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University of Southern California
University of Southern California
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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Bachelor’s to Master’s
Admissions Process

Please Note
USC Chan is in the process of transitioning from an entry-level master’s program to an entry-level Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) program. This change could impact students as early as the bachelor’s class of 2023. In the event that the Division moves to an entry-level OTD program while you are completing your bachelor’s degree, in order to remain in the OT program at USC you would will need to apply to and complete the OTD program following completion of your bachelor’s degree.

If you are one of those select few high school students who already know that you want to pursue a career as an occupational therapist, this program is for you! By majoring in occupational therapy as an undergraduate, you are able to earn a master’s degree in occupational therapy in just one additional year instead of the traditional two years required in the entry-level master’s degree. A master’s level degree is required to practice as an occupational therapist in the United States.

Admission Criteria for Freshmen Applicants

  • Apply online through the USC Common Application. Go to USC Undergraduate Admission and follow the procedures outlined on the site.
  • Submit two letters of reference (at least one should be from a professor or teacher).

Application Procedures

Apply to USC and select occupational therapy as your major. You must maintain satisfactory academic performance (3.0 GPA and grades of A or B) in the required pre-professional courses to remain in the major. The USC Admissions Committee and the Chan Division’s Admissions Committee will review your application once all application materials have been received.

Pre-Professional Courses

For the occupational therapy major, you 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 HBIO 301L)
  • Human Physiology (OT 261 or HBIO 420L or BISC 307L)
  • Statistics I (PSYC 274Lg; BUAD 310; or HP 340L with HP 350; or MATH 208x with either MATH 118x or 125)
  • Lifespan Development or Human Development (must cover lifespan) (OT 251 or EDUC 589)
  • Abnormal Psychology (PSYC 360)
  • Introductory Sociology or Introduction to Social/Cultural Anthropology (OT 250 or SOC 200gm or ANTH 201g)
  • Medical Terminology (OT 200L)

Admission to the Master’s Program

During your senior year at USC, you will officially apply to the Master’s degree program in which you will complete your fifth year of the Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s Degree Program. The deadline to apply is February 15th of your senior year. Please see below for instructions.

  • Fee Waiver. The application fee is waived for all current USC students. Please read gradadm.usc.edu/lightboxes/us-students-fee-waivers carefully as you will have to follow these step-by-step instructions in order to get your application fee waived. It takes 3-4 business days for graduate admissions to process your request.
  • Application. Please apply for the Fall semester of your fifth year through gradadm.usc.edu/apply. You may find the “Occupational Therapy — Postbaccalaureate (M.A.)” program after selecting the “Independent Health Professions” under the school you are applying to. Please be sure to include your academic history and updated resumé. You can include any additional information in the “Achievements” section of the application that you feel is not reflected in your resumé already.
  • Expedited Admission. If you meet the minimum requirements below, you do not need to complete the personal statement or letters of recommendation in the application:
    • Cumulative GPA = 3.0
    • GRE = verbal 153, quantitative 144, writing 3.5

Contact Us

Thank you very much for your interest in our program. Dr. Amber Bennett, member of our Admissions Team, 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 Dr. Bennett 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.