Occupational Therapy

Application Requirements

Academic Requirements

To be eligible to apply to the Masters of Occupational Therapy course based program all applicants must meet the following academic requirements.

  • Completion of a four-year undergraduate degree or its academic equivalent in any discipline from an academic institution recognized by the University of Alberta (BA, BSc, BCom, BEd, BPE, BFA, etc.). The degree requirements must be completed and grades appear on a transcript by June 30th of the admission year.   Note: Diploma and/or certificate programs are not accepted and courses are not included in GPA calculations.
  • Minimum GPA for any graduate program at the University of Alberta is 3.0 on the 4-point scale (75%, or grade of B) on the most recent 60 credits (20 courses) of study, including Spring/Summer terms, exchange programs, etc...   However, admission to our program is extremely competitive.  Applicants should present at least a 3.4 GPA (78%, B+) average on the most recent 60 credits (20 courses) of coursework to be considered for admission.
Completion/Pass of two prerequisite courses by June 30th of the admission year:
  • Statistics (3 credits or one term) As a minimum, the course needs to cover quantitative data collection, descriptive statistics, probability distributions, sampling distributions and the central limit theorem, interval estimation and hypothesis testing, and introduce types of analyses such as correlations and regression analysis, goodness of fit, contingency tables, analyses of variance. An 'Intro Stats' or other general quantitative stats course that covers the topics above may fulfill this requirement.  Other courses that fulfill the requirement are found here
  • Human Anatomy (Min. 3 credits or one term) As a minimum, the course needs to cover the gross and microscopic anatomy of the tissues, organs and organ systems of the entire human body, with emphasis on the relationships, interactions and functions of major structures.  Most "Intro to Human Anat" courses fulfill this requirementPhysiology courses do not fulfill the requirement.  A list of approved human anatomy courses for OT applications is found here.

*If the prerequisite course(s) that you have taken does not appear on these lists, send the course name/number, institution name and course outline/syllabus tmscot@ualberta.ca.
Note: Course outlines/syllabus must be submitted, calendar descriptions of courses are NOT accepted.

The department of Physical Therapy at the University of Alberta offers both an online Anatomy course and an online Statistics course that meet the OT department's prerequisite requirements. Click here for details

Document Requirements

The January 31st application and document deadline is firm with no exceptions. Therefore it is important to familiarize yourself with the application and ensure that you are aware of the requirements in the months or weeks leading up to the deadline.  If your application fee has not been paid and/or all of your documents have not been uploaded to your application by January 31, 2017, your application will not be considered.  Please read carefully through this list of required documents:

Applicants must upload the following documents to their online application.  Applications missing documents will not be considered for admission.

  • Curriculum vitae or resume.  Your own personal, general resume.
  • Two letters of recommendation.  The referees must use the online reference form available on your application ONLY once the application opens in November.  No mailed-in forms or letters are accepted.  One referee must be a from an academic source (university/college professor) and the second from a professional (work supervisor, volunteer coordinator, mentor, coach, etc.).  Family friends, parents, acquaintances, etc. are not suitable.  If you have been out of school for several years and you absolutely cannot locate an academic reference, indicate this in your Letter of Intent and the reasons for choosing the two referees who will be submitting their recommendations.
  • Letter of Intent. A link is provided in the online application system to the Graduate-Application Review System (GARS) webpage where applicants must complete their Letter of Intent. All applicants must create an account on the GARS webpage to gain access. Applicants must sign the release of information declaration and complete the pre-set questions (each question has a character maximum of 1800). These questions are designed to describe your knowledge of occupational therapy and how your background (academic, professional, or personal) has prepared you for the OT program and ultimately the OT profession. If you have had academic struggles in the past or any other issues involving your academic history/transcript, you may include this information in the last question. The more information we have about an applicant, the better.  Once the form is completed, a pdf must be generated and uploaded into the online application.  For any technical assistance or inquiries with GARS, please email: supprt@gars.ualberta.ca
  • One set of transcripts in pdf format from each university, college, technical institute, etc. ever attended or are curently attending.  This includes transfer, exchange, graduate level, part-time, distance programs, general interest courses and spring/summer sessions, even though you may or may not have received transfer credit at another institutionApplicants are required to upload all transcripts (both sides of each page) to their application by the January 31st deadline.  Therefore, it is important that you request a set of transcripts be sent to you from each institution well before the deadline.  Transcripts marked 'Issued To Student' are acceptable.  Photos of documents are not acceptable.  Marksheets or lists of courses and grades are not acceptable. 

1. If you are still in completing your degree or taking courses:  Only upload a transcript (pdf) once all fall term grades have been reported, by January 31st. Do not upload your transcript without your fall term grades reported.

2.If you are registered in any course (prerequisites included), or will not convocate by the January 31st application deadline: Upload an official transcript(s) (pdf) indicating registration in the course(s) by January 31st. A final transcript (pdf) noting completion of the course(s), and or date of convocation must be emailed to mscot@ualberta.ca by June 30th. If the course(s), or degree are not successfully completed, or transcripts are not received by email by June 30th the application will be considered incomplete and not reviewed for admission..

3. If you are no longer attending ANY post-secondary institutions:  Upload all transcripts (pdf) as soon as possible after starting an application.

4. University of Alberta past/present studentsSubmit one unofficial (from BearTracks) or official UofA transcript (pdf).  Please note:  A Transcript (pdf) from all other post-secondary institutions ever attended must also be submitted even though you may have received transfer credit at the UofA. 

Upon admission to the program, applicants will be provided information as to when and how to submit official transcripts (if required).

Academic requirements from outside Canada and the USA

International applicants must ensure that their prerequisite courses (statistics and anatomy) are acceptable to fulfill the requirements well before the application deadline of January 31st. To do this, send course outlines/syllabus to mscot@ualberta.ca for review/verification of prerequisite. Make sure to include your full name.

Since degrees vary greatly from institution to institution and country to country, the U of A will examine course content to establish equivalences to a U of A baccalaureate degree.  Although you may present the minimum academic and prerequisite course requirements to be considered for admission, all applicants must well exceed the minimum requirements to be considered for admission.  Also note that a competitive application does not guarantee admission into the program.

See minimum academic requirements from other countries.

Document requirements from outside Canada and the USA (pdf only)

  • Official transcripts or marksheets in both the original language and an official, English translation from each institution attended
  • Official copy of degree certificate and English translation is required if the degree awarded does not appear on the official transcript
  • Original English language test scoresheet (TOEFL, TSE, IELTS) if required
  • Course outline/syllabus of both the statistics and anatomy courses that will be used to fulfill the prerequisite course requirements must be submitted prior to the January 31st deadline to ensure that requirements are fulfilled
  • WES evaluations are NOT accepted

English Language Proficiency Requirement

English is the primary language of instruction at the U of A and all applicants must be very proficient in written and spoken English.  Our OT courses are very comprehensive and therefore applicants need to have a very good command of the English language.  Students MUST be fluent English-language speakers to be able to successfully complete fieldwork placements.

Applicants with degrees/qualifications in a language other than English or from a country where English is not the primary language may need to demonstrate English Language Proficiency through one of the following exams.  Note that these scores are the minimum requirement to apply - successful applicants present much higher, competitive scores.

  • TOEFL: minimum score of 600 (paper-based) or a total score of 100 with a score of at least 25 on each of the individual skill areas (internet-based)
  • MELAB: minimum score of 85
  • IELTS (Academic): minimum overall band score of 6.5, with at least 5 on each band
  • CAEL: overall minimum score of 60, with at least 60 on each subtest
  • PTE (Academic): overall minimum score of 59

If you completed your degree in a country or University listed on the English Language Proficiency (ELP) Exemptions list you will NOT have to provide a English Language test.