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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.

Application Dates & Deadlines

Applications for the MOT program and all related materials are due December 15th at 9:00 pm Pacific Standard Time. 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:

  • U.S. citizenship or current U.S. Permanent Resident card.  Applications are open to residents of any state.
  • Meet the UW Graduate School's English language proficiency requirement at time of admission
  • A GRE score from within the last five years. No minimum score is required.
  • Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States or its equivalent from a foreign institution or be on track to earn a bachelor’s degree before the program begins.  Any major is acceptable.
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale for all college-level courses.
  • All three Natural Science courses and two of the non-science prerequisite courses must be completed by the application deadline. The remaining prerequisite courses must be completed before the program begins.
  • Grade of 3.0 (B) or higher in each prerequisite course with no more than one grade in any prerequisite course at a 2.7 (B-).
  • A minimum of 40 hours of OT-related work or volunteer experience.

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.

Under each prerequisite subject below, you’ll find a suggested UW course or courses that will meet that prerequisite. Courses from other schools may vary in title, level, and credit and still meet the prerequisite requirement if the content is equivalent. If you’re attending one of the Washington State community colleges, check the UW Equivalency Guide to learn more; otherwise, we suggest comparing the course descriptions in your college catalog with the following descriptions to gauge approximate equivalencies. If you have any questions, please contact us.

  • Statistics
    One introductory course that covers elementary concepts of probability and sampling as well as basic principles of hypothesis testing and data analysis. UW equivalents: STAT 220, STAT 221, STAT 311, STAT 320, SOC 221 QSCI 381, EDPSY 490, PSYCH 315, PSYCH 317, QMETH 201

Natural Sciences

  • Chemistry
    One overview course that covers the basic principles of chemistry including atomic structure, matter and energy, chemical reactions, chemical equilibrium, and chemical bonding. UW equivalents: CHEM 101, 120, 142, 145, 152 or 162

  • Anatomy
    One course that covers human anatomy including human skeletal system, muscles, joints, neuroanatomy, circulatory system, digestive system, urinary system, and reproductive system. UW equivalent: BSTR 301*

  • Physiology
    One course that covers human physiology for non-majors and/or health science students. UW equivalent: BIOL 118/119*

*For the anatomy and physiology prerequisites, two courses that cover integrated anatomy and physiology are an acceptable substitute.

Social Sciences

  • Developmental Psychology
    One overview course that analyzes psychological development from infancy to adolescence including examination of biological, physical, and sociocultural influences on development. Courses that include development through the life span are acceptable. UW equivalent: PSYCH 206, PSYCH 306, NURS 201

  • Abnormal Psychology
    One overview course of major categories of psychopathology, including description and classification, theoretical models, and etiology and treatment. UW equivalent: PSYCH 305

  • Introduction to Sociology
    One overview course that covers human interaction, social institutions, social stratification, socialization, deviance, social control, social and cultural change. UW equivalent: SOC 110
  • Sociocultural Anthropology/Cultural Anthropology
    One overview course that covers a comparison of lifeway of various non-Western and Western peoples. UW equivalent: ANTH 101, ANTH 202

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

  • Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service online application
  • UW Graduate School online application
  • Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • One OTCAS-required essay and one essay specific to the UW MOT program
  • GRE scores

Application Steps

Step One: Prepare to Apply

Complete your OT-related volunteer or work experience. A minimum of 40 hours is required.

Make sure you’re on track to complete prerequisite coursework.

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)

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.

Take the GRE. GRE scores must be sent directly to OTCAS from the Educational Testing Service using code 1997. GRE scores must be no more than 5 years old.

Step Two: Apply

Complete and submit the OTCAS online application.
Complete and submit the UW Graduate School online application.

Step Three: Monitor Applications

Monitor the status of your application and application materials (through the online portals) on a regular basis to insure all materials have been properly submitted and verified. The program will not notify applicant of incomplete or missing documents.

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.

Important dates

July 6
Applications Open

December 15
Applications Due

Admission Offers Made

Late September
Program Begins


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

Annual Occupational Therapy Clinician-Faculty Meeting

March 17, 2017
We hope you can join us for this event. Please see following the invitation letter, RSVP form, and directions to the Urban Horticulture Center for details. Feel free to disseminate the invitation and registration form to other OTs. Thank you. We look forward to seeing you in March.

MOT Applicant Information Session

Friday, April 7, 2017
2:30 - 3:30 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.

MOT Application Deadline

The deadline to apply to the MOT program for the 2017-18 academic year was 12/16/2016.
The deadline to apply for the 2018-19 academic year is 12/01/2017 at 9 PM (PST).

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