Occupational Therapy


Admission to the Master of Occupational Therapy Program


Admissions to the CSU MOT Program are competitive, not ‘first come, first served’.  Once a year, 45 students are accepted into the lock-step curriculum. The MOT Program begins every Fall and consists of five consecutive terms of academic coursework and two terms of Level II Fieldwork.  Applications are available electronically through the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application System (OTCAS) on or around August 1 of the year prior to admission.All applications and GRE scores must be submitted electronically through OTCAS no later than October 1st of the year prior to admission. 


Intent to Enroll and Admissions for Students in the Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences Pre-Occupational Therapy Track offered by Cleveland State University

Beginning in the 2017 admissions cycle, 15 of the 45 slots will be given to CSU undergraduates who have completed the pre-occupational therapy (pre-OT) track of the Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences (BSHS) degree. Ten of these slots will go to students who are participating in the Intent to Enroll Program; the remaining slots will be given to BSHS pre-OT students on a competitive basis.  Beginning in 2020, the Intent to Enroll Program will be suspended and all 15 slots will be given to BSHS pre-OT students on a competitive basis.  These students must meet all minimum admission standards for the MOT Program and complete the OTCAS application process as all applicants do by October 1st of the year prior to admission.


Click here to begin the application process with OTCAS.


Admission Criteria

The following are used to make admission decisions and are required of all applicants:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution completed by the fall start date
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better or a Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score of 50th percentile or greater in all areas
  • Prerequisite course GPA of 3.0 or better; all courses must be completed with a “C” or better grade
  • ALL applicants must take the GRE and meet these minimum standards:
    • Analytical Writing: 3.5
    • Quantitative and Verbal Scores will be considered but no minimum score is required
  • Score for the MOT Program Personal Statement available on OTCAS
  • Non-native English speakers must meet criteria set by the College of Graduate Admissions
  • Names of 3 references, but no reference letters, are required.
  • Additional application points will be awarded to students demonstrating completion of all admission requirements (prerequisite courses, bachelor’s degree, and minimum admission standards) by the  October 1st application deadline

Volunteer hours are strongly recommended but not required.


Application Completion

An application will be considered complete if the student meets the following requirements by the October 1st deadline:

  1. Complete application submitted through the OTCAS
  2. Transcripts from all higher education institutions attended are submitted to OTCAS
  3. GRE scores submitted to OTCAS
  4. OTCAS fees paid in full
  5. Minimum of four of the eight prerequisite courses complete, including a minimum of two of the Natural Sciences prerequisites.  If all prerequisites are not complete, documentation of a reasonable plan for their completion prior to the fall start of the MOT Program is required.
  6. As appropriate, documentation of reasonable matriculation toward a bachelor’s degree that will be completed prior to the fall start date of the MOT Program
  7. As appropriate, students who are considered to have English as a Second Language must provide documentation that meets or exceeds the College of Graduate Admissions minimum standard.


Background Checks

When applying for the NBCOT Certification Examination and applying for Ohio (or other state) licensure following graduation, graduates will be asked questions related to the topic of felonies, among other issues, and will need to submit BCI and FBI background check results.  If you have a felony record, this may negatively affect your ability to become certified and licensed to practice occupational therapy.  Additionally, during the program students will be required to get background checks and drug screen.  It is in the student’s best interest to have any misdemeanors sealed or expunged before beginning the MOT Program, as these infractions can limit or restrict the ability to attend certain clinical sites.  Prospective students are encouraged to contact NBCOT and the Ohio OT Licensure Board for more information.