Occupational Therapy

How to Apply to the Occupational Therapy Program

Applicant Qualifications

  • Minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale is required for interviews
  • GRE scores are not required
  • Completion of prerequisite courses as follows:
    • Medical Terminology 1-3 credits
    • Neuroscience 3 credits
    • Introduction to Sociology 3 credits
      • Upper level SOC course may be substituted (with B or higher)
    • Multicultural Human Development or Developmental Psychology 3 credits
    • Statistics 3 credits*
    • Abnormal Psychology 3 credits*
    • Introduction to Physics with Lab 4 credits*
      • SCI 150 Physics & Biomechanics 3 credits is acceptable (no lab required)
    • Anatomy & Physiology I with Lab 4 credits*
    • Anatomy & Physiology II with Lab 4 credits*
      • *Must be taken within 6 years of applying to the OT program. For prerequisite courses with labs, online or simulated labs will be assessed at the discretion of the Program Director
  • Prerequisite courses must be completed at a regionally accredited college or university
  • Prerequisite courses must be passed with a grade of B or higher 
    • For grades lower than a B, students may opt to retake the course, complete an equivalency exam (specific subjects only), or petition the faculty to substitute an appropriate course and/or work/life experience

**PLEASE NOTE: For full-time students, prerequisites do not need to be complete prior to applying to the program, but do need to be completed prior to beginning the program. Applicants who have outstanding prerequisites will need to have a plan to complete these courses before the fall semester of the beginning of the program.


Application Deadlines, Procedures, and Required Materials

Application Deadlines  

Rolling Admissions 

Priority Deadline: October 1st

Final Deadline: August 1st

Interviews will be organized every month. Any applicant who meets the GPA requirement of 3.0 or higher will be invited to interview with the OT faculty.


Required Application Materials

Applicants are required to provide the following materials:

1. Graduate Application: Students can apply for the OT program either through USM directly, or through OTCAS (the Centralized Application Service for Occupational Therapy Programs) beginning in mid-July each year.

Students should apply through one avenue only (either through USM directly or through OTCAS). Students applying directly through USM can apply anytime prior to October 1st for consideration for next fall's cohort.

2. Application Fees: Currently free through USM for all applicants. OTCAS requires its own set of fees for utilizing this service. Applicants applying through OTCAS will pay all associated fees directly through the OTCAS program.

3. Essay: Explain why you selected occupational therapy as a career and how an Occupational Therapy degree relates to your immediate and long-term professional goals. Describe how your personal, educational, and professional background will help you achieve your goals. Essay length: 3-5 pages.

4. Transcripts: Official transcripts from all colleges or universities previously attended, excluding the seven campuses of the University of Maine System. Applicants must demonstrate completion of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university and meet all prerequisite course requirements. If you need to confirm the accreditation status of an institution, you may search at Council for Higher Education Accreditation site. 

  • Transcripts must show proof of completion of or progress toward required OT prerequisite courses. Prerequisite courses do not need to be fully completed prior to applying, but must be completed prior to beginning the program if accepted full time.
  • GRE scores are not required by the OT program

**PLEASE NOTE: If you are a student within the UMaine system, you do not need to order transcripts for admission to other University of Maine System schools. Schools within the UMS are able to access your academic record through MaineStreet, as long as there is no hold on your account which prevents production of your transcript.

5. Resume: Submit a resume or CV that outlines professional, volunteer, and community experience.

6. Letters of Recommendation: Recommendations should be from individuals who are qualified, through direct experience with your academic or professional work, to comment on your ability to undertake graduate study and your chosen profession.

  • Three letters of recommendation are required. As part of the online process, applicants will be prompted for the names and email addresses of three recommenders. Each person will receive an electronic recommendation form to complete directly from the university.

7. TOEFL or IELTS: Students whose first language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and submit official scores as part of the application process. See additional information below regarding test scores.


International Applicants

In addition to the standard application materials, international students must also provide the following materials:

  • College transcript evaluation: official course-by-course evaluation of college-level transcripts from a NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) approved transcript analysis agency
  • Declaration of Finances form accompanied by the appropriate financial documentation
  • International students whose first language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and submit official scores as part of the application process. Only applicants with TOEFL scores of 79 or higher on the internet-based test, 550 or higher on the paper-based test, or 213 or higher on the computer-based test; or IELTS scores of 6.5 or higher will be considered for admission to a graduate program.


Applicants Whose First Language is not English

Students whose first language is not English may be required to provide test scores or credentials for English language proficiency.

USM accepts the following test scores and qualifications for admission into graduate programs:

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOFEL): scores of 79 or higher on the internet-based test, 550 or higher on the paper-based test, or 213 or higher on the computer-based test
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS): scores of 6.5 or higher
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE): scores of 60 or higher
  • Duolingo Test of English:  scores of 105 or higher. Duolingo scores are being accepted on a trial for the 2022-23 academic year.
  • Bachelor's degree taught with English instruction

Questions regarding your experience and the requirements can be addressed with the Office of Admissions (usmadmit@maine.edu).


Where to Send Transcripts and Application Material

1) Electronic Materials:

Colleges and universities that participate in electronic submission of transcripts may send official transcripts to edocs@maine.edu. Resumes, essays, and other required documents may also be sent to edocs@maine.edu.


2) Physical Materials:

If applying through the USM Graduate Application, official transcripts and other supporting documents can be sent to:

          Application Processing Center
          University of Maine System
          P.O. Box 412
          Bangor, ME 04402-0412


If applying through the Centralized Application Service for Occupational Therapy Programs (OTCAS), please submit all materials directly to OTCAS:

          OTCAS Transcript Processing Center
          P.O. Box 9120
          Watertown, MA 02471


Note: For a transcript or recommendation to be considered official, it must be sent by the institution or the person writing the recommendation.


Additional Information

  • Job shadowing is not required but is highly recommended for every student.  If job shadowing is completed, it must be with an occupational therapy practitioner and should be documented using the Job Shadow Evaluation Form. It is the applicant's responsibility to make arrangements for this experience at one or multiple facilities. Please send completed forms to edocs@maine.edu
  • Completion of the application requirements does not guarantee admission into the program. Admission is based on a comparative evaluation of the applicants’ materials to determine eligibility for an interview. 
  • OT candidates who complete an application by the deadline AND who have met the minimum GPA requirements will be invited for an individual and group interview. The interview process is the final admissions requirement and is by invitation only. Alternative interview arrangements can be made for those who are unable to attend the on-campus interview sessions. 


Information for Admitted Students


Financial Aid & Scholarships

If you are applying for financial aid, your financial aid form (FAFSA) should be mailed by February 1 to ensure the best possible financial aid package. Applicants should complete the FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The University of Southern Maine’s Federal ID Code is 009762. Contact Student Financial Services directly with any questions or concerns.

Search to see which scholarships you qualify for!

For further information or problems with this page, contact: usm.ot@maine.edu


Need to verify the status of your application?

Contact the Office of Admissions at 207-780-5670 or send an email.