Your browser does not support JavaScript.
James Madison University

Requirements for Admission into the MOT Program

We designed our admission requirements to reflect both academic and non-academic factors that ensure candidates;

  • Can meet the essential requirements and perform the technical standards of an entry-level occupational therapy program
  • Are prepared to enter the OT profession as highly skilled entry-level professionals
  • Can meet all JMU Graduate School graduation requirements

The trend for OT admissions for the past few years suggests that admission is competitive. It is likely that we will not have space in our program for all qualified applicants.

Expand All | Collapse All

  • Baccalaureate Degree

    • You must complete a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher learning.  All baccalaureate degree requirements must be completed prior to enrolling in the MOT Program. The MOT Program begins in early June.
    • You may earn a degree in any major provided you have completed the prerequisite courses.
    • You must apply during your senior year of study or after receiving your baccalaureate degree.
    • If you are enrolled in a baccalaureate program when you apply and if you are offered  admission, it will be on a conditional basis. To be fully admitted you must submit all official transcripts verifying completion of your degree and all prerequisite courses with earned grades meeting the criteria stated before your status is changed to unconditional.
  • Grade Point Average

    • You must earn a cumulative college-level grade point average of 3.0 (B) or higher on a scale where A = 4.0.
    • Grade point average (GPA) will be determined by factoring in all courses taken at accredited colleges/universities and submitted for review.
    • If you have completed a graduate degree, the admissions committee will use the graduate GPA in lieu of the undergraduate GPA.

Prerequisite Courses

Please review the prerequisite courses carefully.

Expand All | Collapse All

  • Prerequisite Course GPA and Grade Requirements

    You must earn a prerequisite grade point average of 3.0 (B) or higher on a scale where A = 4.0.

    Additionally, you must earn a grade of “C” (2.0) or better in each prerequisite course. A grade of “C-“does not meet this criteria.

    A grade of “B” or above in all prerequisite courses is preferred and recommended.

  • Incomplete Prerequisites

    We recommend that you complete all prerequisites prior to applying to the program.  However, we understand that at the time of application, you may still be taking prerequisite courses. If this is the case for you please be advised that you must

    • Complete all prerequisites prior to starting the program in June.
    • Submit a transcript showing you are enrolled in the courses and your final grade to mail (unofficial transcript) of final grades by January 7th .
      • Should your school finalize transcripts after this date contact the OT Program at

    Have no more than three incomplete prerequisite courses left to take during the spring semester prior to enrolling in the OT Program.

    • Example: If you apply in October 2018 for admission into the MOT Program starting summer 2019, you should have no more than three incomplete prerequisites to take during the spring 2019 semester.
    • Have completed either Anatomy or Physiology;
    • Example: If your school offers anatomy and physiology as separate classes.  You should have completed at least one of the courses prior to spring.
    • If your school offers combined Anatomy/Physiology courses, A & P 1 and A & P 2, you may have an incomplete in A & P 2.
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE)

    For the upcoming cycle you must take the GRE.

    GRE scores (Verbal, Quantitative & Writing) must be sent electronically to James Madison University’s Graduate School using code 5392.

    You should ensure your GRE scores have  submitted by end of business day on November 15th.

    *Subject to change for upcoming years.

  • Additional Requirements

  • Observation Experiences

    Please be considerate when requesting occupational therapists to complete an observation form. OT Practitioners supervise observation hours as a service to the applicant and the OT Profession. 

    When you apply you must submit the JMU Observation Verification Form. Please ask the OT to use the numerical rating system. While it is acceptable to add a supporting letter in addition to the form, letters are not sufficient in lieu of the form.

    • You must have an Occupational Therapist (OTR) verify your hours.
    • You must complete a minimum of 40 observation hours.
    • You must observe occupational therapist in at least two different practice settings.  
    • If you complete observation hours at one facility where you observe more than one OT practitioner;
      • You may have one main reviewer who verifies your hours as long as all practitioners communicate or
      • Documentation may be completed by multiple reviewers.
    • OT Observation hours must be uploaded to your application.
  • References

    You must submit three confidential references using the form from our website.  Ask your references to either:

    • Directly email forms to and use your name as the subject line or
    • Directly mail your form in a sealed and signed envelope to:

    James Madison University
    Occupational Therapy Program
    235 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
    MSC 4315
    Harrisonburg, VA 22807

    • You must follow up with your references to be sure all have returned the required form by October 15.

    Applicants often ask questions about who are helpful references. References from close family members or people you know exclusively in a friendship/social capacity are typically not acceptable. The committee recommends that at least one comes from each category; 

    • Someone who can effectively address your academic potential such as a faculty member or course instructor
    • Someone who can address your work/interpersonal skills such as an employer/ volunteer supervisor
  • Personal Statement

    • You should use the following writing prompt to write your personal statement:
    • In an integrated personal statement, please describe your unique contributions & perspectives, as they relate to your;
      • values
      • experiences
      • connections to others
    • Explain how they are congruent with your goal to become an occupational therapist.
    • Be aware that grammar, mechanics and formatting are important.  This is your opportunity to present yourself to the admissions committee, you want to make a strong first impression.
      • Please paginate your document
      • Double space
      • Use adequate size font; (e.g. Times New Roman 12pt.)
    • Keep this document to 1,500 words or less.
    • Upload with your application
  • Resume

    Students are to upload a current resume with application. 

  • Background Checks

    JMU does not require criminal background checks or drug screenings as an admission condition. However, students in professional programs complete level I & II fieldwork affiliations in various practice settings with clients. Most affiliation sites require Occupational Therapy students to complete criminal background checks, health and drug screenings prior to starting clinical experiences. There are additional fees associated. Should you have questions about this process he/she should contact the Admissions Committee at

    You should be aware that in order to become credentialed as an Occupational Therapist you must comply with Occupational Therapy regulatory body standards. For more information, visit NBCOT [National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy and your states OT regulatory board).


Accreditation, Student Outcomes, an Certification