Established in 1941, Eastern Michigan University’s Occupational Therapy Program has a long-standing tradition of excellence. The EMU OT Program provides competent and caring professionals to the local community as well as throughout the State of Michigan and across the nation.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook predicts that employment of occupational therapists is projected to grow 24 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. This is based on the general population growth and the increasing demand for services for those aged 75 years and older who are requiring occupational therapy services to improve their quality of life. In addition, emerging practice areas for occupational therapists, for example, in such areas as driver rehabilitation and fall prevention, continue to develop. Occupational therapists are employed in diverse settings including but not limited to: hospitals, schools, rehabilitation facilities, long-term care facilities, home health care, and in areas of prevention and wellness. Occupational Therapy is rated the 9th best job in health care and 14th best job overall by US News and World Report (2014). In 2012, Forbes identified a master of occupational therapy as a top degree to pursue employment.
Accreditation | The EMU Occupational Therapy program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. ACOTE’s telephone number, c/o AOTA, is (301) 652-AOTA and its web address is www.acoteonline.org.
There are two routes of entry to the occupational therapy degree. Student applicants are integrated into one cohort once admitted into the program. Please carefully review the tracks below to identify which option fits you.
Option 1 - Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)
If you are applying to the occupational therapy program and have already received a bachelor’s degree or will have received a degree prior to the start of the program, you should apply as a graduate student to the MOT program.
The Masters of Occupational Therapy (MOT) track is designed for individuals who have already completed an undergraduate degree in a field other than occupational therapy. Applicants to this track must have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college/university or appropriate international institution. Candidates may apply while their degree is in progress, but degree completion, demonstrated by transcript evaluation, is necessary prior to the start of the Occupational Therapy Program. This track requires students to complete twenty-four months of full-time, year-round graduate coursework in occupational therapy followed by 24 weeks of Level II Fieldwork. This track culminates with a Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT degree).
Please see Program Admission for more information.
Option 2 - Combined Occupational Therapy (COT)
If you are applying to the occupational therapy program as an undergraduate student and will not have completed a degree prior to the start of the program, you should apply to the program as a Combined Occupational Therapy (COT) student.
The Combined Occupational Therapy (COT) track is often referred to as the 3+2 program. The COT track is designed for undergraduate students who do not yet have a bachelor’s degree. This track requires students to complete twenty-four months of full-time, year-round undergraduate and graduate coursework in occupational therapy followed by 24 weeks of Level II Fieldwork. This track culminates with a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) degree. To be eligible to apply as a COT student:
- 90 Undergraduate credits must be completed by the January start of the OT program. A student cannot be admitted to the OT program if less than 90 credits are complete by the start of the program.
- All general education courses should be complete by winter start of the OT program. General education courses can be completed in the fall semester as applications are being reviewed.
- Transfer students must apply and be accepted to EMU and have met with a general academic advisor to identify how previous coursework will transfer to EMU. This needs to occur prior to submitting an application to the OT program.
Please see Occupational Therapy Combined [B.S. + MOT] for more information regarding this track.
Information/Group Advising Sessions for Occupational Therapy Intent Students
On campus, information/group advising sessions and the online webinar are designed to provide an introduction to the application process to the EMU Occupational Therapy Program.
All interested applicants are strongly encouraged to view the webinar and/or attend a scheduled On-Campus Group Advising Session.
The Occupational Therapy Program Admission Requirements were developed to be straightforward and attainable for prospective applicants and are intended to serve as a guide for those interested in applying to the program. These are the minimum requirements for an application to be reviewed and evaluated. All admission requirements must be met for an applicant to be considered and reviewed. Merely meeting these minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to the program.
The Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) requires a 2nd admissions process (portfolio due August 1st) and a student cannot apply to EMU as an occupational therapy graduate student until the requirements for the portfolio have been completed, reviewed by the occupational therapy faculty, and a request to join the program has been extended. Carefully review the criteria below to identify how you could apply to EMU to complete pre-admission coursework prior to submitting your portfolio. Please note that the criteria below do not apply to students who are still working towards a bachelors degree.
- If you do not need financial aid to complete pre-admission coursework you should apply to EMU as a non-degree seeking graduate student. If accepted by the occupational therapy program, after the review of your portfolio, you will be provided directions on how to become a fully admitted graduate student.
- If you need financial aid to complete pre-admission coursework you should apply to EMU as a 2nd Bachelors student by contacting the University Advising and Career Development Center (UACDC). If accepted by the occupational therapy program, after the review of your portfolio, you will be provided directions on how to become a fully admitted graduate student.
- If all pre-admission coursework has been completed at another college or university and you do not need to complete coursework at EMU you are able to submit a portfolio, due August 1st, for consideration as outlined on the website. If accepted by the occupational therapy program, after the review of your portfolio, you will be provided directions on how to become a fully admitted graduate student.
The competitive admission process consists of an application review. Applications must be received no later than August 1st for students interested in beginning the program in the winter semester of that academic year. No late submissions are accepted.
Detailed information about the application process can be found on the program’s website. We strongly encourage all students interested in applying to the program to attend a group advising session and meet with the OT Intent Advisor to successfully complete their application. Applicants may only apply to the Occupational Therapy Program two times.
Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
The GRE revised General Test, or GRE General Test is required as part of the application process to EMU Occupational Therapy program for both the MOT and COT tracks. No test is acceptable as a substitute for the GRE. Results of the GRE General Test must be included in the application. GRE test results are accepted if taken within three years of an applicant’s date of application. If taking the GRE in the months leading up to the application, it should be taken no later than June 30th to ensure scores are available by the August 1st application deadline. Results should be sent to Eastern Michigan University and a copy of the results submitted with the application. To register for this examination, please visit the website. There is no minimum GRE score necessary to be considered for admission. However, average scores admitted to the program include a combined score of over 300 on the quantitative/verbal and 4.0 on the writing. If testing accommodations are needed, please visit ets.org/disabilities. Accommodation requests should be submitted to ETS as early as possible.
GRE score reports must be received following the guidelines as delineated above. If appropriate score reports are not provided to EMU and found within the application, the candidate will be removed from consideration for admission.
Grade Point Average (GPA)
Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 at the time of application. This GPA will be calculated from the last 60 semester/90 quarter units of coursework. It is the expectation that the average successful applicant has a GPA much higher than 3.0.
To be considered for admission to the occupational therapy program, applicants must complete the following pre-admission courses with a grade of B- or better. All courses must have been completed within ten years of the application deadline except for Statistics, Anatomy and Physiology, and Neuroanatomy, which must have been completed within five years of the application deadline. Visit pre-admission courses for more information. If you have previously taken these courses at another university, please note that all pre-admission substitutions must be pre-approved before the submission of your application. All pre-admission coursework must be completed by the August 1st application deadline. Submission of your application without course completion or pre-approval will result in your application being denied.
Anatomy and Physiology BIO 251 and BIO 252
Neuroanatomy BIO 330
Statistics (choose 1)
PSY 205 , SOCL 250 ,STAT 170 , STAT 360 , STAT 370 , STAT 571 , STAT 563 , or STAT 574
Human Growth and Development (choose 1)
DTC 261 , EDPS 325 , IHHS 260 , or NURS 261
Introductory Psychology PSY 101
Abnormal Psychology PSY 360
Introductory Sociology OR Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (choose 1) ANTH 135 or SOCL 105
All pre-admission courses must be taken at a regionally accredited college or university in the United States. Pre-admission courses may be taken at traditional four-year universities or community colleges. Both traditional classroom settings and online courses from these institutions are acceptable. Advanced placement credit consideration will be provided for Introductory Psychology and Statistics only. There are no exceptions to this requirement.
All pre-admission courses (including associated labs) must be completed with a minimum grade of “B-.” For pre-admission courses with separate final grades assigned for Lecture and Lab sections on a transcript, a minimum grade of “B-” is required in both sections. There is no averaging of these grades together. For applicants enrolled at institutions that use a combined letter grading scale (such as “AB” or “BC”), all pre-admission courses must be “A,” “AB,” or “B.” Receiving a grade of “BC” or lower does not meet the minimum grade requirement.
For applicants enrolled at institutions that use a numerical system for grading, all pre-admission courses must have a grade of at least “2.7”. Receiving a grade of “2.5” or lower does not meet the minimum grade requirement. No pre-admission course may be taken as “credit/no credit,” “pass/fail,” or “advanced credit,” as a grade must be assigned.
Course Waiver, Advanced Placement, or Testing Out
No pre-admission course waivers will be allowed, advanced placement courses/credits will be accepted for statistics and introductory psychology only and there is no testing out of any pre-admission course requirements. Every pre-admission course must be taken according to the information on this page. There are no tests that can be taken or will be accepted to waive pre-admission course requirements. Further, no personal experiences or work history will be accepted in place of any of the required pre-admission courses.
Pre-admission courses may not actually transfer into the EMU OT Program. Successful completion of all pre-admission courses fulfills one of the minimum requirements necessary to matriculate into the EMU OT Program. The EMU OT Program makes the final determination as to whether a pre-admission course requirement has been met. Applicants are cautioned that transfer equivalency lists may not reflect the EMU OT Program’s acceptable pre-admission courses. Course equivalency review may take up to 4 weeks and should be planned for accordingly.
Coursework Outside the US - International Applicants
An international applicant is defined as a student who is either not a United States citizen or a student who has educational credentials (taken any college/university courses) from outside the United States. All applicants to the EMU Occupational Therapy Program with non-U.S. post-secondary educational credentials (taken any college/university courses) must submit an evaluation of all non-U.S. post-secondary education using one of the 4 approved evaluation services noted on the International Admissions website. A “Detailed” Report (course-by-course evaluation) and the US –equivalent Grade Point Average (GPA) is required. Please visit the International Admissions website for details on how to submit the evaluation request and obtain an EP application form.
Applicants who do not possess a Bachelor’s degree from a post-secondary institution where English is the principal language of instruction must take and pass the TOEFL with a score of 84 or better. No tests other than TOEFL will be accepted. Applicants must report their TOEFL scores in their application by August 1, and an official TOEFL score report must be sent to the EMU Occupational Therapy Program. All international applicants are expected to understand and meet all other eligibility requirements for admission to the EMU Occupational Therapy Program and the Graduate School. Please see the Graduate School’s website for additional information. For questions about residency/visa or financial requirements, please contact the Office of International Admissions at email@example.com.
Students must submit three reference forms, including at least one academic and one professional reference (see Reference Form Criteria for additional details). Each reference must include the credentials and contact information of the individual completing the reference. All reference forms must be completed within the three years prior to application. There is no specific requirement regarding the credentials or background of the individuals who supply the letters of reference. We recommend applicants obtain references from individuals who can provide insight into an applicant’s abilities in the classroom or workplace, interpersonal skills, and qualities that would make them a good fit for EMU’s occupational therapy program.
A minimum of 20 total hours of volunteering or observation with occupational therapists in at least 2 different settings must be completed prior to the application deadline. All OT volunteer/observation hours must be completed within the three years prior to the applicant’s date of application.
The application form provides information on an applicant’s previous and current life experiences, including but not limited to work, volunteer, and community engagement.
The portfolio should be in a 1-inch binder, well organized, professional and include:
- An identification page
- Official and sealed transcripts from all colleges attended. We will accept unofficial transcripts from Eastern Michigan University only
- A table or list of pre-admission courses (include the name of the course, the number of the course, grade received, institution where completed). Course pre-approval documentation must accompany the table of courses.
- Results of the GRE.
- Reference and volunteer/observation experience on required forms.
- Application Form
Submit the completed application portfolio by August 1st to:
The Occupational Therapy Program
Eastern Michigan University
313 Marshall Building
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Applications can be submitted as early as May of the application year and will not be accepted after August 1st. If mailing a portfolio, allow sufficient time for the receipt of this packet by August 1st. Write “OT Application Portfolio” to the left of the address on the front of the envelope. Incomplete portfolios will not be reviewed.
Acceptance into the Occupational Therapy program is based on a comprehensive assessment and interview of selected applicants. See scoring information for additional details.
Still have questions about applying to the Occupational Therapy Program?
Group sessions are strongly encouraged prior to contacting the OT Intent Advisor. A list of upcoming sessions, webinar, and person, can be found on the program’s website. Still have questions? Contact the program via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rules and Regulations
In addition to the above requirements, all EMU Occupational Therapy Program students must agree to abide by the Rules and Regulations of the program. These can be found in the EMU OT Program Student Handbook.
Additional Program Information
Program of Study
Occupational therapy advising for occupational therapy-intent students is performed by the OT intent advisor or the College of Health and Human Services Advising Center. All applicants should attend a group advising session with the OT intent advisor to discuss admission and portfolio requirements. Upon acceptance into the occupational therapy program, students are assigned a faculty advising team. All students admitted to the program must meet with their advising team before registering each semester.
The Occupational Therapy program offers a number of scholarships to students who are admitted to the program. Information is annually distributed from the OT program to students who are currently enrolled in the occupational therapy program. There are also a number of University scholarships available to students. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for information.
All occupational therapy students must complete two Level II Fieldwork experiences within 24 months following completion of the didactic portion of the program. Students have the right to request part-time or full-time fieldwork. Students who desire part-time fieldwork must make this request in writing to the fieldwork coordinator prior to placement arrangement.
National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT)
The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT) administers the national certification examination for occupational therapists in the United States. Upon successful completion of the academic and fieldwork requirements, graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the National Certification Examination for the Occupational Therapist, administered by the NBCOT. After successful completion of this exam, the graduate will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). All students must pass the NBCOT certification examination to practice in the profession of occupational therapy. In addition to passing the NBCOT certification examination, most states require licensure to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT certification examination. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure. Character background information is reviewed by NBCOT to determine a person’s ability to sit for the examination. If you have any potential impediments, such as a felony charge or conviction, charges of malpractice or willful intentional misconduct, we strongly recommend that you contact NBCOT at www.nbcot.org to determine your eligibility to sit for the national examination.
Contact Information: NBCOT | 12 South Summit Avenue, Suite 100 | Gaithersburg, MD 20877-4150 | 301.990.7979
Degree Requirements: 71 hours