Admission Requirements & Application Process

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

A. Questions About the MSOT Program and CSUDH:

  1. How many students do you admit to the Program?
    We only admit one cohort of students per year, which starts every Spring semester. In the past several years, we admitted approximately 66-70 students per year.

  2. How long is the Program?
    Completion of the MSOT Program takes less than 2 ½ years. Admitted students matriculate together with a set schedule of classes for seven consecutive semesters, including summers.

  3. Can I work while in the Program?
    The MSOT Program is meant to be a full-time program. Because of the rigors of the course requirements and fieldwork placements, there will not be much time for work. If you want information about financial aid eligibility, refer to: http://www.csudh.edu/financial-aid/
  4. What is the cost of the Program?
    To better estimate current Program cost, refer to the website on current tuition and fee rates (in addition to MSOT lab fees): http://www.csudh.edu/financial-aid/cost.  Details can be found at: Paying for College | CSU (calstate.edu)                                                                                                           
  5. Do you have information regarding housing and other campus amenities?
    Refer to the following information sources:

B. Questions Regarding the Application Process and Packet:

  1. Where do I get the student number needed in the MSOT Application Form?
    A few days after you process the University Application through Cal State Apply, the University Admissions and Records office will send you a letter of acknowledgement, which indicates your student number. However, if you do not receive the letter that states your student ID number in time to meet application deadline, leave it blank. Prioritize meeting the MSOT Program application deadline.

  2. Can I apply via OTCAS or do I have to apply via Cal State Apply?
    You may apply using OTCAS, however, the CSU system requires all applicants to use Cal State Apply.  You have a few options:  Apply using Cal State Apply only.  Or, if you apply using OTCAS, you MUST complete the application 100% AND apply using Cal State Apply.  If you are applying using both OTCAS and Cal State Apply, the only item we are able to pull from the OTCAS portal are your Letters of Recommendation.  Therefore, only in this case, you may bypass the Letters of Recommendation in Cal State Apply.  The rest of the Cal State Apply application must be completed.  If you are only applying via Cal State Apply, you must complete the Letters of Recommendation section.

  3. Do I need to write a personal essay for the MSOT Program application that is submitted to the Department?
    No. An essay is not required in the MSOT Application Packet for the Department. The Application to the University, however, asks for a personal statement.

  4. It was announced that attendance to an Info Session is required.  What should I do if I am unable to attend an Info Session because I live out-of-state?
    Attendance to the Info Session is required.  These sessions are held in-person as well as via Zoom.  Info Sessions are scheduled on different days of the week and at different times of the day to meet the needs of applicants who live out of the area or may work.  Info Session schedules are posted on the website: • OT Information and Sessions (csudh.edu)  
  5. When can decisions be expected after submission of an application?
    Selection timeline depends on the number of applicants and the admission committee review process. Thus, we are unable to provide specific dates for admission decisions. However, decisions have typically been made by mid to late November.

  6. If I don’t get selected, can I re-apply and do I still need to re-submit all requirements?
    Yes. Packets of applicants who did not make the selection are discarded after the final decision has been made. Thus, requirements need to be re-submitted if re-applying to the Program. It's important to know that prior non-selection does not negatively influence the applicant’s chances of getting selected regardless of how many times the person has re-applied.
  7. Regarding the Letters of Recommendation ~ if I took the Foundations of OT Workshop in lieu of the 80 volunteer hours, who should write the 3rd letter?  If you took the Foundations of OT Workshop, you only need TWO Letters of Recommendation from professionals who can attest to your ability to handle the vigor of graduate work and your professionalism.  Since you did not complete volunteerism, you do not need a 3rd Letter of Recommendation which normally would be written by the licensed supervising OT.

C. Questions Regarding Prerequisite Courses:

  1. Could prerequisite courses be in progress upon submission of application?
    NEW UPDATE:  Yes - Up to a maximum of two courses may be in progress but must be completed and transcripts received prior to the start of the MSOT program in Spring or the OTD program in Summer.  If admitted to the program, it will be done on a "conditional" basis until proof of completion of all prerequisites is received. NOTE:  The only exception to this requirement is the Medical Terminology course - which can be taken but must be completed by the end of the program's first semester.

  2. Is there a minimum required grade for each prerequisite course?
    The applicant should have passed each course with at least a C. However, the grades for all 5 prerequisite courses (Developmental Psychology, Abnormal Personality/Abnormal Psychology, Human Anatomy with Lab, Human Physiology with Lab, and Statistics) need to reflect an overall B average.  NOTE:  The grade received for Medical Terminology is not weighted in the overall required B average. 

  3. How long ago should all prerequisites have been taken?
    Prerequisite courses should have been completed within the last ten years.

  4. Could prerequisite courses be taken from a community college?
    Yes, prerequisite courses could be taken from any accredited college or university.

  5. Can Human Anatomy and Human Physiology be taken as a combined course?
    Yes, combined Anatomy and Physiology courses are acceptable as long as it is offered with lab components, total at least 6 semester units, focus on general gross human structures, and taken from an accredited institution.  For applicants who have taken a combined Anatomy and Physiology course for only 4 units and the course is approved by the OT Department, these applicants may be eligible to take a 2-unit course offered through the CSUDH College of Continuing and Professional Education (CCPE) to meet the 6-unit requirement. NOTE:  It is possible to take this 2-unit course during the application period (through the September 15th deadline for MSOT, and through the end of February deadline for the OTD program), however, acceptance to the program is contingent on passing the course.  Please contact msotadmissions@csudh.edu or otdadmissions@csudh.edu depending on the program (MSOT or OTD) interested in to inquire about OTR 595 - Case-Based Analysis of Anatomical Structures and Functions (2-units, 100% online, asynchronous, offered each semester if enough students are enrolled).

  6. Would any type of Developmental Psychology or Human Development course be an acceptable prerequisite course?
    No. It is important that the course focus on human developmental milestones across the entire lifespan, from infancy to older adult. It is also acceptable to combine two or more Development courses that focus on different life stages, e.g., a course on Childhood Development from infancy to adolescent and a course on Adulthood and Aging would meet this one prerequisite.
  7. Is the Medical Terminology Course required in order to apply or can I take it later?
    The Medical Terminology course is required in order to be accepted into the program, however, it may be taken prior to or during the application process.  The Medical Terminology course can be taken at a local community college, university, or online.  If not taken at a college or university (and, therefore, not showing up on transcripts), a certificate of completion must be provided at the completion of the course to show proof of prerequisite fulfillment.  Send the certificate to otprogram@csudh.edu.
  8. I'm not sure if one of the courses I took or I am going to take meets prerequisite requirements.  How can I find out?
    For prerequisite course review, please send the following course information taken verbatim from the course catalog in the following format to msotadmissions@csudh.edu if applying to the MSOT program, or otdadmissions@csudh.edu if applying to the OTD program:  
    1. Course Number and abbreviation
    2. Course Title
    3. Course Description
    4. Number of Units
    5. Name of College or University where course(s) were/will be taken
    6. An accessible and direct link to the details above*

      *NOTE:  Course reviews are completed once per week

      D. Questions Regarding the GRE:

      1. Is the GRE still required for applicants who already have an MA or MS in a different field?
        Yes. Submission of the "General" GRE is required for the application. (Not a "Subject" test.)

      2. Is there a limit to how many times I can take the GRE?
        No.  At this time, the GRE is required but no minimum score must be met.

      3. When requesting for GRE scores to be sent to CSUDH, what do I put as school and department codes?
        For the GRE:
        • CSUDH School Code is 4098
        • OT Department Code is 0618

      It is very important that you indicate both school and department codes.

      E. Questions Regarding the GPA Requirement:

      1. Could my bachelor's degree be in progress during application?
        No. Because the applicant pools have typically been highly competitive, the applicant’s Bachelor of Arts or Science degree needs to be completed by the time of application submission. Final GPA needs to be reflected in an official transcript that is included in the application packet.  (Official transcript must be submitted by the application deadline even if the degree is conferred prior to the deadline.)

      2. What do I do if I am an international student and/or I have transcripts/degree from another country?
        You need to have your transcripts evaluated. Refer to the World Education Services: https://www.wes.org/. For more questions related to being an international student: https://www.csudh.edu/ceie-intl/intl-student-info/
      3. If I already earned a master's degree, can I submit the graduate GPA in replacement of my bachelor's GPA?
        No. You need to identify the GPA of your bachelor's degree on the checklist, but you can identify your earned master’s degree in the section that asks about previously completed education in the MSOT Program Application Form.

      F. Questions Regarding OT Volunteer or Observation Hours:

      1. I am having difficulty finding a volunteer site. Could you recommend one?
        We do not provide a list of possible volunteer sites to potential applicants. However, any type of facility or institution is acceptable as long as you are supervised by a licensed occupational therapist (OT).

        Another option is to take the OT workshop "Foundations of Occupational Therapy Practice." To register, contact the OT Department at: otprogram@csudh.edu. Completion of this workshop waives the required 80 volunteer or observation hours.  The Certificate of Completion must be submitted along with the application.  NOTE:  This workshop may be in progress in the Fall when applying to the MSOT program or the Spring when applying to the OTD program.  Acceptance into each respective program is contingent on proof that the workshop was completed.

      2. How do I confirm my volunteer hours? Do you have a form that needs to be completed?
        We do not have a template or form to confirm volunteer hours. Some facilities provide a certificate of completion or time sheets signed by the supervising OT. The hours can also be specified on the required recommendation letter from the supervising OT. All documents need to be on the facility letterhead stationery with the OT's name/credentials and contact information for verification purposes.

        Note: Volunteer hours can also be completed at multiple sites, but it is highly recommended that applicants observe no less than 40 hours per site.

      3. Could volunteer/observation hours be in progress upon submission of the application?
        No. Volunteer hours need to be completed upon application, especially because a recommendation letter from the supervising OT will be needed.


      A Message on Student Fees
      The CSU makes every effort to keep student costs to a minimum. Fees listed in published schedules or student accounts may need to be increased when public funding is inadequate. Therefore, CSU must reserve the right, even after fees are initially charged or initial fee payments are made, to increase or modify any listed fees. All listed fees, other than mandatory systemwide fees, are subject to change without notice, until the date when instruction for a particular semester or quarter has begun. All CSU listed fees should be regarded as estimates that are subject to change upon approval by the Board of Trustees, the Chancellor, or the Presidents, as appropriate. Changes in mandatory systemwide fees will be made in accordance with the requirements of the Working Families Student Fee Transparency and Accountability Act (Sections 66028 - 66028.6 of the Education Code).