How to apply

Please note, the current admission information posted on our website is related to the 2024 admission cycle.   Applications for the 2024 intake will open on October 15, 2023. Admission requirements for the 2025 admission cycle are subject to change, with any changes posted to our website in the Summer of 2024.

The MSc(OT) - Entry Level program is a fulltime, in-person program, starting in September of each year. It 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. You may find it helpful to consult the following School of Occupational Therapy FAQs for application to Master of Science (Occupational Therapy) [336KB].

Other important dates:

  • All previous transcripts should be received by January 31. For in-progress degrees, 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.
  • The application deadline with submission of all required documents for the September admissions cycle is January 31.

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 to 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

For international students, there are some occasions where the requirement for a four-year bachelor’s degree may be waived.  For more information, contact


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 in a country where English is one of the national languages. 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
IELTS (Academic) 7
MET C1-level and 4-skills test required 64 (with no skills area below 53)
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.

The Faculty of Graduate Studies is accepting the results of at home TOEFL tests and the CAEL ONLINE test as official. The use of these tests for admission to graduate studies at Dalhousie may be reassessed in the future.

Department-specific English language requirements

Department TOEFL iBT IELTS Academic EAP 2
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).


  • Three (3) credit hours (or a half-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

Normally, no transfer credits are granted for OCCU classes.

3. Application process

  1. Complete the graduate application form (online application will be available on October 15, 2023) 
  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. Complete the MScOT Supplementary Application Form (online application).
  2. One copy of an official academic transcript for each post-secondary institution attended. The official transcript must be sent directly from your institution to the School of Occupational Therapy electronically (preferred) or in a sealed envelope (a notarized translation is also required for each non-English transcript).
  3. Two academic reference letters, must be submitted through the electronic reference system in the online application.
    • 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 your references are professional and don’t have university, teaching hospital, or government email addresses, or if you are using a professional reference for your application and are unable to use the graduate online e-reference system, please contact for preferred method for reference delivery.
    • Students are responsible to ensure reference letters are submitted prior to the January 31st deadline by checking the status of their online application here.
    • Late reference letters (received after the January 31st deadline) will not be accepted.
    • Referees are strongly encouraged to write additional comments and attach them to the Reference Form.

5. Re-applying

In most years we receive many more qualified applications than available seats in the program, making admission into the MSc(OT) program very competitive, and meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission. If you were not offered a seat in the program and would like to re-apply for the next admission cycle, virtual consultation sessions will be available throughout the Fall to support you with your (re)application. 

Please note, meeting times are limited and are booked on a first-come basis. Please contact for more information.

Evaluation process for admission

Learn more about the evaluation process.