The Occupational Therapy Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).

4720 Montgomery Lane
Suite 200
Bethesda, MD 20814-3449

(301) 652-AOTA

Admissions Requirements and Checklist

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1. Preparation

The OT program uses the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS). To learn more about the application process and schedule, visit the OTCAS website. You'll find information specific to our program listed under the Participating Programs link on the left side of the page, then select College of St. Scholastica.

All St. Scholastica students who apply to the Occupational Therapy Program will be given priority review. Priority review means that applicants who have earned a degree (or will earn a degree prior to starting the OT Program) from St. Scholastica will be reviewed prior to applicants with degrees from other colleges or universities. Priority review does not mean guaranteed admission.

Minimum Eligibility for Admission

All applicants to the Occupational Therapy Program at The College of St. Scholastica must meet the following minimum eligibility criteria in order for their application to be considered:

  • B.A./B.S. degree from a regionally accredited institution. No specific baccalaureate major is required
  • Cumulative OR most recent 64 credit GPA of 3.0. The College will consider whichever is higher: cumulative GPA or most recent 64 credit GPA, as calculated by OTCAS. 
  • Prerequisite GPA of 3.0. The prerequisite GPA is calculated separately using the highest grade received in required prerequisite courses.  
  • complete all prerequisites with a grade of 2.0 or better and within 10 years of application
  • submit GRE scores obtained within the 5 years prior to application and sent to the CSS OTCAS code of 1995. Recommended analytical writing score of 3.0 or better.
  • submit three letters of recommendation
  • complete a minimum of 40 hours of observation with an occupational therapist

Note: meeting minimum entrance requirements does not guarantee admission. The College of St. Scholastica follows the OTCAS method of calculating GPA. Interviews are not typically part of the admission process for the Occupational Therapy Program.

Scoring of Admission Criteria

Applications that meet the above minimum eligibility criteria will be reviewed and scored by members of the admissions committee using a rubric. Applicants are ranked based on both quantitative and qualitative criteria.  Quantitative measures include GRE scores (analytic writing, quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning) and computed grade point average for all undergraduate work and prerequisite course work. Qualitative aspects of the application are scored by members of the admission committee.  Areas that receive scoring include:

  • letters of recommendation: provide three recommendation letters. It is suggested that at least one of the three letters of recommendation be from a professor who knows the applicant well enough to speak to her/his qualification for graduate school. It is also recommended that one or more letters of recommendation come from an occupational therapist or employer who can speak about the applicant's work or volunteering experience with individuals who have a disability
  • observation hours: all applicants must have a minimum of 40 observation hours (additional points are awarded for greater than 40 hours).  Applicants should consider the following when planning observations: observe various practice settings with distinctly different client populations (e.g., pediatrics and adult rehabilitation); all observations must be completed within two years before applying; all observations must be in a setting that offers the student the opportunity to shadow a registered/licensed occupational therapist
  • previous experiences: applicants should provide details about their work history, community service, honors/recognitions, leadership, teaching, and participation in research activities as these are awarded additional points
  • personal essays: essays that follow the prompts with clear expression of ideas, good organization, and absence of writing errors are awarded additional points

Additional Information about Becoming an Occupational Therapy Student

  • A felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure. An individual, who has a felony background and is considering entering an occupational therapy program, can have his or her background reviewed prior to actually applying for the exam by requesting an Early Determination Review
  • Students who apply to the MS in OT program will be expected to perform a minimum number of Technical Standards and Essential Requirements.

OT FACT Program being phased out

The 2015/2016 academic year marked the end of the FACT admission option to the Occupational Therapy Program. St. Scholastica students who are currently in the FACT program for admission in the summer of 2018 or 2019 are guaranteed admission to the OT Program assuming they maintain the necessary criteria (see below).

All St. Scholastica students not on a FACT program who apply to the Occupational Therapy Program for admission will be given priority review. Priority review means that applicants who have earned a degree (or will earn a degree prior to starting the OT Program) from St. Scholastica will be reviewed prior to applicants with degrees from other colleges or universities. Priority review does not mean guaranteed admission.

A criterion-based program for first-year students at St. Scholastica

FACT was a criterion-based early admission program into the graduate Occupational Therapy Program. Those students currently in the FACT program with plans to start the OT Program in June of 2018 or 2019 will be guaranteed admission to the program after completing an undergraduate degree, if they meet the FACT criteria.

FACT criteria:

Students currently on a FACT program are required to maintain their status as a FACT applicant by doing the following:

  1. Complete all prerequisite courses for the Occupational Therapy Entry-level Master's program.
  2. Maintain an overall and a prerequisite grade point average of 3.0. If a student's overall or prerequisite GPA falls below 3.0 at any time, they will be permanently removed from the FACT program.
  3. Obtain a grade of 2.7 or better in all prerequisite courses.  If a student achieves a grade below 2.7 in any prerequisite, they will be permanently removed from the FACT program.
  4. Obtain a minimum grade of 3.0 on the first year English composition course.  If a student achieves a grade below 3.0 in the first year English composition course, they will be permanently removed from the FACT program.
  5. If a student is removed from the FACT program for any of the above reasons, they are still eligible to apply to the Occupational Therapy Program and receive priority review as a St. Scholastica student.

Students in the FACT program are still required to submit the completed OTCAS (Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service) application in the fall of senior year. See admission requirements.

Five of seven required prerequisite courses must be complete (with a letter grade of C or better) at the time an application is submitted. The remaining prerequisites must be completed and grades submitted one week prior to our June start date. 

  • General Psychology
  • Lifespan Development Psychology
  • Anatomy & Physiology I and II (or human anatomy and human physiology courses), labs preferred
  • An introductory Sociology or Anthropology course
  • Medical Terminology (minimum of one semester credit)
  • Statistics
  • An Introduction to Occupational Therapy course is strongly recommended. The admissions committee will view this as highly favorable
  • Courses in physics, pathophysiology, research methods and abnormal psychology are recommended.

Advanced Placement (AP) Credit will not be accepted for prerequisite courses. The OT Program does not give credit for work experience or credits taken while enrolled in another OT Program toward prerequisite or in-program courses.

Due to the high volume of interest in the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program at The College of St. Scholastica, the Office of Graduate Admissions does not review unofficial transcripts to determine the completion of prerequisite coursework. In most cases, course titles match. If you have specific questions about a particular course, please reference our transfer credit center to determine if the course meets the stated requirement.

*Any student may request a waiver of admission requirements through a written request to the Graduate Admissions Office. These requests must be received by the Graduate Admissions Office by Oct. 15 to allow ample time for review prior to the Nov. 15 application deadline. The Department Chair may determine prerequisite course equivalencies and grant waivers for time limitations without full Admission Committee involvement.  Other waiver requests may require a committee vote. Waiver of GPA and course grade minimum requirements will not be considered. The Department Chair notifies the applicant and the Graduate Admissions Counselor of waiver decisions in writing.


2. Application

Official transcripts from every post-secondary institution attended or where credit was earned must be sent to OTCAS. Instructions are indicated on the OTCAS application.

  1. Submit an OTCAS application (reference OTCAS for application instructions/requirements)
  2. In the OTCAS application, submit contact information for three people to submit recommendation information/letters on your behalf.
  3. Applications completed by the Nov. 15 deadline will be forwarded to the Admissions Committee for review and an admissions decision.
  4. The Occupational Therapy Admissions Committee may request interviews.

Please see our International Admissions page for information on additional documentation that may be required.

There are many financial aid options available to help you pay for your education. Contact the OneStop Student Services office early in the application process at (877) 287-8716 or


3. Post-Completion

  • After you are emailed a decision regarding your application, please inform us of your decision (accept or decline the offer, if one is made) via the Intent to Enroll form linked in the email.
  • Submit $500 non-refundable deposit
  • Submit Student Health Services forms, including the immunization form, through the COR student portal/My Health/Forms.

As a college student at St. Scholastica, you get to take the lead in your own education and assume responsibility for your success. Please use our accepted students information page to help you along the way, and remember, your advisors and instructors are here to guide and support you as you proceed through your journey toward a degree.

In addition to St. Scholastica’s student services, technology and health services fees, program fees of $300 are assessed four (4) times throughout the program for course materials and other expenses.

Application Deadline

Applications will be accepted via OTCAS July 18 to Nov. 15 for the following summer enrollment.

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Courtney EickmanCourtney Eickman
Assistant Director, Enrollment Management
(877) 287-8731