Aim of this study was to develop a time-efficient sequence protocol for a 1.0 T dedicated MR system to be used for whole-organ scoring of osteoarthritis (OA). Thirty-four knees were examined using a protocol that included fat suppressed fast spin echo proton density weighted sequences (PDFS) in three planes plus a coronal STIR sequence. Two radiologists scored each knee by consensus for five OA features. In separate sessions, all knees were scored using three different combinations of sequences: (1) all four sequences (reference protocol, 16 min 31 s scanning time), (2) three PDFS sequences without STIR ("No STIR", 12 min 25 s scanning time) and (3) sagittal and axial PDFS sequences plus a coronal STIR sequence ("No PDFS", 11 min 49 s scanning time). Agreement of the readings using both subsets of sequences compared to the reference protocol was evaluated using weighted kappa statistics. kappa-coefficients showed good or excellent agreement for both sequence subsets in comparison to the reference protocol for all assessed features. kappa-coefficients for No PDFS/No STIR: bone marrow abnormalities (0.74/0.67), subarticular cysts (0.84/0.63), marginal osteophytes (0.77/0.71), menisci (0.75/0.79), tibial cartilage (0.71/0.78). Optimization of sequence protocols consisting of three sequences results in time savings and cost efficiency in imaging of knee OA without loss of information over a more time consuming protocol.