Admissions Requirements

Master of Science Degree in Occupational Therapy

The program invites applications from students who hold a baccalaureate degree, in any area, granted by a college or university of recognized standing.

The following are required as part of the application process for the term beginning in September 2021.


Category 1: The Sciences

  • A one-year (totaling six credits) combined anatomy and physiology course; or one semester of human anatomy and one semester of physiology. Applications can be initially reviewed if another science course has been taken. Acceptances are pending completion of anatomy and physiology.
  • A science course with a lab. If your anatomy or physiology course has a lab, it will also cover this requirement. 

Category 2: Psychology (9 credits)

  • A three credit course in abnormal psychology
  • A three credit course in developmental psychology or human development covering the lifespan (from birth through adulthood). The lifespan requirement can be fulfilled by combining several developmental psychology courses that cover the life span. Courses used to fulfill the life span requirement cannot be used to fulfill the remaining psychology requirement.
  • The remaining three credits can be in any psychology course.

Category 3: Distribution requirements (12 credits)

  • One three credit course in English composition.  This may be fulfilled by a course marked by your university as writing intensive.  
  • One three credit course in introductory statistics.
  • One three credit course in the social sciences.  Social sciences include, but are not limited to: anthropology, archaeology, communication studies, economics, history, musicology, human geography, jurisprudence, linguistics, political science, public health, and sociology. Psychology courses cannot be used to meet this requirement.  
  • One three credit course in the humanities. The humanities include, but are not limited to: ancient and modern languages, literature, philosophy, history, human geography, law, politics, religion, and art.

To have an application considered for admission, at least one science course must be completed, one psychology course must be completed, and two distribution courses must be completed.

If a student is accepted but has not completed all courses at the time of application, the acceptance is provisional. A grade of B or better in all outstanding courses must be attained prior to matriculation as an entering student.  

Courses not taken within 10 years of application will be evaluated at the discretion of the Admissions Committee. It may be necessary to repeat such courses.  Courses in the sciences and psychology must be taken within 10 years of applying. 

Letter grades are required for all prerequisites; applicants taking classes Pass/Fail MUST have the registrar or the course instructor provide a grade equivalency. If a grade equivalency is not submitted, the lowest passing grade, typically a D, will be used. In this case, it is in the applicant’s best interest to repeat the course.

Note for Spring 2020 Grades: We understand that many colleges and universities have moved to pass/fail grading this semester due to the impact of the coronavirus.  We will accept pass/fail grades for this semester.  However, we do encourage you to elect a letter grade if that option is available to you.  As part of the admissions process, we may request further information about your Spring 2020 pass/fail grades.

Applicants who wish to submit Advanced Placement (AP) scores in fulfillment of a pre-requisite course must have scores that meet the criteria used by Columbia College. Depending upon the department, only scores of 4 or 5 are accepted. Please click here for details on acceptable test scores.  If your AP score does not appear on your college transcript, please have it reported to our office.  Our school code is 7707.

Note: We do not accept CLEP in lieu of coursework.


Three letters of reference are required. We will not read more than three letters. Applicants who have received a degree in the past 5 years are: required to provide at least 1 academic reference from faculty at that institution; and encouraged to provide at least 2 academic references. Applicants more than 5 years away from their most recent degree are encouraged to provide at least 1 academic reference. Other references should be from an employer or a health professional (letters from relatives and family friends are not accepted). Contact information for references is submitted on the application and references are completed electronically.  

CPR Certification

Prior to matriculation, current certification in child and adult cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is required.  

Healthcare Experience

Applicants must have prior knowledge of, or experience in, occupational therapy through observation, work, or volunteer experience.  This experience should be documented on your CV.  We do not require additional forms.

Additional Information

International students who have graduated from universities in non-English speaking nations are also required to submit the results of the TOEFL or the IELTS, including the written portion of the test.