Occupational Therapy

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

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 

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Program Format

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.  

Career Paths

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.

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). 
  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. Volunteer Experience
    Submit volunteer forms through the OTCAS application. 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 can not be submitted as proof of volunteer work.

    Dominican requires a minimum of 60 hours of volunteer work. At least 40 hours must be under the supervision of an OTR, and within two years of the program's start date. You may complete a maximum of 20 hours in a human services setting under the supervision of a non-OTR. 
  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
    We do not have a minimum score requirement, but we do require all candidates to submit their 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.

International candidates must meet additional admissions requirements.

Fall 2020

Deadline Closed — December 2, 2019
OTCAS application must be verified by this date.
Interviews Held in February

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

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 2017-2019 was 144, with an overall graduation rate of 95%.

Graduation Year Master-Entry-Level Program Students Entering/Graduating Undergraduate-Graduate Program Students Entering/Graduating Graduation Rate
2017 27/27 23/21 96%
2018 27/26 22/20 94%
2019 29/26 21/21 94%
Total 83/79 66/62 95%

Review our NBCOT report card.

Exam Year National Pass Rate Dominican Pass Rate
2019 98% 100%
2018 98% 98%
2017 98% 96%
occupational therapy students

Fieldwork

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.

Occupational Therapy by the Numbers

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100%

NBCOT exam pass rate for 2019

Half yellow circle

95%

2018 Job acquisition rate within a year since graduation

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200+

Fieldwork sites

OT in the News

Faculty and Staff

dominican seal

Laura Greiss Hess, OTR/L, PhD

Assistant Professor
Kristin Jones headshot

Kristin Jones

Assistant Professor
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Kitsum Li, OTD, OTR/L

Program Director, Associate Professor
Karen McCarthy headshot

Karen McCarthy, OTD, OTR/L

Assistant Professor
Claire Murphy headshot

Claire Murphy

Instructional Resource Coordinator
Gloria Strasburg headshot

Gloria Strasburg

Academic Fieldwork Assistant
Caroline Umeda headshot

Caroline Umeda, PhD

Assistant Professor
dominican seal

Julia Wilbarger, OTR/L, PhD

Associate Professor & Chair, Occupational Therapy Department
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Diane Griffeath, MA

Program Administrator