Occupational Therapy Combined Programs

B.S. in Health Sciences/M.S. in Occupational Therapy checksheet

B.S. in Psychology/M.S. in Occupational Therapy checksheet

Occupational therapy is a health care profession that helps people to maximize their functional independence after illness or injury, or develop the social and emotional skills necessary to participate fully in everyday life. Occupational therapists assist children with motor, social and learning needs to be successful in school activities and family life. They help adults to develop strategies to address the physical and emotional changes associated with rehabilitation or long-term health needs. Therapy frequently involves assisting individuals to relearn old skills, develop new ways of doing or adapt the environment to enable them to live satisfying and independent lives.

The Combined B.S. in Health Sciences/M.S. in Occupational Therapy or B.S. in Psychology/M.S. in Occupational Therapy Program is designed for students who know early on that they want to become occupational therapists. These dual degree programs allow students to seamlessly complete undergraduate and graduate degrees in less time than would be required to complete both of the degrees separately. Undergraduate courses and extra-curricular experiences provide students with a foundation to develop the knowledge, values and interpersonal skills needed for success as an occupational therapist. 

During the first three years of undergraduate coursework, students complete major requirements for the bachelor degree, including College Studies courses and Occupational Therapy program prerequisites. Students who meet the graduate Occupational Therapy program progression criteria can matriculate into the master’s program by enrolling in first-year Occupational Therapy graduate coursework during Year 4 of undergraduate studies. At the end of Year 4, students are awarded the bachelor degree in Health Sciences or Psychology and are eligible to participate in the May commencement ceremony. Upon completion of graduate Occupational Therapy program requirements in Year 6, the master’s degree in Occupational Therapy will be awarded. Students receive their graduate degree in May and can participate in the May commencement ceremony. 

For more information about the M.S. in Occupational Therapy, refer to the College of Science, Health and the Liberal Arts Graduate Programs section of the Catalog.

Freshman Admission Option

Freshmen applicants who demonstrate the following profile will be considered for admission to the program: 

  •  Minimum overall high school grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 
  •  Minimum combined SAT score of 1000 for Critical Reading and Math, or 22 on the ACT
  •  Four years of science—strongly encouraged

Transfer applicants should contact the Office of Admissions to discuss entry requirements. 


Students can transfer with less than 30 credits. At least half of the Occupational Therapy graduate program’s prerequisite courses must be completed at Philadelphia University, including one of the three science courses. Students may not transfer any of the program’s prerequisite courses with grades lower than “B-.” These courses include Anatomy & Physiology I and II, Lifespan Human Development, Abnormal Psychology, Statistics, two Sociology/Anthropology/Cultural Studies courses and Physics (non-calculus based). 

Internal Transfer Policy (For undergraduate students interested in transferring into the undergraduate portion of the BS/MS in OT program) 

Students may be eligible to transfer at one point only: during the fall semester of the junior year (Year 3), dependent of seat availability. Applications will be due May 1 of the year that the student meets sophomore status. No internal transfers will be permitted in years where there are 15 or more current undergraduate pre-professional phase OT students in good academic standing who anticipate moving into Year 3. 

Progression Criteria

Students who demonstrate the following profile are guaranteed matriculation into the M.S. in Occupational Therapy Program: 

  • Completion of undergraduate major and college studies requirements
  • Overall minimum 3.0 GPA for all college coursework (including transfer courses)
  • Overall minimum 3.0 GPA in Occupational Therapy program prerequisites (minimum grades of “B-” or better in all Occupational Therapy program prerequisite courses)

By October 15 of the Year 3 (or equivalent) of undergraduate study, students should:

  • Submit the matriculation documents identified below (available from the Occupational Therapy Department or on the program’s webpage: >
  • Academic Standards Statement 
  • Clinical Observation Document: Documentation of at least 20 hours of clinical observation under the supervision of an occupational therapist
  • Program Prerequisite record
  • Current resume
  • One letter of recommendation from PhilaU faculty
  • Career goals essay (no more than 500 words)
  • GRE or MAT scores (prior to July following Year 3 of studies)

Students who are unable to achieve the standards listed above are not eligible to matriculate into the M.S. in Occupational Therapy Program. They will complete electives, by advisement, during their fourth undergraduate year to complete the bachelor degree in their chosen majors. Students who wish to reapply to the OT graduate program after receiving their bachelor degrees may be advised to repeat specified courses to raise their GPAs.