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Idaho State University

Entry Requirements


As of August 12, 2020, the Idaho State University Master of Occupational Therapy Program Admissions Committee has not made any changes to admissions requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Any decisions made by our Admission Committee will be clearly outlined on this page and will be applied to all applicants for the 2020-2021 application cycle.  Note that our application is not due until January 15, 2021 and there is no benefit to an earlier submission. 

The following information provides the specific requirements for applying to the ISU Occupational Therapy (OT) Program. The requirements include the completion of a bachelor's degree, Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores or Miller Analogies Test (MAT), grade point average, prerequisite course work, and volunteer or paid aide experience under the direct supervision of an occupational therapist.

Completion of a Bachelor's Degree

Applicants must complete a bachelor’s degree from a college or university accredited in the U.S. or its equivalent from a school in another country. This degree may be in progress during the application process but must be completed prior to beginning OT courses in the Fall semester.

  • All applicants applying to the ISU OT Program must also apply for admission to ISU through the Graduate School. General admissions requirements may be obtained from the Graduate Admissions Office in the ISU Graduate Bulletin.

Please Note: Some of the requirements for admission into the OT Program are higher than the general requirements for the ISU Graduate School. 

GPA Requirements

Applicants must have:

  • A minimum of an earned grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 over all upper division course work.
  • 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

Applicants must take either the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT). The scores on these tests must meet the following requirements:

  • 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.
  • MAT
    • A total score of 390.

Test of English as a Foreign Requirements

  • 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 scores of the GRE/MAT 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 ISU code for the GRE 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.
  • Prerequisite course work that is ten (10) years or older may not be acceptable for admission unless approved by the Department Admission's Committee prior to application.
  • 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. Note: Anatomy and physiology courses MUST be listed in the Biology or Zoology Departments for fulfillment of this requirement. 2 semesters or 2 or 3 quarters
2)- Chemistry (1 course) College-level chemistry course with a lab.  General Chemistry preferred.  1 semester or 1-2 quarters.
3)- Math (1 course) Statistics. Lower, upper division or more recent graduate course.  Note: 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 (focus over life span), 1 course in Sociology, 1 course in Abnormal Psychology, 1 course in Cultural Anthropology. 4 semesters or 4-8 quarters.
5)- English/Communication (2 courses) 1 course in Composition, 1 course in Speech Communication 1 semester each course, or 2-4 quarters
Note: Technical Writing recommended but not required.
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, Foreign Language, Humanities, Ethics, History, etc.  You can include up to 8 credits from any department. 
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 Not required, but highly recommended.

Observation/Volunteering in Occupational Therapy

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.
  • 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. 

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 or OTA - who directly supervised your volunteer or aide experience.
  • One letter from an Academic Reference - 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.

Please Note: Letters of reference will not be accepted from relatives of the applicant.

Letters of reference from doctors, nurses, physical therapists and other health care professionals will not be accepted in place of letters from an occupational therapist.

OTCAS applicants submit letters of reference through that process.  Applicants submitting paper applications use a form that is included in the admissions packet.  Applicants may not read the completed forms/letters but must submit them in sealed envelopes with the signature of their authors across the seals. 

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.