Bachelor’s to Doctorate (BS to OTD)
in Occupational Therapy
USC Chan is in the process of transitioning from an Entry-Level Master’s program to an Entry-Level Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) program and has been granted Candidacy Status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education® (ACOTE®). This change impacts current students, beginning with the graduating bachelor’s class of 2023. In order to remain in the OT program at USC you will need to apply to and complete the OTD program following completion of your bachelor’s degree. Updates will be provided on our website throughout the accreditation process as they become available.
If you are one of those select few high school students who already knows 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 doctorate in occupational therapy in just two additional years instead of the traditional three years required in the Entry-Level Doctorate program. A graduate 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).
Apply to USC and select Occupational Therapy as your major. You must maintain satisfactory academic performance (3.0 GPA) 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.
For the occupational therapy major, you must complete the following six 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)
- Lifespan Development or Human Development (must cover lifespan) (OT 251 or EDUC 589, or PSYC 336 with PSYC 337)
- Abnormal Psychology (PSYC 360)
- Sociology/Cultural Anthropology (OT 250 or SOC 200gm or ANTH 201g)
- Medical Terminology (OT 200L)
During your senior year at USC, you will officially apply to the OTD program, in which you will complete your fifth and sixth years of the Accelerated Bachelor’s to Doctorate (OTD) 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.
Please apply for the Fall semester of your fifth year through gradadm.usc.edu/apply. You may find the “Occupational Therapy — Postbaccalaureate (OTD)” program after selecting the “Independent Health Professions” under the school to which you are applying. Please be sure to include your academic history and updated résumé. You can include any additional information in the “Achievements” section of the application that you feel is not reflected in your résumé 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
Please view our Frequently Asked Questions for more helpful information.
If you have additional questions, there are a number of ways in which you can contact us for more information.
If you complete our form to request program information, we will be happy to provide access to a brochure about our programs.
We also provide information sessions, both in-person and virtual, for prospective students interested in our degree programs.
The USC Chan Admissions Team will be delighted to answer any questions you may have and further explore your interest in our program.
For general inquiries, you can also call us at +1 (323) 442-2850, or (866) 385-4250 (toll free within the US).