Post-Professional On-Campus Master of Arts Degree | Admissions Process
Holistic Admission Criteria
Holistic review evaluates applicants based on cognitive and non-cognitive traits, which ensures that more than one factor contributes to admission decisions.
The four criteria that are included in USC Chan’s holistic review are:
- Letters of Recommendation
- Personal Statement
How to Apply
Your application for the Post Professional Master’s Program at the University of Southern California must be completed online through the USC Graduate Admissions website at least three weeks before the application deadline to allow adequate processing time. Please look under the “Independent Health Professions” to find the “Occupational Therapy — Postbaccalaureate (M.A.)” program. All application materials, including official transcripts and test scores must be sent to USC Graduate Admissions in time to meet this deadline.
Note: The application deadline is February 15.
Applications received after this date are also welcomed and will be processed on a space-available basis.
GPA | show
Complete 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.
Please send official transcripts from all colleges attended to USC Graduate Admissions, as directed in the online application process and according to the USC Office of Graduate Admission’s transcript requirements.
GRE | show
Complete the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test within five years of planned enrollment with a minimum score:
- Verbal Section: 153
- Quantitative section: 144
- Analytical writing section: 3.5
Official GRE score reports should be sent to the ETS reporting code 4852. This code will send your official score report to USC Graduate Admissions. The Admissions Committee will accept an applicant’s ‘super score’ or the highest score achieved in each section, even if the test dates are different.
Note: If you fall slightly below any of the GPA and GRE general test admission criteria, you can be considered for admission, with a registration hold. If you have questions about your specific situation, please feel free to contact the Admissions Team.
Letters of Recommendation | show
Submit three letters of recommendation (evaluations) from professors, therapists, and/or other professionals familiar with your capabilities and achievements. These individuals should know you well and be able to attest to your skills and abilities as they relate to you as an occupational therapist and/or pursuing graduate studies. Recommendations (evaluations) should be submitted electronically through the USCCAS application.
Note: The Admissions Team will read only the first three letters of recommendation.
Personal Statement | show
Submit a personal statement through your USCCAS application. Please upload a double-spaced essay, which does not exceed 400 words, in the supporting documents section.
Address the following prompt in your response:
Describe your professional interests and accomplishments and how a graduate degree will allow you to pursue your professional goals.
English Proficiency | show
If your bachelor’s degree was earned in a non-English speaking country and you are not a US citizen or permanent resident, you must submit scores from an official TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System). Please note that even if you are from an English-speaking country, you may still need to submit scores. Scores should be submitted to USC Graduate Admissions directly prior to the admission deadline for which you are being considered. We require that you have verification of the following scores within two years of your intended enrollment at USC:
- A computer based TOEFL (iBT) score of 90 with no less than 20 on each sub-score; or
- A computer based IELTS of 6.5 with no less than 6 on each band score.
If your native language is English and/or you have a bachelor’s degree from a US college or university, you are exempted from this examination. See the USC Office of Graduate Admission for more information about English-language requirements.
If you have questions about program requirements for the TOEFL/IELTS, please contact Dr. Arameh Anvarizadeh.
Other English Proficiency Options | show
It is recommended that you reach the required scores for admission. However, if you do not reach the required scores, there are a few options to obtain admission.
- Retake the exam in question in an attempt to reach the necessary scores. This may be the best option if you are only slightly below the requirement (1–2 points below).
- Be admitted with an English Language hold on your account. This means that you will not be able to register for classes until you take another English proficiency exam upon arrival to USC. This is the International Student English (ISE) Exam. Based on the results of this exam, the University will place you in required English language courses that you must complete in addition to your Master’s coursework. Students have found this to be overwhelming and challenging to accommodate. This is not the preferred option.
- If your English language and/or GRE scores are significantly lower than the required minimums, you may wish to apply to the USC Pre-Master’s program. This program prepares students to meet the English language and GRE requirements for our program, in addition to learning more about US academic culture. Our applicants typically need 1–2 semesters of this program; the length of this program is determined by the Pre-Master’s Admissions office and is based on your English Language scores. If you successfully complete the Pre-Master’s program you are guaranteed admission into the Post-Professional Master’s in Occupational Therapy.
If you are considering any of these options, please contact Dr. Arameh Anvarizadeh.
Scholarships | show
There is opportunity to apply for a USC Chan tuition scholarship and/or a student worker position. Please see information on how to apply for USC Chan Scholarships.
Note: Online applications for USC Chan scholarships are open to incoming students from May 1 to May 31.
There are additional scholarships outside of our Division that you can also apply for.
NBCOT | show
International applicants are responsible for communicating with NBCOT® regarding their eligibility status. This criterion is not required if an 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. Please contact NBCOT if you have any further questions.
FAQs | show
Contact Us | show
Thank you very much for your interest in our program. Please contact Dr. Arameh Anvarizadeh. She 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. Anvarizadeh toll free at (866) 385-4250.
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. We also provide information sessions, both in-person and virtual, for prospective students interested in our master’s degree programs.