We welcome your application for the St. Catherine University's Occupational Therapy: Entry-Level program. You may choose to apply for admission as a master's (Master of Arts in Occupational Therapy) or doctoral (Doctor of Occupational Therapy: Entry-Level) student. Apply for admission via the OTCAS system (details below) to start in Summer (June) semester.
If you have questions along the way, don’t hesitate to contact your admission counselor. They’re here to help!
Occupational Therapy: Entry Level Eligibility and Prerequisite Requirements
To be considered for admission, applicants must meet the following requirements:
A completed bachelor’s or graduate degree from an institution that is accredited by one of the regional accrediting organizations (e.g. Higher Learning Commission), or an approved dual-degree plan for completing the bachelor's degree during the MAOT program.
Grade Point Average
A cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.2 or higher on a 4.0 scale. Applicants with a cumulative GPA of 3.0-3.19 who also have a prerequisite GPA of 3.2 or higher may petition to be considered for the graduate program by completing the optional Petition question in OTCAS. St. Catherine University follows the OTCAS method of calculating GPA.
A minimum of 50 cumulative hours in two or more settings prior to application (review the description of this requirement in the "How do I apply?" section of this web page).
**COVID-19 Exception: We will continue to encourage as many hours as possible to meet our minimum requirements. However, knowing adjustments may need to be made regarding site availability for observations hours, we are prepared to make adjustments in our review process as needed.**
Specific prerequisite courses are required for the entry-level MAOT and OTD programs; review the next section for details.
Prerequisite courses must be completed with grade of C or higher (Pass/Fail or S/U grading is not acceptable), with a cumulative prerequisite GPA of 3.2 or higher on a 4.0 scale. Only one prerequisite course may be repeated one time for an acceptable grade.
Applicants must have six prerequisite courses completed at the time of application. Of those six courses, at least two must be in anatomy, physiology, or statistics. The remaining two prerequisite courses must be completed prior to the beginning of the graduate program. Courses "in progress" at the time of application will not count toward the minimum of six completed.
We will accept AP credits for General Psychology and Statistics only. To verify results, applicants must submit official CollegeBoard scores directly to St. Catherine University (not OTCAS) using the code 6105.
It is strongly recommended that all prerequisite courses be completed within the past ten years.
(3-4 semester/4-5 quarter credits)
Human anatomy (often the first half of a combined anatomy and physiology sequence). These credits must be from an anatomy, biology, physiology or kinesiology department and must cover individual muscle function.
St. Kate's equivalent: BIOL 2400, BIOL 2510 or BIOL 2610
(3-4 semester/4-5 quarter credits)
Human physiology (often the second half of a combined anatomy and physiology sequence). These credits must be from an anatomy, biology, physiology or kinesiology department.
St. Kate's equivalent: BIOL 2410, BIOL 2520 or BIOL 2620
(3-4 semester credits)
St. Kate's equivalent: PSYCH 1000/PSYCH 1001
Lifespan Development Psychology
(3-4 semester credits)
This course must cover the entirety of the human lifespan from birth through late adulthood. Multiple courses can be completed to fulfill the requirement (i.e Child Psychology, Adolescent Psychology, Adulthood and Aging); however, only one course is necessary if it covers all of the components.
St. Kate's equivalent: PSYCH 2025
Understanding Psychological Disorders (Abnormal Psychology)
(3-4 semester credits)
St. Kate's equivalent: PSYCH 3010
Introduction to Sociology (or Anthropology)
(3-4 semester credits)
St. Kate's equivalent: SOCI 1000, SOCI 2300 or SOCI 3250
(1 course/1-3 semester credits)
St. Kate's equivalent: INDI 2220 or HIMP 1020
(3-4 semester credits)
St. Kate's equivalent: ECON 1080, ECON 1090, HLTH 1090, PSYC 1090 or STAT 1090
*St. Catherine undergraduate students who are pursuing the dual-degree option have additional credit and course requirements to fulfill their liberal arts major. Specific requirements vary based on the year of initial enrollment in the undergraduate program. Contact your academic advisor to confirm the details of your plan of study.
**At least one of these courses must include a lab. The Anatomy and Physiology I and II course sequence is equivalent if both courses are completed.
We will consider courses completed in an online format from a regionally accredited institution. However, we encourage students to complete courses that include a lab component in a face-to-face format, if possible. Please note that we will not accept online prerequisite course credit from Straighterline.com, Study.com or Sophia.org for courses started after September 1, 2018.
**COVID-19 Exception: We strongly recommend that prerequisite courses (including courses with a lab component) be completed for a letter grade. However, in light of many institutions mandating all Spring 2020 courses be Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (or Pass/Fail) or are allowing students the choice, we will accept a Satisfactory or Pass designation for any prerequisite course completed in the Spring 2020 and Summer 2020 terms only. PLEASE NOTE: no more than 1/3 of all prerequisite courses can be used with a S/U or P/F designation.**
Use the online Transfer Evaluation System (TES) resource to determine if a specific course you have taken (or plan to take) will fulfill an MAOT prerequisite requirement. All St. Catherine course equivalencies listed in TES are fully verified by our Registrar’s Office.
How to use TES
- Make note of the St. Catherine department abbreviation (BIOL, CHEM, MATH, etc.) and course numbers in the MAOT prerequisite list.
- Connect to TES
- Identify the institution from which you have completed courses (or plan to complete courses). You may search for institutions using the “Find Transfer College by Name” search box, or use the alphabetical index provided.
- Enter the course code for one of our MAOT or OTD-EL prerequisites (e.g., MATH 1080). Select “Home Course” and click on Search. This will identify any courses from the institution that are equivalent to the St. Catherine prerequisite course. You could also enter the code for the other institution’s course, and select “Transfer Course” and Search. This will identify any St. Catherine courses that might be equivalent to the other institution’s course. Be sure to review any notes with additional information for a given course.
If you have searched via TES and can’t find a specific school or course listing, contact your admission counselor for assistance. Please include the institution, course name and number, and course description in your email.
How do I apply?
We are no now accepting applications for Summer 2023 enrollment. The MAOT and OTD EL applications are separate in OTCAS. Applicants are encouraged to choose one degree format or the other but students can decide to apply to both programs in OTCAS. If an applicant applies to both MAOT and OTD EL, their application will be reviewed and if deemed admissible, the program faculty will decide whether to accept the applicant to the MAOT or OTD EL.
Priority deadline: October 1, 11:59 p.m. EST
Applicants with an OTCAS application that is "complete" or "verified" by the priority deadline will receive a decision by early December.
Final deadline: December 1, 11:59 p.m. EST
Applicants with an OTCAS application that is "complete" or "verified" after the priority deadline but by the final deadline will receive a decision in late January/early February.
It is recommended that applications be submitted 3-4 weeks ahead of a deadline to allow time for OTCAS to process all materials. OTCAS works with thousands of applications every cycle and St. Kate’s follows their process for completing and verifying applications.
Enrollment Information: Summer 2022 Cohort
Number of applicants: 189
Class size: 57
Acceptance rate: 30%
Average overall undergraduate GPA: 3.66
Average prerequisite GPA: 3.07
Entry-level applicants are individuals who have completed/will complete a bachelor’s degree from another institution and are applying as first-year graduate students. All entry-level applications are processed through the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS). There is no supplemental application that needs to be submitted to St. Kate's; only the OTCAS application will be reviewed.
Personal Statement/Supplemental Essay
In the “Supporting Information” > “Documents” section, you will submit a supplemental essay for all programs you apply to via OTCAS. There is no specific word-limit for this OTCAS essay; however please try to keep it to a maximum of two pages double spaced.
Personal statement: Your personal essay should address why you selected occupational therapy as a career and how this degree relates to your immediate and long-term professional goals. Describe how your personal, educational, and professional background help you achieve your goals. This essay is an important part of your application and allows you to clearly and effectively express yourself. Do not personalize this essay for a particular program, as it is shared with all your programs.
In the “Program Materials” > St. Kate’s application > “Questions” tab, you will submit a supplemental essay specific to the St. Kate’s application. The supplemental essay should be a maximum of 1,000 words (you are allowed to enter 7,000 characters in the OTCAS question section).
Supplemental essay: Tell us how your personal qualities, experiences, and values relate to the Henrietta Schmoll School of Health mission: "The Henrietta Schmoll School of Health educates diverse learners and engages clinical and community partners to influence health, health systems, and health policy. The School is distinguished by an emphasis on relationship-centered care, socially responsible leadership, and interdisciplinary initiatives."
Please note that you cannot make any edits to your personal statement or supplemental essay after you have e-submitted your completed application to OTCAS.
Please note that the upcoming OTCAS application may include an optional statement that will allow applicants to expand on any impacts COVID-19 may have had on their preparation for application to graduate school.
Please note that OTCAS uses the word "Evaluation" instead of "Recommendation"
Three recommendations are required as part of the MAOT and OTD-EL application process. One recommendation must be from a supervisor in a work, internship, or volunteer setting. The remaining two recommendations should be from professional and/or academic references. Links to an online form will be sent through OTCAS after the applicant enters the reference’s contact information.
In the “Documents” section of OTCAS, please upload a current résumé. The reviewers use the résumé to show a chronological order of volunteer/work experiences.
Applicants must complete a minimum of 50 cumulative hours in two or more settings through work or volunteer experiences that focus on direct contact in serving vulnerable, disabled, or disadvantaged individuals or populations, and that address health, rehabilitation, disability, quality of life, and/or community issues. Provide a detailed summary of your accomplishments demonstrating the depth and breadth of your internships, work, volunteer, extracurricular, teaching, research, and leadership experiences.
The OTCAS application has three sections to enter experience information: Observation Hours, Experiences and Achievements. Observation hours are not required by St. Kate’s MAOT and OTD-EL programs, but can be counted as one of two experience settings if desired.
In the "Experiences" section of the OTCAS application, applicants can enter employment, extracurricular activities, healthcare experience, internships/clinical experience, research, teaching experience, volunteer and leadership experience.
A separate “Achievement” section is available to list honors and awards, certifications and publications. Be sure to fill out these sections thoughtfully and in a way that expresses to the application review committee an understanding of the OT field, ability to work with others, accomplishments and leadership roles.
Submit a transcript from every post-secondary institution attended, even if courses are recorded on another transcript and regardless of the number of credits earned. Transcripts submitted to St. Catherine University as part of a previous application cannot be used to complete the OTCAS process. All official transcripts must be submitted directly to OTCAS, including an official transcript from St. Catherine for applicants who were previously enrolled here.
Applicants with a college or university degree completed outside of the United States must submit a course-by-course evaluation from World Education Services (WES). All costs related to document evaluation are the applicant’s responsibility. Unofficial evaluation results must be reported in OTCAS. If admitted into the MAOT or OTD-EL program, the official evaluation must be submitted to St. Catherine University directly from WES.
Applicants whose native language is not English are required to complete the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 550 on the paper-based test or 80 on the iBT. This requirement is waived for students who have completed a baccalaureate or graduate degree in the United States. Candidates must report unofficial TOEFL scores in OTCAS. If admitted into the MAOT program, official test scores must be submitted to St. Catherine University directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS).
Visit the OTCAS Applicant Help Center for specific instructions for entering and submitting the required materials.
Please note that OTCAS does not refund any application fees for any reason (review fee policy here).
Dual-degree applicants are St. Catherine undergraduate students who are pursuing an approved dual-degree plan.
To apply for this program, log in as a returning user* and select "Start New Application." Select "Graduate" from the list of application options and complete the application.
*If you have forgotten your password, follow the prompts to reset it.
To demonstrate written communication skills and clarify your purpose in pursuing a graduate degree in occupational therapy, submit a personal statement addressing the topics below. Topic 1 should be a maximum of 1,500 words (5-6 pages double spaced). Topic 2 should be a maximum of 500 words (about 2 pages double spaced).
Topic 1: Address why you selected OT as a career and how an occupational therapy degree relates to your immediate and long-term professional goals. Describe how your personal, educational, and professional background will help you achieve your goals. The personal essay is an important part of your application for admission and provides you with an opportunity to clearly and effectively express your ideas.
Topic 2: Tell us how your personal qualities, experiences, and values relate to the Henrietta Schmoll School of Health mission: "The Henrietta Schmoll School of Health educates diverse learners and engages clinical and community partners to influence health, health systems, and health policy. The School is distinguished by an emphasis on relationship-centered care, socially responsible leadership, and interdisciplinary initiatives."
COVID-19 Impact Statement
This is an optional topic — if you feel as though your pathway to a graduate education was educationally, personally, or professionally impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic, please describe the impact you experienced (one page included as a separate topic in the personal statement).
Some impacts you may want to consider when responding include:
Educational: Moving to online or distance coursework; effective interaction with your professors; moving to a Pass/Fail grading system; lack of observation opportunities;
Personal: Changes in your living situation; caring for yourself or a loved one who was directly impacted; seeking out new volunteer opportunities that arose from the crisis
Professional: Loss of a job or needing to seek new opportunities; other professional or financial barriers.
If you have already submitted the dual-degree application form, you may upload your personal statement via your Application Status page (instructions for accessing the status page were provided at the time you submitted the application). Please include your full name at the top of the statement.
If you wish to submit the personal statement prior to the application, or if you are unable to upload the document to your Application Status page, you may send the statement as an attachment via email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “MAOT/OTD-EL Personal Statement” in the subject line.
Applicants must complete a minimum of 50 cumulative hours in two or more settings through work or volunteer experiences that focus on direct contact in serving vulnerable, disabled, or disadvantaged individuals or populations, and that address health, rehabilitation, disability, quality of life, and/or community issues. These experiences can be in a variety of fields and do not have to be specific to Occupational Therapy as long as the previously stated guidelines are met.
Submit a current résumé that highlights both work and volunteer experiences (which should include the requirements in the section above) and leadership roles. The résumé should also include your education, honors and awards, skills and activities related to your work/volunteer experience. Please include the following:
- Facility name and location
- Type of work or volunteer setting
- Position title
- Phone number
- Dates of employment and estimated hours
- Five primary responsibilities and percentage of time devoted to each
- Type of clients (age range, disabilities, diversity of background)
If you have already submitted the Dual-Degree application form, you may upload your résumé via your Application Status page (instructions for accessing the status page were provided at the time you submitted the application).
If you wish to submit the résumé prior to the application, or if you are unable to upload the document to your Application Status page, you may send the résumé as an attachment via email to email@example.com with "MAOT/OTD-EL Résumé" in the subject line.
Three recommendations are required as part of the MAOT and OTD-EL application process. One recommendation must be from a supervisor in a work, internship, or volunteer setting. The remaining two recommendations should be from professional and/or academic references. Links to an online form will be sent via the St. Catherine application form after the applicant enters the reference’s contact information.
On the application form, list each post-secondary institution attended, even if courses are recorded on another transcript and regardless of the number of credits earned. The Office of Graduate Admission will access current student files from the Registrar’s Office in order to obtain these transcripts, as well as a current copy of the St. Catherine transcript. If any transcripts are missing from the current student file, it is the applicant’s responsibility to request that the official transcripts be sent directly from the outside institution to the Office of Graduate Admission.
At the time of application, CfW dual-degree students must:
- be at junior status: minimum 69-73 credits completed
- complete the application requirements for the MAOT or OTD-EL program
Prior to starting the MAOT program, students must complete 98 credits, including all core courses, electives and prerequisite courses. Prior to starting the OTD-EL program, students must complete 96 credits, including all core courses, electives and prerequisite courses. Please refer to your online degree evaluation report to review the status of these course requirements. Contact your academic advisor if you have any questions.
Electronic documents may be directed to:
Paper documents may be mailed to:
St. Catherine University
Graduate Admission #4027
2004 Randolph Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105
Test scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) are not required.
Due to the high volume of interest in the MAOT and OTD-EL programs, the Office of Graduate Admission does not review unofficial transcripts to determine the completion of prerequisite coursework. After the OTCAS or St. Catherine application form and official transcripts are submitted, an evaluation of previous coursework is completed and applicants are notified of any outstanding prerequisite courses. St. Catherine University is not responsible for any application submitted that does not meet the minimum prerequisite or GPA requirements.
It is highly recommended that you attend one of our information sessions to learn more about the MAOT and OTD-EL programs and the admission process.
Essential Functions and Technical Standards
A practicing occupational therapist must be physically, cognitively, emotionally and mentally capable to meet the rigorous demands of clinical practice. The Description of Essential Functions and Technical Standards defines the essential functions and technical standards that OT students must meet in order to successfully progress through the program. All students must be capable of meeting these requirements or similar with or without reasonable accommodation.
All prospective students are encouraged to review this document prior to applying to the MAOT or OTD-EL program. All admitted students are required to read and sign this document prior to beginning their MAOT or OTD-EL program at St. Catherine.
Entry Level Applicants: All supporting documents must be submitted directly to OTCAS.
Dual Degree Applicants: Once you’ve submitted the online application, you will have access to your Application Status page to upload any supporting documents (instructions for accessing the status page were emailed at the time you submitted the application). If you are unable to upload electronic documents to your Application Status page, you may send items as an attachment via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Paper documents may be mailed to:
St. Catherine University
Graduate Admission #4027
2004 Randolph Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105
It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that their application is completed by the deadline. The Admission Committee will not review your application until we have received all required documents. Fulfillment of the admission requirements does not guarantee admission to the program. No credentials will be returned to the applicant.
The following information pertains to applicants who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
Please review the information below regarding other application materials that may be required for international applicants.
Earlier deadlines may apply for international applicants to ensure that all immigration requirements can be met in time for you to enroll in the desired term. Contact your admission counselor with questions.
International Student Forms
International applicants for graduate study must complete the International Information section of the application form.
The U.S. government requires international applicants to provide proof of ability to pay tuition and living expenses before the University can issue forms necessary to obtain a visa. International applicants must submit a Certification of Finances form.
Some international applicants may be required to submit additional documentation, such as a credential evaluation, language test scores, etc. Please review the application instructions for your graduate program for more information.
Questions about the application process?
Email your admission counselor at any time, or call us during office hours (8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.).