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Occupational Therapy

Degree Offered: M.O.T.



S. J. Forwell, L. Holsti, T. Jarus, W. C. Miller, B. Mortenson, J. Zwicker.

Professors Emeriti

C. Backman, I. Dyck.

Associate Professors

S. Barbic, L. Nimmon.

Associate Professor Emeriti

L. Jongbloed, S. J. Stanton, M. Suto.

Assistant Professors

S. Glegg, J. Henderson, S. Huot, L. B. Sakakibara, J. Schmidt.

Assistant Professor Emeritus

L. N. Quastel.

Program Overview

Occupational therapists provide specialized rehabilitation services to maintain, restore, or improve the ability of children and adults to perform the occupations of daily life, which may be impaired as a result of illness, injury, congenital or acquired disabilities, or social disadvantage. Occupational therapists focus on adapting the environment or improving the person's skills, to enhance performance in the areas of self-care (eating, dressing, personal hygiene), productivity (household work, employment, school), and leisure activities, thereby improving overall health and quality of life.

Master of Occupational Therapy Distributed Program

The UBC Master of Occupational Therapy program is offered across three geographically separated sites. Students are located in Vancouver on the UBC Vancouver campus; in Prince George on the University of Northern British Columbia campus; or at the UBC site in Surrey BC.

Master of Occupational Therapy

Admission Requirements

Candidates must meet minimum entry requirements established by Graduate and Post-Doctoral Studies.

Admission is offered on a competitive basis due to the annual enrolment limits. Admission requirements include:

  • Completion of a recognized baccalaureate degree in any field (equivalent to a UBC 4-year Bachelor’s degree in any field, from any accredited post-secondary institution)
  • Successful completion of the following prerequisites:
    • social sciences (3 credits);
    • behavioural sciences (3 credits)
    • human anatomy1 (3 credits; focus on gross anatomy of musculoskeletal system of upper and lower limbs and trunk. See M.O.T. Admissions for specific course requirements), and
    • a minimum of 70 hours of volunteer or paid work with individuals with disabilities at no more than two facilities.
  • Response to a Question requirement
  • Completion of online assessment (CASPer Test-Computer Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics)

1A 3-credit course covering the following areas: 1) Upper limbs: bones, joints, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels in the upper limbs of the human body; 2) Lower limbs: bones, joints, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels in the lower limbs of the human body; 3) Trunk: bones, joints, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels in the back and thorax of the human body. The Department Head or delegate will review course outlines that are not listed on M.O.T. Admissions to evaluate course equivalency.

Admission is offered on a competitive basis. The annual enrolment and class size is limited.

Primary consideration for admission of domestic applicants is given to residents of British Columbia. Applicants are considered BC residents it they hold a currently valid BC Care Card at the time of application to the program.

Applicants who meet the above minimum requirements are eligible for interview consideration. Candidates are selected for interviews based on competitive academic standing in senior-level courses. The interview will comprise a verbal interview and an examination of written English proficiency. Fulfillment of the minimum requirements, however, does not guarantee an interview.

Applicants who would like to be considered for admission to the UBC Master of Occupational Therapy distributed site located in Prince George at the University of Northern British Columbia must meet all admissions requirements and must complete a supplementary application form, available to download on the UBC M.O.T. program website. This form is used to assess candidates’ suitability for the cohort.

Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must present evidence of English language proficiency prior to being extended an offer of admission. Required minimum English language proficiency scores for admission to the MOT program are:

  • TOEFL: 100 (iBT)
  • IELTS (Academic): overall 7.5, with a minimum score of 7.0 in each component

See MOT Admissions website for additional information.

Post-Acceptance Requirements 

Upon receiving an official offer, each successful applicant must provide a deposit by the date, and in the amount, specified by the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy. The deposit is non-refundable and will be applied towards tuition.

All admitted MOT students are required to undergo an immunization review with university health services at their MOT program site location, to ensure they are up-to-date on all immunizations required by the Office of the Provincial Health Officer and the Provincial Health Authorities. Once immunization records are reviewed, students may be required to book additional vaccination appointments with health services to complete necessary vaccination and/or lab tests. Students are responsible for obtaining their immunization records before booking an appointment with their MOT program site health services provider.

The Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, and all MOT students, are required to follow guidelines and mandates for health care workers, including immunization and vaccination requirements, set by both the Provincial Health Officer and the Provincial Health Authorities. These may change during the course of the program. Health care workers include MOT students on placements. In order to participate in any activities with patients, MOT students must meet all immunization requirements. Students who are unable to complete the required clinical hours during the program due to missing immunization requirements will not be able to graduate from the Master of Occupational Therapy program.

All applicants who accept an offer are required to consent to a Criminal Record Check.

Program Requirements

The Master of Occupational Therapy degree provides the professional education necessary to obtain a licence to practice occupational therapy. It differs from the advanced or research master's degree in Rehabilitation Sciences which prepares practitioners with advanced research skills and requires completion and defense of a thesis.

Successful completion of all academic requirements (65 credits), including RHSC 420, OSOT 511, 513, 515, 519, 525, 527, 528, 538, 545, 547, 549, 551, 553, and 558, as well as fieldwork requirements as outlined by the Program.

Academic Progress

The Master of Occupational Therapy program is modular, meaning each course is made up of several specific evaluation components. The curriculum is sequential in design and students must build upon the knowledge and skills acquired in each term in order to progress to the subsequent term. Students are required to successfully complete course content (as stated in course outlines) within each term in sequence, unless otherwise approved by the department.

In addition to adhering to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies requirements for satisfactory progress, students must also meet the following standard.

Students must achieve a minimum of 60% on all specific evaluation components related to professional competencies in order to pass the course. These components are identified in the course outline. Failed components must be repeated in order to demonstrate competency. If less than 60% is received on an evaluation component, the original grade will stand for purposes of calculating the cumulative course grade. Students must achieve a minimum of 65% on any repeated course component or they will fail the course unless otherwise stated in the course outline.

Only one component per course may be reevaluated for competency. Therefore students who receive a failing grade (less than 60%) in two or more components of any course will fail the entire course.

Fieldwork placements are considered specific evaluation components and are evaluated on a Pass/Fail basis. An additional placement in a similar practice area will be required if a student fails in a fieldwork placement. A competency demonstration placement is only offered once; and only one such placement can be offered throughout the program. Students who fail the competency demonstration placement will be required to withdraw from the program.

Contact Information

Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
T325-2211 Wesbrook Mall
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 2B5
Tel: 604.822.7196
David Tsukada, MOT Program Manager

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