Occupational Therapy

Supplemental content for Entry-Level Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD)

Applicant Qualifications

  • Minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale is required for interviews
  • GRE scores are not required
  • Prerequisite courses must be completed at a regionally accredited college or university
    • All prerequisite courses are available through the University of Southern Maine
    • Straighterline courses are unacceptable for prerequisite courses
    • Optional OT Prerequisites Worksheet is available to track progress
  • 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
  • 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 (taken within 6 years of applying)
    • Abnormal Psychology: 3 credits (taken within 6 years of applying)
    • Introduction to Physics with Lab: 4 credits (taken within 6 years of applying)*
    • SCI 150 Physics & Biomechanics: 3 credits is acceptable (no lab required)
    • Anatomy & Physiology I with Lab: 4 credits (taken within 6 years of applying)*
    • Anatomy & Physiology II with Lab: 4 credits (taken within 6 years of applying)*

*Online or simulated labs will be assessed at the discretion of the Program Director

Application Procedures and Required Materials

  • Application Deadline:
    • Priority Deadline: October 1st
    • Final Deadline: February 1st

Review of applications will begin in early October for those who have completed their application materials by the October 1st priority deadline. Interviews will be scheduled in mid-November. Any application materials submitted after the October 1st deadline will be reviewed after the final February 1st deadline, with interviews in early spring.

Applicants are required to provide the following materials:

  • USM Graduate Application: Online application. Students may also apply 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 1 for consideration for next fall's cohort
  • USM Application fee: 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.
  • 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.
  • Transcripts: Official transcripts from all colleges or universities previously attended, excluding the seven campuses of the University of Maine System (UMS transcripts are accessible to USM). 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 MOT 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 MOT program
  • Resume: Submit a resume or CV that outlines professional, volunteer, and community experience.
  • 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.
  • Students whose first language is not English are required to take one of the following: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Pearson Test of English (PTE) or Duolingo.  Applicants must submit official scores as part of the application process. See additional information below regarding test scores and requirements.

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
  • English proficiency test scores may be required for students whose first language is not English. See below for details.

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 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

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.

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. 
  • MOT 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. Applicants can expect a decision by mid-December.

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

Learn More

For more information about courses and credit hours, view our Program Requirements.