Occupational Therapy (Advanced Standing) (M.S.)

Occupational Therapy (Advanced Standing) (M.S.)

Occupational Therapy students working with members of a stroke survivors group

Why get a master’s degree in occupational therapy?

A master’s degree in occupational therapy (OT) will prepare you for a career supporting people in the daily activities that are important to them. A fast-growing field, occupational therapy provides opportunities to work with people of all ages in a range of clinical settings. Our accredited master’s degree program emphasizes the understanding that engagement in everyday activities fulfills social needs and gives meaning to life, and is essential to the development, adaptation and well-being of individuals, societies and populations. You’ll learn to evaluate, provide intervention, and monitor the outcomes of patients facing a variety of illnesses, injuries and disabilities, such as autism, traumatic brain injury, stroke, substance abuse and musculoskeletal injuries.

Why choose UNH’s occupational therapy program?

At UNH, you’ll gain valuable hands-on experience, integrating your knowledge and skills as you provide services with people in the community through academic courses and fieldwork. You’ll have opportunities to become involved with faculty research and scholarly projects, and you’ll also be supported by the educational, service and social opportunities of the Student Occupational Therapy Association on campus. Students in the B.S. OT Program enter the Advanced Standing M.S. program, having completed many professional courses, earning both degree programs in five and a half years.  After completing your M.S. degree, you’ll be eligible to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy certification exam to become a registered occupational therapist.

Potential career areas

  • Acute care
  • Administration
  • Early intervention programs
  • Hand therapy clinics
  • Hospitals
  • In-patient rehabilitation centers
  • Mental health and substance abuse programs
  • Primary care settings
  • School settings
  • Skilled nursing facilities


Department of Occupational Therapy
Hewitt Hall, 4 Library Way
Durham, NH 03824

Phone: (603) 862-3221

Curriculum & Requirements

A new Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (Advanced Standing) has been approved for Academic Catalog year 2020/2021.

More information and program requirements will be available in the 20/21 Academic Catalog published in August.


Admissions decisions are made as applications are received. 

Applications must be completed by the following deadlines in order to be reviewed for admission:

  • Fall: Jan. 15 regular program; March 1 for Advanced Standing (UNH B.S./M.S. Students)
  • Spring: N/A
  • Summer: N/A
  • Special: N/A

Application fee: $65

Campus: Durham

New England Regional: CT RI VT

Accelerated Masters Eligible: No

New Hampshire Residents

Students claiming in-state residency must also submit a Proof of Residence form. This form is not required to complete your application, but you will need to submit it after you are offered admission or you will not be able to register for classes.


If you attended UNH after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester and UNH Non-Degree work. 

If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must request one official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. International transcripts must be translated into English. We accept transcripts both electronically and in hard copy:

  • Electronic Transcripts: Please have your institution send the transcript directly to grad.school@unh.edu. Please note that we can only accept copies sent directly from the institution.
  • Paper Transcripts: Please send hard copies of transcripts to: UNH Graduate School, Thompson Hall- 105 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824. You may request transcripts be sent to us directly from the institution or you may send them yourself as long as they remain sealed in the original university envelope.

Letters of recommendation: 3 required

Recommendation letters submitted by relatives or friends, as well as letters older than one year, will not be accepted.

Two letters of recommendation should address the applicant’s educational abilities and performance, while the third letter should address the applicant’s interpersonal and communication skills as observed in a volunteer or paid work setting.

Note: If applying to the Occupational Therapy: Advanced Standing (M.S.) program you only need to submit two letters, the third is waived.

Personal Statement/Essay Questions

Essays should integrate a discussion of the applicant’s experience working with people as a volunteer or employee, demonstration of a broad understanding of occupational therapy, and an explanation of personal interest and match for the profession.

Statements must be included with your submitted application.

Note: If applying to the Advanced Standing version of the program your personal statement simply needs to be a statement indicating you are an existing UNH student applying to the advanced standing program.


Applicants who are not in the UNH B.S. in Occupational Therapy program must submit a one-page resume that details academic, work, and related experiences.

Additional Department Requirements

Prerequisite Course Verification Form (required): The regular program requires that all applicants print and complete the OT Prerequisite Course Verification Form. All prerequisites must be completed at the time of application. Please email the form to the UNH Graduate School. If you have questions about using the form, please contact the OT program. Those applying to the Advanced Standing program, or current and recently graduated UNH B.S. in Occupational Therapy students, do not have to submit the prerequisite verification form.

Students who are currently in the UNH BS Occupational Science Program and applying to the Occupational Therapy Advanced Standing MS Program should talk with their academic advisor in the Occupational Therapy Department regarding any questions on the application process.

Important Notes

All applicants are encouraged to contact programs directly to discuss program specific application questions.

Professional Master’s Degree Track (e.g., those without a B.S. in Occupational Science): Please note that this is a highly competitive program with a very limited number of openings available.

Accelerated Master's Program: For those applicants interested in doing the accelerated masters program in Occupational Therapy be aware that the graduate-level courses taken during a student's senior year can only count towards the Certificate in Assistive Technology, and not the MS in Occupational Therapy degree. All applicants are encouraged to contact programs directly to discuss program specific application questions.

International Applicants

The University of New Hampshire recommends that international applicants who are living outside of the United States, and are planning on pursuing a research based degree, submit a preapplication form before submitting a full application. Your preapplication request will be carefully reviewed and a decision usually provided within 3 weeks. If your preapplication is approved then it is recommended you then submit a full application. If you are currently living in the United States (on a H1B visa, etc.), or you plan on pursuing a professional master’s degree, then you do not need to submit a preapplication.

Prospective international students are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examination scores. English Language Exams may be waived if English is your first language. If you wish to request a waiver, then please visit our Test Scores webpage for more information.

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