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Application materials, instructions, and full details about admission requirements for the MScOT program can be obtained online from the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC-ORPAS) http://www.ouac.on.ca/orpas/
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
- Two years (e.g. September 2017 to August 2019), including Summer sessions
- Full-time basis including fieldwork placements
- Leading to the professional practice of occupational therapy
- Accredited by the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists
Due to the integrative nature of coursework and fieldwork placements, this program is offered on a full-time, full course load basis only. This may mean taking up to 7 mandatory courses per term, plus professional development activities Classes are only offered in-person, on-site in Toronto. Applicants should be prepared to dedicate their full attention to the program should they be accepted.
Occupational Health is separate and distinct from Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy. For information about the University of Toronto’s programs in Occupational and Environmental Health, please contact the Dalla Lana School of Public Health online or by telephone at (416) 978-8386
- Strong leadership in the field
- Innovative teaching methods in our state of the art facilities
- Inter-professional education
- Faculty research focus: Enhancing participation; Diversity and Inclusion; Advancing Practice
- Personalized student services with dedicated on-site staff
- A large geographic catchment area for fieldwork placements within the Greater Toronto Area
The School of Graduate Studies mandates that all applicants must have a minimum mid-B average in their final year of study. We consider that to be your most recent 5 full course equivalents.
If you meet that minimum requirement, we will then initially rank applicants based on the GPA of their most recent 10 full course equivalents. Please note, to process GPA, ORPAS uses the “Undergraduate Grading Conversion Table” which is available on the ORPAS website.
We will count the 15 half courses from third year and the fall term of fourth year, plus we will take the average from your entire second year (fall and winter terms) and use that average for the five half outstanding courses. So, if you have a 3.54 average in second year overall, and we need five half credits from your second year, it’s like you received a 3.54 in five half courses. Note that this example can be applied to any academic year – if you took a fifth year, then the above example is exactly the same, except we would be taking the average from your third year instead of your second year.
We will consider the equivalent of your last 20 half-courses (i.e. or 10 full-course equivalents) completed by December 31 of the application year, starting with the Fall session of your current academic year and working backwards. Due to the discrepancy in grade reporting across universities, in order to capture 20 half-courses, the GPA must be calculated based on yearly versus term marks. Thus, where grades must be extracted from a year to achieve the equivalent of 20 half courses, the average of that entire year (including both the fall and winter terms) will be used. All calculations are based on the Undergraduate Grading System Conversion Table provided by ORPAS.
As long as those courses are at the undergraduate university level, in the liberal arts or sciences, these will be counted in your GPA.
We understand that some applicants have fewer educational options, particularly following completion of their undergraduate bachelor’s degree. Distance education undergraduate bachelor’s degree level courses in the liberal arts or sciences are generally acceptable and viewed as no better or worse than in-class courses. However, it is important to note that the MScOT program is offered in-class on a full-time basis only. Applicants coming from a distance education background are highly encouraged to get accustomed to in-class education in order to minimize the chances of a difficult transition to this intense graduate program.
If you took eight courses or more in the preceding fall/winter terms, summer courses are counted as their own average.
If you took seven courses or fewer in the preceding fall/winter terms, your summer courses are combined with your preceding fall/winter courses for one total average. For example, if you took seven courses in your second year, and then one course the following summer, the seven courses in second year and the one course in the summer would be added together for one weighted average.
Not necessarily. When calculating GPA, always use the Undergraduate Grading System Conversion Table provided by ORPAS. Each grade counted within the calculation should be converted to a number on the 4.0 scale, and the average should be taken from those translated figures.
Starting in February, after receiving the application and all of the official transcripts, ORPAS will perform an item-by-item review, comparing all courses on the academic record against the official university transcripts. After this review, applicants can access a Verification Report online indicating the data collected by ORPAS. These reports are generally available beginning in February and summarize what transcripts and Confidential Assessment Forms have been received. If applicants have any questions about the verification of the academic records, they should write immediately to ORPAS through their ORPAS account. It is your responsibility to check this report and contact ORPAS if there are any discrepancies.
We do not have a specific “cut-off” GPA, as there are other components of the application that may warrant further consideration (e.g. strong experience). However, it is extremely difficult to get an offer of admission with a GPA of less than an “A-minus”, or a GPA of 3.50 to 3.70 (or 80%). All applications will be reviewed provided that the applicant has met the minimum GPA requirement of a “mid-B”, or 3.0 on a 4-point ORPAS GPA scale.
If you have special circumstances that have temporarily negatively affected your GPA (e.g. illness during recent exam resulting in a course incomplete notation on your transcript until the exam is re-written at a future date), please notify us by email at ot-DOT-studentservices-AT-utoronto-DOT-ca by January 30, 2018.
We will only consider courses with a letter grade, numerical percentage grade, GPA, or convertible scale grade that were earned at the undergraduate bachelor’s degree level (see below for courses NOT considered). However, if you have a graduate degree or earned bachelor’s degree credits transferred in from a community college, you must also submit a transcript from these institutions to ORPAS.
If a course is repeated, and both the original course and the repeated course are within the last 20 half courses, then the grades from both courses will be included in the GPA calculation. If you did poorly in a course in first year and then took it again in fourth year, then only the fourth year mark would count towards your GPA.
Applicants refer to this process as “upgrading GPA”, and it is acceptable with certain restrictions. Any additional courses taken beyond the completion of a bachelor’s degree must also be at the undergraduate bachelor’s degree level, in the liberal arts or sciences. Courses do not have to be at the senior level (3rd year or 4th year), but it is recommended as senior level classes are often specialized and therefore more reflective of the sort of challenges a student would face in a graduate degree program like the MScOT.
Courses not considered: Practicum/Co-op terms, Pass/Fail (i.e. no grade awarded), graduate degree (i.e. Master’s and Doctoral level courses), teacher/educational theory, “continuing education” certificate courses, sports performance, visual or dramatic arts performance, musical performance, many theological courses, nil/zero-credit courses, community college credits, and vocations/apprenticeships. Please note this list is not comprehensive and the Admissions Committee reserves the right to refuse consideration of courses not considered eligible or comparatively equivalent to undergraduate study in the liberal arts or sciences.
Graduate degree courses are graded on a different scale than undergraduate courses. In addition, these programs are often highly specialized. While we applaud your academic dedication, and welcome your graduate degree transcript, please note that GPA will be based on undergraduate courses only. However, we will certainly be interested in your prior success at the graduate level and encourage you to apply!
We require at least 10 full course equivalents (equivalent to 2 years of full-time university study) completed at the university-level in order to calculate your GPA. Keep in mind these need to appear on a transcript by the end of this upcoming January to be considered (e.g. completed by December 31, appearing on a transcript by January).
Due to the volume of inquiries and the time required to individually calculate GPA, we will not assess grades or transcripts prior to a formal ORPAS application being submitted. The undergraduate registrar, academic advisor, or student services officer at your most recent university attended should be able to help you better understand how GPA is calculated. Applicants from Canadian universities can view the ORPAS Undergraduate Grading Conversion Table.
ELIGIBILITY TO APPLY
No you do not need a full-time course load from your undergraduate studies to be considered for this program. We understand applicants take diverse pathways to graduation during their undergraduate degree program. This often includes co-op work terms, research courses, volunteer activities and elective courses during summer. It is not our intention to limit the educational and professional opportunities you are offered while completing your bachelor’s degree.
However, the MScOT program is offered on a full-time in-class basis only. The program is intensive. Your application should show your ability to keep up with a full-time workload, either academic or professionally (or a combination thereof).
In order to register in the OT program, students must hold Canadian Citizenship or Permanent Residency in Canada (this must be verifiable with proof from Citizenship and Immigration Canada). If you are in the process of obtaining citizenship or permanent residency at the time of application, you must update your status by the application deadline or we may not be able to consider your application
Other than an appropriate bachelor’s degree in progress or conferred, there are no prerequisites to be considered for the OT program. We do not favour applicants from educational backgrounds more closely related to occupational therapy, though the majority of applicants typically come from a liberal arts or science background. We encourage educational diversity and welcome all qualified applicants to apply. For example, some of our graduates have experience in specialty areas such as law, engineering, business and education.
To enhance your learning experience we recommend the following basic background knowledge (i.e., core concepts) in the following subject areas:
- Human growth and development
- Introductory physiology or introductory human biology
- Sociology or anthropology
- Statistics and research design
No advantage is given in the selection process to applicants who possess these courses. Having some familiarity with these areas of study may reduce the amount of background reading a newly registered student has to do before class.
Some examples of common 4-year bachelor’s degrees include: Arts, Science, Engineering, Kinesiology, and Health Sciences.
No, as all applicants must be in the final year of an undergraduate bachelor’s degree program OR have already completed an appropriate bachelor’s degree in order to be eligible to apply for the MScOT program.
If the primary language of instruction from your institution is in English, you do not need to present a TOEFL exam score to our department. Applicants educated in a language other than English must use the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Minimum score requirements are listed in the accompanying chart.
Minimum TOEFL Score Requirement
|Paper-Based Test and TWE||Internet-Based Test and Writing and Speaking Sections|
|Overall score: 600
Test for Written English (TWE): 5
|Overall score: 100
TOEFL candidates should request that results be sent to institution code: 0982-00
English facility test scores MUST be forwarded to the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the University of Toronto by March 1 of the year of application.
An applicant, who has been educated in a university where the language of instruction and examination is English, will not be required to take another TOEFL exam, provided that they meet the Department’s minimum requirement from their TOEFL exam. NOTE: An Interview may be required at the request of the Department’s Admissions Committee.
It depends on what your career goals are. If you already hold an Occupational Therapy degree, this program is NOT designed to “top up” your existing degree. The MScOT degree has replaced the BScOT degree in Ontario as the primary professional practice degree to enter Occupational Therapy. If you hold Occupational Therapist credentials earned outside of Canada and want to practice as an Occupational Therapist in Canada, you may already be eligible to apply for certification from the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapy. Please contact CAOT directly for information regarding licensing and credential evaluation. We also offer an MScOT Advanced Standing Option for those who already hold a BScOT degree and wish to pursue an MScOT. The MScOT Advanced Standing Option for BScOT graduates has a completely separate application process from the MScOT Full-Time 24-month Program. You are encouraged to visit the Advanced Standing Option website if you currently hold a BScOT degree.
Again, if you simply want to further your studies of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the graduate-degree level, and are already a practicing Occupational Therapist (either in Canada or in another country), the MScOT Full-Time 24-Month program may not be appropriate for you. We suggest exploring degree options in doctoral stream research through the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute, formerly the Graduate Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, or the MScOT Advanced Standing Option, depending on your career goals.
You can view the University’s brief database of International Degree Equivalencies here: http://portal.sgs.utoronto.ca/current/admission/intdegequiv.asp. Applicants must be either Canadian citizens or permanent residents. To be considered official, academic records must be received directly from the originating institutions. Photocopies of these records may be used to process an application, but applicants should note that official documents will be required before any firm offer of admission will be made. Official English translations done by a certified translator for all non-English documentation must also be submitted (in the province of Ontario, a translator from the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario (ATIO) is required). An interview may be required at the request of the Department’s Admission Committee. World Education Services (WES) reports will be used only as a reference in the assessment of admission
Successful applicants present a combination of strong academic merit with superior non-academic profiles. Entry to the program is highly competitive given the limited amount of space available. It is extremely difficult to gain admission to the program if an applicant presents serious weaknesses in one or both areas of their application (academic versus non-academic components). It is highly advantageous to show strong performance in your most recent 10 full-course equivalents at the university level.
In such cases, where you have been out of university for more than five years, you may substitute a professional reference for an academic reference in your application. Other than that, the selection criterion is the same, and you will be evaluated on a combination of your academic performance and non-academic merit (e.g. resume, references, personal statement submission). While an applicant in such a position may have accumulated many years of experience in the workforce (for example), the passage of time does not necessarily result in a superior non-academic profile. We encourage such applicants to document their accomplishments over the years (resume, personal statement submission), and remind their professional references to speak of something similar (in lieu of providing an academic reference). Again, other application components are the same, including the transcript requirement.
All applicants – regardless of status – must submit undergraduate university transcripts as part of the selection process. As an academic program with clinical and research components, one of the major predictors of success is prior academic performance. Keep in mind that with several hundred applicants competing for 89 spaces, we can only select the most highly qualified candidates. Many applicants from different stages in life have worked hard to reach this goal. It is essential that applicants display strong academic performance and a series of accomplishments in their non-academic profile in order to be considered competitive in the selection pool. Consider enrolling in a few undergraduate bachelor’s degree courses to improve your GPA. This can be in areas related to OT in courses at your local university, such as human growth/development, physiology, human biology, psychology, sociology, or statistics. An undergraduate academic advisor or counselor at your local university should be able to advise you on what academic path is recommended for you to reach your goal.
Successful applicants with Personal Statement submissions considered to be superior generally have had some exposure to the profession of Occupational Therapy or have experience in the rehabilitation sciences in a volunteer or research capacity. However, we are interested in your honest and unique perspective in the responses. Try to think of something unique that you have experienced that will make your application stand out!
We are looking for experience (both paid and volunteer), awards, significant research projects completed, presentations, and in some cases specialized skills. There is no specific amount of content required, so please use your best judgment, up to 2 pages in length on 8.5″x11″ size paper. You do not have to put your address nor ORPAS username/ID on your resume. Use the space available to describe your experiences. Resumes must be submitted online (uploaded) directly to ORPAS.
In your ORPAS online application, you must produce a “Confidential Assessment Form” for each referee to fill out. There are instructions for your referee provided directly on the Confidential Assessment Form. If you have been out of university for 5 years or more, you may substitute a professional reference for an academic reference.
If you are truly unable to produce an academic reference (and have been out of university for less than 5 years), try to find a professional reference that can honestly comment on the characteristics rated on the Confidential Assessment Form – however please keep in mind that providing an academic reference is highly encouraged and to an applicant’s advantage.
The personal/professional reference should NOT be from a friend, relative or even a co-worker in most cases. It should be from someone who has seen you demonstrate the traits listed on the Confidential Assessment Form (e.g. problem-solving ability, intellectual capacity, to name a few). Some examples of ideal personal referees include Volunteer Service Coordinators (who have seen the applicant in a volunteer capacity), professional supervisors, community members in positions of authority that can compare the applicant to others in a similar position, other professionals (OT’s, Nurses, Researchers, Teachers, Physicians), academic research supervisors, a Department Chair, or you have the option of simply using an additional academic reference (e.g. university professor).
It is not required to have volunteer experience. It is expected that applicants have researched the profession of occupational therapy in order to make an informed career choice. Exposure to the profession of occupational therapy through paid or volunteer work, observational visits or job shadowing in various health care settings is strongly recommended. You can be very specific in the resume portion of the application, with regard to your commitment to a particular position.
For the personal statement submission, it is your choice whether to include researched material. We are mostly interested in your thoughts rather than a lengthy research review. Generally a couple of citations and referenced materials are fine, however please ensure that your own observations are incorporated into your answer. This can be from personal experience, volunteer work, academic work, etc. Any referencing format in-text is fine as long as you are consistent. All of this will add to your character limit.
Please make arrangements with the originating institution to send official transcripts directly to ORPAS. Instructions on where to mail these can be found at this link: Transcript Instructions. Credential evaluation in advance through a company such as World Education Services (“WES Assessment”) is not necessary but many applicants find it personally helpful as there may not be an exact equivalency between systems outside of Canada/US and the ORPAS Grading Conversion Table. These reports may provide you with a reference point between your grades abroad and the grading system(s) used locally. We are familiar with major universities abroad in common foreign exchange locations and so therefore these assessments are not required.