Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT)

Dominican’s Master of Science in Occupational Therapy Program prepares you for success through a curriculum driven by research and based in evidence. We are client centered and community focused. The Occupational Therapy program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).

students in an occupational therapy class

Starting Fall 2022, this program is no longer being offered to new, incoming students. For information on our new Doctor in Occupational Therapy program, visit this page.

Occupational therapists are licensed health professionals who help people of all ages — with and without disabilities — to engage in meaningful occupations and to do the things that are important to them in their daily lives. 

Founded on excellence, Dominican’s Occupational Therapy curriculum builds on the knowledge and experience students gain each year. Students progress from exploration to competence to achievement to mastery.

Program Highlights

  • Experienced, professional faculty
  • Small class sizes and student-centered learning
  • A strong community engagement focus with consideration of cultural, social and political contexts of occupational therapy
  • More than 200+ fieldwork partners
  • Excellent NBCOT pass rate. Graduates are eligible to sit for the national board examination — becoming licensed in California or any other state — and practice internationally.
  • A plethora of employment opportunities upon graduation with a 100 percent post-graduate employment rate
  • 10-year accreditation with Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education.
Tuition Rate Per Unit Number of Units Format and Length

View Tuition and Financial Aid Information for details.
80 Units

36 months


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Admissions and Aid

A Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from a regionally accredited institution of higher education is required to apply to our graduate programs.

  1. Completed Application
    Submit an OTCAS application. A Dominican University application is not required. Note: No new applications can be accepted on OTCAS until after the first week of July.
  2. Official Transcript(s)
    Dominican requires official transcripts of all coursework, including all undergraduate, graduate, community college and study abroad (unless University-sponsored).  Find complete instructions on how to submit your transcripts to Dominican here.
  3. 3.0 GPA 
    Applicants must meet a minimum GPA of 3.0 in their most recent 60 semester units of work, including both graduate and undergraduate coursework.
  4. Personal Statement
    Please provide a brief essay describing your professional and personal goals, as well as your reasons for pursuing this degree. 
  5. Interest in Dominican University
    Write a brief, 200 word essay describing why you chose to apply to Dominican. If you've previously applied to this program, write an additional 150-200 words describing what has changed to ready you for the program since the last time you applied. 
  6. Observation/Volunteer Experience
    Applicants to the Occupational Therapy Program are required to complete a total of 60 hours of observation/volunteering in human services, and 40 of those hours must be with an OTR. 

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the OT program is making exceptions to our current policy for Observation/Volunteer hours for the Fall 2021 and Fall 2022 application cycles.  The following forms are required with your OTCAS application.

    • Submit volunteer experience form through the OTCAS application. Observation/Volunteer hours require 40 hours of OT Relevant experience within the previous 3 years. Observations hours can be conducted in a virtual environment. Your supervisor(s) will fill out your volunteer form, then upload the completed form directly into your OTCAS application. If you do not complete all of your volunteer work experience at one location, a separate form is needed for each location. Time sheets or other facility forms cannot be submitted as proof of volunteer work.

    • Submit reflection form through the OTCAS application. Alternative learning experiences are accepted to fulfill no more than 20 hours of documented experiences. Alternative learning experiences are listed on the form.

  7. Resume
    Submit a resume with your application. Your resume must include an "Other Relevant Work Experience" section to account for experience related to the OT profession. This should not include the volunteer experience that you submitted on the volunteer form. 
  8. Two Letters of Recommendation
    We require a minimum of two letters of recommendation to be submitted through the application. The salutation for the letters should be: "Dear Occupational Therapy Admissions Committee." Please do not ask individuals to contact the committee directly on your behalf as these recommendations will not be considered. 
  9. Official GRE Score (optional)
    GRE scores are optional. If you do submit scores, please use the Dominican University of California OTCAS (code 4107) when indicating your program as a score recipient. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) will transmit official GRE scores electronically to OTCAS.
  10. Prerequisite Courses
    Complete all prerequisite courses listed below. A 3.0 GPA is required. Priority consideration is given to candidates who have completed all prerequisites by the application date. If you are granted admission with pending prerequisite coursework, you must successfully complete all in progress prerequisites and/or degree conferral before the program starts. Dominican does not accept any courses taken the summer before the start of the semester.
    • Human Anatomy with lab (completed within the last 5 years).
    • Human Physiology with lab (completed within the last 5 years).
    • Lifespan Development (or Developmental Psychology).
    • Introduction to Psychology.
    • Abnormal Psychology (Psychopathology).
    • Statistics (math or psychology only, not business).
    • Medical Terminology (1 unit or more).
    • Introduction to Sociology or Cultural Anthropology (recommended, but not required).
  11. Personal Interview
    Applicants who have been selected to continue on in the application process will receive an invitation to interview.
  12. International Applicants
    International candidates must meet additional admissions requirements.

The Occupational Therapy Department requires students to have a clear criminal background check prior to program admission and throughout the academic program. A felony conviction may affect students' eligibility to continue in the OT Program and subsequently sit for the NBCOT Certification examination or attain state licensure.

Please note: Criminal background checks, or information relating to a student’s criminal background, are not used as part of the admissions process at Dominican University of California (DUOC). Students should be aware that some programs train students to sit for the State of California or national licensure and certification examinations that qualify them to work in the field relating to their program of choice.

The following programs constitute a list of 2021/2022 DUOC programs that train for licensure or certification: Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Physicians Assistants, Counseling Psychology, Art Therapy (Marriage & Family Therapy), and Education. 

Students with questions relating to criminal background requirements, who wish to enroll in these programs at DUOC should speak to an Academic Advisor and reference the specific qualifications for degree completion, and license or certification. 

Learn about tuition per unit, additional fees and total tuition.

We'll also show you how a Dominican education is more affordable than you might think with support from financial aid, scholarships and loans. 

Tuition and Aid


Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education logo

Our Occupational Therapy Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).

6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200
North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929
(301) 652-AOTA

The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy logo

The national certification examination for eligible candidates is administered by The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT).

One Bank Street, Suite 300
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
(301) 990-7979

The total number of graduates from the Dominican University of California Master of Occupational Therapy program during the 3-year period of 2019-2021 was 145, with an overall graduation rate of 94%.

Graduation Year Master-Entry-Level Program Students Entering/Graduating Undergraduate-Graduate Program Students Entering/Graduating Graduation Rate
2019 29/29 21/20 98%
2020 30/30 18/14 92%
2021 30/28 26/24 93%
Total 89/87 65/58 94%

Review our NBCOT report card.

Exam Year Dominican Pass Rate
2021 95%
2020 97%
2019 100%
3-Year Average 97%

Program Format and Career Paths

Dominican's Masters in Occupational Therapy is a three-year program. Students complete clinical fieldwork each semester, applying the knowledge gained in coursework to working with clients in community and clinical settings. In the third year, students complete capstone and community program development projects.  

An MS in Occupational Therapy prepares graduates for a variety of careers, including work in hospitals, clinics, schools, business, industry and community settings, serving people of all ages with developmental, physical, psychiatric or behavioral disabilities. Occupational Therapists also promote health and help prevent disease and disability through occupation-centered interventions and environmental adaptations.

occupational therapy students


Student complete more than 1,000 hours of supervised clinical training in diverse settings. Dominican has more than 200 fieldwork sites, including: Children's Hospital, Marin General Hospital, San Francisco General Hospital, Stanford University Medical Center and the Veterans Administration Hospitals.

Dominican students in lab coats

Clinical Simulation Services

Our learning labs allow students to collaborate with their peers and faculty in order to gain the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in their prospective healthcare fields.

Clinical Simulation Services

Occupational Therapy by the Numbers

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NBCOT exam pass rate for 2019

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2018 Job acquisition rate within a year since graduation

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Fieldwork sites

OT in the News

Faculty and Staff

Gina Tucker-Roghi headshot

Gina Tucker-Roghi, OTD, OTR/L, BCG

Assistant Professor OTD Program Director
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Kitsum Li, OTD, OTR/L, CSRS

MSOT Program Director Associate Professor
Sharon Freiberg

Sharon Freiberg

Program Administrator
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Laura Greiss Hess, PhD, OTR/L

Assistant Professor
Kristin Jones headshot

Kristin Jones, MS, OTD, OTR/L

Assistant Professor
Karen McCarthy headshot

Karen McCarthy, OTD, OTR/L

Associate Professor
Claire Murphy headshot

Claire Murphy

Instructional Lab Coordinator
Caroline Umeda headshot

Caroline Umeda, PhD, OTR/L

Assistant Professor
Evin Wallus headshot

Evin Wallus, MS, OTR/L, AFWC

Assistant Professor Academic Fieldwork Coordinator
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Julia Wilbarger, PhD, OTR/L

Associate Professor
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Amy Arenberg, OTR/L

Adjunct Assistant Professor
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Jacqueline-Elizabeth Cantrell

Adjunct Instructor
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Jamie Close

Adjunct Associate Professor
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Ernie Escovedo

Adjunct Assistant Professor
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Susan LeBlanc

Adjunct Professor
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Maggie Smida

Adjunct Assistant Professor
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Kaitlyn Trimarchi

Adjunct Assistant Professor
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Alison Virzi

Adjunct Professor
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Jane Dressler

Adjunct Professor
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Courtney Malachowski

Adjunct Professor