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Occupational TherapyOccupational Therapy (OT) is a health and rehabilitation profession that helps people of all ages to participate more fully in their day-to-day lives. Occupational therapists assist persons who are experiencing a physical, cognitive or emotional impairment.
310 N. Riverpoint Blvd., Box R
Spokane, WA 99202-1675
Note: our program is undergoing review which will most likely result in changes to the curriculum, requirements for application, and/or prerequisites. We will post details immediately after notification is received.
Admission to the EWU MOT Program occurs once a year with offers made for a class of 32 entering each summer. Admission is based not only on academic achievement, but also on non-academic factors, which ensure that candidates can complete the academic program required for graduation. The admission process is competitive. Candidates must complete the following requirements for admission:
1. Successful Application to OTCAS at www.otcas.org. Deadline: December 15. For more information, please review the Application Procedures pages for the MOT program and the Combined Bachelor's to Master's Program (3+2).
2. Successful Application to the Eastern Washington University's Graduate Programs office. Deadline: December 15. NOTE: This requirement is for MOT applicants only; 3+2 applicants do not complete this step at the time of initial application. For more information, please review the MOT Application Procedures page.
3. Successful Completion of OT Program Specific Prerequisites. Prerequisite coursework may be taken at Eastern Washington University or at any other accredited colleges, universities, or community colleges. At the time of application, applicants must have completed at least seven of the prerequisite courses, and it is highly recommended that anatomy and physiology be among them. All prerequisites must be taken for credit (not through certificate programs), and only courses in which you have received grades of a 2.0 (letter grade equivalent of C) or higher will satisfy the requirements. All 11 prerequisite courses must be completed prior to entering the program in Summer term. If you have any questions about these prerequisite courses, please contact us. Please enter all of your prerequisites courses directly into your OTCAS application.
- Chemistry: Any college-level course with a lab.
- English Composition II or Technical Writing course.*
- Human Anatomy or A&P I with lab.
- Human Physiology or A&P II with lab.**
- Introduction to Occupational Therapy***
- Medical Terminology****
- Sociology or Anthropology: Any college-level course.
- General Psychology/Introduction to Psychology
- Abnormal Psychology
- Human Development through the Life Span or Developmental Psychology
* A course designated by a college/university or academic department as "writing-intensive" can also fulfill this requirement. Candidates who have already earned a Master's degree in a different field are exempt from this requirement.
** The Anatomy and Physiology series must have been completed within the last seven years. If the full A & P series is completed at EWU (BIOL 232, 233, and 234), then Medical Terminology is waived. It is recommended to complete the full series (three quarters) if taken at EWU.
*** This course may be difficult to find at colleges that do not have Occupational Therapy programs. The Introduction to Occupational Therapy (OCTH 101) is offered online through EWU every quarter and also in a classroom setting on the Cheney campus each Fall Quarter. Go here for instructions about registering for this course online if you are not an EWU student. Candidates who are Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants (COTAs) are not required to take OCTH 101 and Medical Terminology.
**** Medical Terminology (OCTH 292) can also be taken online at EWU.
4. Bachelor's Degree. NOTE: 3+2 students are exempted from this requirement. A baccalaureate degree in any major from an accredited institution of higher education is required. A bachelor's degree must be awarded prior to starting the program in the Summer term. Students currently in the MOT program have a wide variety of degrees and backgrounds, including biology, psychology, exercise science, therapeutic recreation, art, history, business, sociology, and anthropology, among others.
5. Demonstrated 3.0 cumulative college GPA in the last 90 quarter or 60 semester credits AND a minumum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in all prerequisite courses.
6. Graduate Record Examination (GRE): The GRE exam must be completed as a part of your application to the OT program. The test version must be October 2010 or later. Successful candidates are expected to earn a score of 3.5 or higher on the Writing section of the exam. Send your scores directly to EWU. EWU's school code is 4301 and the OT Department code is 0618.
7. Observation/Volunteer/Work Experience: Applicants must have observation/volunteer/work experience with people who have mental, physical, or developmental disabilities. At the time of application, applicants must have documented observation, volunteer, and/or work experience of thirty (30) hours with persons with disabilities and ten (10) hours shadowing an occupational therapist in at least two practice settings (physical rehabilitation, mental health, geriatrics, pediatrics) and with different age groups for a total of 40 hours of observation/volunteer/work experience. It is also important that one experience be extensive and with an occupational therapist who can serve as a reference. These hours are placed directly into OTCAS. This helps to demonstrate your interest in and understanding of the breadth of practice in occupational therapy.
8. Three ORIGINAL Letters of Recommendation:
These letters are completed through OTCAS.
- One from an instructor/professor who taught any college-level academic courses taken by the applicant in the areas of mathematics, sciences, English, or psychology.
- One from an occupational therapist who supervised observation/volunteer/work experiences related to services for persons with disabilities.
- One from a person (a non-relative) who can provide a character reference. Examples include: a former or current employer, co-worker, mentor, religious leader, counselor, coach, and charity/volunteer organization leader.
9. Personal Essay: All applicants must compose an essay as listed on OTCAS. 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. The essay must capture the interest of the reader, be relevant to the theme of the essay, and convey a message that is clear and relatable. Please use language that conveys an understanding of the professionalism required at this level, the healthcare environment, and occupational therapy. Lastly, please adhere to standard writing conventions, such as correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
10. Successful Completion of a Group Interview: By the end of January, typically about 100 candidates will be invited to a group interview and open house at the EWU Spokane campus. The interview day is generally held on a Saturday in mid- to late-February.
Candidates will be notified of their admission status to the OT program in mid-March.