Post-Professional Master’s (MA)
of Occupational Therapy
The Post-Professional Master’s degree program is designed for the individual who is already a certified or board-eligible occupational therapist, or an international therapist who has completed a baccalaureate degree in occupational therapy from an accredited college or university or a program approved by the World Federation of Occupational Therapy® (WFOT).
You can continue directly from the Post-Professional Master’s degree program into the Post-Professional Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program through our expedited application process.
If you have a bachelor’s degree in a discipline other than occupational therapy, please see information about our Entry-Level Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program.
A Global Community
In 1947, USC Chan officially established the world’s first Post-Professional Master of Arts degree program in occupational therapy and we have continued to grow as a global community. Our students and alumni hail from 63 countries on 6 continents and we welcome international students.
The USC Chan Post-Professional Master’s program requires the completion of 32 units of coursework, including:
- Required occupational therapy coursework
- Elective courses to build specialized expertise in areas of your interest
You are also required to maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better (both applied and overall) throughout the program.
Practicing as an Occupational Therapist in the United States
If you plan to practice occupational therapy in the United States, you must apply for OTR certification through the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy® (NBCOT®) after the completion of your studies. Please view the nbcot.org website for more details. Select the students tab, then “Eligibility,” then “Internationally Educated” under Certification Eligibility Requirements. Here you can find relevant information and resources related to the Occupational Therapist Eligibility Determination (OTED®) process. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT® certification examination or attain state licensure. Be aware that NBCOT® may request additional coursework or materials to process your application.
View Course Descriptions.
- OT 500a (2 units): Clinical Problems in Occupational Therapy
- OT 512 (2 units): Survey of US Health Systems
- OT 519 (3 units): Foundations in Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
- OT 526 (3 units): Practice Scholar: Applying Quantitative Evidence
- OT 5** (6 units): Elective courses
- OT 500b (3 units): Clinical Problems in Occupational Therapy
- OT 536 (3 units): Practice Scholar: Applying Qualitative Evidence
- OT 540 (2 units): Leadership Capstone
- OT 5** (8 units): Elective courses
Chan Division Electives
Below is a representative list of elective courses. The specific courses offered each semester may vary.
- OT 538: Current Issues in Practice: Adulthood and Aging
- OT 550: Lifestyle Redesign®: Pain and Headache Management
- OT 551: Lifestyle Redesign®: Weight Management and Related Conditions
- OT 552: Lifestyle Redesign®: Neurological Conditions
- OT 560: Contemporary Issues in School-Based Practice
- OT 562: Advanced Hand Rehabilitation and Certification (PAMS) *
- OT 566: Healthcare Communication with Spanish-Speaking Clients
- OT 567: Contemporary Issues: OT in Early Intervention
- OT 569: Sensory Integration Theory
- OT 570: Evaluation and Clinical Reasoning: Sensory Integration
- OT 572: Ergonomics
- OT 573: Hand Rehabilitation *
- OT 574: Enhancing Motor Control for Occupation
- OT 575: Dysphagia Across the Lifespan: Pediatrics through Geriatrics *
- OT 577: Seminar in OT (NBCOT)
- OT 578: Therapeutic Communication
- OT 579: OT in Adult Neuro Rehab
- OT 610: SI Dysfunction
- OT 638: Mentored Practicum in Lifestyle Redesign®
* Contribute toward Advanced Practice Certification by the California Board of Occupational Therapy
Other USC School Electives (500-level classes and above)
Occupational therapy elective course work may be combined with four units from another school within USC.
USC Chan recognizes that the composition of occupational therapists nationwide is not sufficiently representative of the diversity of the healthcare consumers whom the profession serves. Consequently, we strive to recruit superior applicants for all of our academic programs from diverse populations and to provide financial packages that will make it possible for promising students from underserved populations to attend USC Chan. Read more about diversity, access, and equity at USC Chan and our Diversity Mentorship Program.
A Day in the Life of a Post-Professional Master of Arts Student
Giorgio, a student in the Post-Professional Master’s program, shares about daily life as a graduate student studying occupational therapy at the University of Southern California.
USC Chan Post-Professional Master’s students share their favorite core courses and elective courses. This video was created, filmed, and edited by USC Chan students.