University of Southern California
University of Southern California
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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Post-Professional On-Campus Master of Arts Degree

Admission Criteria

All applicants to the Master of Arts program must satisfy the following general criteria:

  • Completion of a baccalaureate degree in Occupational Therapy with a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 from an accredited college or university or WFOT approved program.*
  • Certification (or eligibility for certification upon completion of a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy) by the National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapists (NBCOT).**
  • Complete the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test within five years of planned enrollment with a minimum score of 153 on the verbal section, 144 on the quantitative section, and 3.5 on the analytical writing.*
  • Submit three letters of recommendation from professors, therapists, and/or other professionals familiar with your capabilities and achievements.*
  • Submit a personal statement in response to the following prompt: Please describe your professional interests and accomplishments and how a graduate degree will allow you to pursue your professional goals. Note: To address this prompt, in the supporting documents, please upload a double-spaced essay which does not exceed 400 words.
  • English Proficiency: If your bachelor’s degree was earned in a non-English speaking country and you are not a US citizen or permanent resident, scores are needed from an official TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System). Students from some English-speaking countries may also need to submit scores. We require that the student have verification of the following scores within two years of intended enrollment:
    • An Internet Based TOEFL (iBT) score of 90 with no less than 20 on each sub-score; or
    • An IELTS of 6.5 with no less than 6 on each band score.
    Students whose native language is English and/or students with a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. college or university are exempted from this examination. If you are an international student who has questions about departmental requirements for the TOEFL, please contact Liz Carley, Director of Admissions.

*Conditional admission may be possible if one of the following GPA and GRE criteria is slightly below the requirement: (1) cumulative GPA, (2) verbal score, (3) quantitative score, (4) analytical writing score. If you have questions about your specific situation, please feel free to contact us.

**International applicants are responsible for communicating with NBCOT® regarding their eligibility status. This criterion is not required if applicant does not wish to practice in the United States. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT® certification examination or attain state licensure.

Application Deadlines

In order to be reviewed, the application and required application materials must be received by the Chan Division’s Admissions Committee prior to February 15th for a fall semester start.  Submit your application well in advance of the deadline and note that transcripts and other application materials may take three weeks or more to be processed by the Office of Admissions and then made available to our office. Please plan accordingly.

Applications received after February 15th are also welcomed and will be processed on a space available basis.

Application Procedures

Apply online through the USC Graduate Admissions website at least three weeks before the departmental application deadline to allow adequate processing time. Please look under the “Independent Health Professions” to find the “Occupational Therapy – Postbaccalaureate (M.A.)” program. You also should arrange to have transcripts and test scores sent to USC in time to meet this deadline.

Materials to be submitted by applicants

  • Have an official GRE general test score report sent to both the USC Office of Admissions (code #4852) and to the department (code #0618).
  • Send official transcripts from all colleges you have attended to the USC Office of Admission, as directed in the online application process and according to the USC Office of Graduate Admission’s transcript requirements.
  • Request three letters of recommendation from among professors, practitioners, or other professionals familiar with your capabilities and achievements, utilizing the process provided in the online application. It includes a form to be completed as well as uploading a personalized letter.  Writers may also send forms and letters directly to the Division at the following address:
    Admissions Committee
    USC Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
    1540 Alcazar Street, CHP 133
    Los Angeles, CA 90089-9003
  • If you are an international applicant please see the USC Office of Graduate Admission for details regarding what academic records you will need to submit.
  • If you are required to submit TOEFL scores (please see above for details), have your scores sent to the USC Office of Admissions (code #4852).

Contact Us

Thank you very much for your interest in our program. Liz Carley, Director of Admissions, would be delighted to answer any questions you may have, schedule a visit or arrange contacts with faculty members or students to further explore your interest in our program. You can reach her toll free at (866) 385-4250, or by email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). If you would like to know more, please use our Request Program Information Form, and we will be happy to send you a brochure about any of our programs.