Admissions Overview for the MOT Program

American Occupational Therapy Association members decided that occupational therapists may enter the profession with either the master’s or doctoral degree.

Entry-level programs are designed for individuals who are interested in becoming initially certified as occupational therapists.

To be eligible to apply, applicants must

  • Be a college graduate who has earned a baccalaureate degree in any major
  • Complete all admission requirements

Admission to the JMU MOT Program is competitive. Applicants should be advised that completion of required prerequisite courses and meeting or exceeding the minimum requirements does NOT guarantee a seat in the OT program due to the high number of applications received each year.

Our admissions process is holistic and GPA is a part of the consideration for admission.

JMU MOT Program offers an early decision option for applicants. This option is designed for applicants who consider JMU to be their top choice.

Early Decision Deadline: Applicants who have completed all requirements and would like to be considered for early decision should submit completed applications, on or before 11:59 pm on August 21, 2021. The remainder of admissions decisions will be made on a rolling basis until the class is full.

MOT Program Policy: Criminal Background & Sexual Offender Checks

The JMU OT Program is a graduate-level, clinical program. Based on Code of Virginia § 23.1-407.1, the James Madison University Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) Program will not deny admission to any applicant solely on the basis of criminal history. However, for any applicant who has been admitted, but not yet enrolled, the MOT Program may inquire about the applicant’s criminal history. The MOT Program may subsequently withdraw an offer of admission to anyone whom James Madison University determines “to have a criminal history that poses a threat to the institution’s community.”

Therefore, a criminal background and sexual offender check be completed for everyone who has been offered admission to the JMU MOT Program. These checks must be completed prior to enrollment. Additional criminal background and sexual offender checks will be required later in the Program, just prior to the start of Level I fieldwork. The student must comply with these additional checks to remain in good standing within the Program and before clinical placements occur. The cost of these background checks will be the sole responsibility of the student.

It is imperative to understand that if a background or sexual offender check reveals a criminal history, it is possible that the student may not be able to be placed at certain clinical sites. The program will do its best to place the student at alternative sites; however, it is possible that program completion would be in jeopardy if all fieldworks cannot be completed.

Upon MOT Program completion, in the vast majority of cases, a graduate must obtain national certification and state licensure before being eligible to practice as an occupational therapist. Applicants should be aware that program graduates applying to take the national certification exam complete character review questions and background checks. Having a criminal record may affect a graduate’s eligibility to sit for the NBCOT exam and/or apply for state licensure. Please visit the NBCOT Character Review website at for further information.

This program meets the educational requirements for licensure or certification in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Please refer to the JMU Professional Licensure Program Status by Jurisdiction Index to determine if this JMU program meets the educational requirements specified by the associated licensing or certification agency in the state or territory in which you are located while enrolled. You can also determine if the program meets the educational requirements specified by the licensing boards in other states and territories. Requirements vary by state and are subject to change. The information provided is current as of the review date indicated in the table.