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 2019.


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.  This can be anatomy, or any other science.
  • A course in physics (covering mechanical physics related to movement and/or principles of movement) while not required, is highly recommended.

Category 2: Psychology

  • A three credit course in abnormal psychology
  • A three credit course in developmental psychology or human development covering the lifespan (from childhood through adulthood). The lifespan requirement can be fulfilled by combining several developmental psychology courses that cover the life span. NB: 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

  • 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, such as sociology or anthropology.
  • One three credit course in humanities, such as literature, history, or philosophy.

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.

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.

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 see Columbia College’s website for details on acceptable test scores.

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


Three letters of reference are required. References from family/friends are not acceptable. Contact information for references is submitted on the application and references are completed electronically.

CPR Certification

Prior to matriculation, current certification in community cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is required.

Healthcare Experience

Applicants must have prior knowledge of, or experience in, occupational therapy through observation, work, or volunteer experience.

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 ITELTS, including the written portion of the test.

The Admissions Committee may ask an applicant to come in for a personal interview.

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