Two OT students working in a lab with one student icing the other's arm.

Admissions & Aid

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, MSOT

Admissions Process

The School of Occupational Therapy receives admission applications for the MSOT program and all applicant credentials exclusively through the Occupational Therapy College Application Service (OTCAS), provided by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). When applying, please follow these steps:

  1. Create an account for your online application at www.otcas.org.
  2. Log in to your application and complete all sections as directed.
  3. As part of your application, enter all previously completed (and yet to be completed) college courses (you will need a copy of transcripts from all colleges attended to do this).
  4. As part of your application (in the Colleges Attended section), download Transcript Request Forms for each college attended to arrange for an official transcript to be sent to OTCAS.
  5. As part of your application, complete all sections in the Program Materials area. Click on each tab at the top of the program page for instructions.
  6. Submit your completed application to OTCAS with the appropriate program designated.
  7. Wait to hear from Belmont University via email regarding the status of your application

Interview Invitations

Eligible candidates will be invited for an interview with a faculty member.

Required After Acceptance

If you are accepted in the MSOT program, you will be required to be certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR for infant, child and adult) and first aid training. You will also be required to submit results of a criminal background check and must comply with immunization requirements. The School of OT retains a copy of each student's record to verify health and immunization compliance and to satisfy any requests from fieldwork site administrators. These requirements are not only for the health and safety of our students but also for the safety of the patients they will be serving outside the university. Instructions and forms on completing these requirements will be communicated to you during the summer preceding your first semester.

Applicants will submit one application exclusively through OTCAS. A supplemental application is not required.

Application Launch

July 2023 – Application to the MSOT program at Belmont University open through OTCAS for Fall 2024 entry

Early Decision

Early Decision is available to applicants who pledge to attend Belmont University if accepted for admission. Candidates who apply during Belmont's Early Decision period may fill the entering class.

  • Early Decision Application deadline: September 1, 2023 (all transcripts must also be submitted to OTCAS by this date)
  • Interview Day: October 2023 (by invitation only)
  • Decisions Announced: within 1 week after the interview day
  • Reply Date for Accepted Candidates: within 2 weeks of admission

Regular Admission

Regular Admission consideration is available on a rolling basis to candidates who submit an OTCAS application by the deadline below. Candidates who are invited to interview will be considered for any available openings in the entering class or for a place on the waitlist for possible future openings. Candidates with a completed application will be eligible, on a competitive basis, for an invitation to our final interview date (date to be determined).

  • Regular Decision Application Deadline: January 14, 2024
  • Interview Day: February 2024 (by invitation only)
  • Decisions Announced: within 1 week after the interview day
  • Reply Date for Accepted Candidates: within 2 weeks of admission

OTCAS Academic Update

Mid-December – The OTCAS Academic Update opens. You cannot make edits to your coursework section until the AU window is open to you.

Mid-January – OTCAS Academic Update priority deadline to submit your updated courses and transcripts to OTCAS. OTCAS will continue to accept updated transcripts after the priority deadline date has passed and through mid-February.

Mid-February – The Academic Update closes. You cannot edit your courses after this date. OTCAS will no longer accept AU transcripts. If your AU transcripts will not be available from your college/university's registrar until after February 15, please get in touch with the admissions office to receive instructions on submitting an unofficial grade report directly to Belmont University School of Occupational Therapy. (Do NOT send unofficial transcripts or grade reports to OTCAS).

Prerequisite Completion Deadline

All prerequisite courses must be successfully completed before June 1, 2024, for Fall 2024 applicants. Final official transcripts must be sent to Belmont University Admissions Office soon after this date. Accepted candidates who do not meet this deadline will forfeit their seats in the entering class.

Program Start

Our program typically starts during the last week of August each year.

Applicants must meet all of the following admissions requirements in order to be considered for admission to the program. Our MSOT Application Checklist may help you better visualize these requirements and determine if you are prepared to apply to the program.

  • Applicants must have at least one year of work experience as a fully credentialed occupational therapy assistant or physical therapy assistant working with an occupational therapist (OTR) by the Regular Decision application deadline.
  • Candidates must have completed a minimum of 90 semester equivalent credits from a regionally accredited college or university, or a school accredited by ACOTE, the accrediting body for occupational therapy education. A minimum overall grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in coursework from the most recent 90 semester credits is required. A Bachelor's degree is not required.
  • Two recommendations are required. One recommendation must be from a licensed occupational therapist
  • Candidates must complete a Personal Essay answering the prompt listed withn the OTCAS application.
  • Candidates who are physical therapy assistants must demonstrate familiarity with occupational therapy through completion of a minimum of 50 hours of observational, volunteer, or work experiences with an occupational therapist (OTR).
  • Candidates must complete 8 prerequisite courses and achieve a grade of B- or better in each course. Prerequisite courses must be completed at a regionally accredited college or university. Prerequisites from schools that are accredited by ACOTE but not regionally accredited may NOT be used for prerequisite requirements. All prerequisite coursework must be within the previous 8 years* and completed by the end of the spring semester (June 1) prior to enrollment.

Because of the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic, the School of Occupational Therapy will honor prerequisite courses taken online between Spring 2020 and Summer 2022. In addition, a grade of “pass” may be accepted for prerequisite courses taken during this time although a letter grade is preferred if that option was available. Candidates will be required to provide an explanation if they opted into the P/F grading scale.

Candidates must have no more than two incomplete prerequisites (as verified by OTCAS) to be considered for an interview opportunity, and preference is given to applicants who have completed all prerequisites prior to application. If all prerequisites are not completed successfully by June 1, the candidate’s admission will be withdrawn.

Human Anatomy & Physiology I with Lab

May also be satisfied with Human Anatomy with lab

Human Anatomy & Physiology II with Lab

May also be satisfied with Human Physiology with lab

Statistics

A statistics course from a math department or psychology department

Human Growth & Development

A human development course in psychology as long as it covers the life span.

Introduction to Psychology

General or Introductory Psychology will satisfy this requirement.

Introduction to Sociology
or
Introduction to Anthropology

Either course will satisfy this requirement.

English Composition

An advanced writing course may also satisfy this requirement.

Communication course

A course in public speaking or an additional writing course.

*The Admissions Committee may waive the "8-year" requirement for some prerequisites if you have been continually employed as an occupational therapy or physical therapy assistant since the completion of your OTA or PTA program. The Committee will consider such an appeal only after you have completed your application for admission to the MSOT program with all supporting documents submitted.

Belmont’s MSOT Program requires attendance once every three weekends. On the weeks that students are not on campus, coursework and course discussions occur via distance learning. Thus, the traditional face to face format is augmented by distance education. Self-assessment should be conducted to determine if a program that is enhanced by distance learning is appropriate based on your learning needs, expectations, and style.

Students in the MSOT program must have a laptop computer that includes wireless connection to the internet. Access to local high-speed internet is strongly recommended since you must be able to download large files and view videos in this program. Access to a scanner is also strongly recommended as students will need to submit program materials to faculty and staff throughout the program. A distance learning platform, Blackboard, is used for on-line coursework. Since technology is constantly evolving, students should contact the program assistant for technology requirements needed to participate in the program before purchasing new computer software or hardware.

Daily access to a computer with a web cam is required. High-speed Internet access is strongly recommended since students must be able to download large files and view videos. Belmont uses Blackboard to operate their online courses. Blackboard is a Web-based application and other browsers and operation systems may work well, however, the listed configurations are the only configurations that are tested and supported by Blackboard:

 

Desktop OS Browser Versions

Mobile and Tablet OS Browser Versions*

Android Browser

Not available

4+

Chrome**

36+

35+

Edge**

20+

20+

Firefox**

47+

Unsupported

Internet Explorer***

11+

Unsupported

Safari

9.1+

9.1+

The skills and abilities recommended to participate in a distance enhanced education program are:

  1. Being resourceful and enjoying research and reading to find answers to questions rather than listening to a lecture that provides the answers.
  2. Being an excellent reader and visual learner.
  3. Being motivated to complete homework and other assignments in a timely manner.
  4. Ability to participate in virtual discussions and to not require regular, live interaction to meet learning needs.
  5. Being highly independent as a learner but able to recognize the importance of working in a group.
  6. Not requiring immediate feedback from instructors or ability to schedule time to transmit questions in advance (well before assignments are due).
  7. Being comfortable taking examinations online.
  8. Being confident with writing abilities but also welcoming to suggestions for improvement.
  9. Ability to dedicate the same amount of time per week to complete coursework that a traditional classroom program would require.
  10. Recognizing that you are ultimately responsible for your learning.
  11. Ability to create, delete, modify, and save a word-processing document.
  12. Ability to cut and paste images into a word-processing document.
  13. Ability to cut text from a word-processing document and then paste in another document.
  14. Knowledge of how to bookmark favorite websites on the Internet.
  15. Ability to conduct Internet searches using Google, Yahoo, AOL, MSN, or other online search directories.
  16. Ability to copy and share URL’s with others.
  17. Ability to download and install browser plug-ins for Adobe Reader, Windows Media Player, Real Player, etc.
  18. Availability of high-speed Internet connection and a personal computer.

Students typically report to our campus in Nashville every third weekend for in-person and lab instruction.

Current Live Weekend Schedule

The content for MSOT Live Weekends is provided in person at the Belmont University campus. Anyone requesting accommodation from attending in person must contact the MSOT Program Director and receive approval in writing.

 

Spring 2024
1/20/2024– 1/21/2024
2/3/2024 – 2/4/2024
2/24/2024 – 2/25/2024
3/16/2024 – 3/17/2024
4/6/2024 – 4/7/2024
4/13/2024 – 4/14/2024

Summer 2024
5/18/2024– 5/19/2024
6/1/2024 – 6/2/2024
6/22/2024 – 6/23/2024
7/13/2024 – 7/14/2024

Fall 2024
8/23/2024*– 8/25/2024
9/14/2024 – 9/15/2024
10/5/2024 – 10/6/2024
10/26/2024 – 10/27/2024
11/2/2024 – 11/3/2024
11/23/2024 – 11/24/2024
*Orientation Friday for incoming MSOT students only

Spring 2025
1/11/2025*– 1/12/2025
1/25/2025 – 1/26/2025
2/8/2025 – 2/9/2025
2/22/2025 – 2/23/2025
3/22/2025 – 3/23/2025
4/5/2025 – 4/6/2025

Summer 2025
5/18/2025 - 5/19/2025
6/1/2025 – 6/2/2025
6/22/2025 – 6/23/2025
7/13/2025 – 7/14/2025

Frequently Asked Questions

Unfortunately, no. Belmont's MSOT program is exclusively for COTAs and PTAs.

Yes, both in-state and out-of-state applicants are welcome to apply. As a private university, Belmont makes no distinction between in-state and out-of-state students. Students enrolled in our program come from a variety of different states including Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.

A bachelor's degree is not required. However, we do require a minimum of 90 semester credit hours, which is typically a little more than an associate's degree.

The GRE is not required for our MSOT program.

We do not provide transcript evaluations prior to receiving an application. However, if you have questions about a specific course, please feel free to contact us at msot@belmont.edu.

The only application we require is the OTCAS application. Nothing supplemental needs to be sent to Belmont.

All materials should be sent to OTCAS; nothing should be sent directly to Belmont until after acceptance. Instructions and addresses for transcripts and recommendations (called "evaluations" on OTCAS) are available on the OTCAS website after you have created an account.

Yes. We must receive transcripts from all schools at which you have earned credit.

We require two recommendations. One must be from an OT. The second may be from a person of your choosing such as a professor, employer, another OT, etc. Neither should be from a family member, friend, clergy, etc.

We do not require a specific form, but you will need to input all of your hours into OTCAS with contact information for verification. So, you should track them in a document that can easily be referenced and uploaded.

Yes, you may. However, preference is given to applicants who have completed all prerequisites at the time of application review, and candidates are expected to have no more than two incomplete prerequisites (as verified by OTCAS) to be considered for an interview opportunity. Submitted applications that do not meet this standard will be deferred for consideration until this requirement is fulfilled. All prerequisites must be completed by the end of the spring semester (June 1) prior to enrollment. If not completed successfully, the candidate’s admission will be withdrawn.

Yes, you may, as long as the year will be complete by January 1 of the application year.

If an applicant has been working as a COTA or PTA since taking their prerequisite courses, there may be an exception to the 8-year policy. Please contact us with the specifics of your circumstances.

Depending on the school you attended, your courses may count towards the 90 hours Belmont requires. However, all prerequisites must be completed at a regionally accredited institution.

A face-to-face interview with a faculty member is a required part of the admission process. The interview days also act as visit days that include lab demonstrations and chances to talk with current students.

All interviews must be done on campus, so no remote interviews are available.

Scholarships are not available, but students typically fund their studies through loans or private sources. All questions concerning financial aid should be directed to our Student Financial Services department. You can reach the Student Financial Services Office by phone at 615-460-6403 or online at www.belmont.edu/sfs.

We're always glad to have visitors, but typically we encourage people to wait until they are invited for an interview before coming to campus, as the interview day includes a much more comprehensive look at the program, interactions with faculty and current students, a facilities tour, etc. However, if you are going to be in Nashville anyway and would like to stop by, the admissions coordinator will be glad to schedule an appointment to give you a brief tour of the building, Monday through Friday between 9:00 and 4:00. Please contact our office to schedule.

On-site (live) weekends are approximately every three weeks on Saturday and Sunday and must be attended in person.

Typically, live weekends are all-day Saturday and Sunday, with classes from approximately 8 am to 6 pm each day.

Unfortunately, Belmont does not have any housing or accommodations for graduate students. Many MSOT students will get together to split the cost of a hotel or home rental for the weekend.

Yes, daily access to a computer is required. High-speed Internet access is strongly recommended since students must be able to download large files and view videos. Access to a scanner is also strongly recommended as students will need to submit program materials to faculty and staff throughout the program. A distance learning platform, Blackboard, is used for online coursework. Since technology is constantly evolving, students should contact an admissions representative for the technology requirements needed to participate in the program before purchasing new computer software or hardware.

Belmont's MSOT program is only available to COTAs or PTAs, and our OTD is for applicants who hold bachelor's degrees. For candidates who are both a COTA/PTA and have a bachelor's, though, the most important thing to consider is your career goals. While both programs equip the student for OT practice, the doctorate offers a wider breadth of opportunities, as the doctoral graduate has more research and scholarship training, leadership experience, and the ability to teach in the future. However, the OTD is an on-campus, day program, while the MSOT offers the flexibility of a hybrid program.

The skills and abilities recommended to participate in a distance enhanced education program are:

  1. Being resourceful and enjoying research and reading to find answers to questions rather than listening to a lecture that provides the answers.
  2. Being an excellent reader and visual learner.
  3. Being motivated to complete homework and other assignments in a timely manner.
  4. Ability to participate in virtual discussions and not require regular, live interaction to meet learning needs.
  5. Being highly independent as a learner but recognizing the importance of working in a group.
  6. Not requiring immediate feedback from instructors or the ability to schedule a time to transmit questions in advance (well before assignments are due).
  7. Being comfortable taking examinations online.
  8. Being confident with writing abilities but also welcoming to suggestions for improvement.
  9. Ability to dedicate the same amount of time per week to complete coursework that a traditional classroom program would require.
  10. Recognizing that you are ultimately responsible for your learning.
  11. Ability to create, delete, modify, and save a word-processing document.
  12. Ability to cut and paste images into a word-processing document.
  13. Ability to cut text from a word-processing document and then paste it into another document.
  14. Knowledge of how to bookmark favorite websites on the Internet.
  15. Ability to conduct Internet searches using Google, Yahoo, AOL, MSN, or other online search directories.
  16. Ability to copy and share URLs with others.
  17. Ability to download and install browser plug-ins for Adobe Reader, Windows Media Player, Real Player, etc.
  18. Availability of high-speed Internet connection and a personal computer.

Prospective applicants are welcome to contact Sarah Caylor, Assistant Director of Admissions, at 615-460-6798 or email at msot@belmont.edu.

Contact Us

College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences

Sarah Caylor
Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions
(615) 460.6798
Schedule a Call

MSOT Program: msot@belmont.edu
OTD Program: otd@belmont.edu
DPT Program: pt@belmont.edu