Admission Requirements

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To be considered for admission to Des Moines University’s Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program, students must have a minimum of 72 semester hours (3 years full-time equivalent) of undergraduate work at a regionally accredited college or regionally accredited university within the United States prior to the start of orientation.

A prerequisite GPA and cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale are recommended to be considered for admission.  No grade lower than a C- will be accepted for prerequisite coursework. All prerequisite coursework, with the exception of medical terminology, must be completed for graded credit and official transcripts must be provided. Coursework completed through third-party servicers will not be accepted. Advanced placement courses may be accepted if the AP credit appears on an official college transcript as equivalent to the appropriate college-level coursework. Acceptance of CLEP credits will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Required Courses

The courses below are required for admission; you may apply while coursework is in progress. Coursework completion is required prior to matriculation, and pending coursework during the application cycle is acceptable.

Subject Required Course(s) or Semester Hours
Human Anatomy1,2 4 semester hours
Human Physiology1,2 4 semester hours
Psychology 9 semester hours
Must include coursework in introductory, abnormal and developmental psychology
Social Science or Humanities 3 semester hours
May include sociology, anthropology, philosophy, economics or other
English Composition 6 semester hours
Must include college-level English writing, grammar or composition
Statistics 3 semester hours
Medical Terminology 1 course
Or Certificate of Completion via DMU’s online Medical Terminology course

1 with lab
2 or a two-course sequence in anatomy and physiology with lab

Other highly recommended courses may include biology, human development/human behavior, physics, kinesiology, research methods, philosophy, ethics and speech/communication.

Observational Experiences

Applicants are encouraged to observe occupational therapists, but a minimum number of hours is not required for application. The most competitive applicants will have observed several hours in a variety of occupational therapy settings, including in practice areas of children and youth, work and industry, rehabilitation, health and wellness, mental health, productive aging or another specific area.


The GRE is not required for application to DMU’s O.T.D. program.

Technical Standards

Please see the Technical Standards for more information. Further information about accommodations can be found in the Accommodations in Education Policy.

Background Checks

All accepted students are required to complete a criminal background check through the DMU preferred vendor. Results must be released to DMU prior to matriculation, and the cost of this process will be paid by the accepted student. Accepted students are required to disclose all past or present charges, convictions, dismissals, deferred judgments and expunged records as related to a misdemeanor or felony. They are also obligated to disclose any additional charges and convictions which occur following completion of the initial criminal background check. Admission to the program may be revoked if misrepresentations or omissions from the application are noted in the background check. DMU students are required to complete annual criminal background checks, which may include drug screening, while enrolled at DMU.

Permanent Residents

Applicants who are legal permanent residents of the U.S. will be required to provide a notarized copy of their permanent resident card ("green card") prior to admission.

Note: Permanent residency status "pending" is not eligible for admission.

Non-U.S. Citizens

Applicants who are not U.S. citizens or legal permanent U.S. residents are not eligible for admission to the O.T.D. program. Please review the information for international students.

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