General Information

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Placement Dates

Placement Dates 2019/2020

Below are the Physiotherapy clinical placement dates for the 2019-2020 academic year. Some dates listed exceed the amount of time students are required to be on placement. This allows flexibility to accommodate clinical instructor schedule/vacation if necessary. 

Placement Date Range Placement Length Clinical Practice Unit Program Year
Jan 2 – Feb 14, 2020 6 weeks  Clinical Practice I (CP I) Year 1
Apr 8 – Jun 12, 2020 8 weeks Clinical Practice IV (CP IV) Year 2
Jun 3 – July 28, 2020 7 weeks Clinical Practice II (CP II) Year 1
Oct 28 – Dec 24, 2020 7 weeks Clinical Practice III (CP III) Year 2 

Catchment Areas

McMaster Catchment

Placements in the McMaster catchment area are organized by the Director of Clinical Education (DCE) and the opportunities occur within a broad range and scope of settings. McMaster’s catchment area allows students to gain valuable clinical experience in both urban and rural areas. Students can expect to complete placements within all areas of the designated McMaster catchment. Students are responsible for their own transportation and associated costs in order to complete program requirements. 

The McMaster catchment area extends:

  • West to Paris
  • East to Milton
  • North to Meaford
  • South to Niagara Region border

Should you wish to make a recommendation of a clinical facility within the McMaster catchment, please complete and submit the Clinical Facility Recommendation Form.

Other University Catchments:

Each university has their own geographical catchment area from which they obtain        placements. Students may request to complete a placement in other areas of Ontario and Canada. All costs incurred for out of catchment (OOC) placements are the responsibility of the student. Costs may include, but are not limited to, application fee, travel, relocation, accommodations, vaccinations, insurance, and food. The McMaster Physiotherapy Program does not provide funds to assist students to cover related costs.

Ontario Universities with Physiotherapy Programs:

  • Queen’s University
  • University of Ottawa
  • University of Toronto
  • University of Western Ontario

Map of Catchment Areas for Ontario Universities with Physiotherapy Programs

Non-Ontario Universities with Physiotherapy Programs:

  • Dalhousie University
  • McGill University
  • University of Alberta
  • University of British Columbia
  • Université Laval
  • University of Manitoba
  • Université de Montréal
  • University of Saskatchewan
  • Université de Sherbrooke

Northern Studies Stream:

The Northern Studies Stream (NSS) is a unique experience for McMaster Physiotherapy students. This stream was developed to help recruit rural clinicians who practice in Northern Ontario. Approximately 33 students will participate in clinical placements in NSS during the two years of the program. Funding for travel and accommodation is available, to a maximum cost paid for by the NSS, through funding made available by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.

Map of Cities Included in the Northern Study Stream

International Placements:

Students may have the opportunity of completing an international placement in their final clinical placement. All costs incurred for international placements are the responsibility of the student. Costs may include, but are not limited to, application fee, travel, relocation, accommodations, vaccinations, insurance, food. The McMaster Physiotherapy Program does not provide funds to assist the student to cover related costs.

General Placement Process

General Placement Process:

  1. Placement request emails are sent to clinical sites within the McMaster University catchment area 4-5 months prior to the start of placement.
  2. The Director of Clinical Education (DCE) follows up with the clinical sites ensuring an appropriate number of placement offers have been provided and attempts to ensure there are enough offers in each setting to meet student needs. Students may not make personal arrangements with clinical sites, clinical instructors, or with clinical coordinators without written permission from the DCE. 
  3. As placements are confirmed they are posted for students to view. Each student is assigned to an area of practice (i.e. community, rehabilitation, hospital/acute).
  4. Eligible students select and submit their placement preferences online based on the assigned area of practice.
  5. Students are matched to a placement considering their placement preferences and clinical requirements.
  6. Once the placement matching process has been completed, students are able to view the results. Students are provided the opportunity to apply to switch placements with a classmate or to switch into an unassigned placement offer.
  7. Once all placements are finalized, clinical sites are notified with their student assignment. Students are informed that they are able to contact their clinical site. 

Separate processes are in place for out of catchment, Northern Studies Stream, and international placements.

Becoming a New Placement Site

Becoming a New Placement Site

The Clinical Education team is always looking for sites interested in offering placements. If you are interested in offering a Physiotherapy clinical placement, a step-by-step process guide is provided below.

  1. Contact the Clinical Education team to express interest in becoming a clinical site and/or clinical instructor
  2. The Clinical Education team sends a Memorandum of Understanding for completion
  3. The Clinical Education team books a time to visit the site and meet with the clinical instructors to discuss placement expectations and evaluation documents
  4. The clinical facility is ready to offer a placement during the next available placement period

Becoming a New Clinical Instructor

Becoming a New Clinical Instructor

In order to provide excellent clinical experiences for our students, we have the following guidelines for physiotherapists that are interested in supervising students for clinical placements:

  • Be licensed and in good standing with a recognized College of Physiotherapists
  • Agree to abide by McMaster University policies and procedures
  • Comply with the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario Standards of Professional Practice, especially regarding Clinical Education

Benefits for Clinical Instructors Supervising PT Students for Clinical Placements:

  • Demonstrates your commitment to continuing education
  • Helps you keep current in your practice
  • Shows responsibility and commitment to the Physiotherapy profession
  • Facilitates recruitment of physiotherapists to your area of practice and facility
  • It is necessary to the provision of care of PT in the future
  • Allows you the opportunity to become a McMaster Professional Associate (PA)
  • Eligibility to receive an honorarium for supervising students

Once a physiotherapist has committed to take a student for a clinical placement, specific responsibilities and objectives related to that placement will be outlined prior to the start of the placement.

We encourage all prospective clinical instructors to review the MSc(PT) Clinical Instructor Handbook, which will provide a general overview of the MSc(PT) program and clinical education aspects.

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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