Occupational Therapy

What is Occupational Therapy (OT)?

Occupational Therapy (OT) is “a profession concerned with promoting health and well- being through occupation. The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable people to participate in the activities of everyday life. Occupational therapists achieve this outcome by enabling people to do things that will enhance their ability to participate or by modifying the environment to better support participation.

Occupational Therapy is practiced in a wide range of settings, including hospitals, health centres, and homes. Clients are actively involved in the therapeutic process and outcomes of occupational therapy are diverse, client-driven and measured in terms of participation or satisfaction derived from participation.” (World Federation of Occupational Therapists Council Meeting 2004 www.collegept.org)

What are the common academic requirements for OT programs?

  • Applicants must have a 4-year Bachelor’s degree or equivalent.
  • Applicants must possess a minimum mid-B average in their final year, which is generally comprised of five full course equivalents.
  • Generally, a minimum B+ average in these last 10 full course equivalents would be considered competitive, but does not guarantee admission.
  • The admissions average of the entry class each year is generally A-
  • Applications must be submitted through Ontario Rehabilitation Sciences Programs Application Services (ORPAS)
  • There are no prerequisites. However, some programs may recommend that students have a background in Human Growth and Development, Introductory Physiology or Introductory Human Biology, Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Statistics and/or Research Design to enhance learning in the program.

What supporting documents may be required?

  • Official transcripts from all previous post-secondary education.
  • Two Letters of reference
  • Statement of intent/personal statement.
  • Resume or CV

What should my personal statement include?

  • Your interest in Occupational Therapy
  • Your future goals and career path, as well as why their school fits your goals
  • What you will contribute to the program
  • Related knowledge, experience and skills, including community involvement
  • Research interests (where applicable)

Start Early!
Occupational Therapy programs require a minimum mid-B average. Many look for demonstrated interest and relevant experience.

Improve your GPA:
Visit the AA&CC and the Centre for Teaching & Learning to improve your academic skills. AA&CC Events & Workshops are available via cln.utoronto.ca

Cultivate References:
Get to know a few professors early so that they write a strong reference letter for you.

Get Involved:
Join volunteer and co-curricular activities that demonstrate your skills and ongoing interest in a career in Occupational Therapy.

What other considerations are there?

  • The MScOT program generally takes 2-years to complete on a full-time basis.
  • The program consists of courses and field placements.
  • The program consists of courses and field placements.
  • To call oneself an Occupational Therapist, which is a protected title, registration with the Ontario College of Occupational Therapists is required.

Where can I study Occupational Therapy in Ontario?

The Council of Naturopathic Medicine Education (CNME) has certified the following Canadian naturopathic programs:

How much does it cost?
All health care programs have a significant tuition cost, because hiring strong instructors and providing up-to- date facilities cost a great deal. Each institution’s fees are different. Annual tuition for Ontario students ranges $11,000-13,000.

Looking for Related Experience?
Review the Volunteering and Internships tip sheets, attend a Work Search Strategies workshop or book an appointment with a Career Counsellor or Career Strategist.

Where can I find more information and resources?

Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT)
Canadian Occupational Therapy Foundation (COTF)
Canadian Society of Occupational Scientists (CSOS)
College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario (COTO)
Ontario Society of Occupational Therapists (OSOT)

Professional Programs Guide accessible through CLN (Resources section)
Application & Personal Statement Resources

The AA&CC can help! Attend the Graduate & Professional Schools Fair (October), go to a Preparing for Professional & Graduate School workshop, meet professionals in the field through Extern, or speak with a Career Counsellor to learn how to get relevant experience!

Please note: While this tip sheet aims to ensure accuracy , requirements do change. Consider it a starting point for your further research. Visit individual Faculties of Rehabilitation Science for detailed, up-to-date information about admission requirements and application procedures.

Last update: May 2015