Occupational Therapy

Master of Occupational Therapy

The graduate entry-level program in Occupational Therapy is a professional entry-level program that prepares students to practice as licensed occupational therapists. What follows is specific information on the requirements needed to apply to the Idaho State University Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) Program.

The occupational therapy profession uses occupation to promote well-being and health among people of all ages and abilities. Occupations are goal-directed, meaningful pursuits that occupy a person's day. Occupations include work and productive activities, self-care or care of others, and leisure/recreational activities. Occupational therapists adapt the environment, tasks, or the person, while helping each client develop new skills necessary to function in their world. Occupational therapists view every aspect of a client's life as important to his/her health.

Occupational therapy seeks to improve the quality of life for individuals who are at risk for physical, cognitive, mental, or psychosocial impairments. Demand for occupational therapy will increase to address the needs of a growing population of aging adults, children with developmental disabilities, and people who struggle with traumatic injuries and illness. When one experiences physical or mental illness or injury, the occupational therapists step in to help the individual return to work, family roles, and their typical daily life routine.

The restorative nature of occupational therapy is extremely broad and requires individuals with an interest in the complexity of humanity and occupations. One also needs an ability to think critically and creatively and address occupational performance problems that may result from disease, trauma, mental illness, and other life disruptions. To be well prepared, a student must enter the profession with a foundation in the liberal arts, biological, physical, and social sciences.

Admission Requirements

Students can be admitted into the Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) program by applying to and meeting all criteria for admission to the Graduate School. They must also meet the prescribed prerequisite course requirements. Students may also have the option of early pre-professional entry into the program through the established guidelines of the Bachelor of Science in Health Science, Pre-Occupational Therapy Accelerated Concentration.

During the first three years, the student develops a course of study that will meet the student's interests, university degree requirements, and Occupational Therapy Program prerequisites admission requirements. The student can apply to the BSHS program during his/her junior year. With completion of the first professional year in the OT program, the student will receive a Bachelor of Science in Health Science and will continue directly into the MOT program over the next two years. The combination of the BSHS degree with the MOT degree program creates a seamless entry into the occupational therapy profession, ensuring that all prerequisites in social, physical, and biological sciences are completed in a timely manner. For further information on the BSHS and Occupational Therapy program, contact the Department of Physical and Occupational Therapy at (208) 282-4095.

  1. 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.
  2. All applicants applying to the OT Program must also apply for admission to ISU through the Graduate School. General admissions requirements are explained in the Admissions section of the Graduate Catalog. Note: Some of the requirements for admission into the OT Program are higher than the general requirements for admission to Graduate School.
  3. Applicants must have an earned grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 overall upper-division coursework to apply to the OT Program. 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.
  4. Applicants must take the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT).
    1. GRE must meet the following requirements to be competitive: A total combined score of at least 295 in the verbal and quantitative portions. Verbal must be at least 146. Minimum of 4.0 on the analytical portion.
    2. MAT must meet the following requirements to be competitive: A total score of 390.
    3. Applicants whose first language is not English need to meet the following TOEFL requirements for Classified admission (We do not accept the IEI or ELS in lieu of the TOEFL):
      1. Internet-based test (iBT): a total score of 80 with a score of at least 20 on each Section (graduate assistants who teach courses must score 23 or above on the Speaking Section) on the iBT; or
      2. Computer-based test: a total score of 213 with a score of at least 21 on Section 1 (Listening Comprehension) on the computer test; or
      3. Paper-based test: a total score of 550 with a score of at least 55 on Section l (Listening Comprehension) on the paper test, or a score of 84 on the MTELP, or a score of 6 on the IELTS.
    4. Applicants with scores lower than the requirements will not be considered.
    5. The scores of the GRE/MAT/TOEFL must be received by the Graduate School by the application deadline (January 15) for an application to be considered. The Idaho State University code for these three tests is: 4355.
  5. Applicants must complete specific prerequisites courses with a GPA of 3.0 in each of the specified categories. Prerequisite coursework in anatomy and physiology must be completed within the last five (5) years. Prerequisite coursework that is ten (10) years or older may not be acceptable for admission unless approved by the Department Admissions 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. Please contact the Department of Physical and Occupational Therapy for specific information on the prerequisite coursework.
  6. Applicants must demonstrate knowledge and exposure to the occupational therapy profession. All of the required experience must be completed prior to admission to the Idaho State University OT Program. All of the experience must be completed under the direct supervision of a practicing occupational therapist and must have occurred within the last FIVE years. A total of 40 hours of experience is required and must be completed in a minimum of two different occupational therapy practices.
  7. Each applicant must submit three letters of reference with the application. One of the letters must be from the Occupational Therapist who directly supervised the volunteer or aide experience(s). Please contact the Idaho State University OT Program for additional information.
  8. 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.

Program Accreditation

The Idaho State University Master of Occupational Therapy Program was accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) in 2016. ACOTE can be contacted at:

6116 Executive Boulevard
Suite 200 North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929
(301) 652-AOTA 

Graduates of the program 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). In addition, most states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. In addition, the OT program requires that all occupational therapy students complete Level II Fieldwork within 12 months following the completion of the academic component of the program.

General Requirements

The curriculum is 33 months in duration and includes 4 clinical affiliations. There are 6 semesters and 2 full-time summer sessions encompassing a total of at least 90 credits. Please contact the Department of Physical and Occupational Therapy at dpot@isu.edu for additional information regarding clinical affiliations.

First Year
BIOL 55745PTOT 55064PTOT 55052
OT 55071OT 55025OT 55143
OT 55122PTOT 55811PTOT 55311
OT 55133PTOT 55223 
OT 55213PTOT 55421 
 14 14 6
Second Year
OT 55821PTOT 55831OT 66337
OT 55244PTOT 55232OT 66191
OT 55254PTOT 55265 
OT 55321PTOT 55461 
OT 55441OT 55153 
OT 55451OT 66921 
OT 66911  
 13 13 8
Third Year
OT 66932OT 66347 
OT 55841OT 66941 
OT 55273PTOT 55711 
OT 55284  
OT 55471  
OT 55481  
OT 55931  
 13 9
Total Credits: 90

Graduation Requirements

Students receiving the Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) degree must complete all courses in the curriculum with a minimum of 3.0 GPA, prepare and present academic study papers on a regular basis, prepare and present a professional project or case study, successfully complete all Fieldwork I and II clinical affiliations, take a comprehensive written examination and pass a project defense.

Once the student has completed the degree requirements, he/she is eligible to sit for the NBCOT Certification Examination. Students are required to complete Level II Fieldwork within 12 months of completing the academic component of the program.

NOTE: Admitted students should be aware that some required external clinical rotation sites will require criminal background and drug checks. In addition, students who have a record of criminal activity may have difficulty procuring a license to practice in some states after completing the program. Students convicted of a felony may not be able to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.