Feb 21, 2024  
School of Graduate Studies Calendar, 2022-2023 
School of Graduate Studies Calendar, 2022-2023 [-ARCHIVED CALENDAR-]

Occupational Therapy, M.Sc.

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Admission Requirements

To be eligible for admission to the M.Sc.(OT) program, applicants must have completed a four-year baccalaureate degree or the equivalent number of courses (120 units/credits) and have achieved a minimum grade-point average of “B+” or 77%, or 3.3/4.0 or 9.0/12.0 in their final 60 units of credit. Post-graduate coursework is also considered in this sub-GPA calculation, and calculated on a case-by-case basis.

Applicants may apply during the fourth year of their degree. In this case, the pre-admission sub-GPA for eligibility purposes is calculated using the most recent 60 units of credit towards their degree. If an applicant in this category is subsequently offered admission to the program, the offer is “conditional” upon successful completion of their four-year degree by June 30 in that year and maintenance of a B+ average in their final 60 units of credit.

Vulnerable Sector Checks are required as a condition of continued registration with a FHS Health Professional Program. An original Vulnerable Sector Check must be submitted on an annual basis and meet the directives of the current FHS Police Records Check Policy approved June 26, 2019. Click here for the full policy.

Application Procedure

Applicants are required to apply via the ORPAS online application service located at the Ontario Rehabilitation Sciences Programs Application Service (ORPAS), Guelph, Ontario website: http://www.ouac.on.ca/orpas/. Please review the ORPAS Application Guide for information about the admissions process.

Applicant On-line Video Interview

All applicants who meet the minimum sub-GPA criteria (to a maximum of 800 applicants) will be invited to participate in an on-line video-based interview comprised of a series of ‘mini interview’ questions (which includes verbal as well as written response questions). Personal qualities, aptitudes and skills are assessed at these virtual stations. Evaluators are drawn from the faculty and the community, and will be provided with anti-bias and diversity training prior to evaluating applicants.

Once applicants have submitted their online application and paid the interview fee, the Program will notify applicants of the link to the video interview questions, instructions on how to complete the interview and the due date for completion of this component of the application. Please refer to the M.Sc. (OT) program website for more details. Applicants will require an internet connection, a computer/laptop with a functioning webcam and microphone to complete the live on-line video based interview.

Professionalism is an important requirement of the McMaster Occupational Therapy Program. Graduates of the program that register with a regulatory college will be expected to demonstrate professional behaviours in practice. In preparation for licensure and in keeping with the standard of excellence required in our program, we expect applicants to the MSc(OT) program to conduct themselves in a professional manner throughout all phases of the application process. Any and all interactions throughout the admissions process, where applicants are engaged with Occupational Therapy program staff, faculty, students, and/or community volunteers may be taken into consideration in making admissions decisions. Admission may be denied to applicants who, amongst other critical determinants, behave in a manner that is considered below the level of professionalism expected of similarly situated candidates, regardless of their academic standing or interview performance.


Education Equity
The Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University acknowledges the barriers and challenges of students accessing post graduate education programs and opportunities. The M.Sc. (OT) Program has a Facilitated Admissions program for individuals who self-identify as Indigenous, and for individuals who self-identify as Black. These processes were developed to provide equitable access to under-represented students and aligns with the School of Rehabilitation Science (SRS) commitment to the principles of equity, diversity, inclusion and social justice in all that we do, and McMaster University’s statement on Building an Inclusive Community with a Shared Purpose.

Indigenous Applicants
Indigenous applicants wishing to apply are encouraged to self-identify when completing an application in ORPAS, and to complete an application with the Facilitated Indigenous Admissions Program (FIAP), to access the Indigenous specific criteria for admissions. See M.Sc. (OT) Program website for details.

Black Applicants
Applicants wishing to apply to this stream must self-identify for the Black Equity stream at the time of the application and follow the program-specific application process. See M.Sc. (OT) Program website for details.

Enquiries: 289-659-3787, OT Program Coordinator
Email: askOT@mcmaster.ca
Website: https://healthsci.mcmaster.ca/srs-ot

Program Requirements

The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy is a full-time course-based accredited professional Master’s program. It prepares students with knowledge, skills, and professional behaviours to practice as entry level occupational therapists. The program utilizes a problem-based self-directed learning philosophy. Students will complete course work, clinical practica, and an independent evidence-based practice project during their two extended study years. All courses are required* with the exception of OT 798 and 799 which are elective courses offered to students who have failed a required course and are eligible for remediation.

**NOTE: The MSc(OT) Program offers a dual degree option in collaboration with Rehabilitation Sciences. For program fulfillment requirements for students enrolled in the dual degree option please see the Rehabilitation Science - Dual Degree Option  section of the Graduate Calendar.

The University reserves the right to cancel academic privileges of a student at any time should the student’s scholastic record or conduct warrant so doing. For details on procedures and requirements related to university-based courses, clinical practica courses, remediation, and required withdrawals for the Occupational Therapy Program, students should consult the relevant sections of Graduate Calendar, the Occupational Therapy Program Handbook, Clinical Education Handbook, and Term handbooks. In the event of a discrepancy between these documents and the Graduate Calendar, the Graduate Calendar represents the official policy.

Review of Student Progress

The progress of graduate students enrolled in the Master’s Program in Occupational Therapy is overseen by a team of McMaster faculty and registered occupational therapists. Student progress in the program is regularly reviewed by a Program Academic Study Committee (PASC). The committee is responsible for, but not limited to, determining if a student may proceed to the next term of study.

The program may, in appropriate circumstances, defer or remove a student from a clinical practicum if the student, including but not limited to, fails to maintain communication with the program, exhibits behaviours that place clients or others at risk, or fails to comply with other academic or non-academic (e.g., obtain and receive clearance for mandatory health screening, mask fit testing, police records check etc.) requirements. Deficits in matters pertaining to work in clinical settings, research ethics, or professionalism may result in restrictions or termination of the work in a clinical practicum or research project. Unsatisfactory standing or deficits in matters pertaining to professionals skills, which include, but are not limited to: patient safety, professionalism, ethical behavior, and technical skills, as articulated in the Essential Competencies of Practice for Occupational Therapists in Canada and Occupational Therapy Standards of Practice (available at www.coto.org), may result in a decision to terminate the clinical placement or research project.

In most cases termination of the clinical placement or research project constitutes a failure and will result in the student receiving a grade of F in the course and may result in dismissal from the program.


The M.Sc. (OT) Program is accredited by the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT).

Regulation of Practice

 All occupational therapists in Canada must be registered with the appropriate provincial regulatory organization to practice in that province. Each regulatory body has a separate and distinct registration process; however, in all circumstances, an approved degree in occupational therapy and in most cases successful completion of the CAOT national certification examination are required. In Ontario, graduates from the M.Sc. (OT) Program will be granted a provisional practicing certificate of registration by the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario (COTO) until they write and pass the National Occupational Therapy Certification Examination (NOTCE) examination, at which point a general practicing certificate is granted.

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