Admission Requirements

GSU Masters in Occupational Therapy (OT/M) Admission Requirements

The professional Occupational Therapy Masters (OT/M) program accepts students once a year for the fall semester of each academic year.

*** Admission to the OT/M program is competitive; not all that apply will be admitted. Applicants whose credentials are the most complete and who present the highest qualifications are accepted for admission. Completion of the stated selection criteria does not assure admission to the program. Students who are not accepted into the program may apply for the next application deadline. Complete applications will be reviewed by the OT/M Program Admissions Committee.  A select number of applicants will be invited for a personal interview.  Phone or Skype interviews will be permitted for students living a distance of more than 100 miles from Atlanta Georgia.

Applicants must understand the following is a list of minimum requirements for application to the program and that acceptance to the program is competitive and is not guaranteed.

  1. A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum of a 3.0 cumulative GPA average based on a 4.0 scale for the undergraduate degree.
  2. Have a minimum cumulative GPA average of 3.0 based on a 4.0 scale for prerequisite courses. All prerequisites must be within the last 5 years.
  3. GRE within the last 5 years including the quantitative, verbal and analytical writing components. A minimum score of 150 on the Verbal and 140 on the Quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is recommended. A minimum score of 3.5 in the Analytical Writing section is preferred. Georgia State University’s code for the GRE is 5251.
  4. Three letters of recommendation are required. At least one from an OT, one from a professor, and one from a work supervisor, academic advisor, or other health care professional (not family).
  5. Documentation of a minimum of 50 hours of work or volunteer experience in at least 2 different delivery systems demonstrating exposure to and understanding of the occupational therapist’s role.
  6. Personal essay, no more than 2 pages, succinctly discussing how your academic background and life experiences will contribute to your success in the OT program while enhancing our program and the profession of occupational therapy.
  7. A current resume of professional and volunteer experiences.
  8. International students whose native language in not English, must also submit an official report of their score on the Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) taken within the last 2 years:
    - TOEFL with a score of 90 with no less than 20 on each subtest OR
    - IELTS with a score of 6.5 with no less than 6 on each band score
  9. Interview on request from GSU.
  10. Prerequisite Courses taken from a regionally accredited college or university
    Required to be completed at the time of application
    1.  Human Anatomy and Physiology 1 with lab (3 credits)*
    2.  Human Anatomy and Physiology 2 with lab (3 credits)*
    3.  Human Growth and Development or Developmental Psychology (3 credits)
    4.  Abnormal Psychology ( 3 credits)
    5.  Statistics (3 credits)
    6.  Sociology or Anthropology (3 credits)
    7.  Medical Terminology (3 credits)
    *Biology with Lab and Human Physiology at the 2000 Level will meet Anatomy and Physiology I and II requirements.
    The following courses are not required to be completed at the time of application but must be completed before the start of program
    8.  Gross Human Anatomy with lab** [ 5000 level or higher][4 credits or higher]9.  Pathology** [5000 level or higher][3 credits or higher]** Gross Human Anatomy with lab and Pathology will be offered to accepted students by the Occupational Therapy Department of GSU in the summer semester prior to the start of the OT program. However, if these two courses are taken elsewhere (as long as it is at a regionally accredited college or university) they will fulfil the required pre-requisites for these two courses.
OT/M Pre-requisites GSU courses*
1. Human Anatomy and Physiology 1 with lab (3 credits)** BIOL 2110 K –Human Anatomy and Physiology I (4 credits)
2.  Human Anatomy and Physiology 2 with lab (3 credits)** BIOL 2120 K –Human Anatomy and Physiology II (4 credits

3. Human Growth and Development or Developmental Psychology (3 credits)


PSYC 2103 Introduction to Human Development: Individual and family issue (3 credits), Or

NURS 2010 Health and Human Development Across the lifespan (3 credits), Or

PSYC 4040 Developmental Psychology (3.0)

4. Abnormal Psychology ( 3 credits) PSYC 3140 Abnormal Psychology (3.0 credits)
5. Statistics (3 credits) SOCI 3010 Social Statistics (3.0 credits)
6. Sociology or Anthropology (3 credits) SOCI 1101 Introduction to Sociology or SOCI 4230 Sociology of Health and Illness (3.0 credits)
7. Medical Terminology (2-3 credits) SNHP 2010 (3.0) Medical Terminology for Health Care
**GSU courses BIOL 2107 Principles of Biology I (4 credit) and BIOL 2108K Principles of Biology II (4 credit) and BIOL 2240 Introduction to Human Physiology (3 credits) and BIOL 2250 Human Physiology Laboratory (1 credit) or equivalent courses at the 2000 level or higher taken from other regionally accredited institutions will meet Anatomy and physiology I and II requirements.
8. Gross Human Anatomy lecture and Lab*** (5000 level or higher) See special instructions below. SNHP400 Human Gross Anatomy for OT (4 credits) and SNHP 4001 Human Gross Anatomy Lab (2 credits)
9. Medical Conditions or Pathology***(5000 level or higher)  See special instructions below. SNHP 4002 Medical Conditions (4 credits)

*Biology with Lab and Human Physiology at the 2000 Level will meet Anatomy and Physiology I and II requirements. Or Equivalent courses from other regionally accredited institutions

*** Gross Human Anatomy with lab and Pathology will be offered to accepted students by the Occupational Therapy Department of GSU in the summer semester prior to the start of the OT program. However, if these two courses are taken elsewhere (as long as it is at a regionally accredited college or university) they will fulfill the required pre-requisites for these two courses.

Foreign Student Financial Statement (For international applicants seeking a student visa). See International applicants document.
Foreign Students TOEFL or IELTS score


International students whose native language in not English, must also submit an official report of their score on the Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) taken within the last 2 years:

  • TOEFL with a score of 90 with no less than 20 on each subtest OR
  • IELTS with a score of 6.5 with no less than 6 on each band score
The score should be sent directly to Georgia State University from the Educational Testing Service (ETS). The correct institution code for Georgia State University is 5251. Scores cannot be more than five years old from the desired semester of entry. We recommend that you take the GRE no later than two months prior to the application deadline. A department code is not used. Visit the GRE website at or call 1-800-GRE-CALL for information and registration. A minimum score of 150 on the verbal and 140 on the quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Exam is preferred. A minimum of 3.5 is required on the Analytical Writing section.

GRE scores must also be self reported into OTCAS.

Put the references contact information in OTCAS.
Documentation of a minimum of 50 hours of work or volunteer experience in at least 2 different delivery systems demonstrating exposure to and understanding of the occupational therapist’s role. Use this form to document, sign and upload into OTCAS.
Complete the essay required by OTCAS.
Upload a current resume of professional and volunteer/work/leadership experiences in OTCAS.
Read the Technical Standards of the program, sign and upload the Technical Standard form in OTCAS.


Occupational Therapists are healthcare professionals who are experts in evaluating human learning and performance skills. Occupational Therapists analyze, select, and adapt activities for patients whose ability to cope with daily living and perform tasks necessary to care for themselves or others is compromised by developmental deficiencies, the aging process, environmental deprivation, or from physical or psychological, or social injury or illness. The OT/M student at Georgia State University must have the abilities and skills to successfully complete all of the didactic and clinical experiences in order to effectively work with our clients.

Occupational Therapy Objectives: OT Student must be able to:

  1. Plan and implement activities and programs to improve sensory and motor functioning at the level of performance normal for the patient’s stage of development.
  2. Teach skills, behaviors, and attitudes crucial to the patient’s independent, productive, and satisfying social          functioning.
  3. Design, fabricate, apply, and instruct patients in the use of selected orthotic or prosthetic devices and other adaptive equipment which assists the patient to adapt to his or her potential or actual impairment.
  4. Analyze, select, and adapt activities to maintain the patient’s optimal performance of tasks and to prevent further disability.
  5. Complete a comprehensive Occupational Therapy evaluation and conduct treatment in a clinical environment which may include measuring Range of Motion, strength, endurance, muscle tone, pain level, ADL skills, fine motor skills, transfer skills, functional mobility, balance, response to sensation, cognitive status, and home management skills.
  6. Demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and colleagues, including patients from different cultural and social backgrounds and in stressful situation This includes, but is not limited to the ability to establish rapport with patients and communicate evaluation and treatment information effectively. Students must be able to understand and speak the English language at a level consistent with competent professional practice.
  7. Demonstrate the ability to record evaluation results, treatment plans, patient notes and outcomes clearly and accurately;
  8. Demonstrate the ability to assimilate, analyze, synthesize, integrate information and problem solve to form the basis for their clinical reasoning.
  9. Demonstrate the ability to maintain composure and continue to function well with patients who are undergoing periods of stress and may exhibit challenging attitudes or behaviors.
  10. Demonstrate the ability to adjust to changing situations and uncertainty in clinical situations.
  11. Demonstrate the ability to develop professional values, ethics, appropriate demeanor and rapport that are essential for professional education and quality patient care.

In order to successfully accomplish the objectives stated above, the OT/M student must possess adequate sensory / motor / skills, cognitive / judgement / observation skills, and communication / interpersonal / professional skills as described below. These technical standards are necessary for full participation in the academic and fieldwork/clinical aspects of the OT/M program at Georgia State University. Each occupational therapy student is required to meet these Essential Technical Standards with or without reasonable accommodation.

Essential Technical Standards:

Sensory / Motor Skills:

  • Lift 10-50 pounds
  • Rotate & twist trunk
  • Bend/Stoop
  • Squat
  • Balance
  • Reach above shoulder level
  • Kneel Push/Pull Carry
  • Use hands repetitively
  • Use light and firm grasp
  • Use manual dexterity
  • Use auditory/tactile/visual senses to evaluate client status
  • Transition from different heights (chair – floor – plinth)
  • Move within clinic/community setting on a variety of surfaces (steps, uneven ground)
  • In an average academic / clinic day a student must be able to:
    Sit: 2-6 hours
    Stand: 2-4 hours
    Walk/travel: 2 hours

Cognitive / Judgement / Observation Skills:

Attend class approximately 35+ hours per week which includes the following:

  • Lecture
  • Laboratory
  • Task group meetings
  • Integrated clinical experience
  • Meets class standards for course completion
  • Reading, studying and absorbing classroom materials
  • Performs and/or instructs others in a timely manner in the following:
    Transfers – performs and/or instructs
    Activities of daily living (dependent through independent status) – performs and instructs
    Splinting – performs
    Therapeutic activities/procedures
    Task and verbal group activities
  • Carries out assessment procedures using sound judgment and safety precautions
  • Applies critical thinking process to requirements of the academic learning experience in
    Integrated clinical experience

Communication / Interpersonal / Professional Skills:

  • Addresses problems or questions to the appropriate person at the appropriate time
  • Maintains personal appearance and hygiene conducive to professional student setting
  • Travels or relocates to various locations required for internships and practicums
  • Maintains work area, equipment and supplies in a manner conducive to efficiency and safety
  • Models socially appropriate behaviors
  • Manages time effectively
  • Treats peers, faculty, staff, patient/clients with respect
  • Conducts himself/herself in an honest manner in dealing with faculty, staff, guest speakers and peers
  • Assumes responsibility for professional conduct and growth
  • Is responsible for abiding by the rules and regulations of the Occupational Therapy Program, fieldwork facility and profession
  • Follow all policies and procedures required by fieldwork sites and the OT program
  • Complete all assignments from both FW sites and academic program
  • Maintain patient/client confidentiality
  • Communicates with peers, faculty and staff effectively and professionally
  • Comply with dress code
  • Meet attendance requirements
  • Demonstrate professional standards of practice and adheres to AOTA code of ethics
  • Maintain work area, equipment and supplies in a manner conducive to efficiency and safety
  • Model socially appropriate behaviors
  • Create an environment which maximizes client responses
  • Document all required information
  • Effectively adjust communication for intended audience
  • Demonstrate problem solving skills in patient care
  • Gather information needed prior to assessment
  • Engage appropriately in a supervisory process
  • Use sound judgment in maintaining professionalism when communicating with peers and patients or their caregivers
  • Respect diversity and the values of others

Following acceptance into the Occupational Therapy Program, the OT/M student is required to verify that he/she understands and meet these technical standards or that he/she believes that, with certain accommodations, he/she can meet the standards. For a student who believe that he/she can meet these standards with accommodation, the University’s Office for Disability Services ( will validate the need for accommodation and will work with the Occupational Therapy Department to determine if reasonable accommodation can be made. This determination will take into account whether the accommodation would jeopardize clinician/patient safety or undercut an essential element of a course, clinical experience or internship.

(Explanation of reasonable accommodation:

Georgia State University does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, creed, age, sexual orientation, gender, disability, national origin, or veteran status in employment or the administration of the program and activities conducted by Georgia State University or any of its several departments now in existence or hereafter established.

Transfer of Credits for the OT/M program will follow the university and the Lewis School policies. Students who have completed graduate courses at other institutions prior to enrollment at Georgia State University may request that those courses be evaluated for transfer of credit to the School of Nursing and Health Professions for the OT/M Program. The request for transfer credit must be made by the student and submitted to the Chair of the Occupational Therapy (OT) Admissions Committee. The OT Admissions Committee will use the following criteria to make the decision regarding the transfer of graduate credits from another institution:

  • The course, if completed at an institution in the United States, must have been completed at an institution recognized by a regional accrediting body as degree granting for higher education at the time the course was taken.
  • The course must have been restricted to graduate students only. A copy of the other institution’s catalog must be submitted to verify that the course was limited to graduate students only.
  • A grade of B of higher must have been received in the course.
  • The content of the course must correspond to that of a course required in the Occupational Therapy Master’s Program.
  • Courses that are being considered for transfer of credit must have been taken within the last 5 years.
  • Transfer credit will be limited to a maximum of 6 semester hours.
  • A transfer credit form can be obtained from the OT Department and must be completed. The request must indicate the specific course(s) for which transfer credit is sought.
  • The Office of Academic Assistance must have an official transcript on file showing course completion for the course(s) being requested.
  • Requests for transfer of graduate credit cannot be processed until all necessary information has been received.

The request will be granted for only those courses that are deemed to be appropriate to the OT/M Program and is up to the discretion of the OT Admissions Committee. Transferred credits will be included in the year limitation placed on credits applicable to the degree.

  • Occupational Therapy (OT) Admissions Committee
    The OT Admissions Committee is composed of faculty members from the OT department. The charge of the committee is to review and make admissions decisions on the completed applicant files for the OT graduate program.
  • OT/M Experiential Learning/Work Experience Related Policy
    Work experience will not be awarded credits required to graduate from the OT/M program. The OT/M admission committee and the program director will determine if previous work experience may be counted as the observation or volunteer hours needed for admission to the program.
Official transcripts must be submitted to OTCAS. Transcript Request FormIf you are enrolled in another graduate program at Georgia State University, you may complete a Request for Transfer of Records in your current college's graduate admissions office.
The primary requirement for admission into the OT/M program is the applicant's ability, as judged by the program's Admissions Committee, to successfully complete the 2-year curriculum. Applicants who are admitted into the program have strong academic records as evidenced by their cumulative and science grade point averages, their breadth and depth of science background and their demonstrated consistency of undergraduate academic performance. A firm and clear commitment to occupational therapy is another criterion for admission as manifested by work or volunteer experience. Qualities such as maturity and effective interpersonal relationships, as ascertained from the letters of recommendation and the personal interview, are important admissions criteria.

An applicant who receives a provisional acceptance on the basis of course work still in progress must satisfactorily complete all outstanding courses prior to matriculation. All students must submit a final transcript that indicates the receipt of the baccalaureate degree.

The Program in Occupational Therapy reserves the right to rescind an acceptance offer if the above are not completed by the start of program classes.

Georgia State University is a public research university. Every applicant is considered individually with regard to suitability for graduate study and expectation of scholarly attainment.


It is the policy of Georgia State University to implement affirmative action and equal opportunity for all employees, students, contractors, consultants and applicants for employment or admission without regard to race, color religion, creed, national origin, sex, age, veteran status or disability.

All applicants who meet the minimal prerequisites will be considered on an individual basis. Applicants found to be competitive may be invited for an interview, which lasts half a day. The interview process serves a dual purpose:

  1. It provides a realistic evaluation of eligibility for admission into the program, as it assesses personality, clarity of thought, strength of academic background, quality of related clinical and work experience, and knowledge of the profession.
  2. It gives the applicant an opportunity to learn more about the program's teaching and learning philosophy and to spend time with faculty and enrolled students to appraise the program in terms of meeting personal and professional growth.

Applicants accepted into the program must notify the program of their intent by the date indicated on the acceptance letter. This is done by completing an Acceptance Acknowledgement Form.

Once a student is admitted into the OT program at GSU the students will be required to provide the following by the start of the program:

  • A current physical exam and a Certificate of Immunization are required. The immunization form can be printed from the following link: Submit the physical exam and Certificate of Immunization form to Georgia State University Health Services and to the OT Academic Fieldwork Coordinator (AFWC) prior to registration.
  • Submit a copy of current CPR certification to the AFWC.
  • Students are to use  for a criminal background check and drug screen that are required and submit this information to the AFWC. Students must submit drug screening test and criminal record check and receive a response that the student has not been convicted of any crime pursuant to Section 660.317 RSMO or other disqualifications that would prohibit licensure as an Registered Occupational Therapist.**Students who fail these checks or procedures will be subject to further review by the OT/M Program Admissions Committee.  This may result in dismissal from the OT/M Program.
  • Students will be responsible for the cost of professional memberships, as well as any other cost associated with their program of study (including but not limited to:  liability insurance, health insurance, background checks and drug screenings,  program uniform, travel related to fieldwork placement, etc.).
  • The American Occupational Therapy Association has an Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics and Ethics Standards to which all OT/M students will adhere; students will respect the rights and dignity of all individuals.
  • Matriculated students must enroll on a full-time basis and progress through the program with their class.