Holistic Approach

KGI’s OTD program engages in a holistic admissions process. Access and diversity matters and we understand the importance of an anti-biased, equitable process for admissions into our program. We recognize that life has its ups and downs, and challenging times do not necessarily define your potential for professional excellence and growth in the future. Our multifaceted admissions process aims to understand each applicant from a whole perspective where a fit with our department’s mission, vision, and values plays a major role.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

KGI’s OTD program welcomes diversity in all of its forms and celebrates people as individuals. We recognize that a diversity of perspectives, identities, and life experiences makes for a stronger learning community and fosters meaningful growth. We aim to intentionally create a program culture where everyone feels a freedom to be and express who they are. We are committed to utilizing resources for faculty and staff education on diversity, equity, and inclusion to help foster conversations and engagement to confront racism and integrate meaningful dialogue and education on these vital topics into our department culture and curriculum.

How to Apply

Dates and Deadlines

KGI’s utilizes the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS) for all applications. All application materials are submitted directly into OTCAS. Be sure that your status is marked verified on OTCAS for a successful application.

  • Application opens: July 21, 2023
  • Priority Deadline: December 3, 2023
  • Final Deadline to apply: June 7, 2024

*Applications will continue to be accepted and reviewed by the admissions team until the class is full.

Admissions Requirements


The following prerequisites were chosen to prepare you in foundational knowledge that will best serve your transformation into future occupational therapists. The prerequisites include perspectives from the basic, social, and health sciences. The courses will help springboard you into holistic and diverse explorations of engagement in occupation and the scholarly support of such work.

The prerequisites include:

Semester Credit Hours
Quarter Credit Hours
Human Anatomy
Human Physiology
Human Lifespan Development or Development Psychology
Abnormal Psychology
Introduction to Sociology or Cultural Anthropology
Medical Terminology*


* A certificate of completion for a medical terminology course is also acceptable

Applications will be accepted even if some of your prerequisite courses are in progress; however, prerequisites must be completed prior to starting the OTD program. All prerequisite courses must be taken at accredited institutions and need to have been completed in the last seven years. A GPA of 3.0 and above is preferred for prerequisite courses, but lower GPAs will be considered alongside other admissions factors.

Official Transcripts for Completion of Baccalaureate Degree

There are many undergraduate degrees that prove a good fit for occupational therapy. We welcome the diversity of perspectives that a variety of disciplines will bring to any given OTD cohort. You will have the opportunity to share your voice as informed by your undergraduate training in many discussions and projects across the curriculum.

If you have not yet completed your baccalaureate degree, you can still apply to KGI. Please submit an intention to complete your baccalaureate degree with your official transcript. Your degree must be completed prior to starting the OTD program. An overall GPA of 3.0 and above makes for a more competitive application, but other admission factors will be considered alongside a lower GPA and does not preclude applying at KGI.

Graduate Record Exam (GRE)

KGI does not require the GRE and submitted scores will not be considered in the admissions process.

Three Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation help us get to know you better and should demonstrate your character, strengths, and professionalism. The sharing of specific examples where your abilities and work ethic are evidenced are of particular value.

Letters of recommendation should be written by people who know you well enough to write a detailed narrative. Letters can be written by a professor, therapist, or other professional or supervisor that can speak to your ability to experience success in an occupational therapy graduate program and as a future occupational therapist.

Recommended Occupational Therapy Observation

KGI does not require a specified amount of occupational therapy observation time as we know that sometimes it can be difficult to find shadowing opportunities. We understand how valuable it is to see occupational therapy in action in a variety of settings and highly recommend applicants seek out those experiences to make a more informed decision. Observation experiences might happen in a school, hospital, outpatient clinic, community-based site, long term care facility, or any other place occupational therapy professionals might be providing services. Mostly shadowing ends up being motivating and inspiring to see occupational therapy in action!

International Applicants

KGI welcomes applicants from outside of the United States. If English is not your first language, then we ask that you take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam.

Duolingo English Test: The Duolingo English Test is an online English proficiency test that can be taken online, on-demand, in under an hour for only $59. The test is taken via a computer with a camera and includes a proficiency score, video interview, and writing sample which are shared with Keck Graduate Institute when you send your results. Certified results are available within 48 hours of the test session.


All students admitted to the KGI OTD program are required to have a proof of the MMR, DTaP, Hepatitis B, TB test, and Meningococcal vaccinations before they are placed for their fieldwork rotations and capstone sites.

In addition, KGI is requiring influenza and COVID-19 vaccination for all staff, faculty, and students. Exemptions may be provided for medical or religious reasons. Students must understand that an exemption from the influenza or COVID-19 vaccination only applies to time spent on-campus at KGI. While on experiential learning, students will be required to follow the vaccination guidelines set forth by the site and/or the state. Exemption from influenza or COVID-19 vaccination may impact the ability to place a student at a fieldwork site which can influence the student’s ability to successfully matriculate through the program.

Also, please note that the policy for immunizations and tests for KGI OTD students is to follow the current guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for healthcare workers. It is the sole responsibility of the student to complete and submit all of the correct requirements/documentation before the due date(s) and to never let any of those requirements/documentation expire. Failure to be compliant at any time can result in failure of the course, delay in graduation, and financial implications for the student.

Accreditation Process

KGI’s entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program has received candidacy status from Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) and is able to enroll students. KGI’s OTD program is approved by the Western Association of Schools & Colleges.

Learn More About Accreditation

Admissions Procedures

  • At KGI, we care about finding students that will thrive and maximize their professional and personal growth in our OTD program. We want to get to know you so we can make an informed choice about mutual fit with our mission, vision, and unique offerings. Interviews are by invitation and will be offered virtually and on-ground at KGI and also give you the chance to get to know us as well. We look forward to meeting you!

  • The Admissions Committee is made up of faculty and senior administrators who will thoroughly and conscientiously review each application. Applications will be considered in the context of the total applicant pool, as well as in relationship to our general admissions standards.

    All admissions decisions are final for the academic year in which they are rendered.

  • Admitted students are required to submit a non-refundable enrollment fee to hold their spot in the program. Additionally, counselors maintain contact with admitted students to ensure all official documents are received.

    Admitted students also receive regular communication for the Admissions Office with important information about preparing for study, student life, housing, orientation, and other topics of interest.

  • Transfer credits for didactic and experiential courses are not accepted. All KGI OTD program courses within the curriculum are required for graduation. No credit or advanced placement is granted for prior experiential learning, coursework, degrees, certifications, or advanced training.

Contact Us

For more information on KGI's OTD program, email sphs.admissions@kgi.edu or call 909.607.9145.