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Occupational Therapy Program Admission

The College of Health Sciences Occupational Therapy Program considers for admission those applicants who possess the academic and professional promise necessary for development as competent, caring members of the health care community. To select these candidates, a competitive admissions framework has been established.

Competitive Admissions

Within this competitive admissions framework, multiple criteria are used to select the most qualified candidates from an applicant pool that exceeds the number of seats available. Interested individuals are advised to complete their application file as early as possible to ensure timely consideration.

The Midwestern University Occupational Therapy Program uses the Centralized Application Service for Occupational Therapy Schools (OTCAS) for students applying to the Program. All applicants to the Occupational Therapy Program are required to submit their applications to OTCAS with all required materials by February 1st. Please refer to the OTCAS website for instructions on submission of OTCAS application materials.

The Occupational Therapy Program operates on a rolling admission basis in which completed applications are reviewed throughout the admissions cycle to determine eligibility for interviews. Interviews are typically conducted during the winter and spring. Admissions decisions are generally made within one month of the interview.

Admission Requirements

Individuals applying for admission to the College of Health Sciences Occupational Therapy Program must submit documentation for the following minimum requirements before the academic year commences for the incoming class:


  • Completion of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  • A minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 on a 4.00 scale. Grades of C or better for prerequisite coursework (grades of C- are not acceptable).
  • Completion of the minimum number of prerequisite courses in the prescribed subject areas at regionally accredited colleges or universities.
  • Satisfaction of the standards set forth by the Admissions Committee (including documentation of academic and professional promise in the prospective student).
  • Completion of the Occupational Therapy Program's interview process. On-campus interviews are by invitation only. Applicants are invited to an interview based on evidence supportive of excellence in:
    1. Academic achievement
    2. Oral and written communication skills
    3. Articulation of the domain and scope of OT practice
    4. Community service
    5. Leadership in extracurricular or other activities
  • Completion of a first aid course within three years prior to enrollment.
  • Current certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) Level C/Health Care Provider or Basic Life Support of the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross. Students are responsible for maintaining CPR certification at this level while enrolled in the Program.
  • Demonstration of a people or service orientation through community service or extracurricular activities.
  • Motivation for and commitment to health care as demonstrated by previous work, volunteer work, or other life experiences.
  • Oral and written communication skills necessary to interact with clients and colleagues.
  • Commitment to abide by the Midwestern University Drug-Free Workplace and Substance Abuse Policy.
  • Passage of the Midwestern University criminal background check.

Prerequisite Courses

Students must complete these courses with a grade of C or higher (grades of C- are not acceptable).

Course Sem Hrs Qtr Hrs
Human Anatomy*# 3 4
Physiology* 3 4
Statistics 3 4
Human Development 3 4
Abnormal Psychology 3 4
Other Social and Behavioral Science 3 4

*The Anatomy and Physiology requirements may also be fulfilled by taking Anatomy and Physiology I and Anatomy and Physiology II, as some universities offer combined courses.

#Human Anatomy must be completed successfully within 5 years of admission to the Program. The lab component with cadaver experience is strongly recommended

Additional courses in the sciences and mathematics are also recommended, including chemistry, physiology, physics, and biology.

General education electives are also recommended to demonstrate competency in English composition, oral communication, problem-solving behavior, logic, and ethical theories.

International Applicants

International applicants must complete a minimum of 30 semester hours of coursework from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States, or from a recognized post secondary Canadian institution that uses English as its primary language of instruction and documentation. Of the 30 semester hours, 15 hours must be in the sciences, six hours in non-remedial English composition, and three hours in speech/public speaking.

Applicants who wish to receive transfer credit for prerequisite coursework completed outside the US or at a Canadian institution that does not use English as its primary language of instruction and documentation must submit an official, detailed, course-by-course evaluation obtained from one of the following evaluation services:

  • Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE): 414/289-3400 or Fax 414/289-3411 or visit
  • World Education Services (WES): 212/966-6311 or Fax 212/739-6100 or visit
  • Josef Silny & Associates International Education Consultants: 305/273-1616 or Fax 305/273-1338 or visit

International applicants who do not provide documentation of acceptable US or Canadian course/degree equivalency will not receive credit, and will be required to complete all prerequisite courses at an accredited college or university in the United States, or at a recognized post-secondary institution in Canada that uses English as its primary language of instruction and documentation.

For clarification about recognized post-secondary institutions in Canada that use English as a primary language of instruction and documentation, international applicants should contact the Midwestern University Office of Admissions.

Click here for more information on International Student Financial Services

Technical Standards for Admission

A candidate must have abilities and skills in five areas: 1) observation; 2) communication; 3) motor; 4) intellectual, conceptual, integrative, and quantitative; and 5) behavioral and social. Technological compensation can be made for some limitation in certain of these areas, but a candidate should be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner. Specific technical standards listed below are a summary of the Program specific technical standards that apply to classroom, laboratory and fieldwork environments.

I. Observation: The candidate must be able to accurately make observations at a distance and close at hand. Observation necessitates the functional use of the sense of vision and somatic sensation and is enhanced by the functional use of all of the other senses.

II. Communication: The candidate must be able to communicate effectively, efficiently, and sensitively in both oral and written form and be able to perceive nonverbal communication.

III. Motor: Candidates must be able to coordinate both gross and fine muscular movements, maintain equilibrium, and have functional use of the senses of touch and vision. The candidate must possess sufficient postural control, neuromuscular control, and eye-to-hand coordination to perform profession-specific skills and tasks. The Occupational Therapy Program requires a candidate to be able to move at least 50 pounds vertically and horizontally.

IV. Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative Abilities: The candidate must be able to problem solve, measure, calculate, reason, analyze, record, and synthesize large amounts of information in a timely manner. The candidate must be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand spatial relationships.

V. Behavioral and Social Attributes: The candidate must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of his/her intellectual abilities; the exercise of good judgment; the consistent, prompt completion of all responsibilities; and the development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships. Candidates must be able to tolerate physically, mentally and emotionally taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. The candidate must be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility, and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, effective interpersonal skills, willingness and ability to function as an effective team player, interest and motivation to learn are all personal qualities required during the educational process.

Candidates are required to certify that they understand and meet these Technical Standards. Candidates must provide such certification prior to matriculation. Candidates who may not meet the Technical Standards must inform the Director of Admissions, who will then contact the Dean of Students. The Dean of Students, in consultation with the CHS Dean (and Program Director), will identify and discuss what accommodations, if any, the College/Program would need to make that would allow the candidate to complete the curriculum. The College/Program is not able to grant accommodations that alter the educational standards of the Occupational Therapy curriculum. Students must meet the Technical Standards for the duration of enrollment in their professional program.

Apply Online at OTCAS

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Application Process

To be considered for admission to the Occupational Therapy Program, applicants must complete the following:

  1. OTCAS Application - Applicants are required to submit their applications to OTCAS by February 1st. Please refer to the OTCAS application instructions for specific details about completing the application, required documents, and processing time. The OTCAS application should be available for applicants beginning in July. Due to the large number of applications and the limited number of seats available, applicants are strongly encouraged to complete their OTCAS application early in the cycle. Midwestern University operates on a rolling admissions basis where applications are reviewed throughout the admissions cycle.
  2. Letters of Recommendation - Applicants are required to submit a minimum of two letters of recommendation from professionals to OTCAS . The Office of Admissions will only accept letters of recommendation received directly from OTCAS. It is preferred that one of the submitted letters is written by an occupational therapist who has supervised or mentored the applicant or a professional who can speak to the applicant's motivation, experiences in occupational therapy, or readiness for entering the Occupational Therapy Program. The second letter can be written by either a college professor who actually taught the student or a prehealth advisor who knows the applicant well. The applicant should refer to the OTCAS application instructions for specific guidelines and requirements for submitting letters of recommendation.
  3. Completed Application - The Office of Admissions will send letters verifying receipt of OTCAS applications with all required materials to all applicants who meet the minimum cumulative GPA requirement of 2.75. The letters will also include instructions on checking the status of the required application materials online. Applicants are responsible for tracking the receipt of their application materials and ensuring the submission of all required documents. Only applicants who submit completed applications with all required application materials will be considered for potential entrance into the Program.

PLEASE NOTE: Applicants are responsible for notifying the Office of Admissions of any changes in their mailing address or email address. All application withdrawal requests must be made in writing via email , fax or letter to the Office of Admissions.

Interview / Selection Process

Students selected for an interview will be notified of available interview dates and invited by the Office of Admissions to schedule their on-campus interview. A typical interview day involves participation in the following activities, which are coordinated by the Office of Admissions: an interview with two interviewers, lunch with current Midwestern University students, a campus tour, and an opportunity to meet with counselors from the admissions office and the financial aid office.

During each interview session, the interviewer(s) question applicants about their academic, personal, and professional aspirations and preparedness for admission to the Occupational Therapy Program, and rate(s) the prospective students on a standard evaluation form. These evaluations are included in applicant files provided to the Occupational Therapy Admissions Committee. The Occupational Therapy Admissions Committee meets approximately one to two weeks after the interviews. The Committee reviews the full application files for applicants who were interviewed and then formulates and submits a recommendation to the Dean for action. The Dean, via Office of Admissions, notifies applicants in writing of the admission action/decision. Applicants are extended acceptance to the program based on the aggregate qualitative and quantitative data gathered from the application, interview process, and completion of all published admissions requirements.

Matriculation Process

The matriculation process begins after students receive notification of their acceptance. To complete the matriculation process students must:

  1. Submit the matriculation agreement and required deposit monies by the date designated in the matriculation agreement. Deposits are applied toward the first quarter's tuition.
  2. Submit official final transcripts from all colleges attended post-high school by the deadline of two weeks (14 calendar days) prior to the first day of classes. Students who are accepted to MWU less than one month prior to the first day of classes will have 30 calendar days from the date of their acceptance to submit all official transcripts to the Office of Admissions. Any special circumstances or requests for exceptions to this policy must be sent to and approved by the Office of the Dean of the College. Students who fail to submit all official final transcripts by the stated deadline may jeopardize their acceptance or continued enrollment in the College.
  3. Submit completed medical files documenting completion of a physical exam, immunizations, tuberculosis and titer blood testing as instructed by the Office of Student Services and detailed in the Student Handbook.
  4. Meet the Technical Standards for the Program.
  5. Submit proof of medical and disability insurance coverage. Students may select either a plan offered by an MWU-approved carrier or a comparable plan offered by an outside carrier of their choice, as determined by the Office of Student Services. Insurance must be maintained throughout the entire period of enrollment.
  6. Submit additional documents as required by the Office of Admissions or college
  7. Students who are requesting an I-20 visa or who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents must prepay tuition and in some cases other mandatory program fees for the entire length of their program at Midwestern University.
  8. Submit a signed Credit Policy Statement
  9. Authorize and pass the MWU criminal background check and/or fingerprinting background check as required by the specific college/school/program.
  10. Submit a signed MWU Drug-Free Workplace and Substance Abuse Policy Statement.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition rates are subject to change each academic year for all enrolled students. Click here for the current Glendale Tuition and Fees.

Reapplication Process

Students who receive denial or end-of-cycle letters may reapply for the following year's admissions cycle. Before reapplying, however, individuals contemplating reapplication should seek the advice of an admissions counselor. To initiate the reapplication process, prospective students must complete and submit a new application and proceed through the standard application process.

The Program does not accept students who transfer from another Occupational Therapy Program.


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