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Entry Requirements


The Master of Occupational Therapy program will be available in Meridian, Idaho starting in Fall 2022. All applicants will apply for the same program using the OTCAS online system or a paper application using the instructions found here. If your application is successful, you will be asked to provide a campus preference.  Campus assignments will be made based on your ranking in the application process and seat availability.  You can increase your ranking by meeting and exceeding all of our admission requirements described below. We will offer 20 seats at each of our Pocatello and Meridian campuses each fall. 


For the 2021-2022 application cycle, please refer to the GRE and Observation Hours sections below for full details.  

The following information provides the specific requirements for applying to the ISU Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) Program. The requirements include the completion of a bachelor's degree, Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT) scores, grade point average, prerequisite course work, and volunteer or paid aide experience under the direct supervision of an occupational therapist.  Applicants must meet and/or exceed all of the listed requirements to be competitive in the application process.  Please contact our admissions advisor if you have specific questions during the application process. 

All applicants applying to the ISU MOT Program must also apply for admission to ISU through the Graduate School. General admissions requirements may be obtained from the Graduate School webpage.   Some of the requirements for admission into the MOT Program are higher than the general requirements for the ISU Graduate School. 

Completion of a Bachelor's Degree

Applicants must complete a bachelor’s degree from any regionally accredited college or university in the United States or with equivalent preparation acquired in another country. This degree may be in progress during the application process but must be completed by August of the year an applicant plans to matriculate into our program.  Successful applicants must provide official transcripts to the ISU Graduate School to verify degree.

baccalaureate degrees from any regionally accredited college or university in the United States or with equivalent preparation acquired in another country.

GPA Requirements

Applicants must have:

  • A minimum of an earned grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 over last 60 credits. 
  • A minimum of 25 upper division credits must be completed, or in progress, by January of the year of admission for applications to be considered.
  • Applicants with advanced degrees may use the most recent upper division or graduate credits completed.
  • Courses graded on a pass-fail basis will be excluded from the grade-point calculation if they have a passing grade, but will be included if they have a failing grade.

GRE/MAT Requirements

COVID UPDATE:  The GRE scores listed below are required minimum scores for the 2020-2021 application cycle.  If you are having difficulty finding a testing seat, ETS has a "take at home" option for the GRE.  

Applicants must take either the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) and the scores must be received by the ISU Graduate School by the application deadline (January 15) for an application to be considered as meeting the deadline. The scores on these tests must meet the following requirements to be considered for admission:

  • GRE
    • A total combined score of at least 295 in the verbal and quantitative portions.
    • Verbal must be at least 146.
    • A minimum of 4.0 on the analytical portion.
    • All requirements must be met from a single GRE occurrence.
    • The ISU code for the GRE is: 4355
  • MAT
    • A total score of 390.
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
    • International students must complete the TOEFL Examination with a score of 550 (paper based) and 213 (computer based).
    • In addition, the score of Section I of the exam must be 55 (paper based) and 21 (computer based).

Applicants with scores lower than the requirements will not be competitive in the application process.  The ISU code for all three exams listed above is 4355. 

Prerequisite Course Work

Applicants must:

  • Complete specific prerequisite courses with a GPA of 3.0 in each of the specified categories.
  • Prerequisite course work in anatomy and physiology must be completed within the last five (5) years.
  • An applicant with more than four (4) prerequisite courses in progress or planned for the spring/summer semesters may not be considered for admission (the program may not consider applications when there are more than 4 prerequisites planned/in-progress).
  • Courses graded on a pass-fail basis are acceptable for meeting minimum criteria in fulfilling prerequisite requirements; however, such grades may be evaluated less favorably by the admissions committee in ranking applicants.  Thus, the use of such courses as prerequisites is discouraged. 

Prerequisite Courses

1)- Biology (2 courses) 1 course in Human Anatomy AND 1 course in Human Physiology with labs. Must have been taken in the last 5 years. Courses MUST be listed in the Biology, Zoology, Anatomy or Physiology Departments for fulfillment of this requirement. 2 semesters or 2 or 3 quarters
2)- Chemistry (1 course) 1 College-level chemistry course.  General Chemistry with lab preferred.  1 semester or 1-2 quarters.
3)- Math (1 course) Statistics. 1 Standard Statistics course from any department.  Research Methods, Marketing Statistics or Tests & Measurements courses will not meet this requirement. 1 semester or 1-2 quarters.
4)- Social Behavioral Sciences (4 courses) 1 course in Human Development AND 1 course in Sociology AND 1 course in Abnormal Psychology AND 1 course in Cultural Anthropology.   4 semesters or 4-8 quarters.
5)- English/Speech (2 courses) 1 course in Composition AND 1 course in Speech, Public Speaking OR Communication 1 semester each course, or 2-4 quarters
6)- Liberal Arts (15 additional credits) Five or more courses in a variety of the following areas:  Fine Arts  (music, art, theatre, dance), Philosophy, Literature, Political Science, Economics, Language, Humanities, Ethics, History, etc.  You can include up to 8 credits from any department.   We do not accept coursework in Education, Religion or Natural Sciences in this category. 
7)- Medical Terminology May be an academic, for-credit course or a course taken through an extension service or on-line. If not an academic course (appearing on your transcript), the course must have included a post-test to show competency and a certificate of completion must be included with the application. 
8)- Physics- OPTIONAL Physics with laboratory is not required, but highly recommended.
9)- Technical Writing- OPTIONAL Technical Writing is not required, but highly recommended.

Observation/Volunteering in Occupational Therapy

Occupations are the heart of occupational therapy.  Occupations are the everyday activities that people want, need and are expected to do.  Occupational therapists believe that by engaging in occupations, people are improving and/or maintaining their health, well being and quality of life. 

COVID UPDATE:  The Admissions Committee for the ISU MOT program is allowing completion of the following assignment as substitution for some or all of the required observation hours or as substitution for a second practice setting.

After watching one of the movies listed below, write a one-page, single spaced essay on the power of occupation in the character's life.  Within the essay, discuss a specific everyday activity and explain how it contributed to the character's recovery, improved their health or wellbeing and/or quality of life.  Submit the essay to with the subject line 'observation hours essay'. 


  • A Mile in His Shoes

  • Charged (a documentary)

  • Crash Reel

  • Let There be Light (1946 documentary available via Netflix)

  • Megan Leavey

  • Peanut Butter Falcon

  • Regarding Henry

  • Still Alice

  • The Upside

  • Stronger

Applicants must demonstrate knowledge and exposure to the occupational therapy profession. They are required to complete:

  • A minimum of 40 hours of volunteer or work related experience.
  • Hours must be completed in at least two different occupational therapy practice settings.
  • Hours must be completed under the supervision of an occupational therapist or certified occupational therapy assistant
  • Examples of practice settings include, but are not limited to acute care or rehabilitation hospitals, outpatient clinics, school-based or pediatric practice, mental health practice and nursing homes.
  • All of the required experience must be completed PRIOR to application to the ISU MOT Program.
  • Observation hours must not include therapy that is administered to the applicant or to relatives of the applicant. 
  • Observation hours must have been completed within 5 years of application. 

Letters of Reference

Each applicant is required to submit three letters of reference to complete the application. The letters of reference should come from the following individuals:

  • One letter from an occupational therapist (OT) or occupational therapy assistant (OTA) - who directly supervised your volunteer or aide experience.
  • One letter from an academic reference - a professor or advisor who is familiar with your academic performance.
  • One letter from a personal reference - an individual with knowledge of your personal characteristics or attributes that would enhance your ability to be an occupational therapist.

We will not accept letters of reference from relatives of the applicant or from doctors, nurses, physical therapists or other health care professionals in place of letters from an OT or OTA. 

Letters of reference must be submitted according to OTCAS or paper application requirements: 

  • OTCAS- recommenders must submit letters directly into the OTCAS system
  • paper application- applicant or recommender must submit recommendation form and/or letter in a sealed envelope with the signature of the author across the seal

Admissions Policy

Applicants meeting all of the above requirements will be given preference for admission into the program and have been more successful in gaining entry. The Admissions Committee reviews all applicants on a competitive case-by-case basis during any admissions cycle.