FAQs

  • What was the final admission GPA in the last 2 years?

    The minimum admission GPA for 2018 and 2019 was 3.7. The final admission GPA each year varies depending on the number of applications we receive and the quality of the applicant pool, but seems to be increasing slightly each year. Applicants should only apply if they present a GPA of at least 3.4 (80%; B+) in their last 2 years of study. Also note that meeting the competitive admission GPA in a particular year does NOT guarantee admission - all aspects of the application are reviewed to ensure a proper fit with the program and the OT profession.

  • How will Winter 2020 grades impact my GPA calculation?
    • As per U of A policy, any courses taken in Winter 2020, from any north american institution will NOT be included in the GPA calculation.
    • This includes courses that were graded as credit/no credit, letter grade, and/or percentage grade.
    • If prerequisite courses, i.e., approved human anatomy and statistics courses, were taken in Winter 2020 a grade of credit will be accepted as a passing grade to meet the prerequisite course requirement.
  • Are there any prerequisites?

    Yes, you need to complete the following prerequisite courses within 10 years of the date of application:

    • Statistics (3 credits/one term) General introductory course covering basic statistical concepts.
    • Human Anatomy (min. 3 credits/one term) General introductory course covering basic human anatomy.

    NOTE: At minimum applicants need to have achieved a passing grade in each course to meet the requirements.

  • I am not sure that a particular course is a match for your statistics and/or anatomy prerequisite. How can I find out?

    Send an email with the course name/number, outline/syllabus and name of university/college to mscot@ualberta.ca

    Note: Course outlines/syllabus must be submitted, calendar descriptions of courses are not accepted.

  • How long is the program?

    The program is approximately 26 months long and involves approximately 30 courses and 28 weeks of clinical placement. Academic and clinical courses are held throughout the calendar year.

  • How is my GPA calculated?

    To determine the GPA we count back chronologically starting from the most recent, applicable 60 credits completed by January 1st of the admission year until we hit 60 credits.  If the 60 credits lands in the middle of a semester we take the average of the whole semester. Courses taken in Spring/Summer terms, exchange programs and graduate programs are counted in the GPA.

    Activity courses in phys. ed, studio/performance courses in fine arts, practicum courses, pass/fail courses and seminar/research/thesis courses are not included in the calculation of the admission GPA. Repeated courses of previously passed or failed courses are not included in the calculation. If applying with any courses listed as in progress after January 1st (winter term) of the year of admission they will not be calculated in the GPA calculation. 

    If taking course(s) outside of a degree (ie, special student, open studies) the course(s) must transfer to the U of A at a 200 level or higher. 100 level transfer credits will NOT be counted in GPA calculations. Courses taken within Alberta can be checked using the Alberta Transfer guide.

  • How many students are accepted each year?

    Admission is limited to 120 students annually. 15 of those spaces are reserved for Saskatchewan residents. 20 of those spaces are at our Calgary satellite program.

  • How many applications are submitted each year?

    We receive close to 650 applications each year.

  • If I fulfill the minimum requirements and GPA cutoff, what are my chances of admission?

    Fulfilling the minimum criteria and GPA cut off only guarantees consideration for admission. All applicants meeting the application requirements are ranked based upon GPA, a history of academic success and strong supporting documents. Successful applicants tend to significantly exceed the admission criteria both quantitatively and qualitatively. Applicants should only apply if they present a GPA of at least 3.4.

  • Is any volunteer or work experience required?

    No work or volunteer experience is required, though it may strengthen your application.

  • When is the application form deadline?

    The application deadline is January 31st of the admission year. The application database closes automatically after this date and no applications, or admission documents can be submitted.

  • How do I submit my application?

    In order to be able to submit a application, applicants are required to enter their personal information, complete educational history and upload transcripts. 

    All other supporting documents (CV, letter of intent, updated transcripts, department checklist, reference letters) can continue to be uploaded into the application AFTER it has been submitted up to the January 31st application deadline.

    NOTE: To submit a application applicants must sign a declaration stating that all information provided is true.  Once this declaration is signed and the application is submitted applicants can not make any changes to their personal information, or educational history.  It is very important that this information is correctly entered BEFORE the application is submitted. Failure to list, and provide transcripts for all academic institutions ever attended may be considered a intentional omission and will lead to the cancellation of your application for admission, or withdrawal of your offer of admission. See the Application Requirements for Academic Documents webpage for additional document information.

    For instructions regarding submitting an application while still completing a degree, or taking courses see the Transcripts heading on the Admissions webpage.  Applicants can also consult the Department Checklist document that is available for download from the Documents section of the online application.

    To submit documents after the application has been completed applicants must log into the application system under Submitted Applications. If applicants do not log in under Submitted Applications they will not be able to upload documents, see their Application ID, Student ID number, or track the submission of their reference letters.

  • My application shows several action required items. What do I do?

    After submitting an application applicants may see several required action items. These items will most likely pertain to the following application items:

    • Transcript/Marksheet English Translation
    • Degree Certificate Original Language
    • Degree Certificate English Translation

    If an applicant completed their degree at a North American University, their degree completion and/or date of confirmation is stated on their transcript, and the mode of instruction was English they will not be required to upload any of the documents referenced above.  These fields can remain blank. 

    If an applicant completed their degree outside of North America, or in a language other than English they will be required to provide all documents listed.

    Applicants will also have one required action item in the Department Check section.  Applicants are required to upload their CV, Letter of Intent, and Department Checklist document to any one of the four spots listed.  One spot will remain empty as CASPer results are sent directly to the department.

    For a complete list of all required documents consult the Admissions section of our website, or see the FAQ section header "What documents are required by the January 31st deadline?"

     

  • How do I complete the Letter of Intent?

    To complete the Letter of Intent applicants must create a account in a external system called GARS. A link to the GARS system can be found in the online application system, and in the Department Checklist document that applicants are required to download from the Documents tab in the application system.  To create a account applicants will need their application ID number which starts with 160, or 170.  This number is only generated and emailed to the applicant AFTER they have submitted and paid for their application.

    In order to submit and pay for the application, applicants need to complete their personal information, all educational information, and upload transcripts.  All other supporting documents (CV, LOI, Department Checklist, updated transcripts, and reference letters)  can be uploaded AFTER the application is submitted.

    Once an applicant has created an account in GARS they will be able to complete the Letter of Intent questions. After completing the questions applicants will be required to sign a electronic declaration, then create a PDF document.  This PDF needs to be uploaded to any one of the 4 Department Check spots in the online application by the January 31st application deadline.

    NOTE: In order to upload documents after a application has been submitted applicants must log in under Submitted applications.

    Applications that are missing the Letter of Intent will be considered incomplete and not reviewed for admission.


  • What documents are required by the January 31st deadline?

    Applicants CV, Letter of Intent, Department Checklist, Transcripts, and both Reference Letters must be uploaded to the online application by January 31st. No hard copies of documents are accepted. 

    Applicants must also complete the CASPer exam BEFORE the January 31st application deadline.  For CASPer information see the FAQ heading "Where can I find more information about the CASPer testing application requirement?"

  • Is there an application fee, and if so, how do I pay it?

    Yes, there is a nonrefundable application fee of $100. You must pay it by credit card just prior to the final submission of your online application form.

    The department does not have access to a application or any supporting documents until the applicant has paid the $100 fee and submitted their application. Once a application is paid for and submitted applicants have until the January 31st deadline to upload all supporting documents.

  • What if my first language is not English?

    Applicants with degrees/qualifications in a language other than English may need to demonstrate English Language Proficiency through one of the following exam scores:

    • TOEFL: a minimum overall score of 90, with a minimum score of 21 on each of the individual skill areas
    • MELAB: minimum score of 85, with a minimum band score of 80, and a minimum score of 3 on the speaking component
    • IELTS (Academic): minimum overall band score of 6.5, with at least 5.5 on each band
    • CAEL: overall minimum score of 70, with at least 60 on each subtest
    • PTE (Academic): overall minimum score of 61, and a minimum band score of 60
  • Do international (visa) students pay more tuition fees?

    A differential fee of 100% of all instructional fees is assessed to students who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

  • When should I apply?

    The online application system opens November 1st until January 31st, 11:59 pm MST. 

  • Are there any restrictions on applicants from other provinces?

    There are no limits placed on applications from other provinces. All applicants from across Canada and other countries are reviewed together and will compete for the 120 spaces. However, 15 of those spaces are reserved for residents of Saskatchewan.

  • What are the tuition fees?

    Tuition fees are found in the OT Student Handbook.

  • Why is the admission GPA weighed so heavily in the admission review?

    Our program is academically challenging and very intensive and we want to ensure success in our program. Work experience, letters of reference, etc. are certainly reviewed to ensure an applicant's proper fit with the program, but a strong history of academic success is very important.

  • I applied but my GPA was not competitive. What should I do?

    Unsuccessful applicants may re-apply in subsequent years once they have completed more coursework. Any courses taken after a degree has been granted must be 200-level (second year) or higher in order to be counted in the GPA. Graduate course work may also be used. Courses taken through Athabasca University must transfer to the University of Alberta as a 200-level course or higher in order to be used in the admission GPA after a degree has been completed. Please use the Alberta Transfer Guide for assistance.

    Unsuccessful applicants may also want to consider registering in an after-degree program or another course-based Master's program. That way, if unsuccessful in gaining admission in subsequent years, the applicant will be on their way to obtaining another credential rather than simply a random collection of coursework.

    NOTE: The following course are not included in the GPA calculation. Activity courses in phys. ed, studio/performance courses in fine arts, practicum courses, pass/fail courses and seminar/research/thesis courses are not included in the calculation of the admission GPA. Repeated courses of previously passed or failed courses are not included in the calculation. If applying with any courses listed as in progress after January 1st (winter term) of the year of admission they will not be calculated in the GPA calculation. 

  • Does my professional/personal referee need to complete the reference form?

    Yes. Although the form is geared towards an academic reference, please ask the referee to complete the form as completely as possible. Any additional information or comments can be included in a free form letter that the referee may attach to the form. Any referee, professional, personal or academic can attach a letter to their form if they wish.

  • The OT program is considered a Professional Program. What does that mean?

    The program is an intensive, graduate level program requiring independent thinking and initiative. Although it is a course-based program, occasionally some learning opportunities and course-related content are offered outside of the traditional classroom setting. Students are expected to be available and attend all portions of the program which can include seminars or lectures by guest speakers, site visits, etc. even during evenings and weekends. Applicants, particularly those with families or part-time jobs should keep this in mind when considering the program.

  • How do I track the submission of my reference letters

    To track the submission of reference letters applicants must log into their application under Submitted Applications/GSMS Portal.  If applicants log in under existing users they will not be able to see the status of reference requests.  Once a referee has submitted the mandatory electronic reference form the status will immediately change from initiated to submitted.

    It is the applicants responsibility to monitor their application to ensure their reference letters are submitted by the January 31st application deadline. Applications that are missing one or both reference letters will be considered incomplete and not reviewed for admission.

    NOTE:  In order to change a referee, or have another reference request email sent applicants must request this through the application portal.  All requests need to be approved by the department which will only be done during normal business hours. 

     

  • Where do I find a reference form?

    A email with a link to the electronic reference form will be sent to your referee once their email address in entered in your online application form. Referees will not receive the automated email with the reference form until after the applicant has paid for and submitted the application.

    Applicants must check their online application frequently to ensure their referee has uploaded their form by January 31st. Applications missing reference forms will not be considered for admission.

  • I applied with what I thought was a competitive application, but was refused...

    With over 650 applicants and only 120 available seats, admission into our program is very competitive.   We receive several hundred very competitive applications each year and it is unfortunate that we have to ultimately refuse so many of them.

    Due to the volume of applications and the comprehensive, academically challenging nature of the OT program, all applicants meeting the application requirements are first ranked based upon the admission GPA.  We then review the entire application and select applicants who present a history of academic success and strong supporting documents.

    However, while an applicant may demonstrate a competitive GPA, meeting the admission GPA in a particular year does NOT guarantee admission.  All aspects of the application are reviewed to ensure a proper fit with the program and the OT profession.

    Successful applicants present applications with extremely strong supporting documents that demonstrate a thorough working knowledge of the profession and a compelling desire to be an Occupational Therapist based on their personal, academic and/or professional backgrounds.  This should be most clearly defined in the Letter of Intent and supported by reference letters.

    Due to the very competitive nature of admission it is strongly recommended that serious applicants apply to more than one OT school in Canada.

  • Are interviews part of the admission process?

    The Occupational Therapy program does not conduct applicant interviews.

  • What transcripts are acceptable and how do I upload them?

    Applicants are required to upload one transcript (front and back page) from each university, college, technical school, etc. ever attended or are currently attending. Applicants need to request a official transcript from all universities/colleges ever attended in any capacity and either have the transcript sent to you by mail, or request the university to provide you with a PDF. Applicants may open official mailed transcripts from their University and scan them into a PDF.
    Applicants will then upload this document to their application. All transcripts must be uploaded into a application by the January 31st deadline.

    Application Requirements for Academic Documents

  • When I start an application it says I have 21 days to complete, what does this mean?

    From the time an applicant starts an online application they have 21 days to enter all required information, pay the $100 application fee and submit. If the applicant does not meet this deadline their application will be deleted and they will have to start again.

    Transcripts must be uploaded to the application system before applicants are able to submit and pay for their application.  All other supporting documents DO NOT need to be uploaded to the application before the 21 days limit. Applicants have until the January 31 st deadline to upload all supporting documents. This includes. The Curriculum vitae/Resume, Letter of Intent, Updated Transcripts, Department Checklist, and Reference letters.

    For details about supporting documents refer to the Application Document Requirements.

    It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that all supporting documents (including reference letters) are uploaded to the online application by the January 31 st deadline.  Applications missing any documents will not be considered for admission.

  • Where can I find more information about the CASPer testing application requirement?
    More information about CASPer testing, including information on how to book a test and testing dates, can be found on their website.
  • What is my application ID and where do I find it?

    Your application ID number is not generated until AFTER you submit and pay for your online application. Once you submit your application, the application ID number that starts with 16xxxxxx and will be display in your Applicant portal.

    In order to be able to submit an application, applicants must complete the personal information section, list all academic institutions ever attended, and upload transcripts.  All other supporting documents (CV, letter of intent, department checklist, updated transcripts, and reference letters) can be uploaded AFTER the application is submitted, but must be uploaded by the January 31st deadline.

    You will use your application ID number to complete your Letter of Intent in the GARS system. For detailed instructions on how to complete the Letter of Intent see the Department Checklist document that is required to be downloaded from the Occupational Therapy online application, or see the FAQ heading "How do I complete the letter of intent"

  • I submitted my application but am now having trouble uploading my outstanding documents.

    All supporting documents (CV, Letter of Intent, updated transcripts, department checklist, reference letters) can continue to be uploaded to a application until the January 31st deadline. Once an applicant has submitted and paid for their application they must now log under the Submitted Applications/GSMS Portal. If a applicant logs in under existing users they will not be able to upload documents or track the submission of their reference letters.

    Note: The Letter of Intent, CV, and Department Checklist documents should be uploaded in any one of the four Department Check items. Applicants do not need to upload any documents pertaining to the CASPer exam as results are sent directly to the department.