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  Department of Rehabilitation Medicine 
  maximizing potential across the lifespan

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)

The goal of the Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) Program at the University of Washington (UW) is to produce highly effective occupational therapists who will drive innovation and excellence in the profession. In our holistic student selection process, we seek students who are committed to providing culturally responsive service in our increasingly diverse world. In making our admission decisions, we consider a balance of an applicant’s experiences, attributes, and academic history. We do not conduct interviews as part of our admission review process.

Application Dates & Deadlines

Applications for the MOT program and all related materials are due December 1st, 2017, at 9:00 PM (PST). Applications are reviewed mid-January with admission decisions emailed to applicants by mid-March. Students may reapply to the program if not admitted, but must reapply to OTCAS and the UW Graduate School as previous application materials are not retained.

Minimum Admission Requirements

To apply for admission, applicants must meet all following requirements:

  • Demonstrate US citizenship or current US Permanent Resident status.
    • Applications are open to residents of any state.
  • Meet the UW Graduate School’s English language proficiency requirement at time of admission.
  • Official GRE scores for the Quantitative, Verbal, and Analytical Writing sections from within the last five years.
    • No minimum score is required.
  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the US or its equivalent from a foreign institution or be on track to earn a bachelor’s degree before the program begins.
    • All majors are accepted.
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale for all college-level courses (e.g. undergraduate, graduate, prerequisites).
  • All three of the Natural Science and two of the Social Science prerequisite courses must be completed by the application deadline.
    • The remaining prerequisite courses must be completed before the program begins.
  • One prerequisite course may be a grade of 2.7 or “B-” while the rest of the prerequisite courses must be grades of 3.0 or “B” or higher.
  • A minimum of 40 hours of OT-related work or volunteer experience across two different practice settings.

Prerequisite Courses

Prerequisite courses may be taken at any regionally accredited institution of higher education, including universities and community or junior colleges. Courses may be taken in person or online. Advanced placement courses that appear on an official college transcript are also acceptable.

Prerequisite courses for our application requirements do not expire. However, we expect applicants to be knowledgeable and comfortable with material from the required prerequisites so that they are ready to move onto the MOT courses on the first day of the program. There are a total of seven required prerequisites. The three Natural Science courses and two Social Science courses must be completed by the application deadline. Only two Social Science courses may have grades pending after the application deadline.

What type of courses are we looking for to meet the prerequisites?

Natural Science
  Human Anatomy
  • Lecture required, Lab optional
  • Designed for Allied Health or Science majors
  • Primary focus on the human skeletal system, muscles, joints, neuroanatomy, circulatory system, digestive system, urinary system, and reproductive system
Human Physiology
  • Lecture required, Lab optional
  • Designed for Allied Health or Science majors
  • Primary focus on the human endocrine, cardiovascular, immune, lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems
  • Lecture required, Lab optional
  • Designed for Allied Health or Science majors
  • Primary focus on inorganic chemistry, atomic structure, matter and energy, chemical reactions, chemical equilibrium, and chemical bonding
Social Science
  • From any major or department
  • General overview course on probability, sampling, hypothesis testing, and data analysis
Developmental Psychology
  • From Psychology or related department
  • General overview course on psychological development from infancy to adolescence (or the lifespan) from a biological, physical, and sociocultural perspective
Abnormal Psychology
  • From Psychology department
  • General overview course on psychopathology, theoretical models, etiology, and treatment

Introduction to Sociology


Sociocultural Anthropology or Cultural Anthropology

  • From Sociology department
  • General overview course on human interaction, social institutions, social stratification, socialization, and theories

  • From Anthropology or related department
  • Primary focus on comparing non-Western and Western peoples


Write your essays. The Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS) application requires a standard essay. The UW MOT Program also requires a response to a school-specific question. Because there’s no interview in the program application process, these essays are the primary way you can express your aptitude for the OT profession and your personal qualities and attributes that will help you succeed in this program.

  • OTCAS essay: This essay should address why you selected OT 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. The personal essay is an important part of your application for admission and provides you with an opportunity for you to clearly and effectively express your ideas.

  • UW MOT Program school-specific essay:  In this essay, describe an experience where you encountered an obstacle and how you approached the situation. What about your approach worked well and what do you wish you would have done differently? (Limit 3500 characters, including spaces)

Letters of Recommendation

Identify people who are willing to write letters of recommendation for you. You’ll need to submit three letters of recommendation as part of your OTCAS application.  We suggest that you choose people who can speak to your potential for a career in occupational therapy.

OT-Related Volunteer or Work Experience

Applicants must have a minimum of 40 hours of direct OT-related experience. These may be volunteer, work, shadow, or observation hours with all hours weighted equally in the admissions process. These hours must be completed in at least two different types of practice settings (e.g., physical rehabilitation, mental health) and with different age groups.

Applicants are expected to arrange their own OT-related experience. Volunteering in an occupational therapy department of a hospital or private clinic is a good place to begin. We provide a non-comprehensive list of volunteer locations where you might be able complete your volunteer work. You are not required to fulfill the OT experience requirement at these locations.

Required Application Materials

The chart below outlines application materials that are required to be submitted along with the two applications (UW Graduate School application and OTCAS application) by the application deadline.

  UW Graduate School OTCAS
Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended *No Yes
Official electronic GRE Scores *No Yes, use code 1997
3 Letters of Recommendation No Yes
Direct OT-related Experience information No Yes
OTCAS specific essay No Yes
UW MOT specific essay No Yes
Application Fees Yes Yes

*The UW Graduate School will accept unofficial transcripts and test scores. Only admitted students are required to submit official transcripts and test scores.


December 1, 2017 OTCAS application
UW Graduate School application
All additional application materials
mid-March 2018 UW MOT decisions

*There are no exceptions to missing the application deadline. It is highly recommended that applicants submit everything early to avoid technical difficulties on the day of the deadline.

Criminal History Background Check

A background check is required of all accepted students. The State of Washington, as well as most fieldwork training facilities, requires this background check for individuals who work with children, individuals with a developmental disability, and other vulnerable groups. This background check is required in order to participate in clinical work with vulnerable populations at all clinical training sites used by our program.


We are happy to answer questions you may have about the Master of Occupational Therapy.
Contact Us

To learn more about the Occupational Therapy Program at the University of Washington, please explore the links below:

thumbnail of newsletter

UW OT Newsletter

MOT Applicant Information Session

Friday, July 21, 2017
3:00 - 4:00 PM (PST)
UW Health Sciences Bldg
Room CC-902
RSVP by emailing

thumbnail of Graduate Project poster

17th Annual Graduate Project Symposium

Wednesday, June 7, 2017
11:30am - 3:45pm
Center for Urban Horticulture
3501 NE 41st Street
Seattle, WA 98195

View past Graduate Project Posters here.

Joy in OT

AOTA 2017 Conference Poster:
Joy in Occupational Therapy Practice: Reflective Journaling to Promote Longevity in Fieldwork Educators and Future Practitioners
  Poster Summary and Resources
  Attendee input

MOT Application Deadline

The deadline to apply for the 2018-19 academic year is 12/01/2017 at 9 PM (PST).

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