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Eligibility and Admission Requirements

Interested in applying to KU's entry-level occupational therapy doctoral program? Here's what you need to know.

KU seeks to identify candidates who embody the following attributes:

  • Professionalism: respect, ethics, responsibility, leadership.
  • Service mindedness: professional volunteerism, mission work, philanthropic outreach.
  • Inquiry-focused approach: self-directed learning, active learning, seeking knowledge, looking for and utilizing resources.
  • Commitment to community inclusion: social consciousness, diversity of thought.

Admission Requirements

Admission to our program is a competitive process, and candidates must meet the following requirements. Meeting minimum admission criteria does not guarantee an invitation for interview or admission to the program. Learn more about the application and interview process.

Bachelor's Degree

All applicants must have a completed a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution prior to the start of the entry-level doctorate program in occupational therapy. Degrees earned outside the United States must be evaluated for equivalency.

Grade Point Average

A minimum 3.2 cumulative undergraduate grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) is required to be eligible. Official student transcripts must document an individual course grade of no less than "C" on each prerequisite course and have an overall 3.0 (4.0 scale) GPA for prerequisite courses.

Prerequisite Courses

All applicants must earn a ‘C’ or higher in all prerequisite courses and have an overall 3.0 (4.0 scale) GPA for prerequisite courses. AP courses and grades are not considered for prerequisite requirements.

  • Abnormal psychology (3 credit hours)
  • Ethics (e.g., medical, professional or business) (3)
  • Social science (3)
  • Lifespan development (3)
  • Statistics (behavioral educational, psychological or mathematical; no business statistics courses) (3)
  • Human physiology (human anatomy & physiology may be taken combined for 8 credits) (4)
  • Human anatomy with lab (human anatomy & physiology may be taken combined for 8 credits) (4)
  • Medical terminology (1)

Human anatomy and physiology courses must be completed prior to applying; however, this requirement is evaluated on an individual basis and alternatives may be taken into consideration for qualified applicants.

Applications may be submitted with coursework still in progress but must indicate the student's plan for completion prior to beginning the program. Students cannot complete prerequisite courses while concurrently enrolled in coursework for this program.

Letters of Reference

Three separate references are required and should be written by a professional, advisor, instructor, supervisor, coach or other adult contact who can attest to the applicant’s potential success in the program and future contributions to the occupational therapy profession. 

Personal Statement

All applicants must complete a personal statement that describes why the applicant has chosen a career in occupational therapy and how it will support his/her goals.

International Students

An applicant is considered an international student if he or she requires a visa, or currently resides in the U.S. with non-immigrant status, or currently resides in the U.S. while applying for permanent residency. Additional requirements and documentation, such as proof of English language proficiency, are required for international students to become eligible for KU programs. Please review the information for international students before applying.

No Longer Required

Our admission requirements for the OTD program have changed, and we no longer require applicants to supply the following:

  • The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required for this program. Do not submit GRE scores with the application. GRE scores are not considered in the admission process.
  • Volunteer experience with an occupational therapist is no longer required.
  • A resume is not considered among the required application documents.

Additional Program Requirements

After submitting application materials, students must meet a number of additional requirements and submit additional documentation prior to entering the program. Please review this information now to be prepared.

Contract and Deposit

Applicants who are accepted to the program will reserve a position in the next class by signing a contract of acceptance and providing a $400 non-refundable deposit.

CPR Certification Requirement

All accepted students must submit copies of current, valid CPR certification prior to the program start date and maintain certification while in the program. Students need to complete the Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers training through the American Heart Association.

In addition, students must provide proof of current health insurance coverage before entering the program.

Vaccine and Clinical Site Requirements

Matriculated students will need to provide an immunization profile prior to participating in curricular and/or clinical experiences required by the program. Please read the information found at the bottom of the program's curriculum page and be sure that you understand these requirements.

Background Check

The Joint Commission requires all incoming students to provide a background check report to KU. This one-time fee must be paid directly by the student to the company performing the background investigation. Students will be asked to provide information and make the payment once officially accepted into the program. Admission will not be final until KU has received the background check report.

Drug screenings are required for work at clinical sites. These are not required for admission but are to be expected later. The clinical site will provide information on its requirements prior to entering the fieldwork portion of the program. For more information, please see the School of Health Professions background check and drug screening information.

Applicants with Felony Convictions

Applicants convicted of a felony should be aware of the fact that application for licensure, certification or registration will be subject to review and additional information may be requested. Based on the review process, denial of licensure, certification and/or registration may occur, and subsequent opportunities for employment may be compromised.

Technical Standards and Accommodations

You must meet the program technical standards upon acceptance to the program. Students in this program are required to have a computer that meets the minimum software and hardware requirements. Signed verification will be required.

We will make reasonable accommodations for any accepted student who has a documented disability and can meet program expectations. Applicants with documented disabilities can request reasonable accommodations if needed during the admissions process.

Advising and Questions

We're here to help. Student advising appointments are available upon request. Contact our department to schedule an appointment. Sessions are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (central time), Monday through Friday.

High school students and college students in their early years of undergraduate level study may contact Alex Lopez, our school's outreach and recruitment specialist, with questions at or 913-588-1743 (711 TTY).

Program admission requirements are subject to change without notice. Please contact our department for the most up-to-date information on requirements.

KU School of Health Professions

Occupational Therapy Education
KU Medical Center
3901 Rainbow Blvd  MS2003
Kansas City, KS 66160
913-588-7195 • 711 TTY