The 2021 admissions cycle is now closed. The next admissions cycle will open in the fall 2021.
If you applied to the program, please visit the Dates and Deadlines page for information about upcoming deadlines.
For more information about the application process, please click here to be redirected to the ORPAS website.
The Master of Science program in Occupational Therapy (MSc(OT)) is a full-time two-year course-based Master degree. The program prepares students to be eligible to practice as occupational therapists, and meets professional accreditation and practice standards.
The minimum expectations will be for the completion of all course work across two extended study years:
Year 1 introduces students to the fundamentals of contemporary Canadian occupational therapy practice, and provides an overview of occupational therapy theories and processes.
Year 2 provides opportunities for developing more complex skills and preparing for entry to practice as a conscious, autonomous professional. Throughout the program, students will gain experience with many client populations and multiple settings.
Have questions about student life in Occupational Therapy? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to be connected with an OT Student Ambassador.
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, as calculated by ORPAS.
Please refer to the ORPAS Application Guide to review how the sub-GPA is calculated as well as courses that are not included in the sub-GPA calculation.
The degree can be in any university discipline; none are favoured. There are no prerequisites. The McMaster Occupational Therapy Program does not require referees or a personal statement of interest.
Applicants may apply in the final year of their degree.
Applicants who apply in their fourth year of their degree program must provide proof of completion of the degree requirements by June 30 of the year they apply in.
Sub-GPA would include 4th year grades up to December (Final year fall term).
Please visit the Admissions FAQs tab for answers to popular questions.
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.
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:
Please refer to the ORPAS Application Guide to review how the sub-GPA is calculated as well as courses that are not included in the sub-GPA calculation.
Where an applicant has completed graduate course work, relevant courses will be used to re-calculate the sub-GPA calculated by ORPAS. Grades from all graduate work will be calculated the same way as undergraduate work and will hold the same weight.
Placements, internships and activity courses (even if only a portion of the course has a placement aspect) are not normally considered relevant.
All graduate work must have a grade of B- or higher.
If your first language is not English, a TOEFL minimum score of 92 (internet based), 237 (computer based) or 580 (paper based), minimum of 20 per band is required.
For more information about being an international student please visit International Student Services.
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.
Indigenous applicants who meet all General Admissions Requirements as stated above and have a FIAP endorsed application are automatically invited to interview in the MMIs.
Applicants wishing to apply to the OT program with the Indigenous specific requirements, must complete the following:
Please note, only endorsed FIAP applications will be reviewed under the Indigenous specific criteria for admissions to the OT program.
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, whether a full degree or exchange courses, please review the International applicants tab for more information about what needs to be provided.
Email is the primary communication tool for Admissions at McMaster University. Important messages outlining the next steps required to complete your application and other important information will be sent to the email address associated with your application. After submitting an online application, please add the mcmaster.ca and the srs-mcmaster.ca domain to your email ‘safe senders’ list and check your junk email box regularly.
In order to ensure McMaster University can successfully send emails, please add us to your ‘Safe Senders List’ by using these directions:
Gmail accounts have been redesigned to automatically filter communications from large institutions like McMaster and categorize them as ‘Promotions’. By creating a filter for emails from mcmaster.ca and srs-mcmaster.ca, you will ensure that all correspondence with our office is delivered to your primary inbox. Please add mcmaster.ca and srs-mcmaster.ca to your ‘safe sender’ list in Gmail by following these instructions:
Eligible applicants are ranked solely on the basis of their sub-GPA as calculated by ORPAS. It is the applicant's responsibility to verify with ORPAS that their sub-GPA was calculated accurately. The top-ranked (approximately 250+) applicants will be invited to participate in a mini multiple interview (MMI).
Personal qualities and life experiences are assessed at these “mini” interviews, two of which are written stations. These interviews will take place either in-person at McMaster University Campus or online via Zoom. Final offers of admission will be based on a combination of pre-admission sub-GPA and MMI score. Interview dates and offer dates can be found under Dates and Deadlines.
Health professionals are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that maintains public confidence in the integrity and dignity of our professions. In selecting students, we are looking for individuals who will conduct themselves in a manner befitting our professions. As such, any and all communications and interactions with the Faculty before and during admission are considered part of the admission process and may be taken into account during admission deliberations. Admission may be denied to applicants who communicate or act in a manner that may be considered inappropriate or unprofessional regardless of academic standing.
McMaster has always been an innovator in the field of medical education. The Multiple Mini-Interview, or MMI, is one example of how McMaster has approached an accepted process, like the traditional interview, and revolutionized it. Researchers at McMaster hypothesized that increasing the number of encounters for each interviewed applicant would lead to a more reliable assessment of the individual. This proved to be exactly the case. The MMI increases the overall reliability of the interview in judging an applicant's merits. It also dilutes the effect of a single misrepresentative showing by an applicant in any one interaction. Pioneered at McMaster in 2002, the MMI has been adopted at other schools across both Canada and the United States and internationally.
The MMI consists of a series of short, carefully timed interview stations in an attempt to draw multiple samples of applicants’ ability to think on their feet, critically appraise information, communicate their ideas, and demonstrate that they have thought about some of the issues that are relevant to healthcare practice.
During the MMI, applicants will move between interview "stations" in a multi-station circuit. Each station lasts eight minutes and there is a two-minute break between each one. At each station, applicants will interact with a single rater. Topics to be discussed in interviews may include but are not limited to, communication, collaboration, ethics, health policy, critical thinking, awareness of health issues in Canada, and personal qualities.
Applicants have reached this stage of the admissions process because their academic performance has been sufficiently high. For this reason we will not test applicants’ specific knowledge in any given subject. We are, however, trying to assess the applicant’s ability to apply general knowledge to issues relevant to the culture and society in which they will be practicing should they gain admission to (and graduate from) the Occupational Therapy program. Equally important is the applicant’s ability to communicate and defend their personal opinions.
Since you are applying 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.
If an applicant does not receive an invitation to MMI the application process will be considered concluded. Applicants are welcome to reapply in the following admission cycle.
* Adapted from McMaster University School of Medicine
As per the McMaster University School of Graduate Studies Calendar, admission is competitive; meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission. The admission decision is not subject to appeal.
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.
The following dates are for the 2020-2021 Admission Cycle, for September 2021 entry.
|October 15, 2020||ORPAS online application opens|
|November 10, 2020||FHS Grad Programs Open House from 2:00pm-4:00pm EST. Click here and scroll to find the Occupational Therapy tile. Click on the tile to join the Zoom session.|
|December 3, 2020||Occupational Therapy Admissions Webinar
Tov view the recording of the webinar please click here.
|January 8, 2021||Last day to submit application to ORPAS|
|January 30, 2021||ORPAS must receive initial transcripts for all course work to date|
|TBA||Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) invitations sent out. Please note, invitations to those on the wait list can be sent up to two days before the start of MMIs due to cancellations.|
|March 23 to March 28, 2021||MMIs will be conducted online only. Please note that these dates cannot be rescheduled.|
|May 14, 2021||Admission decisions will be emailed to applicants (via the School of Graduate Studies) using the email address applicants provided in the ORPAS online application.|
|May 29, 2021||First-round offers expire|
|June 7, 2021||Provisional acceptances become firm acceptances|
|June 30, 2021||Deadline to submit payment of $500 non-refundable deposit to McMaster University
Deadline to submit transcripts to ORPAS, with confirmation that your degree has been conferred (if applicable)
|Deadline to submit Health Screen Record (https://fhs.mcmaster.ca/healthscreening/)
Program fees, Police Check Vulnerable Sector Check (VSC) (https://fhs.mcmaster.ca/pcbe/police_records_check.html) and CPR documents are due
|TBA||Orientation Week - mandatory for first year students to attend|
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 calculated using the most current 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 invitation to interview are listed below:
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 to determine the top-ranked applicants (approximately 250+) 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 email@example.com.
If both course grades fall into the most current 60 units of study then both grades will be used in your sub-GPA calculation.
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.
In order to be eligible to apply to the Occupational Therapy Program you must have either completed your degree, or will have finished all degree requirements by June 30th of the year in which you will enter the program.
You can apply to the Occupational Therapy Program if you meet the admission requirements. Please be sure to review the admissions process for international applicants.
If you are looking to practice in Canada with the training you have already done you can refer to the ACOTRO website for more information about that process: https://acotro-acore.org/registering-canada/were-you-educated-outside-canada
Another resource for you is OTepp, The Occupational Therapy Examination and Practice Preparation Program for Internationally Educated Occupational Therapists in Canada: https://healthsci.mcmaster.ca/otepp.
No. While experience is always beneficial, you do not need any experience in order to apply to the program. We also do not require that you shadow an OT prior to applying.