Document Type (Journals)

Original Research


When establishing admission processes for entry-level doctoral programs, admission requirements for master-level programs provide a comparison for consideration. The purpose of this study was to provide information about admission practices for graduate-level occupational therapy programs. The three aims included: 1) to describe admission requirements of a sample of entry-level master’s programs; 2) to examine the relationship between attrition and admission requirements for the sample; and 3) to provide a summary of admission requirements used by entry-level master and doctoral programs in the United States. Results of the study provided a synthesis of information about admission requirements that included programs’ minimum pre-admission grade point average, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) requirements, and interview processes (e.g., format, time, personnel). A review of the websites for 172 entry-level master’s and doctoral programs across the United States provided a comprehensive description of national admission requirements. Results of a survey of 31 master’s level programs provided information on student demographics (e.g., race/ethnicity, gender), admission requirements, and attrition information for the cohorts admitted in a single year. Survey results also examined the relationship between attrition and admission requirements. Educational programs have opportunities, responsibilities, and challenges associated with the selection of the most qualified applicants to meet academic and professional behavior standards. Periodic examination of admission processes within and across occupational therapy education programs is important for the integrity of the profession.


Patricia Bowyer, EdD, M.S., OTR, FAOTA is a professor and doctoral programs coordinator in the School of Occupational Therapy at Texas Woman’s University in Houston, Texas. She uses the framework of scholarship of practice to engage in occupation theory and practice-based research focused on therapist’s clinical reasoning and development of context/population specific assessments/interventions.

Cynthia Tiongco, OTR is a doctoral candidate at Texas Woman’s University and an assistant professor at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. Her areas of expertise include the impact of an occupation-based theory on the clinical reasoning of practitioners, and pediatric assessment and intervention.

L. Kaye Rubio, OTR/L, MHS, CLT is a doctoral student at Texas Woman’s University, and a practitioner with expertise in occupation theory-based interventions with individuals with breast cancer related lymphedema.

Judy Liu, OTR is the director of hand therapy at PRN Desert Rehabilitation in El Centro, California. Her focus is on the importance of education in rural communities to promote and regain meaningful and functional hand/arm use.

Sandra Whisner, OTR, PhD is an assistant professor and program director of the Master of Occupational Therapy program at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX. She specializes in occupation-based psychosocial interventions for children and adults. She earned her PhD in occupational therapy from Texas Woman’s University.

Declaration of Interest

The authors report no declarations of interest.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.