Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)
Frequently Asked Questions
I am interested in applying to the MOT program at the University of Washington. What should I do first?
We suggest you start by completing the shadowing/volunteering requirement so that you can get a good idea what an Occupational Therapist (OT) does, and if this field is the right fit for you.
Can you tell me if I'm likely to be offered admission?
The quality and quantity of applicants each year cannot be predicted, so we cannot guarantee admission in advance for any student. Admission is based on a multitude of factors including, prerequisite GPA, overall college level GPA, volunteer/ work experience, essays, references and GREs.
I’m worried that my GRE scores are too low. What steps can I take?
If you plan to retake the GRE to improve your scores, we recommend that you study using either a study guide book or take a study class.
What are the prerequisites for the program?
Follow the link to view prerequisite course descriptions.
Prerequisite coursework may be taken at the UW, community colleges, or at other institutions of higher learning. At the time of application, applicants must have completed five of the seven prerequisite courses including the three courses in the natural sciences. All seven prerequisite courses must be completed prior to entering the program in Autumn Quarter.
What if I received only a 2.7 in some of my prerequisites?
The minimum required grade for any single prerequisite is 2.7, however, the GPA for all prerequisites must be 3.0 or above. The average pre-requisite GPA for admitted students has been about 3.7 over the last few years. Some applicants choose to re-take a prerequisite to raise the grade. We will use the best grade you received in a pre-requisite class at the time of application.
Can prerequisites courses taken at other schools with different titles or credits be used if they cover most of the same information? How about work experience?
Yes, courses from other schools that cover comparable content may be used to meet the prerequisite requirements. We recommend that you compare the course description with that in our prerequisite list and then call us if you have questions. Work experience is not a substitute for academic courses.
I’m changing careers and received my bachelor’s degree several years ago. Will classes I took then still be accepted?
There is no time limit for prerequisite course completion. We do recommend, however, that you come prepared to build directly upon your studies in anatomy and physiology.
What housing options are available for students?
There are many different options for on campus housing. Please see the University's housing website.
Do graduates get jobs after they graduate? How quickly?
In recent years all of the graduates who pursued an occupational therapist position have secured an OT position within a few months. Occupational therapists are currently in high demand.
What is fieldwork?
Fieldwork internships are where students gain clinical experience under the supervision of practicing occupational therapists. These placements are an integral part of the program. These experiences give students the opportunity to integrate and apply what they learn in real-life clinical situations. Students complete four one-week Fieldwork I placements in the areas of mental health, physical disabilities, pediatrics, and geriatrics. Then, after finishing all the classes, they finish their education by completing two three-month, full-time Fieldwork II internships.
How many students usually apply?
The number of qualified applicants varies each year. In recent years, the number of applicants has been approximately 300-350.
What are the lecture class sizes?
During the first year, some classes taken with physical therapy and prosthetics and orthotics students may be as large as 90 students. Classes specific to only the MOT program are limited to only the MOT students, so enrollment is about 25 students per class.
Do I need a bachelor’s degree to apply?
Any bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher learning is acceptable.
Is there a specific bachelor’s major that I should have?
No, the students in the MOT program come from a wide variety of backgrounds, including psychology, health sciences, biology, education, business, art, sociology, and engineering, among others.
What kind of volunteer experience do I need to apply?
Applicants must have experience with people who have emotional, physical, and/or cognitive disabilities to demonstrate their interest in and understanding of the field. It is important for the applicant to have at least 40 hours of direct observation, volunteering, job shadowing, and/or working with an occupational therapist in at least two different types of occupational therapy practice settings (physical rehabilitation, mental health, geriatrics, pediatrics) and with different age groups. This helps in understanding the breadth of the field of practice in occupational therapy.
Click to view a List of Volunteer Locations (pdf file) where you may want to do your volunteer work. You do not need to fulfill the requirement for volunteer hours at these locations, however; these are just suggestions.
Is the application online?
Yes, the application is available at the OTCAS portal:
Can I transfer into the program?
Transfers from other entry-level OT programs are considered on a case by case basis.
What is the University of Washington policy on accommodation?
The University of Washington is committed to providing access, equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities. Follow the link for more information on our commitment to diversity.
What is the selection process?
A committee of faculty and community clinicians reviews and rates applicant materials using a holistic review process that considers applicant experience, attributes, and academic history. The committee recommendations for admission are presented to the Occupational Therapy Advisory and Evaluation Committee who make the final decision as to offers of admission.
What is the section you look at most during the selection process?
Every part of your application is valued and reviewed with equal importance.
How much can I expect to spend in tuition and other expenses?
Because tuition changes periodically, it is best to check the UW catalog at the time you plan to apply. Follow the link for a detailed breakdown of current tuition and program costs. Most students complete the program in 9 quarters. Please check the UW Residency Office website for information about residency requirements.
Will I be able to work while attending the program?
Some students work part-time while in the program, however, it is expected that work schedules do not interfere with class attendance. What you decide to do is highly individual depending on your ability to juggle schedules of work, classes and study. During the last two quarters of the program, students are on full-time internships and outside work is not recommended.
How can I find out about financial aid?
Contact the University of Washington Office of Student Financial Aid.
Will I be certified to work outside of Washington State when I graduate?
After you graduate, you must take the national certification examination for occupational therapists in order to work in the field. In addition, almost all states require state licensure to work in the state. Typically, states require that you have graduated from an accredited OT program, passed the national certification exam, and pass a background check related to character and vulnerable populations. A few states may have other requirements.
Who do I contact if I have questions?
If you have questions regarding the Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) program, please contact Charu Gupta:
Occupational Therapy Curriculum Office
1959 NE Pacific Street, Suite BB-928
Seattle WA 98195-6490
To learn more about the Master of Occupational Therapy Program at the University of Washington, please explore the links below: