Occupational Therapy Admission Requirements

Occupational Therapy Session

Applicants to the occupational therapy education program must demonstrate the following to be considered for admission:

  • Completion of a bachelor's degree at an accredited university in a discipline other than occupational therapy
  • Minimum cumulative, natural science, and prerequisite coursework GPA of 3.0 or higher is recommended
  • Completion of all prerequisites by the end of the spring semester prior to beginning the program
  • If you are an international student applying from a non-English-speaking country, please also submit a TOEFL score of at least 80 Internet-based test
  • At least three professional references
  • Personal essay - The essay should be no more than 1,000 words and addresses how the applicant's life experiences informed his or hers decision to pursue occupational therapy while also demonstrating knowledge of the profession. The essay should also demonstrate knowledge of Rockhurst University's Jesuit Core Values and how they can often inform the profession of occupational therapy. This is separate from the personal statement required by OTCAS.
  • Observation hours – Applicants should report completed observation hours on their application, but remaining observation hours for the 2020-2021 application cycle are waived. Applicants are encouraged to visit the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) website at www.aota.org to explore OT careers and discussions of current practices.
  • Completion of all materials in the online application (otcas.org)
  • Participation in a personal interview


Points of Entry

The occupational therapy program accommodates multiple points of acceptance for interested students. Please see details below.

Pre-admission Guarantee

  • Freshman Pre-admission Award
    Exceptional students who plan to attend Rockhurst for their bachelor's degree may be awarded a freshman pre-admission guarantee Occupational Therapy (OT) program based on a combination of ACT or SAT scores, high school GPA and prerequisite courses.
    • Eligibility for Pre-admission in Rockhurst University’s Occupational Therapy Program:
      • Minimum high school grade point average of 3.4,
      • Three units of college preparatory mathematics courses,
      • Three units of college preparatory science courses,
      • Four units of English courses, and
      • Minimum 1200 composite on the SAT or
      • Minimum 26 composite on the ACT
    • Requirements for Maintaining Pre-admission in Rockhurst University’s Occupational Therapy Program:
      • Achieve and maintain a 3.40 cumulative and natural science (e.g. biology, chemistry, physics) grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) each semester and through the end of the RU senior year*, (* Through end of the RU junior year for students in the accelerated program​)
      • Complete all required prerequisite coursework as specified by the Department of Occupational Therapy by the beginning of the OT program,
      • Complete the occupational therapy application for admission by September 1st prior to start of the OT program,
      • Interview before beginning the OT program,
      • Begin the OT program the summer semester immediately following successful completion of baccalaureate degree program, and (*For Pre-admit students on the accelerated track, must demonstrate the ability to complete baccalaureate degree program concurrent with the first year of the OT graduate program. Approval from OT program advisor and faculty advisor for major is required.)
      • Meet with Dr. Sierra Grady, OT program advisor and submit an unofficial copy of their transcript to the OT Department, each semester while in the Pre-admit program.

Fulfilling the above requirements is required for maintaining early admissions status in the OT Program. In addition, the student must demonstrate professional behaviors when interacting with faculty, staff, students, clients, and patients. These behaviors are important for success in the graduate program and reflect the capacity to deliver a high standard of health service. We consider these behaviors to be as important as traditional academic standards in determining criteria for matriculation.

Rockhurst Undergraduates

  • OT Scholars Award
    Rockhurst students with outstanding academic work may apply for pre-admission guarantee with the OT Scholars Award. To apply for acceptance into the OT scholars program, students submit a letter of intent to the occupational therapy program office before the start of their sophomore year. OT scholars must achieve and maintain a cumulative and natural science (e.g. biology, chemistry, physics) GPA of a minimum of 3.5.
    • Eligibility for OT Scholars in Rockhurst University’s Occupational Therapy Program Rockhurst students with outstanding academic work during the freshman year may be offered advanced admission status through the OT Scholars Program. To be considered eligible for the OT Scholars Program, students must meet the following criteria:
      • Submit a letter of intent to the Occupational Therapy Program office before beginning of the student’s sophomore year and a copy of transcript.
      • Current natural science (e.g. biology, chemistry, physics) grade point average of at least 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale),
      • Current cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale),
    • Requirements for Maintaining OT Scholars Status in Rockhurst University’s Occupational Therapy Program:
      • Achieve and maintain a 3.40 cumulative and natural science (e.g. biology, chemistry, physics) grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) each semester and through the end of the RU senior year*, (* Through end of the RU junior year for students on the accelerated track.)
      • Complete all required prerequisite coursework as specified by the Department of Occupational Therapy by the beginning of the OT program,
      • Complete the occupational therapy application for admission by September 1st prior to start of the OT program,
      • Interview before beginning the OT program,
      • Begin the OT program the summer semester immediately following successful completion of baccalaureate degree program, and (*For OT Scholars students on the accelerated track, must demonstrate the ability to complete baccalaureate degree program concurrent with the first year of the MOT graduate program. Approval from OT program advisor and faculty advisor for major is required.)
      • Meet Dr. Sierra Grady, OT program advisor and submit an unofficial copy of their transcript to the OT Department, each semester while in the Pre-admit program.

Fulfilling the above requirements is required for maintaining OT Scholars status in the OT Program. In addition, the student must demonstrate professional behaviors when interacting with faculty, staff, students, clients, and patients. These behaviors are important for success in the graduate program and reflect the capacity to deliver a high standard of health service. We consider these behaviors to be as important as traditional academic standards in determining criteria for matriculation.

  • Accelerated Track
    A five-year Undergraduate/Occupational Therapy track is available to students consecutively enrolled at Rockhurst from their freshman year. RU students need to contact the OT advisor early if interested in this opportunity.

Post-baccalaureate or Undergraduate Transfer Students

  • Post-baccalaureate Students
    Students from accredited universities are welcome to apply to Rockhurst. Typically, students apply while in the last year of their bachelor's degree with a plan to enter the graduate program upon completion of their bachelor's degree.
  • Transfer Pre-admission Award
    Students transferring to Rockhurst may apply for pre-admission if they have between 48 - 60 hours of undergraduate work or have completed an Associate of Arts degree or Associate of Sciences (Associate of Applied Sciences is ineligible) and have been accepted to Rockhurst University as an undergraduate transfer student. *Transfer students are not eligible for the accelerated degree track.
     
    • Eligibility for Transfer Pre-admission in Rockhurst University’s Occupational Therapy Program Students who are transferring to Rockhurst University to complete their bachelor's degree may be offered a guaranteed admission into the Master of Occupational Therapy Program if they meet the following criteria:
      • Have completed between 48-60 hours of undergraduate work or have completed an Associate of Arts or Associate of Sciences degree, and
      • Have attained a cumulative and natural science (e.g. biology, chemistry, physics) GPA of at least 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale).
    • Requirements for Maintaining Transfer Pre-admission in Rockhurst University’s Occupational Therapy Program:
      • Achieve a 3.5 grade point average each semester and maintain a 3.5 cumulative and natural science (e.g. biology, chemistry, physics) grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) throughout the bachelor's program,
      • Complete all required prerequisite coursework as specified by the Department of Occupational Therapy by the beginning of the OT program,
      • Complete the occupational therapy application for admission through otcas.org by September 1st prior to the start of the OT program
      • Interview before beginning the OT program,
      • Begin the OT program the summer semester immediately following successful completion of baccalaureate degree program, 
      • Meet Dr. Sierra Grady, OT program advisor and submit an unofficial copy of their transcript to the OT Department, each semester while a Transfer Pre-admit.

Fulfilling the above requirements is required for maintaining Transfer Pre-admission status in the OT Program. In addition, the student must demonstrate professional behaviors when interacting with faculty, staff, students, clients, and patients. These behaviors are important for success in the graduate program and reflect the capacity to deliver a high standard of health service. We consider these behaviors to be as important as traditional academic standards in determining criteria for matriculation.

 


Prerequisite Courses

Students must have all prerequisite courses completed before entering the program. A minimum cumulative natural science and prerequisite coursework GPA of 3.0 or higher is recommended.

  • Foundations of Speech (3)
    • Interpersonal Communication or Public Speaking will be accepted
  • Statistics (3)
  • Ethics (3)
  • Abnormal Psychology (3)
  • Introductory Sociology or Anthropology (3)
  • Developmental Psychology (3)
  • Introductory Physics with lab (4)
  • Biology with lab (4)
  • Anatomy with lab (or A&PI) (4)*
    • A minimum of four hours of anatomy must have been completed within the past five years.
  • Physiology with lab (or A&PII) (4)

Requirements are subject to change. It is the applicant’s responsibility to contact the graduate admissions office or the department of occupational therapy education to inquire if there are changes before submitting an application through OTCAS.

If you have questions about whether specific courses meet our prerequisite requirements, contact Terry Forge, director of academic advising.


Partnerships

Degree-seeking students at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Avila University, Lindenwood University, Missouri Western State University, Truman State University, and McKendree University with outstanding academic qualifications may be eligible for automatic acceptance into the MOT program at Rockhurst University. For consideration, interested students are expected to submit their application to Rockhurst University through OTCAS by September 1 of their senior year.

For specific criteria and information about the OT department's articulation agreements, please download and print the following materials: