met or exceeded the scores in any test accepted by UBC before applying to the program. 

Access to Technology

Student at a computer

Learners can take program courses anywhere they have access to a computer and the Internet.

Advanced computer skills are not needed. General comfort using a computer and basic word processing software will make completing assignments and participating in classes easier.

You should also be able to access the internet, and send and receive emails with attachments. An active email account is required and once admitted to the program you will be required to obtain a UBC email address which is available for free to learners.

Information regarding how to set up your system is provided prior to beginning the program. You are responsible for purchasing and maintaining computer hardware and software required for participation in the online courses.

Frequently Asked Questions


What type of degree do I need in order to apply?

We require a bachelor’s degree in a health care profession. Please note, the Graduate Certificate in Rehabilitation (GCR) and the Master of Rehabilitation Science (MRSc) are post-professional qualifications. While taking these programs can lead to practice improvements and new roles for those already practicing in a health profession, they do not provide credentials to enable people who are not already health professionals to enter rehabilitation practice.

What do you mean by “health discipline/profession”?

Your degree in a “health discipline/profession” means you are eligible to work in a health care profession in rehabilitation. The professions of current students and alumni include physiotherapists, occupational therapists, nurses, kinesiologists, dietitians, athletic therapists, chiropractors, prosthetists, massage therapists, and speech language pathologists. You should be responsible for your own caseload, and assess and treat patients independently.

Do I have to have three years of experience?

The GCR and the MRSc are advanced qualifications designed for health care professionals already working in rehabilitation health care settings who have three or more years’ experience, Learners are required to draw on this clinical experience when participating in course learning activities and completing assignments, so their work experience is foundational to their course success.

I do not have any recent academic references. Can I use work references instead?

Because you are applying to a graduate program it is important for referees to comment on your scholarly abilities and study skills.  Academic references are preferred, but if you cannot locate former professors to comment on your scholarly abilities, then we suggest selecting other referees who can provide comments on the needed areas. Try to choose referees from different organizations (for example, don’t ask both a colleague and a supervisor from your workplace). You may be able to obtain references from people who know of your skills and abilities through volunteer work, previous employment or trans-organizational task forces. We also recommend that you show the potential referee the reference form so they have an idea of the areas in which we are looking for input. 

Could you clarify the expectations for the actual online classroom attendance/time and assignments due?

The courses in our program are not self-paced or self-directed, but run as full graduate study courses. All course activities occur online through asynchronous online discussions, live webinars and other means including collaborations among students in learning activities and assignments. You can take the courses from a distance from anywhere in the world as long as you have a reliable internet connection and a computer with software compatible with Canvas, UBC’s online learning system.

I am interested in the MRSc program but wonder if I can try some courses before applying to the MRSc?

You can apply to the UBC Graduate Certificate in Rehabilitation (GCR) program and if accepted, take several courses before applying to the MRSc. Learners who met all UBC Faculty of Graduate and Post-Doctoral Studies admission criteria and policy requirements at the time of their admission to the UBC Graduate Certificate in Rehabilitation (GCR) program may transfer all five certificate courses taken prior to admission to the MRSc.

IMPORTANT NOTE: All UBC graduate students have five years to complete a master’s degree. For learners who take courses as GCR learners prior to admission to the MRSc, the five-year degree limit is calculated from the date of the commencement of the first GCR course. For example, a learner began the GCR program in January 2019, completed RHSC 501 and RHSC 505 in the first year then was admitted into the MRSc program starting January 2020. Their MRSc degree must be completed within five years of commencing RHSC 501 in January 2019, in other words, by December 31, 2024.

Is the application process different if I want to do the major project research versus the course-based MRSc option?

No. MRSc learners wanting the research option make this request after admission and after having completed a few courses in the program. There are many factors impacting on the choice including your academic standing in the program and your future plans such as wishing to conduct research in the future.

If you are interested in doing major project research, you do not need to find your own research supervisor.  A supervisor will be appointed for you.

Is it possible to do a PhD upon completion of a MRSc?

Entry to a PhD is possible for MRSc graduates; however it depends on the admission requirements of the desired PhD program.

The possibilities are enhanced when you choose the Major Project option (9 credits of RHSC 587 and 589) and make course elective choices that help you to acquire the research knowledge and publication record (e.g. publish your research project) that are usually needed to be establish eligibility for admission to a PhD program. Admission requirements for PhD programs vary so you need to check them out and plan accordingly. This is true whether you are doing the MRSc or any other master’s degree, and have future PhD study in mind.

If your goal is a research (versus clinical) career, MRSc students also have the option of taking 1-2 MRSc courses then applying to transfer those credits to the UBC Rehab Sciences MSc program, or elsewhere if needed. If you are considering this option we strongly recommend first checking out graduate course credit transfer requirements at universities where you may apply for PhD studies.

How do I afford it?

It is wise to plan ahead. Currently there are no scholarships or bursaries available to online learners; all tuition, however, is tax deductible in Canada. Funding or scholarships may be available through your employer or union, or other sources.

Here are some examples of how our learners manage the costs:

  • The program is designed to be completed part-time so can be done without interrupting your regular income. You could take two courses a year, for example, to manage the cost across time.
  • Seeking funding through an employer, professional association, union or service club. 
  • Studying online decreases transportation and parking costs and for some learners, their child sitting costs.