There are three general steps to the occupational therapy school application process. See the tabs below to view the three steps, an application checklist, and more information on financial aid resources.
There are three general steps in applying to occupational therapy schools: the primary application, the secondary application, and the interview.
1. Primary applications
- Occupational Therapist Centralized Application Service (OTCAS)
- Opens in mid-July
- We strongly recommend reading the instructions before beginning
- Includes background information, coursework, a personal statement (7500 characters), and references.
- Once the application is complete, OTCAS forwards it to whichever schools the student has designated
- Application fee is $150 for the first school and $65 for each additional school
- For schools with rolling admission, submit the primary application as early as possible.
- Schools that use OTCAS
2. Secondary applications or supplementary forms are specific to individual schools; occupational therapy schools send these to applicants only after they have received the OTCAS application. Both frequently request additional information, essays, letters of recommendation, and/or fees. Some schools screen applicants before the applications or forms are sent out.
Note: Most occupational therapy schools participate in OTCAS. Students interested in applying to other schools must complete each of their prospective schools’ individual applications. For these schools, the application process consists only of steps 2 and 3.
3. Interviews: After reviewing the primary and secondary applications (or supplementary forms), occupational therapy schools invite promising applicants to interview. Applicants are responsible for all costs incurred while interviewing, including airfare, lodging, ground transportation, professional attire, and meals.
- Interview Information
- Sample Interview Questions
- Health Professional School Interview Room Reservation Request: During the COVID-19 pandemic, many health professional schools are conducting their interviews online. Applicants can submit a reservation request for a private space with wifi access on-campus.
For Hawaiʻi Residents Only: Apply to the Hawaiʻi WICHE Professional School Exchange Program. PSEP enables residents from WICHE participating states affordable access to enroll in out of state professional healthcare programs, at participating WICHE institutions, when those programs are not available at a public institution in their home state. Applications open on August 1.
Background Check: Prior to official acceptance, schools usually conduct a background check on accepted students. Thus, please ensure that the applicant conducts themself professionally at all times. A record of misconduct may result in the residence of acceptance by schools.
Re-applicants: Many applicants may not be admitted to the professional school that they desire on their first try. However, if and when they choose to re-apply, there are many things to consider before re-submitting another application the following cycle.
- The more the applicants know about the school, the better their chances of being accepted.
- Contact individual schools’ admissions offices to find out how they handle:
- Advanced Placement (AP) credits
- International Baccalaureate (IB) credits
- College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) credits
- Military credits
- Courses taken at a community college
- Non-US coursework
- Courses taken for credit/no credit instead of a grade
- Residency issues
- Time limits on prerequisite science courses
Please note that if any courses are retaken because occupational therapy schools may not accept Advanced Placement (AP), online, or community college credit, the student's financial aid and/or scholarship status may be affected.