How to apply

The MSc(OT) - Entry Level program is designed for individuals who will have completed a four-year bachelor’s degree from a recognized academic institution by June 1 and want to become occupational therapists. Successful applicants will be required to participate in both fieldwork and traditional on-site courses. We welcome applications from diverse academic backgrounds. 

Other important dates:

  • You must meet all of the admission requirements by June 1 of the year of admission.
  • Final transcripts (with proof of degree completion) must be received by June 15.
  • All offers remain conditional until receipt of a final transcript, which indicates the degree received. If you are currently taking courses (including prerequisites) at the time of the application deadline, you can still apply as long as we receive all of your final transcripts before June 15. Transcripts received after this date will not be considered.

How to apply

The Faculty of Graduate Studies sets the minimum admission standards that are required for entry into all graduate programs. In addition, the department to which you are applying may require additional qualifications of their candidates.

All candidates must:

  1. Meet the admission requirements.
  2. Meet prerequisite course requirements and minimum GPA requirements
  3. Complete the Faculty of Graduate Studies application process.
  4. Submit all additional requirements of the department.

1. General admission requirements 

Master's degree (MSc)

  • Four-year Bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (B average) in the last 60 credit hours of study
  • Degree granted by university of recognized standing

Please note that programs with a thesis requirement normally require an undergraduate honours degree. There are some occasions where this requirement may be waived where evidence of independent research capacity is present. To read more about degree requirements for admission to Master’s programs, refer to section 3.2 of the Faculty of Graduate Studies Calendar.


English language proficiency

English is the language of study at Dalhousie; therefore all applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate their capacity to pursue a graduate-level program in English before admission (see chart below). The language competency test may be waived if the applicant has completed a degree at a recognized university where the language of instruction is English. The claims must be verified by the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Test scores are valid for two years from the date the test was written.

Dalhousie accepts a number of different English proficiency test scores:

Test Name Minimum Acceptable Score
Internet-based TOEFL (Academic iBT) 92
Written TOEFL 580
CanTest 4.5 (with no band score lower than 4.0)
CAEL 70 with no band score lower than 60
Dalhousie College of Continuing Education (CCE) A-
Pearson English Test PTE Academic overall score of 65 and nothing below 54

Please note there are a number of programs that require higher test scores. See below for a list of these programs.

Department-specific English language requirements

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology 100 7.5 A
Biomedical Engineering 100 7.5 A
Business Administration 105 8 A+
Community Health & Epidemiology 100 7.5 A
Electronic Commerce 100 7.5 A
Environmental Studies 100 7.5 A
Health Informatics 100 7.5 A
Information Management 105 8 A+
Interdisciplinary PhD Program 100 7.5 A
Law 100 7.5 A
Medical Neuroscience 100 7.5 A
Microbiology and Immunology 100 7.5 A
Periodontics 100 7.5 A
Pharmacology (intern. students) 100 7.5 A
Philosophy 100 7.5 A
Physiology and Biophysics 100 7.5 A
Political Science 100 7.5 A


2. Prerequisites (as outlined by the department)

Minimum GPA

  • Minimum B average (GPA = 3.0 or greater; on a 4.3 scale) calculated on the last 20 half credits of the degree.
  • Pre-requisite courses must meet a minimum of a B average (GPA = 3.0 or greater; on a 4.3 scale).


  • Six (6) credit hours (or a full credit) in human physiology with the following systems content: cell, endocrine, neural, muscle, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal and gastrointestinal.
  • Three (3) credit hours (or a half credit) in human anatomy enable the student to explain and describe, at a basic level, the gross anatomy of the human body. Content topics of the course should include study of the following: development, cells, tissues, skeletal, muscular, integument, nervous, cardiovascular, digestive, respiratory, renal and reproductive systems.
  • Pre-requisite courses must be at the university level.
  • Pre-requisite courses must meet a minimum of a B average (GPA = 3.0 or greater; on a 4.3 scale).

Note: The credits for a combined course may be distributed across anatomy and physiology. For example, a 6-credit course may satisfy 3-credits in anatomy and 3-credits in physiology. A 3-credit course may not be considered to meet 3-credits of anatomy and 3-credits of physiology.

Transfer credits

Transfer credits may be granted for classes in anatomy or pharmacology subject to the approval of the course instructor. Photocopies of calendar descriptions and course syllabi are required. Normally, no transfer credits are granted for OCCU classes.

3. Application process

  1. Complete the graduate application form (online application or print [PDF - 128kB]
  2. Pay the $115 application fee.
    Note: The graduate application form and application fee must be submitted to the Registrar's Office.

4. Additional requirements of the department

In addition to the documents you send to the Registrar's Office, you will need to submit the following supporting documents directly to the School of Occupational Therapy.

  1. 2019 Supplementary application form [PDF - 399kB] AVAILABLE NOW.
  2. Two copies of an official academic transcript for each post-secondary institution attended, sent directly from the host university in a sealed envelope (a notarized translation is also required for each non-English transcript)
  3. Two academic reference letters, either through the electronic reference system in the online application or by paper [PDF - 115kB]
    • If using the e-reference system, Dalhousie University will only accept university email addresses [ie not Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, business, or government addresses]. Please allow 5 business days for your referee(s) to be contacted by our system.
    • If you are submitting a paper reference letter, it must be in a sealed, stamped envelope which is endorsed across the back seal by the referee and mailed to the address indicated on the form. If a referee is reluctant to follow this procedure, please provide him/her with a stamped envelope, addressed to the department to which you are applying, and have him/her mail the letter directly. If the reference is given to the student directly, do not open the envelope.

Evaluation process for admission

Once your application has been submitted, you can expect to receive confirmation of receipt of your application and an indication of when it will be reviewed within one month. Learn more about the evaluation process.