Admissions Requirements & Process


The Occupational Therapy Program at Maryville University is a post-baccalaureate program seeking candidates who are ready to step into a student-centered, technology-forward learning environment where they will be challenged by a rigorous curriculum and supported by passionate, mentoring-minded faculty.

A successful applicant will demonstrate a passion for the profession and for Maryville University’s program specifically; a drive for learning with an internal integrity for their own accountability in the learning process; and an informed, intersectional awareness of how personal factors such as race, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, disability, etc. impact the experience and health equity of our clients and colleagues.

Maryville University uses the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS). All application materials must be processed and verified by OTCAS no later than January 1st.

The following items are considered during application review:

■ OTCAS Application
■ Responses to Three Maryville-specific Admissions Questions
■ Cumulative GPA *
■ Prerequisite Course GPA *
■ 3 Letters of Recommendations
(One from a faculty who can speak to the student’s self-directed learning and ability to successfully complete graduate-level work is encouraged)
■ 20 Observation Hours **
(Observation of occupational therapy practitioner in at least 2 different settings and completed outside of practicum/course participation)
■ Student Experiences and Achievements Entered Into OTCAS

*Considered without weighting of Pass/Fail or Credit/No Credit courses for those courses completed during the 2020 year (spring, summer, and fall semesters).

** Waived for those applying to begin in August 2021, however, demonstration of applicant understanding of the disability experience and OT role in health care and community settings will still be considered.

Note: Maryville has stopped requiring personal essays and will be reviewing the 3 short answer responses to Maryville-specific questions instead. Personal essays will not be considered during the application process.

Detailed Description of Requirements:

Baccalaureate Degree

Applicants should have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university in a discipline other than occupational therapy prior to entrance into the Maryville Occupational Therapy Program. Applicants may apply to the Program during their last year of their undergraduate program, but must submit a transcript indicating the earned degree prior to entrance into the Occupational Therapy Program.

In addition, the applicant must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 within the bachelor’s degree in order to qualify for admission.

Maryville-Specific Short Answer Questions

In lieu of a personal essay, Maryville requires that all applicants respond to the following three prompts in OTCAS:

Question 1:
What attracted you to Maryville University’s OT Program specifically?

Question 2:
Give an example of one time that you went above and beyond to learn about a topic or produce a quality project (does not have to be related to schoolwork).

Question 3:
Explain how you plan to use your education and career to promote inclusivity and equity within our world.

The most successful applicants will put advanced consideration toward answering the above questions in a way that demonstrates a passion for Maryville and a personal commitment and integrity toward learning and inclusion. Remember that Maryville OT uses these responses instead of a personal essay. So include information that will allow reviewers to gain insight into you, your life experiences, and what you can bring to Maryville OT.

For additional guidance and insights into why we chose these specific questions, please see the question prompts in OTCAS.

Cumulative GPA and Prerequisite Coursework

Applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and must have completed (and submitted transcripts) for the following courses with the grade of “C” or better from an accredited educational institution. All prerequisite courses must be completed by the end of the spring semester in which they submit their application.

■ Human Anatomy and Physiology I & II with lab
■ Introduction to Psychology
■ Abnormal Psychology
■ Human Development through the Lifespan or Lifespan Psychology
■ Psychology or Math statistics
■ Introduction to Sociology or Anthropology
■ Medical Terminology

Note: For those courses completed during the 2020 year (spring, summer, and fall semesters) pass/fail or credit/no credit courses from accredited educational institutions will be accepted. However, pre-requisite and cumulative GPA will still be weighed into acceptance decisions and all prerequisite courses must still meet the requirements outlined above.

3 Letters of Recommendation

Three recommendations should be submitted using the Evaluation feature in OTCAS. Each should be from a person who can speak to the applicant’s previous work or academic abilities and assess their qualifications for graduate school. Suggestions include but are not limited to college advisors, professors, occupational therapists, work and/or volunteer supervisors. The most successful applicants will have at least one letter from an instructor who can speak to the student’s self-directed learning and ability to successfully complete graduate-level work.

20 Hours of Occupational Therapy Observation

Applicants should also document 20 hours of shadowing with an occupational therapy practitioner. The 20 hours should include time in at least 2 different settings (example: 10 hours shadowing in a preschool, 10 hours shadowing in a nursing home). They should be completed outside of employment, practicum, or other coursework.

Student Experiences and Achievements

Applicants should fill in the Experiences and Achievement sections of the OTCAS application to reflect post-high school activities including education, work experiences, awards, community/social participation and leadership opportunities. This is your opportunity to really show us where you commit your time and energy. Use this space to illustrate your individual interests, experiences, and your ability to create a healthy balance of schoolwork and engagement beyond the classroom, whether that is through employment, volunteering, or leadership opportunities.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

The GRE is no longer a requirement for application into Maryville University’s Occupational Therapy Program.

International Applicants

International students must submit a minimum TOEFL score of 563. Applicants who take the revised TOEFL must achieve a speaking sub-score of 23, writing sub-score of 20 and reading and listening scores of 21 or higher, and a combined score of 85 or higher.

Maryville OT Application Review Process

Maryville’s OT program is committed to the ongoing process of removing bias from our admissions review process. To this end, we strive to create transparency in our systems and to support all applicants in navigating the process in an equitable and inclusive manner. We utilize a rubric-based, blinded admissions process that focuses on finding extremely qualified applicants who meet or exceed the requirements shared above.

Maryville’s admissions process is quite competitive. Our cohorts are composed of roughly 40 students annually. The actual number of slots for post-baccalaureate applicants varies depending on how many direct-entry students from Maryville’s undergraduate program enter the Maryville OT program in a given year.

Maryville University’s Notice of Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity can be found here.

Application Deadline

Maryville’s Program in Occupational Therapy practices modified-rolling-admissions. Applications will be reviewed as they are received. Those applications that meet a certain rubric scoring standard will receive early decision acceptance letters by mid-December. All other applications received any time prior to January 1st will receive notification of acceptance, wait-list, or declined status by the end of March prior to the fall of enrollment. Applications received after the January 1st date will be reviewed only if space is available in the Program.