MOT Admission Requirements

For consideration for Admission to the MOT Program applicants must successfully complete the following academic requirements.

COVID-19 Updates on Prerequisite Policies:

Applicants are strongly encouraged to take prerequisite courses on a graded basis, whenever possible; however, we realize that some universities may not give students a letter-grade option in spring semester.  Universities also vary in the requirements for earning passing grades under their Credit/No Credit or Pass/Fail (CR/NC or P/F) policies.

Because of the rapid evolution of and responses of universities to COVID-19, we will accept CR or P grades for prerequisite courses taken in spring 2020 through summer semesters in 2021 if applicants met the criterion for a grade of C (not C-) in those prerequisite courses. Exception: in Human Anatomy & Human Physiology applicants must meet criteria for grades of B- (or above) for each course.

For confirmation, we ask applicants who completed prerequisite courses with a CR/NC or P/F during spring or summer semesters to upload a screenshot showing their final grade (either point total or letter grade) from the electronic grade book in their learning management system (e.g., Canvas, Blackboard) for those prerequisite courses to the OTCAS JMU program-specific document section.  Cross-platform instructions on how to convert image files such as JPG and PNG to PDF can be found on the following web page:

For courses taken during Spring 2020 through Spring semester in 2022), we will continue to accept online (virtual) labs for anatomy – and anatomy and physiology – courses that otherwise meet our requirements.

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Academic Requirements

Baccalaureate Degree

  • Earn a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher learning prior to enrolling in the MOT Program.  A degree in any major is acceptable, provided the applicant has completed all prerequisite courses.
  • Earn an overall undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (B) or higher. For applicants who have completed a graduate degree, the admissions committee will use their graduate GPA in lieu of their undergraduate GPA.
  • Application may be made during an applicants’ senior year of a baccalaureate program or following graduation.

Policies Regarding Prerequisites

Timing of Prerequisites

Prerequisites must have been completed within seven years of enrolling in the MOT Program (June enrollment).

Completion of prerequisites:

  • All prerequisites must be completed prior to enrolling in the JMU MOT Program (summer session).
  • Applicants are encouraged to complete as many prerequisite courses as possible prior to applying to the program.
  • Applicants may have no more than three remaining prerequisites completed in the Spring semester to be considered for admission. Should an applicant be taking prerequisites at the time of application, additional transcripts must be submitted to verify grades and enrollment in courses.
  • Completion of two out of three science prerequisites (anatomy, physiology, physics or biomechanics) by the end of the 2021 Fall Term is preferred.

For Early Admission: All prerequisites must be complete (i.e., with grades posted in their transcripts) for applicants applying for early admission

Grade Requirements: Successful completion of prerequisite courses is required. This is defined as:

Earning a prerequisite course GPA at or above a 3.0 (B) AND

Earning grades of “C” (2.0) or higher in each individual prerequisite course with the exception of anatomy and physiology as noted below.

  • For Anatomy and Physiology courses (taken either separately or together) applicants must earn at least a grade of “B-” (2.7 on a 4.0 scale) in each course

The average prerequisite GPA for the most recently admitted cohort was a 3.7 on 4.0 scale

Institutional Requirements

All courses must be completed in institutions that are recognized by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers and accredited by a regional accrediting body.

The following will NOT be accepted by the JMU MOT Program as prerequisite coursework.

  • Courses taken in high school
  • Courses taken via College Level Examination Program (CLEP) programs
  • Courses taken by departmental and school examinations for credit
  • Experience instead of prerequisite coursework

Prerequisite Courses

Please read the Prerequisite Policies above.

Prerequisite Courses JMU Course Equivalents Description/alternative names Required Credits
Human Anatomy and Human Physiology BIO 270 + Lab: Human Physiology + Lab [4]
BIO 290 + Lab: Human Anatomy + Lab [4]
- Both courses must include labs
- Labs should use human models
- Students are encouraged to take in-person anatomy labs opposed to virtual or ‘at-home labs’ as in person labs are preferred
- Content must address human models and human systems
- May be taken as either:
Human Anatomy and Physiology I & II, with Labs or
Human Anatomy and Human Physiology
4 credits for each course

8 credits total
Social Sciences and Humanities Any two of the following:

ANTH 195: Cultural Anthropology
PHIL 150: Ethical Reasoning
PSYC 345: Social Psychology
SOCI 140: Individual in Society
SOCI 110: Social Issues in a Global Context
Social Sciences: content should focus on human behaviors among groups of people on a variety of levels; groups, families, institutions. Courses may come from various departments including; sociology, anthropology, diversity, social psychology & philosophy courses that address human behavior and ethics related to human & social issues.
Introductory level courses must be taken at the college level to satisfy this prerequisite.
Two courses
6 credits
Biomechanics or Physics Any of the following:

HTH 441: Rehabilitative Biomechanics [3]
KIN 306 + L - Human Biomechanics + Lab [4]
KIN 407 - Rehab Biomechanics [3]
PHYS 140 + L - College Physics + Lab [4]
Biomechanics or Physics: content should cover
- May be either a physics or a biomechanics course
- Physics course descriptions should include mechanical principles (e.g. force, mass, and motion)
- Bio-mechanics course descriptions should include content on the structure, function & motion of the mechanical aspects of biological systems.
- Courses with labs are preferred.
3-4 credits
Statistics Any of the following:

HTH 320: Statistical Methods for Health Science Research
MATH 220: Elementary Statistics
PSYC 210: Psychological Measurement & Statistics
PSYC 420: Advanced Psychological Statistics
SOCI 231: Introduction to Social Statistics
Statistics: content should address statistical concepts & techniques applied to health or human behaviors, introduction to statistics is accepted as long as it was taken at a college or university. 3 credits
Lifespan Development PSYC 160 - Life Span Human Development [3] Human Development: content must address
- Human development
- Across the lifespan (birth to death)
This may be taken either as one course or as more than one course; e.g. child development + adult development
Alternative names: Developmental Psychology
3-9 credits
Abnormal Psychology PSYC 250:Introduction to Abnormal Psychology
PSYC 335: Abnormal Psychology [3]
Abnormal Psychology: content addresses
- Mental health conditions and/or diagnoses across the lifespan
- Current version of the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual and/or International Classification of Diseases.
- Explanations of mental health and mental illness
Alternative names: Psychopathology
3 credits
Medical Terminology college
(credit course)
HTH 210: Medical Terminology Content addresses language used in medical professions. Often covers:
- Abbreviations
- Prefixes, suffixes, and root words of terminology
- Anatomical and physiological terms
- Terms related to pathological conditions, diagnostic tests, procedures, and treatments
- Often addresses the spelling, definitions, and pronunciation of medical terms.
1-3 Credits

If you have questions about whether a course you have completed/plan to complete meets our requirements, please email the JMU MOT Program, and include the following information.

  1. The name of the university or college where you took or plan to take the course
  2. Name and number of the course (e.g. BIO 290: Human Anatomy +Lab)
  3. The course catalog description and catalog year.
  4. Number of credits

Graduate Record Exam (GRE)

  • As of January 1, 2019, the James Madison University MOT Program no longer requires completion of the GRE by applicants.

Non-Academic Requirements

Observation Experiences

Before students make the 2.5-year commitment to an occupational therapy graduate program, it is important that they understand what OT is, what we do, and the various practice settings in which we practice. While it is difficult to learn about practice just by reading webpages, this page on the American Occupational Therapy Association website is informative. In addition to face-to-face experiences in healthcare settings, applicants may find it also helpful to watch videos about OT, talk with occupational therapists, occupational therapy assistants, and listen to students. We also offer virtual information sessions.

Because of the social distancing guidelines and other public health measures that were put in place in many healthcare and community service settings during the pandemic, we understand that applicants to the 2021-2022 admission cycle may have had limited opportunities to actually observe occupational therapy practice.

In response to these challenging circumstances, we made the following changes to observation requirements for applicants in the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 academic years:

  • We are using the system in OTCAS to verify those hours, so we no longer require completion of the JMU Observation Verification form.
  • Applicants may observe either occupational therapists or occupational therapy assistants.
  • Applicants are encouraged to complete 40 observation hours in at least two different practice settings.
  • Applicants may supplement their observation hours with the Occupational Therapy Online Shadowing Experience if they are:
    - Able to complete observations but have a total of less than 40 hours, OR
    - Able to complete observation hours in only one setting, OR
    - Unable to complete any observation hours

If you are unable to complete OT observation hours due to the unique circumstances posed by COVID-19, please use this virtual shadowing tool

  • This technology was shared through the generosity of Dr. Cheryl Lucas, OTD Program Director at Quinnipiac College.
  • To access the tool, use the link to go to Welcome to the Occupational Therapy Online Shadowing Experience.
  • After clicking the link above, students will be asked for the password, which is LucasQU.
  • The virtual shadowing tool features 6 interesting modules with videos and questions that instruct applicants about occupational therapy terminology and practice areas across the lifespan.
  • The estimated time to complete all 6 modules is 10 hours.
  • At the end of the experience, a completion of a survey is requested by Dr. Lucas.
  • Applicants should answer all questions within each module on a Microsoft Word document to affirm their completion of the virtual shadowing hours and upload their completed answers to the OTCAS JMU Documents section labeled “Other”, in addition to their JMU Graduate Application.
  • For more information, please contact our program at


  • See How to Apply for details about submission of references.
  • Re-applicants are strongly encouraged to get new references.

Personal Statement

  • Applicants submit their personal statement through the My Application component of OTCAS.
  • See How to Apply for details about submission of personal statement.

Video Essay

Create a brief (four minutes or less) video essay in YouTube. Ensure the audio and video are clear and your face is visible. Respond to the following questions:

  1. How do you expect the JMU MOT program to help you achieve your career goals?
  2. What are ways you will use your strengths to fulfill the AOTA Vision 2025?
  3. How would you communicate with team members who fall behind in a collaborative group project?

After recording and reviewing the video, choose the UNLISTED setting (do not use the public or private setting) and share the link to your video by email to Please do not choose the public setting when you publish your video. View more information about YouTube settings.

Resume (Related Experience)

  • Applicants should enter their experiences into OTCAS within the My Application section.   
  • See How to Apply for details about submission of experiences. No separate resume is required.

Background Checks and Drug Screening

While James Madison University does not require criminal background checks and drug screenings as admission requirements, these are required to progress in the program as fieldwork sites require documentation verifying completion of these to ensure the safety of their clients.

For further information, please contact the Admissions Committee at

Additionally, in order to become credentialed as an Occupational Therapist, individuals must comply with Occupational Therapy regulatory body standards. This includes requirements from the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) and their OT regulatory board.