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What is the difference between the Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program and the Master of Science (MS) in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences with a concentration in Occupational Therapy program?

The OTD program is a three-year professional course of study designed to prepare students to become occupational therapists. The MS program is an advanced practice program intended for occupational therapists seeking advanced clinical skills. If you already have a baccalaureate degree (or diploma) in occupational therapy from a school/university in your country, you need to apply to the MS program.

What is the difference between the Master of Science (MS) and the Clinical Science Doctorate (CScD) programs?

The MS program is an advanced practice program for occupational therapists with a bachelor's degree in occupational therapy. The MS program can also serve as a stepping stone to the CScD program. The CScD program is an advanced practice doctoral program for occupational therapists with a master's degree (either in occupational therapy or in another related field) who are seeking a doctoral degree in an area of specialization (Geriatrics, Pediatrics, Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation, Neurological Rehabilitation, Clinical Education, or Professional Leadership).

How long is the program?

Starting the full-time program in the Fall term (August), you will graduate at the end of Spring term (April) the following year if all course requirements are met. Hence, the length of the program is eight months. 

International students are required to complete the program on a full-time basis.

Is the MS program solely focused towards research?

Our MS program is not geared exclusively towards research. Students have many opportunities to customize the program according to their goals. Our curriculum provides students with many opportunities to advance their clinical skills. For example, students have the opportunity to complete a two-term clinical preceptorship in their area of interest. We also have a course to enhance clinical reasoning skills, which will be beneficial in clinical practice as well as when taking the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) examination.

Will I be able to work with patients during the program?

Yes. Students have the opportunity to participate in preceptorships during the program.

What courses will I take as part of the program?

Please refer to Master of Science in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences with a concentration in Occupational Therapy Curriculum for course details.

Admission Requirements:

What are the admission requirements for your program?

Please refer to Master of Science in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences with a concentration in Occupational Therapy Admission Requirements for details.

I have a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy from a university in my country. Can I apply to your program?

Yes. We encourage international student applications.

Can I apply to your program only if my school/university is approved by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT)?

To apply to our program, your school/university has to have been approved by WFOT in the year that you graduated and/or national governmental institutions that approve/accredit occupational therapy programs to grant a degree in occupational therapy (e.g. Ministry of Health).

What are the international student deadlines for applying to the MS program?

For international students, the deadline to apply for the Fall term is March 1st. For U.S. educated occupational therapists, applications are accepted on a rolling basis until courses begin for the Fall, Spring, and Summer terms.

Who can I contact if I need information about your program?

For information about our program, please contact the Department of Occupational Therapy at OTpitt@shrs.pitt.edu.

What is the minimum Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score that is acceptable for this program?

We do not require the GRE for the MS program.

What is the minimum Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score that is acceptable for this program?

The minimum acceptable TOEFL score is: 80 internet-based (IBT), 213 computer-based, and 550 paper-based.

What is the TOEFL institutional code for the University of Pittsburgh?

The TOEFL institutional code for the University of Pittsburgh is 2927.

Application Information:

How do I apply to the MS program?

The School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (SHRS) only accepts online applications. Refer to the Master of Science in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Application webpage. For further information on admission requirements go to Master of Science in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences with a concentration in Occupational Therapy Admission Requirements.

How do I submit my letters of recommendation?

Three letters of recommendation are required and can be submitted electronically or by mail: 

Electronic: In the online application, please enter the name and email address of each person who will be writing a Letter of Recommendation. Each person will receive an email with directions on how to complete the Recommendation Form and submit the Letter of Recommendation online;

         OR 

Mail: The online application provides information on downloading the Recommendation Form. 
Print out and give a copy of the Recommendation Form to each person who chooses to complete a paper version of the Recommendation Form. Ask them to complete the Recommendation Form and attach it to a separate Letter of Recommendation. They will need to mail the Recommendation Form and the Letter of Recommendation to the following address: 

         SHRS Admissions Office 
         4020 Forbes Tower 
         University of Pittsburgh 
         Pittsburgh, PA 15260

NBCOT:

Will I be eligible to take the NBCOT examination after I graduate from your program?

The Department of Occupational Therapy cannot determine your eligibility to take the NBCOT examination. Only NBCOT can make that determination. NBCOT takes your bachelor’s and master’s degree education into consideration to make a determination of eligibility. Please refer to the www.nbcot.org website and click on the international tab for more information.  

What is NBCOT?

The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT). It is a not-for-profit credentialing agency that provides certification for the occupational therapy profession. More information regarding NBCOT can be found at www.nbcot.org.

Financial Information:

What are the costs related to the MS program?

Tuition rates are established by the University of Pittsburgh. For current tuition and fee rates, please visit the University of Pittsburgh Tuition & Fees web page. Please refer to the row that reads “School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences (except as below)." For more information regarding rates, please visit the following website: http://ir.pitt.edu/graduate-tuition/  Please also be advised that students should anticipate costs related to laboratory fees, physical examinations, security clearances, and any drug screens required by their preceptorship sites. These fees vary by program and the assigned clinical site.

When am I expected to pay tuition?

Payment is due every term after you register for classes.

Are there any scholarships or assistantships available for me as an international student?

We currently do not offer any scholarships, or tuition waivers to students. However, we occasionally have teaching or research positions available within the Department. These positions are announced when they are available and students in the MS program have the opportunity to interview for them. In the past, many of our MS students successfully interviewed for these positions.

As an international student, can I work for the duration of the program?

As an international student, you are eligible to work up to 20 hours/week in an on-campus job. These jobs may be available within the University at places such as the Department of Occupational Therapy, libraries, cafeterias, or computer labs. Before you start any job it is your responsibility to clear it through the Office of International Services (OIS).

Helpful Links

American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA): www.aota.org

Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Assocaition (POTA): www.pota.org 

National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT): www.nbcot.org 
 

Housing: 

Pitt News Housing Guide: http://universitystudenthousing.com/pitt/ 
Graduate Education Office: http://www.pitt.edu/~graduate/ 
Housing Services: http://www.pc.pitt.edu/housing/index.html 

Office of International Services: http://www.ois.pitt.edu

Tuition:

http://ir.pitt.edu/graduate-tuition/