Academic Requirements for Entry

What are our requirements?

The transition to an entry-level doctoral program has added three new core prerequisites to the admissions application. View the listing of the new prerequisites on our planning guide page, or below. Any questions may be sent to

Prerequisite Courses

Six out of the ten prerequisite courses must be completed by the time of application.  This includes Anatomy and Physiology. See table below.




Human Anatomy**

(3 cr.) *

Lab not required

Human Physiology**

(3 cr.)*

Lab not required

Introduction to Physics

(3 cr.)*

Course must include kinematics (non-calculus based) to fulfill this requirement. Lab not required.


(3 cr.) *

Descriptive and inferential statistics. Courses that focus on Research Methods are not sufficient to fulfill this requirement.

Factors of Contemporary Society to meet human (individual, family, population) needs.

Introduction to Sociology and Introduction to Cultural Anthropology will meet this requirement

(6 cr)*


Course content must apply, analyze, and evaluate the role of sociocultural, socioeconomic, diversity factors, and lifestyle choices in contemporary society to meet the needs of persons, groups, and populations. Courses that focus on one topic (e.g. Sociology of Education or Sociology of Sports) are not sufficient to fulfill this requirement.

General Psychology

(3 cr.) *

Fundamental principles of biological, sociological, cognitive, and personality impacts on normal and abnormal psychology.

Abnormal Psychology

(3 cr.)*

Diagnosis, classification, etiologies of behavioral disorders.

Human Development across the Life Span

(3 cr.)*

Verification that the content of the course(s) you took covered the entire life span (infant through old age). You may need to take a series of courses to complete this prerequisite.

Technical Writing/Scientific Writing

(3 cr.)*

Writing course in technical and/or scientific composition with a focus on audience, purpose, ethics, global communication, collaboration, usability, and digital writing technologies.

Medical Terminology

(0-1 cr.)

Introduction and definition of medical terminology related to body structure, disease, diagnosis, and treatment.

Or the equivalent of a 1 credit Medical Terminology course.

* Designated 'core' course to Occupational Therapy

 ** Human Anatomy and Human Physiology MUST be completed or in progress by the application deadline (January 12, 2020)

Academic Standards

Prerequisite coursework must be completed at a regionally accredited institution with a required GPA at least 3.0 and no single grade lower than a C. Courses must be taken A-F with the exception of Medical Terminology which requires only evidence of successful completion. Each prerequisite course must be fulfilled with a minimum number of credits. Minimum credit requirements are listed next to each course name. Quarter credits are acceptable and can be converted by dividing the number of quarter credits by 1.5. For example, a 4 credit course taken under a quarter system (4 ÷ 1.5 = 2.67 semester credits) which will be accepted as 3 semester credits.

Bachelors Degree

Applicants must have a bachelor's degree prior to the first day of classes in the Occupational Therapy curriculum. The degree must meet one of the following criteria:

  • U.S. bachelors degree (in any field) from a regionally accredited institution. The Program in OT does not have a preferred undergraduate major for entry into the Program.

  • Applicants with a degree from an international institution must hold the equivalent of an U.S. bachelors degree and submit a course-by-course evaluation to OTCAS conducted by World Education Services (WES). Only WES evaluations submitted to OTCAS will be reviewed. 

  • U.S. Applicants who have studied abroad as part of their coursework at a U.S. university/college do not need to provide an evaluation as long as the international coursework and grades are noted on their U.S. university/college transcript. 

Observation or Introductory Course Completion

Applicants must shadow an Occupational Therapist in two different practice areas/populations or complete an Introduction to Occupational Therapy course before the application deadline:

  • Applicants must complete a minimum of 20 hours of observation and report this on their OTCAS application. Applicants do not need to supply timesheets or verification of observation, just the name of the OT, the location of the observation, and the practice areas/populations observed.

  • Applicants may also successfully complete an Introduction to Occupational Therapy course. The University of Minnesota offers OT 1003: Introduction to Occupational Therapy every semester. The course is entirely online. If you are a non-University of Minnesota student and wish to register for the course, you may register for the course as a non-degree seeking student through Onestop. 

  • While the minimum academic requirement is 20 hours of observation or an Introduction to OT course, applicants are strongly encouraged to complete both. This shows the admissions committee a committment and fuller understanding of the Occupational Therapy profession by the applicant. 


International Applicants

The Program in Occupational Therapy is currently NOT able to accept students on an F1 or F2 visa due to federal regulations regarding online degree programs. Applicants with other visa types should contact for further information on admission eligibility.

Language Requirements

Applicants whose native language is not English or whose academic study was done exclusively at non-English speaking institutions must prove English proficiency by providing either official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or Test of Spoken English (TSE) scores.

Preferred language scores are:

  • > 550 TOEFL paper-based version

  • > 100 TOEFL Internet-based version (iBT)

  • > 50 TSE test