Admission into the MOT and OTD Programs

The application cycle for Fall 2019 enrollment is now open. Applicants are strongly encouraged to review the Transition from MOT to OTD page before beginning any application. 

The Occupational Therapy Program at the University of Minnesota has applied for accreditation status for an entry-level OTD program by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its web address is

If approved, the OTD program will receive candidacy status. The program will then complete a pre-accreditation review, an on-site evaluation, and be granted Accreditation Status before graduates will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR).

If the OTD does not receive candidacy status this April, then the currently offered MOT program will remain in place for the Fall 2019 entering class. Graduates of this currently accredited program (same contact information as above) are eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT).  After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR).

Admissions Steps

adult care photoApplicants must complete the following:

  1. OTCAS Application
    Centralized application that allows prospective students to use one application to apply to multiple participating OT and OTA programs through a single application process.

    Complete application including:
  • OTCAS personal statement
  • Additional writing samples required as part of your application to the University of Minnesota. The OTCAS application outlines all required writing samples.
  1. University of Minnesota Supplemental Application in OTCAS located under Admissions Requirements in the Home Tab
  2. Applicants already holding a degree in Occupational Therapy and who are originally certified by NBCOT should contact the admissions department at Faculty will review applicant transcripts for possible credit toward the OTD degree for previous experiential learning. 

The Program in Occupational Therapy (OT) seeks students with a strong academic background and a commitment to promoting the health, productivity, and quality of life of individuals and society through the therapeutic application of occupation.

Bachelor's 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. If you have had your coursework evaluated by a different service, you will need to submit the evaluation directly to the Occupational Therapy program before the application deadline. 
  • 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.

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

Grade Point Average (GPA)

Academic performance serves as one of many factors in the admission review process. Students must have a 3.0 GPA with cumulative GPA as well as prerequisite coursework. No grade lower than a C will be accepted to satisfy a course prerequisite. All prerequisites must be taken on A-F grade base with exception of Medical Terminology which requires only evidence of successful completion.

Prerequisite Courses

There are nine core prerequisite courses required for admission to the Program in Occupational Therapy. Students must have a prerequisite GPA of 3.0 or above in order to be considered for admission and no core prerequisite course can be successfully completed with a grade lower than a 'C.' Six of the nine core prerequisite must be complete by the application deadline. Complete details regarding prerequisite courses are outlined on our Prerequisite Requirements (Academic) page.

There is one non-core prerequisite, Medical Terminology, which may be taken for college credit or online.

Applicants who have remaining prerequisite courses to fulfill should carefully plan the timeline of completion. All prerequisite courses must be successfully completed before beginning the Occupational Therapy curriculum. The Prerequisite Planning Guides offer detailed information on the courses available at the University of Minnesota and colleges and Universities in the region.

Practical Experience


  • Applicants must report at least 20 hours of OT observation in at least two practice areas OR completion of an Orientation to Occupational Therapy course.


  • Additional OT observation experience
  • Work, volunteer or observation experience in health or education related fields (e.g. physical therapy, special education, speech pathology, long term care, home health, adult/child day care, community health organizations).
  • Participate in research

Written Statements

OTCAS Personal Statement

  • Your OTCAS application requires several written statements.
  • Several additonal writing samples are required as part of your application to the University of Minnesota. The OTCAS application outlines all required and optional writing samples.

Letters of recommendation are not required for admission to our program.

Requirements With Acceptance - Technical Standards

The OT Minimum Technical Standards policy outlines the minimum cognitive, affective, psychomotor, physical, and social abilities required to enter the curriculum including all Fieldwork. Students must certify their satisfactory abilitiy to meet these standards with of without accomodations. Once admitted, students must continue to meet these standards throughout the curriculum, including fieldwork.

Terms and Conditions

Applicants offered admission to the program must agree to the following terms and conditions.

Requirement After Admission - Technology

The Occupational Therapy curriculum is delivered in person and online. Admitted students are expected to be proficient when using a personal computer, including but not limited to sending and receiving email, using data and word processing software (primarily Microsoft Office software), using the Internet, and navigating the University of Minnesota and other websites. University of Minnesota Technology and Training Services offers training for a wide range of computing tools in the event that a student in the Program in Occupational Therapy needs skills improvement. Students must be enrolled in order to access these services. 

Due to the hybrid and online delivery format of courses all students in the Program in OT must have consistent and reliable access to a computer and the Internet. Students in the Program in OT will need to maintain a minimum level of capacity and flexibility with computer equipment and other technological issues.

  • Equipment
    • A Pentium-based computer running either Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10 -  OR
    • MAC with an Intel processor (1.66GHz or greater) running OS X 10.5 or later and Parallels Desktop for Mac, 2 GB of memory, and 20 GB of free space on the hard drive for software installation and virtual machine space. You will also need a valid, licensed version of Windows XP SP3/Vista/7/8/10 to install your virtual machine.
    • A printer
    • A webcam and microphone
    • Speakers
    • Scanning capabilities
  • Software – to support file exchange between students and the instructor
    • Microsoft Office including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader
    • Google Chrome, Safari, or Mozilla FireFox browser with Flash, Shockwave and Java plugins.
    • If you need any additional software, it will be stated in course syllabi
    • High-Speed Internet access. Dial-up Modem or DSL connections are insufficient to meet the course content requirements
    • The ability to use the University web-based email program to send and receive messages and attachments

Requirement After Admission - Criminal Background Study


The State of Minnesota Department of Health requires criminal background studies on all students admitted to the Program in Occupational Therapy. Students must pass the background study to participate in community or fieldwork experiences. A felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) certification examination or attain state licensure. Information on national certification is available from:

National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy
800 S. Frederick Avenue, Suite 200
Gaithersburg, MD 20877-4150
(301) 990-7979

Admitted students are provided detailed instructions for how to request a criminal background study soon after beginning the program. If admitted students have questions regarding the background study, they are encouraged to speak with our student services academic advisor.

Requirement After Admission - Immunizations, Insurance, Fees

According to Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, and Academic Health Center (AHC) policy, all students (including international students) enrolled in AHC colleges must meet immunization requirements as a condition of enrollment. AHC students who do not complete these immunization requirements will not be able to register for classes. Students admitted to the Masters in Occupational Therapy curriculum will be asked to provide documentation of immunizations. For complete details visit the U of M's Boynton Health Service web page on immunization requirements.

Health Insurance
All OT students are required to have health insurance while they are attending/participating in all course work including fieldwork experience. Students are often at locations other than on campus and out-of-classroom experiences put students at risk for infectious diseases such as influenza, hepatitis B, HIV, and other occupational health risks. AHC students must either enroll in the Student Health Benefit Plan or request a waiver to use other outside insurance. Regardless of which insurance plan they choose, students must never experience a gap in coverage while in the OT Program.

Click to learn more about Health Insurance.

Long Term Disability​ Insurance
Each fall and spring of enrollment in the Program in Occupational Therapy, students are charged for enrollment of the Long Term Disability Insurance. For more information, please visit the Office of Student Health Benefits Long Term Disability page.

Student Services Fee
Students enrolled in 6 or more credits for fall and spring semester or 3 or more credits for summer term must pay a student services fee in addition to tuition. This fee provides students with access to various campus resources and services. These include but are not limited to: University-sponsored Student Health Benefit Plan, Boynton Health Services, Student Conflict Resolution Center, University Recreation & Wellness Center, University Student Legal Services.

Students must review their University account (via MyU portal) each semester to ensure they have been assessed this fee to avoid interruption to these resources and services. If you are not being assessed the Student Services Fee automatically, you are required to complete the Student Services Fee Assessment Request form to be issued to the fee. Failure to comply could result in removal from course enrollment.

Click to learn more about the student services fee.