The mission of the MSc Occupational Therapy Program is to prepare graduates with requisite knowledge, skills, and professional behaviours to practice as entry-level occupational therapists in a range of institutional and community settings throughout Canada and the international community.
Students will achieve an understanding of the influence of family, society, culture and physical environment as they explore the concepts of occupation and health across the lifespan within the context of client-centered practice. Graduates will be prepared to function as independent practitioners, as members of interdisciplinary teams, as critical consumers of research, as agents of change, as leaders in their profession, and as lifelong self-directed learners.
For more information please visit the OT Program website.
Official transcripts of all university and college degree work must be sent directly to ORPAS by the originating institution(s). If you have course work that was completed outside of Canada, such as exchange courses, you must request a legend from the university that explains the grading scale.
If you have international transcripts, excluding the USA, you must submit:
Notes for all applicants:
Please visit the FAQ tab as it answers questions that many of our applicants have.
The Program recognizes that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some applicants will be assigned pass/fail grades for courses completed during this time. This may affect how your sub-GPA is calculated.
The sub-GPA is calculated using the most current 60 units of university level study. As of right now, courses without a numeric/alpha grade or any other non-convertible grade will not be included in the calculation (i.e., PASS grade designations). This means that ORPAS will skip pass/fail grades, likely resulting in the need to use older course grades in the academic history to obtain a total 60 units.
Should any changes to the policy be made, updates will be posted here. We also suggest that you refer to the ORPAS website at https://www.ouac.on.ca/orpas/.
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 is below the level of professionalism expected of similarly situated candidates, regardless of their academic standing or interview performance.
We encourage all Indigenous applicants to self-identify when completing an application in ORPAS, and to complete an application with the Facilitated Indigenous Admissions Program (FIAP), to benefit from the Indigenous specific criteria for admissions as listed below.
Criteria for Admissions to the OT Program
Applicants require a four-year baccalaureate degree (120 units/credits or equivalent) with a minimum GPA of 3.30/4.0 (B+ or 77%) in the last two (2) years or 60 units of university academic study.
Applicants who have graduated from a three-year baccalaureate degree (90 units/credits) must complete additional university work in order to be eligible to apply. For example:
Applicants wishing to apply to the OT program with the Indigenous specific requirements, must complete the following:
Indigenous applicants who meet the above criteria for admission and have a FIAP endorsed application, will be automatically invited to the MMI interview.
Please note, only endorsed FIAP applications will be reviewed under the Indigenous specific criteria for admissions to the OT program.
The following dates are for the 2019-2020 Admission Cycle, for September 2020 entry.
October 15, 2019
|ORPAS online application opens.|
October 29, 2019
|FHS Grad Programs Open House.|
November 8, 2019
|Occupational Therapy Admissions Webinar. Click here for more details.|
January 8, 2020
|Last day to submit an application to ORPAS.|
January 30, 2020
|ORPAS must receive initial transcripts for all course work to date.|
Approximately March 2, 2020
|Multiple Mini Interview Invitations Sent Out. Please note, invitations can be sent up to two days before due to cancellations.
Please add email@example.com to your safe list to prevent missing emails about admissions.
Thursday March 26, 2020
|Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) will be conducted primarily in-person at McMaster University but online interviews may be available during the same timeframe. Please note that these dates cannot be rescheduled. Applicants are responsible for his/her travel costs.|
May 29, 2020
|Admission decisions will be emailed to applicants (via School of Graduate Studies) using the email address applicants submitted in their ORPAS online application.|
June 12, 2020
|First-round offers expire.|
June 21, 2020
|Provisional acceptances become firm acceptances.|
June 30, 2020
|Deadline to submit payment to McMaster University of $500 non-refundable deposit.|
June 30, 2020
|Deadline to submit transcripts to ORPAS, with confirmation that your degree has been conferred (if applicable).|
|Deadline to submit Health Screen Record.
Program fees, Police Check, Vulnerable Sector Check and CPR documents are due.
September 1 - 4, 2020
|Orientation Week - mandatory for first year students to attend.|
The OT program has no prerequisites.
No. McMaster does not require reference letters or personal statements.
Unfortunately we are not able to meet individually with every applicant, assess your transcripts, or advise you on your chances of admission.
Yes. We welcome students from a range of educational backgrounds and experience. Please note however that the admission requirements are the same for all applicants.
No. The OT program begins in the fall of year one and continues over two full years. All students must complete all courses and advance from semester to semester. There is no provision for advance standing or ability to transfer into the program. Also, we cannot accept transfer credits.
No. The OT program begins in the fall of year one and continues over two full years. All students must complete all courses and advance from semester to semester. Due to the nature of skills being taught and various in-class experiences, there is no online option.
The application process is based on your sub-GPA, which is the last 60 units of university study.
It is impossible to accurately predict how competitive the applicant pools are from year to year, however, the lowest sub-GPA for an interview invitation for the 2015 cycle was 3.64/4; 2016 cycle was 3.66/4; 2017 cycle was 3.72/4; 2018 cycle was 3.77/4; 2019 cycle was 3.76/4 and the 2020 cycle was 3.78/4. Please note that the average sub-GPA of the final cohort may be higher than the cut-off for interview.
To ensure a fair and equitable admissions process, the McMaster Occupational Therapy Program utilizes the sub-GPA as calculated by ORPAS (https://www.ouac.on.ca/guide/orpas-gpa-calculations/) to determine the top-ranked applicants (approximately 250-300) invited to the Multiple Mini Interview weekend. As such, any questions or concerns about your sub-GPA should be communicated to ORPAS via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The personal interviews constitute the final phase of the student selection process These interviews provide an opportunity for the interviewers to assess each applicant’s suitability for the program. This process also provides the applicant with the opportunity to explain why they will be successful in this program.
Two-part station-based process:
Since you are apply to the McMaster OT Program, we suggest that you review the program website and handbook. Though we don't have any specific requirements regarding volunteer experience it can be helpful. We recommend that you meet with occupational therapists to understand the range of roles and settings that they work in. You could also learn more about OT by visiting the websites of the provincial (OSOT) and national (CAOT) associations.
McMaster University’s Occupational Therapy (OT) Program has rich community partnerships with sites and occupational therapists in the McMaster OT catchment area and in Northern Ontario through the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. Our program also has access to some sites outside of the McMaster catchment area from which a placement can be requested through an inter-university system. Placement access in all Canadian OT Programs is based on a supply model: occupational therapists and sites will determine when and if they are able to accept student occupational therapists. The placements provided for each specific placement course form the resource pool or supply available. Filling the resource pool relies on placements in the McMaster in catchment stream, out of catchment stream, and Northern Ontario stream collectively. McMaster’s placement resource pool reflects the practice of OT in Canada.
The Director of Clinical Education of the MSc (OT) Program is responsible for arranging all practica/clinical education placements. You may be required to complete some practica/clinical education units in Northern Ontario or elsewhere outside of the McMaster catchment area.
McMaster’s OT in catchment area consists of sites in many geographical areas, all of which may form the resource pool for each placement course. Therefore, you are also expected to travel outside of Hamilton, Ontario, for mandatory teaching sessions and clinical placements. You are responsible for your own transportation and associated costs to complete program requirements.
As reflects the practice of OT in Canada, some placements may be located in rural, under‑serviced and remote areas. In certain placement streams, external funding may be available.
Students are expected to travel outside of Hamilton, Ontario for mandatory teaching sessions and clinical placements. Students are responsible for their own transportation and associated costs in order to complete program requirements. Some placements maybe located in rural, under-serviced and remote areas. In certain placement streams, there may be some external funding available.
On November 8, 2019 the McMaster University Occupational Therapy Admissions Committee hosted a live webinar. Attendees got to meet some faculty and students, learn more about the program, receive information about the admission process and ask questions. To view the webinar please click the link below.
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