Application Instructions For

occupational therapy (maot)

Our graduate programs are open to women and men. Please review the program eligibility requirements and application instructions prior to starting the graduate application process.

eligibility and prerequisite requirements

Before beginning the application process, review the pre-application requirements for this program.

To be considered for admission, applicants must meet the following requirements:

Baccalaureate degree
A completed bachelor’s or graduate degree from an institution that is accredited by one of the regional accrediting associations (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.

Volunteer/work experience
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).

Prerequisite courses
Specific prerequisite courses are required for the entry-level MAOT program; 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 for Summer 2019 enrollment must have a minimum of five* prerequisite courses completed (with credits and grades noted on transcripts) at the time of application (applicants for Summer 2020 must have six prerequisite courses completed at the time of application). Of those five courses, at least two must be in anatomy, physiology or statistics. The remaining three 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 five completed.

It is strongly recommended that all prerequisite courses be completed within the past ten years.

Human Anatomy**
(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

Human Physiology**
(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

General Psychology
(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

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 or contact Mary Palin, OT Admission Counselor, to review other courses that could meet this requirement

Medical Terminology
(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, 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.

Course equivalencies for St. Catherine prerequisites
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.

  1. Make note of the St. Catherine department abbreviation (BIOL, CHEM, MATH, etc.) and course numbers in the MAOT prerequisite list.
  2. Connect to TES
  3. 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.
  4. Enter the course code for one of our MAOT 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.

Please read the application instructions below before completing the online application at the bottom of this page.

Priority deadline: October 1, 2018 (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: January 1, 2019 (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 February/early March.

We are no longer accepting applications for Fall 2018 enrollment. Applications for Summer 2019 may be submitted via OTCAS beginning in July 2018.

We strongly encourage candidates to complete the application process at least one month prior to the deadline to ensure that all materials are received. Only applications considered "complete" by OTCAS standards (though not necessarily "verified") by January 1 will be considered for admission.

St. Catherine undergraduate students who are pursuing an approved dual-degree plan do not apply for the MAOT program using the OTCAS system. Information listed on this web page is for entry-level applicants only; application materials and instructions for dual-degree students will be available from the Office of Graduate Admission in September 2018. Dual-degree students may contact Mary Palin, MAOT admission counselor, for information about admission requirements.

Applications for the entry-level MAOT program are submitted via the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS) online. The application cycle is open July - January 1 for classes beginning the following summer; all required materials listed below must be received by OTCAS no later than January 1. Applications and materials submitted after the final deadline will not be reviewed.

The following materials must be submitted directly to OTCAS:

  • Official transcripts from every post-secondary institution attended. 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.
  • Three recommendations
  • Personal Statement/Supplemental essay
  • Resume

Review the OTCAS "frequently asked questions" section for specific instructions for entering and submitting the required materials.


Number of applicants: 402
Class size: 60
Acceptance rate: 15%
Average overall undergraduate GPA: 3.68
Average prerequisite GPA: 3.74

Test scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) are not required.

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 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).

Due to the high volume of interest in the MAOT program, the Office of Graduate Admission does not review unofficial transcripts to determine the completion of prerequisite coursework. After the OTCAS 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. OTCAS does not refund any application fees for any reason (review fee policy here).

Please note that official transcripts must be sent directly to the OTCAS Transcript Processing Center, and should not be sent to St. Catherine University during the application process.

In the “Supporting Information” > “Documents” section of the OTCAS application, you will submit a personal statement that will be seen by any school to which you apply. This personal statement should be a maximum of 1,000 words (about 4 pages double spaced).

Personal statement prompt: 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. Do not personalize your essay for a particular degree institution.

In the “Program Materials” > St. Kate’s application > “Documents” tab, you will submit a Supplemental Essay specific to the St. Kate’s application. The supplemental essay should be a maximum of 500 words (about 2 pages double spaced).

Supplemental Essay prompt: 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 OTCAS uses the word "Evaluation" instead of "Recommendation"

Three recommendations are required as part of the MAOT 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. Recommendations are submitted directly to OTCAS.

In the “Documents” section of OTCAS, please upload a current resume. The reviewers use the resume 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. 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.

The OTCAS application has 3 sections to enter experience information: Observation Hours, Experiences and Achievements. Observation hours are not required by St. Kate’s MAOT program 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.

It is highly recommended that you attend one of our information sessions to learn more about the MAOT program and the admission process.

Fulfillment of the admission requirements does not guarantee admission to the program. No credentials will be returned to the applicant.


Applicants who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents must submit an International Student Supplement and Certification of Finances, in addition to the graduate program application. There is no additional application fee required.

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.

All international applicants for graduate study must complete the International Student Supplement in addition to applying directly to the graduate program.

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, with the exception of the following programs:

  • Education: For Licensed Teachers (MAED in Curriculum & Instruction, Technology Integration, STEM)
  • Health Informatics (MHI)
  • Interpreting Studies (MAISCE)
  • Montessori: AM2 (MAED)
  • Occupational Therapy: Post-professional (OTD)

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.

Please submit the International Student Supplement and Certification of Finances forms to the Office of Graduate Admission; review your graduate program application instructions for submitting educational documentation and test scores. The Admission Committee will not review your application until we have received all required documents.

St. Catherine University
Office of Graduate Admission 4027
2004 Randolph Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55105
Telephone: 651.690.6933

begin application now

questions about the application process?

Email your admission counselor at any time, or call us during office hours (8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.).

contact an admission counselor