Admission Requirements

Program faculty will evaluate your application for indicators of readiness for an academically rigorous course of study, and your potential to become a leading occupational therapy practitioner.

Applicants will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Academic achievement
  • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 *
  • Extracurricular and interpersonal life experiences
  • Demonstrated concern for individuals from diverse backgrounds and their surrounding community
  • Demonstrated use of good judgment, insight, empathy reasoning, ethical behavior and strong personal accountability

* Applicants whose overall undergraduate GPA is lower than 3.0 will be considered, provided that they earned a minimum 3.0 GPA in the last two years of undergraduate study and in the prerequisite course work for this curriculum.

Application Process

Persons interested int the program must apply to both the Occupational Therapist Centralized Application Service (OTCAS) and to the NAU Graduate College.  

 Information to be submitted through the application systems include:

  • Transcripts of all college-level coursework
  • 2 letters of recommendation
  • Information indicating completion of a minimum of 80 hours of volunteer and observation hours
    • 40 hours observing two different occupational therapists each practicing in a different type of setting with different age-groups (minimum of 20 hours in each setting) AND
    • 40 hours in at least two different community settings (agencies, programs, camps, etc.) serving vulnerable, disabled or disadvantaged individuals or populations that address health, rehabilitation, disability, quality of life or community issues or sustainability initiatives
    • The hours may be applied toward the requirement of volunteer hours or for observation hours. They cannot be double-counted as both volunteer hours and as observation hours. The observation hours may be paid or unpaid hours
  • Personal statement 



Admission to the OTD program is dependent upon completion of certain course and degree prerequisites.

Medical Terminology and Occupational Therapy Competencies

Applicants who are accepted to the program must demonstrate competency in medical terminology and occupational therapy. This requirement will be met through successful completion of an online matriculation competency administered by the department after the student is accepted into the program.

Health requirements

Certain health and Basic Life Support requirements are in place for students for the health and well-being of our campus community and community engagement activities, including fieldwork education. 

Hepatitis B immunization

To ensure immunity, applicants should begin the Hepatitis B vaccination series and titer months in advance of admission.

Basic Life Support certification

All students must consistently be certified in infant and adult Basic Life Support from admission through graduation.

Fingerprint clearance card

All students are required to have a current fingerprint clearance card on file with the department in the student’s account through CORE. Some agencies will require documentation of fingerprint clearance or background check of students prior to the clinical experience. Students will assume the costs and responsibility of getting the fingerprints completed as necessary before starting the OT program.  A valid fingerprint clearance card issued from the Department of Public Safety in Arizona is required.