Occupational Therapy Admission Requirements

Application Cycle

Applications are currently closed and will be available again mid July, 2024 - mid January 2025 on OTCAS Login for the next admitting cohort to begin the Fall 2025 semester. 

NOTE: If you are qualified after the application evaluation, interview invitations will be sent to your email address listed in OTCAS by mid February. Interviews will be held early March. If your application continues to be qualified, seat offers will be made by early April for a fall semester start. 

Admission options

The accelerated, or 3+2 route, provides you an opportunity to complete a bachelor’s and master’s degree within five years. Only Murray State Exercise Science students that complete specific requirements* will be eligible to apply for the accelerated option. If accepted into the OT program, conferral of the bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science will occur after the fourth year of study and conferral of the MSOT degree will occur upon completion of all MSOT program requirements. 

Murray State's Accelerated route eligibility requirements:

  • 30 or fewer credit hours to complete the requirements of an EXS baccalaureate degree
  • overall undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.2 at time of application
  • prerequisite grade point average of at least 3.2 at time of application

Related University Policy

NOTE: Federal regulations permit undergraduate students to receive financial assistance only for coursework required for their current degree program. Students who are enrolled in both undergraduate and graduate coursework in the same semester will receive less financial aid than if only enrolled for undergraduate coursework. Students are strongly advised to contact Murray State University’s Office of Financial Aid to find out how their financial aid amount would be adjusted. University scholarship, tuition waivers, athletic certification, and veteran’s benefits may also be impacted. Graduate tuition will be charged for all coursework upon accelerated graduate admission.

The traditional route is if you have earned a bachelor’s degree in any area from an accredited university. If you have completed (or will complete prior to admission) all MSOT program requirements, including specific prerequisite coursework, etc. you are eligible to apply for MSOT program admission.

*You must meet the Murray State University requirements for graduate programs.

Admission requirements

GPA requirements vary depending on the applicant’s route of entry

  • Accelerated route: A cumulative and prerequisite GPA of greater than or equal to 3.2 on a 4.0 scale is required.
  • Traditional route undergraduate: A minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is recommended.
  • Prerequisite: A minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is required (no more than one prerequisite with a letter grade of 'C' will be accepted). * Course grades less than 'C' will not  be accepted.

Using your own time sheet form, please provide documentation of at least 40 clock hours of observation, volunteer, or paid experience in at least two different occupational therapy settings (hospital, outpatient, nursing home, etc.) Your site supervisors should sign off on the time sheet and at least one of the supervisors should be an OT practitioner (OTR or COTA).

Provide three professional references. At least one of the references must be from a licensed OT practitioner who has first-hand experience with you from shadowing, observation, work, or volunteer hours. The other two references must be from professional interactions. References should provide insight regarding:

1. Your professionalism, communication skills, and initiative

2. Your potential as a graduate student

The GRE is not required. 

Prior to the deadline, the applicant must apply through Occupational Therapy Centralized Application System (OTCAS) and designate Murray State University to receive the application. 

Students who are not native speakers of English must demonstrate competence in written and spoken English. This can be done by submitting a satisfactory score on the GRE as well as the TOEFL or IELTS, taken within two years of the date of application. The MSOT program at Murray State requires a TOEFL (iBT) score of 90 with no less than 20 on each sub-score. An overall score of 6.5 with no section below 6.0.

An Applicant with coursework/degree(s) from outside the United States must have his/her transcripts reviewed by Murray State's International Admissions Office or an approved credentialing agency. An original report must be submitted.

Application procedure

  • Create an account to submit application at OTCAS and complete all sections as directed.
  • Enter all current and completed college courses; you will need a personal copy of transcripts from all colleges & universities attended to complete parts of the application.
  • Download Transcript Request Forms for each college attended to arrange for an official transcript to be sent to OTCAS [in the 'Colleges Attended' section].
  • Complete all sections in the 'Program Materials' area. Click on each tab at the top of the program page for instructions.
  • Submit your completed application to OTCAS designating Murray State University, KY, between mid July and mid January of each calendar year to be considered for each fall entrance.
  • If you are qualified, you will be invited for formal interviews that take place at Murray State University--Paducah Regional Campus, 4430 Sunset Ave., Paducah KY 42001. 
  • We have two application deadlines:
    - Early admittance option: November 30; interviews mid-December.
    - Second round admittance option: January 15; interviews early March.
  • Wait to hear from Murray State Occupational Therapy Program via email through OTCAS regarding the status of your application.
  • If you are invited to accept a seat, please apply for Graduate School at Murray State University 
    >Please DO NOT apply to Murray State University Graduate School until you are notified to do so. 


You will need to complete the following 7 prerequisites. Official transcripts from all colleges/universities the applicant attended must be submitted. You must satisfactorily complete all prerequisites prior to the start of OT coursework, and by the end of Murray State University Spring Semester, unless extenuating circumstances are present and you have permission from the OT Program Director. All courses must be taken from an accredited university/college.

  • Human Anatomy (BIO 227/228) and Human Physiology (BIO 229/230), minimum 4 credit hours each, both require lab.
    *Please note, Anatomy and Physiology I and II courses are acceptable, but not offered at MSU 
  • Psychology (PSY 180) minimum 3 credit hours
  • Lifespan/Developmental Psychology (PSY 260) minimum 3 credit hours
  • Abnormal Psychology (PSY 307) minimum 3 credit hours
  • Statistics (STA 135) minimum 3 credit hours
  • Medical Terminology (BIO 120 or 220) minimum 1 credit hour

Occupational Therapy Curriculum

Transfer Credit

The MSU OTP does not grant educational credit for work experiences. Transfer of educational credit for previous OT coursework completed before admission to the OTP is generally not accepted, except for medical terminology and abnormal psychology courses. Exceptions may be made for individuals with experience in healthcare-related fields such as COTA, PTA, nursing, social work, speech and language pathology, along with approval from the Program Director. All mandatory coursework must be fulfilled at the MSU OTP with a grade of B or higher. Advanced placement credit, transfer credit, and credit for experiential learning are evaluated by the registrar’s office and applied to the student's undergraduate degree upon approval. However, the program does not permit substitution of other graduate-level coursework for OT graduate coursework.

Required after acceptance

After admittance into the OT Program, you will receive additional information on how to provide official health record documentation. Items required by the OT Program include:

  • Current Basic Life Support/CPR certification for the Health Professional that covers the duration of the program
  • Professional Liability Insurance (admitted students will be provided detailed requirements of coverage) that covers the duration of the program
  • Proof of medical insurance coverage--annually and must cover the duration of the OT program
  • Physical examination--annually and must cover the duration of the OT program 
  • Drug screen (will complete upon acceptance to OT program)
  • Immunization record (including Hepatitis B or signed HBV waiver, influenza,  TB, MMR, varicella, TDAP, etc.) and must be kept current to cover the duration of the OT program
  • Criminal background check (will complete upon acceptance to OT program)
  • Fingerprinting and/or Child and Family Service Review as requested per specific facility needs


Technological Requirements

Students enrolled in the MSOT program must possess a laptop computer with wireless internet connectivity. Murray State University utilizes Canvas as its distance learning platform. Students will need to upload documents and assignments in Microsoft Word format, as well as download and access videos and other electronic materials for class. Additionally, students should have scanning capabilities. Access to video and audio capabilities is also necessary for participating in Zoom sessions during distance learning.

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