Bachelor’s to Master’s in Occupational Therapy
Admission Criteria for Current USC Students
- A minimum USC cumulative GPA of 3.0 in completed undergraduate courses.
- A minimum GPA of 3.0 in the seven occupational therapy pre-professional courses, which must have been completed within the previous five years.
- Verification that USC’s general education requirements will be completed by the start of the senior year.
- Three letters of recommendation from professors, therapists or other professionals who are familiar with your capabilities and achievements. At least one letter should be from a professor.
- Submit a 1-2 page essay describing your interests, skills, and goals, including your current understanding of the profession of Occupational Therapy. Your personal exploration of the field of occupational therapy should also be discussed.
Admission Criteria for Freshmen and Transfer Applicants
- Apply online through the USC Common Application. Go to USC Undergraduate Admission and follow the procedures outlined on the site.
- Transfer students applying at the junior level must complete two required pre-requisite courses: (1) Human Anatomy with laboratory; and (2) Developmental Psychology (must cover the lifespan)
- Verification that all USC’s general education requirements and all occupational therapy pre-professional courses will be completed by the start of the senior year.
- One to three letters of reference are recommended (at least one should be from a professor or teacher)
Graduate Record Exam
Although USC and non-USC applicants are not required to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test scores when applying to the bachelor’s program. Effective Fall 2013 enrollment, they are required to complete the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test within the last five years with a minimum score of 153 on the verbal section and 144 on the quantitative section. If the GRE was taken before August 1, 2011, use the GRE Concordance Scale to determine whether the verbal and quantitative scores meet the minimum.* The GRE must be taken within five years of anticipated enrollment into the master’s program. Students will also need to apply for admission to that program.
For a major in occupational therapy, students must complete the following seven courses, earning a grade point average of B (3.0) or better (Pass/Fail or grades below a C are not accepted):
- Human Anatomy with laboratory* (OT 260 or EXSC 301L);
- Human Physiology (OT 261 or BISC 307L);
- Statistics I (PSYC 274 or HP 340 with HP 350 or BUAD 310);
- Lifespan Development or Human Development (must cover lifespan) (OT 251);
- Abnormal Psychology (PSYC 360);
- Introductory Sociology or Introduction to Social Anthropology (OT 250 or SOC 200 or ANTH 201);
- Medical Terminology (OT 200).
USC course numbers are provided; courses may also be taken at other accredited colleges or universities. All courses except Human Anatomy may be taken online from an accredited institution.
*Course must include a laboratory and study of the human body. If anatomy and physiology are combined, students must take two
sequential semesters with a laboratory each semester.
Students on the one-year track must complete all pre-professional courses and all USC general education courses prior to the start of the senior year with a minimum grade point average of 3.0. Pre-professional coursework must have been completed within the last five years.
On the two-year track, students must complete the following two pre-professional courses prior to the start of the junior year: (1) Human Anatomy with a laboratory, and (2) Developmental Psychology (must cover the lifespan). Students must also complete all of the occupational therapy pre-professional courses, as well as all USC general education courses, prior to the start of the senior year.
The Division’s Admissions Committee will review your application once all your application materials have been received. The application deadline depends on your student status:
- Prospective USC freshmen applicants should apply to USC and select occupational therapy as their major.
- Current USC freshmen and sophomores may apply to the program at any time. Students who are admitted as a freshman or sophomore “lock-in” one of the places either in the OT two-year junior program or the one-year senior program, providing they maintain satisfactory academic performance (3.0 GPA and grades of A or B in the required pre-professional courses). The last date to apply for the two-year junior program is April 30th, sophomore year. The last date for the one-year senior program is January 15th, junior year.
- Current USC juniors who will have completed the Division’s pre-professional courses and USC’s general education requirements by the end of the spring semester may apply to the program at any time on or before January 15th, and thereafter on a space available basis.
- Prospective Transfer applicants should apply to USC and select Occupational Therapy as their major. There are two required pre-requisite courses for junior level transfer applicants: Human Anatomy with a laboratory, and Developmental Psychology (must cover the lifespan).
If you are currently a USC student, you must complete and submit both of the following:
- OT Application;
- Additional Application Materials.
For current USC students only. Obtain and complete the online OT application form:
- Complete the application online (select “Guest Account”, click “login” and submit as directed).
Additional Application Materials
Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
1540 Alcazar Street, CHP 133
Los Angeles, CA 90089-9003
The completed OT application can be submitted electronically (using the online form). In addition, the following printed materials must also be submitted to the OT Division Admissions Office at the above address before the OT application deadline:
- A 1-2 page personal essay that describes your interests, skills, goals, and understanding of the OT profession;
- A copy of your STARS report;
- One letter of recommendation from a professor (not a teaching assistant);
- Two additional letters of recommendation from professors, therapists, or other professionals who are familiar with your capabilities and achievements.
If you are not already a USC student, you must complete your USC Application by choosing one of the following methods:
- Go to USC Undergraduate Admission and follow the procedures outlined on the site.
- Call the USC Office of Admissions at (213) 740-1111 and request materials.
- If you need to send materials by postal mail after submitting your online application, use the following address:
University of Southern California
Office of Admission and Financial Aid
3601 South Flower Street, Room 112
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0911
Possible Background Checks