Dual Degree Option Doctoral and Professional Degrees

Master of Science (Occupational Therapy) and Doctor of Philosophy (Rehabilitation Science) OR Master of Science (Physiotherapy) and Doctor of Philosophy (Rehabilitation Science)

The McMaster Rehabilitation Science Dual Degree program allows students to obtain the established Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (OT) and Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Science (RS) OR the Master of Science in Physiotherapy (PT) and Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Science (RS) offered within the School of Rehabilitation Science (SRS) in 5 years.

McMaster has an excellent graduate training program that provides access to world renowned leaders in rehabilitation science, diverse training options and multiple areas of research specialty.  The strength of our program is related to the strength of our faculty who are highly productive rehabilitation scientists and experienced supervisors. Our PhD trainees have been highly successful in achieving external funding, publications, postdoctoral awards and faculty positions.

Finding the right graduate program and being accepted into it requires effort. You need to ensure you have the right program and supervisor, and that you have a strong application, since admission into our program is a competitive process. We try to identify candidates who have the combination of academic excellence, commitment and potential for future success.

Admission Requirements

To be eligible for entry into the Rehabilitation Science Dual Degree at McMaster University, applicants must have a four-year baccalaureate degree (120 units/credits or equivalent) with a minimum GPA of 3.3/4.0 (B+ or 77%) in the last 2 years or 60 units of university academic study.

The following prerequisites are for students pursuing the Master of Science in Physiotherapy (PT) and Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Science (RS) option only:

  • All pre-requisites must have a grade of 3.3/4.0 or B+ or 77% or 9/12 or higher.
    o One ½ credit (3 units) human anatomy course.
    o One ½ credit (3 units) human physiology course OR one full credit (6 units) human anatomy and physiology course.
    o One ½ credit (3 units) statistics course.
    o One ½ credit (3 units) humanities course.
  • Pre-requisite courses must be completed at an accredited university-level. College-level courses will not be accepted unless the college course has been transferred, as a whole course, to an university transcript.
    o A group of college credits, transferred to an University transcript, will not be accepted.
    o Transfer credits that provide a grade of Pass/Fail cannot be used for a pre-requisite credit.
  • Applicants must be enrolled in the specified pre-requisite courses by the application deadline (i.e., the course must be listed on an official transcript).

Please contact rsgrad@mcmaster.ca for any additional questions you may have.

English Language Proficiency

If the applicant's native language is not English, an official copy of their TOEFL score (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) test report form is required. These test results need to be less than 2 years old. McMaster's TOEFL Institution code is 0936.

Minimum test scores required for the Rehabilitation Science Graduate Program are:

More information on the TOEFL can be found by reading the following website.

*Applicants who have completed an academic ESL program through Canadian academic institutions may petition to have this considered in lieu of TOEFL.

Application Procedure

To apply to the Rehabilitation Science Dual Degree at McMaster University, you will need to complete the online application and submit the application fee by the application date. In the Application Portal, select Rehabilitation Science – PhD. You will be prompted during the application to confirm that you are applying for the Dual Degree Option. You will also be required to send the following items in support of your application by the deadline:

  1. Official transcript of all university and post-secondary experience
  2. Two (2) academic references. Applicants have the option of providing one (1) work-related reference in addition to two (2) academic references
  3. An up-to-date curriculum vitae
  4. A letter (maximum two (2) pages) outlining the following:
    • Proposed PhD. training plan (supervisor and research area), research interests and experience; and, long term career goals.
    • Narrative of your understanding of the field of Occupational Therapy OR Physiotherapy, and why you are choosing it as a profession.
  5. Two (2) examples of scholarly writing
  6. If applicable, evidence of competency in English
  7. If applicable, a declaration of any disabilities, as well as details concerning accommodations provided by your educational institution(s). Please refer to Section 6.5 of the School of Graduate Studies Calendar for more information.

The top-ranked applicants will be invited for a personal interview

Applicants invited to be interviewed will be notified approximately three weeks in advance of their interview. All applicants are responsible for their own travel costs to and from the interview.

All official transcripts are to be mailed directly to:

Program Coordinator
Rehabilitation Science Graduate Program
School of Rehabilitation Science
McMaster University
1400 Main Street West, IAHS 402
Hamilton, ON L8S 1C7

Please email rsgrad@mcmaster.ca with any questions you may have regarding your application.


Program Coordinator
RS Graduate Program
School of Rehabilitation Science
McMaster University
1400 Main Street West, IAHS 402
Hamilton, ON  L8S 1C7

905-525-9140 ext. 22868

General Information

Mailing Address:

School of Rehabilitation Sciences
Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University
Institute of Applied Health Sciences,
Room 403, 1400 Main St. W. Hamilton, ON L8S 1C7


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