Thomas Jefferson University
Jefferson College of Health Professions
Department of Occupational Therapy

Entry Level Master's in Occupational Therapy

The Entry-Level Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (EMOT) is a graduate degree program for students with a Bachelor’s degree in a field other than occupational therapy and have completed prerequisite coursework (29 credits) at another accredited school. Students are awarded a Master of Science in Occupation Therapy upon Successful completion of the program.

Our department partners with the Occupational Therapist Centralized Application Service (OTCAS). Applications to this program are sent to and processed by OTCAS. We also require a TJU supplemental application to be completed after OTCAS submission.

Note: We communicate with applicants via email, so please provide a valid email address and adjust your email settings to allow mail from

Printable Application Checklist (PDF)

Application Deadlines

Application Deadline: February 5

To be considered complete and eligible for review, an OTCAS application must be verified with required letters of recommendation, transcripts, and personal statement, and all applicable documents (test scores, etc.) must be submitted in the directed manner and received by our office by the program deadline date. We will send you the Thomas Jefferson University Supplemental Application by email after our office downloads your OTCAS application. 

Please note that the OTCAS verification process can take 4-6 weeks. It is important to keep this information in mind when determining if you will meet the deadline.

Decisions are granted on a rolling basis throughout the cycle until the class is filled. The OTCAS opens in July. We highly encourage applicants to apply well in advance of the application deadline. We will contact academically eligible applicants via e-mail to schedule an admission interview (provided space is still available). Decisions include: Offer of Admission, Denied Admission, Hold for Grades and Waitlist.


Prerequisites must be completed by the time the student enters Thomas Jefferson University. You do not need to have your prerequisites completed before you apply, but the majority should be completed before an admissions decision can be made. You may also earn credits through standardized tests, including the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP).

Questions about Prerequisites can be directed to:
1-877-JEFF-247 or 215-503-8890

Prerequisite Worksheet (PDF)

Degree & GPA

A Bachelor's degree is required. A 3.0 GPA or higher is strongly recommended.


29 credits from specific course areas. All science courses must be completed within 10 years of applying to Thomas Jefferson University. Courses must be completed with a grade of “C” or above to be eligible for transfer. A grade of “C-” or below will not be eligible for transfer.

Course acceptance subject to Academic Counselor approval.

Anatomy & Physiology I *
Anatomy & Physiology II *
Statistics 3
Abnormal Psychology 3
Developmental or Lifespan Psychology 3
Cultural and/or Ethnic Diversity 3
Sociology 3
English Composition 3
English elective 3

* 8 credits of A&P I and II or 4 credits of Human Anatomy and 4 credits of Human Physiology strongly recommended. Kinesiology and Exercise Physiology are also acceptable. Labs must be included.

Performance Requirements/Technical Standards

Technical standards are the fundamental abilities a student needs to complete every activity his/her degree requires. These standards are determined by the competency, proficiency and/or skill standards set forth by accrediting and professional organizations appropriate to each program and apply to classroom, laboratory and clinical/fieldwork environments. Students are allowed reasonable accommodation.

Technical Standards of the Department of Occupational Therapy are as follows.

Cognitive Skills

Each student must be able to:
  • Acquire, process, retain and apply knowledge through a variety of instructional methods such as written materials, oral delivery, visual demonstrations, laboratory experiences, clinical experiences and independent learning.
  • Complete reading assignments, search and analyze professional literature and apply information gained to guide practice.
  • Learn, retain and use information from texts, journals, documentation and other written sources.
  • Process (measure, calculate, analyze, synthesize and evaluate) large amounts of complex information.
  • Apply theoretical concepts to practice activities and perform clinical problem solving in a logical and timely manner.
  • Apply mathematical and basic statistical skills.
  • Perceive and understand three-dimensional relationships and spatial relationships necessary for education and practice-related tasks such as moving in a variety of environments, designing treatment equipment and fabricating splints.
  • Participate equitably in cooperative group learning activities, actively participate in class discussions and as a member of a team.
  • Present information orally to groups of people.
  • Maintain attention for 2-4 hours and tolerate days when classes may last 8-10 hours.
  • Take and pass tests/quizzes in a variety of formats.
  • Complete written assignments and produce written documentation in standard and organized English.
  • Apply knowledge and judgment required to demonstrate ethical reasoning and behavior.
  • Apply safety knowledge and judgment to a variety of situations.
  • Comply with fieldwork site rules and regulations.
  • Demonstrate problem-solving skills and judgment necessary to modify evaluation or intervention methods when necessary to address the specific needs of client (behavioral, cultural, etc.), to maximize client performance.
  • Apply clinical reasoning and judgment necessary for interpretation of evaluation data and development of treatment plans.
  • Identify and select occupations that are goal-directed and motivate and challenge clients.
  • Demonstrate judgment necessary to establish priorities and develop and use strategies.

Behavioral/Social-Communication Skills & Professional Behaviors

Students must be able to:
  • Demonstrate positive interpersonal skills including, but not limited to, cooperation, flexibility, tact, sympathy and confidence.
  • Demonstrate respect for diversity, including, but not limited to, socio-cultural, socioeconomic, spiritual and lifestyle choices.
  • Collaborate with classmates, clients, family members, significant others and team members.
  • Function successfully in supervisory and instructor-student relationships.
  • Change and adjust behavior and performance in the classroom, laboratory or clinic on the basis of instructor feedback.
  • Communicate in the English language effectively and clearly in oral and written forms, using proper spelling, punctuation and grammar to explain procedures and teach skills.
  • Use language appropriate to the recipient, with faculty, peers, clients and other health professionals from different social and cultural backgrounds to obtain information from clients, peers, faculty, supervisors and other professionals.
  • Use communication skills needed to practice safely.
  • Use therapeutic communication skills such as attending and active listening during therapeutic interactions and motivating and facilitating client behaviors to maximize client performance.
  • Communicate effectively both verbally and non-verbally.
  • Elicit and describe factual information and perceive information derived from verbal and nonverbal communication and social cues.
  • Be appropriately assertive as required to speak in class, initiate and guide the therapy process, establish limits as needed for the safety of self and clients and establish professional identity within complex systems.
  • Use the computer for communication and class assignments.
  • Exhibit professional demeanor including appropriate language and dress, and acceptance of responsibility for conduct.
  • Demonstrate organizational and time management skills and ability to prioritize activities effectively as needed to attend class and fulfill class requirements.
  • Exhibit flexibility and adapt to changing environments and expectations.
  • Cope with stresses encountered in the intensive educational process as well as clinical practice environments.
  • Demonstrate consistent work behaviors including initiative, preparedness, dependability, punctual attendance and work site maintenance.
  • Tolerate working in environments where there is exposure to disability, illness, pain and death.
  • Observe persons and scenarios and elicit relevant information for use in assessment and intervention.
  • Plan, guide and implement both individual and group interventions.
  • Maintain ethical standards including honesty, integrity and confidentiality at all times.
  • Produce the required volume of work in the expected time frame.

Physical & Sensory (Sensorimotor) Skills

Students must be able to:

  • Tolerate sitting for up to two hours at a time, over an 8-10 hour period.
  • Tolerate periods of physical activity for up to 8-10 hours per day.
  • Demonstrate coordination, equilibrium and sensory functioning required to manipulate parts of, or whole bodies of, simulated and real clients for purposes of evaluation and treatment.
  • Demonstrate mobility and ability to move within environments adequately to access and maneuver within locations and destinations including classroom, laboratory and clinical settings.
  • Demonstrate sufficient postural control, neuromuscular control, eye/hand coordination, strength and integrated function of the senses of vision, hearing, tactile sense, vestibular (movement) sense and proprioception sense (muscles and joints) to manipulate and use common occupational therapy equipment, devices, materials and supplies, and demonstrate competency in the use of these objects within assessment and treatment procedures commonly used in occupational therapy practice.
  • Demonstrate motor skill capacities with sufficient levels of strength, endurance and fine and gross motor coordination to safely, accurately and effectively engage in a wide variety of therapeutic techniques, activities and occupations used in the occupational therapy assessment and intervention process, including: the ability to lift and move objects, adequate manual dexterity, arm and hand function needed to use tools and perform other manipulative activities, use of limbs and trunk in bending, twisting, squatting, kneeling, reaching, pushing, pulling, holding, extending and rotating.
  • Tolerate physical contact with others.
  • Tolerate manipulation of his/her own body by peers or instructors for instructional purposes.
  • Demonstrate a sufficiently high degree of coordination of motor skills and vigilance to respond to emergency situations quickly and appropriately, including performance of CPR.
  • Travel to fieldwork sites.

Application Requirements

OTCAS Application

Create an account in OTCAS through the applicant portal and follow the directions to complete the application.

Official Transcripts

Submit your official transcripts (include all institutions attended) to OTCAS using the Transcript Request Form. Send official transcripts to OTCAS at:

PO Box 9120
Watertown, MA 02471


Include your CV or resume on the OTCAS application in the "Extracurricular Activities, Honors, Work Experience and Licenses" section.

Test Scores

Submit official, original GRE or MAT scores to Thomas Jefferson University.

  • GRE code = 5750
  • MAT code = 9910

GRE or MAT scores are not required for students who have already earned a conferred Master's degree.

Personal Statement/Essay

Complete the essay found on the OTCAS application. Your personal essay should address why you selected Occupational Therapy as a career and how an OT degree relates to your immediate and long term professional goals. Describe how your personal, educational and professional background will help you to achieve your goals.

Recommendation Letters

Two letters of recommendation are required to complete your application. Students should submit the two letters of recommendation to OTCAS. Letters can be written by a: professor, academic administrator, professional or volunteer supervisor or manager. Letters from family, friends or co-workers will not be accepted.

One professional or volunteer letter and one academic letter are preferred. Letters from family, friends or co-workers will not be accepted.

Volunteer/Work Experience

Submit documentation of volunteer or work experience in OT to OTCAS and fill out the "Occupational Therapy Observation Hours" section on the OTCAS application.

International Students

Please see our additional information for applying as an International Student.

English Language Proficiency

TOEFL Requirements

Send official TOEFL scores (if applicable) to:

Thomas Jefferson University
130 South 9th Street, Suite 100
Philadelphia, PA 19107
TOEFL code = 2903

Supplemental Application & Fee

Once we receive your OTCAS application, we will send you an e-mail containing a supplemental application and a login ID (you will receive a second, separate email with your PIN). Complete the application according to the e-mailed intstructions.

You must include your OTCAS ID number and the date you completed the OTCAS application on the supplemental application.

A $25 supplemental application fee must be paid with a credit card.

Drug, Criminal Background & Child Abuse Clearances

All students who are offered admission are required to have a criminal background check and child abuse clearance. In addition, PA students who are offered admission are required to be fingerprinted and undergo a drug test. Some clinical sites may require health professions and pharmacy students to be fingerprinted and/or undergo a drug test. The Office of Admissions will provide you with the appropriate information to complete these requirements, as needed.

Clinical rotation and fieldwork sites that require a criminal background check, child abuse clearance and/or fingerprinting may deny a student’s participation in the clinical experience, rotation or fieldwork because of a felony or misdemeanor conviction or a record of child abuse. Clinical sites may also deny participation in clinical experiences for other reasons, such as failure of a required drug test, or inability to produce an appropriate health clearance. As participation in clinical experiences, rotations or fieldwork is a required part of the curriculum and a requirement for graduation, denial of participation by a clinical site may result in delay of graduation or the inability to graduate from the Program.

Regardless of whether or not a student graduates from Thomas Jefferson University, individuals who have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor may be denied certification or licensure as a health professional. Information regarding individual eligibility may be obtained from the appropriate credentialing bodies.

Admissions Contacts

General Questions

Phone: 1-877-JEFF-247 (1-877-533-3247)

Program-Specific Questions

Leslie Hindman, MEd
Senior Associate Director of Admissions
130 South Ninth Street
Edison Building, Suite 100
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Phone: 215-503-9848
Fax: 215-503-7241