MS in Occupational Therapy

Our MS in Occupational Therapy program prepares you for work as a licensed health professional helping people achieve optimal independence. Graduates are eligible to sit for the national registry examinations and practice nationally and internationally.

OT Banner


About our MS in Occupational Therapy Program

Employment opportunities for Occupational Therapy graduates are excellent: The U.S. News & Report lists Occupational Therapy in the top 25 for 100 Best Jobs 2017 and Best Health Care Jobs 2017, and Time Magazine projects that careers in OT will grow 30% by 2024. Our fully-accredited MSOT program, located in the San Francisco Bay Area, prepares students to become leaders in a growing field in as little as two and a half years.

Visit the MS in Occupational Therapy webpage for more information. 


Program Highlights and Fast Facts

  • An 80-unit program completed over two and a half years
  • Requires full-time, weekday attendance 
  • Student centered learning, small classes, experienced faculty
  • Focus on occupational therapy from childhood to older age with a community-centered practice orientation
  • Consideration of cultural, social and political contexts of occupational therapy
  • Over 1,000 hours of supervised clinical training and learning laboratories provided
  • Excellent employment opportunities upon graduation
  • Financial aid available to those who qualify
  • The OT program at Dominican University of California is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE), of the American Occupational Therapy Association.


Application Process and Admission Requirements

Dominican's application is a two part process. Part one is the online application, which applicants will complete, provide contact information for their references, submit, and pay the application fee. Part two of the application process is submitting the remaining supplemental application documents, which the applicant will compile in a packet and mail to Dominican, postmarked by December 1st.

A complete packet will include: completed, sealed, and signed Volunteer forms, and the OT Prerequisite form.

Please note: the Office of Admissions would like transcripts as soon as possible. Transcripts can be included in the packet OR sent separately to the Office of Admissions. If you have not yet completed your degree, please send your transcripts when you apply, and again once your degree is complete.  

We will not consider any application that is incomplete. However, you may have up to three courses in-progress at the time of applying. Additional supplemental documents that are not listed below will not be considered. To be considered for admission, a student must meet the Admission Requirements as well as complete the entire application process.

Please consult the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for additional guidance.  

Admission Requirements:

1. Complete OTCAS Application (Opens July 18, 2018) 
 2. Bachelor’s Degree
  • Provide proof of a Bachelor’s degree, or equivalent, from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning demonstrated on an official transcript before start of program.
 3. Transcripts
  • Official transcript of coursework from each college or university attended, including all undergraduate and graduate coursework. This includes any community college and study abroad coursework (unless it was a university-sponsored study abroad experience). Transcripts must be sealed in the original envelope from the original issuing institution. Transcripts are no longer considered official if they have been opened. All transcripts need to be sent to the applicant directly and then mailed to Dominican either in the packet or separately. Do NOT have transcript sent directly to Dominican by the institution. 
 4. 3.0 GPA
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 in most recent 60 semester units of work, including both graduate and undergraduate coursework.
 5. Statement of Purpose
  • A brief essay (500 words) describing professional and personal goals, and reasons for pursuing this degree. If you have previously applied to this program, please provide an additional 150-200 words describing any changes or experiences that have readied you for the program since the last time you applied.
6. 60 Hours of Volunteer Work
  • Dominican requires a minimum of 60 hours of volunteer work with at least 40 of those hours under the supervision of an OT within two years of the program’s start date. Prospective students unable to complete all 60 hours under the supervision of a licensed OT may do 20 of the 60 hours in a human services setting under a non-OT. Print out the volunteer form and have your supervisor(s) fill it out. Supervisor’s need to seal the completed form in envelope and sign across the sealed seam of the envelope. This completed form in the sealed envelope should be included in your application packet. A separate form is needed for each volunteer location. We do not accept time sheets or other facility forms as proof of volunteer work.
7. Resume 
  • Your resume must contain a section titled “Other Relevant Work Experience.” Please account for all experience, whether paid or volunteer, that is related to the OT profession in this section. Do not include volunteering completed to meet the admission requirement for volunteer hours.
8. Letters of Recommendation 
  • A minimum of two letters should be addressed to the OT Admissions Committee. No more than three letters will be accepted. Letters of recommendation from relatives or supervisors that completed your volunteer hour form will not be accepted.
  • Please do not ask individuals to contact Admissions or the OT department directly on your behalf to provide character references. These references will not be considered. Letters of recommendation must be submitted electronically through Dominican's online application.
9. Official GRE Score
  • All candidates must submit GRE scores, however, we do not have a minimum score requirement. Our GRE school code is 4284.
10. A minimum 3.0 GPA on all prerequisite courses combined 
  • Priority consideration will be given to candidates who have completed all prerequisites as of December 1st. If admission with pending prerequisite coursework is granted, it will be contingent upon successful completion of all in progress prerequisites and/or degree conferral prior to the start of the program. The Admissions Committee will not accept any courses taken the summer before the start of the semester. Candidates applying with in-progress courses are asked to show proof of enrollment as soon as possible.
      • 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)
      • Introduction to Sociology or Cultural Anthropology (recommended but not required)
11. All supplemental forms requested after application submission
International Candidates: Please see additional requirements, outlined here.

Fall 2019 Admission Deadlines

July 18, 2018 Application period opens on OTCAS
November 30, 2018 Application deadline (must include ALL materials)
December 2018 - February 2019 Application file review period
Ongoing Applicant interviews 
February 2019 Notification of admission, priority waitlist, and denials 
March 2019 Deposit due- admitted candidates who have not accepted admission and paid the deposit by the deadline will forfeit their place in the class. Please note, the deposit is non-refundable.
March - August 2019 Priority waitlist admission- students will be admitted from the priority waitlist on an ongoing basis as space becomes available.


Before You Apply

As a candidate for a graduate professional program it is expected that you will be significantly self-directed in your application process. Your ability to complete the process as independently as possible is viewed as a positive indicator of readiness to undertake this rigorous graduate program. Successful candidates will be those who demonstrate the ability to effectively use the tools provided on this website to research and synthesize information, think critically, and submit a complete application. Please read all the application information carefully and follow the detailed instructions provided.

Graduates holding an MSOT from Dominican are eligible to sit for the national examination administered by the National Board of Certification of Occupational Therapists (NBCOT) and are eligible to be licensed in any state, enabling them to practice nationally and internationally.  Applicants to the program are advised that a felony conviction may impact their eligibility for certification or credentialing as an occupational therapist.


Further Assistance

We provide comprehensive application support via email. Please follow the link below to receive important program and application updates.

Yes, I would like to receive updates



Contact Mike Lavigna at 415-485-3253 or