Aug 31, 2015
4
0
Status
Pre-Occupational Therapy
Hi all,

I have been visiting these forums for a couple weeks and finally decided and make an account to begin posting in threads to hopefully gain some feedback.

I am a senior at a large public university (25,000+ students), and am currently in the process of choosing which schools I may have a chance of getting into. What I would like to get feedback on is what my chances of admission into an OT program for fall 2016 look like. I have turned here for information because the closer I get to sending in my applications, the more nervous I am about the whole ordeal, and I have found my pre-health advisors to be of little help given the size of my university.

SO, below are are some of my stats and experience that I plan to include in my applications.

Major: Psychology (B.A.)
Minors: Humanities in Medicine, Gerontology
GPA: 3.39(cumm.), 3.6(major), 3.3 (prereq)
GRE: 149 verbal, 146 quant., 4.0 writing

Experience:
  • 6 months of part-time work as a Direct Support Professional with a disability services agency. Worked with children with developmental disabilities, older adults with dementia, and everything in between.
  • 175 hours volunteer work during an un-paid internship at my University Medical Center's geriatric wellness/exercise clinic
  • 30 hours of OT shadowing experience split between geriatric and pediatric settings.
  • Just began working as a Physical Therapy Technician at a privately owned outpatient PT clinic a week ago. (will have 75+ hours experience by time of application to OT school)
Preferred Schools
  • Kansas University Medical Center
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • Creighton University (Omaha, NE)
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Belmont University (Nashville, TN)
Again, I am looking for feedback on if I represent a competitive applicant to the mentioned programs. Sorry if that is a lot to sift through. Also, if there are any other schools I might look into, please do say.

I encourage any and all feedback. Thanks!!!!
 
Oct 9, 2014
106
32
Status
Pre-Occupational Therapy
you have a lot of great experience, and your internship and work will both look really good. Idk about the other programs, but gpa could be a problem with madison and wash u. Those ones are really difficult to get into without really high gpas and gre scores. That said, you should still apply there if you are interested in the programs. I would also consider more private programs which seem to have lower applicant numbers and the really competitive canidates tend to go towards public schools due to cost. I would check out some of the milwaukee schools (concordia, u milwaukee, mount mary, carrol). I have a few friends who got in the last couple of cycles with similar stats as yours. You look like a really strong applicant and looking at your experience its pretty obvious that you're dedicated. I don't think you should have a problem getting in somewhere. Good luck with apps!!
 
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Bokonomy

2+ Year Member
Apr 1, 2015
401
116
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Occupational Therapy Student
With your prereq gpa, maybe set your sights a little lower? Did you at least do well in anatomy/physiology?
 
OP
J
Aug 31, 2015
4
0
Status
Pre-Occupational Therapy
With your prereq gpa, maybe set your sights a little lower? Did you at least do well in anatomy/physiology?
Thanks for the feedback. To answer your question, I received a "B" in both anatomy and physiology. For several schools I see that the minimum required grade for all prereqs is a "C", so I am hoping I can be competitive with B's in both. What do you think?
 

lao27746

2+ Year Member
Aug 20, 2015
78
19
Status
DPT / OTD
Your stats look great! I'm applying to schools in SoCsl and I know here, applicants need to have a strong prereq GPA in order to be accepted. Is there any way you could retake some of those prerequisite classes in order to raise your prereq GPA to maybe at least a 3.5?

Good luck!!!!
 
OP
J
Aug 31, 2015
4
0
Status
Pre-Occupational Therapy
Your stats look great! I'm applying to schools in SoCsl and I know here, applicants need to have a strong prereq GPA in order to be accepted. Is there any way you could retake some of those prerequisite classes in order to raise your prereq GPA to maybe at least a 3.5?

Good luck!!!!
Thanks for responding!! I was able to get all of my prereqs done before the beginning of my senior without one "C" because I wanted desperately to be applying with those not partially completed, as I have heard that this can be a disadvantage. The thing is, I am just not committed to the idea of retaking a class that I received a more than adequate grade in (relative to minimum admission standards).

Also, if I were to retake any courses, I would not have time to complete them in time for fall 2016 admission and I want to avoid a gap year at all costs.
 

Bokonomy

2+ Year Member
Apr 1, 2015
401
116
Status
Occupational Therapy Student
Thanks for the feedback. To answer your question, I received a "B" in both anatomy and physiology. For several schools I see that the minimum required grade for all prereqs is a "C", so I am hoping I can be competitive with B's in both. What do you think?
Some apps have a separate science pre req gpa, to point out how important it is.
Keep in mind I'm also applying this year to places, so I'm not an expert. Belmont might be a good pick, since it's private. Perhaps you should look for some private schools that don't use the OTCAS?
 
Jan 9, 2014
45
78
Status
DPT / OTD
I agree with ot.377, I think applying to some lesser known, private schools would be a good idea. Admissions has become crazy competitive the last few years and since you don't want to have to wait another year to apply, I would tackle these admissions like you would undergrad: a few safety, a few right there, and a few reach schools. I'm currently a second year student at VCU, and know a decent amount about how they make admissions decisions. When they get applications in, they have to meet certain criteria or they won't even be looked at. I can say that for here, and probably many of the ones you mentioned, minimum requirements mean very little. Nearly everyone scores far and above those scores. For example, here are the average scores from this year's incoming VCU class:
  • Mean Overall GPA – 3.5
  • Mean Prerequisite GPA – 3.82
  • Mean Verbal GRE – 74th percentile
  • Mean Quantitative GRE – 51st percentile
  • Mean Analytical Writing GRE –– 80th percentile
This means that just because you have met the minimum requirements, if the grades and GRE scores overall are much higher than the minimums, you may not even be considered. There were over 700 applications last year at VCU, for 42 spots. The odds aren't great, so you really want to set yourself apart. I know you had mentioned not wanting to retake classes because you don't want to wait a year, but I would definitely say for some of the highly ranked schools, especially if they are state schools, boosting your GPA would only help. Those who get in with somewhat lower stats are often career changers who bring a lot of unique insight into the class. This is where the personal statement comes in. For VCU, once you make it past the quantitative portion, the admissions committee looks at your LORs and personal statement. We have been told before that there have been many people with awesome stats who weren't accepted because their application didn't stand out. The class below me is on the younger side, but about 75% of my class took at least a year off between undergrad and grad school. Many taught abroad, worked as aides in classrooms for students with autism, were rehab techs, etc. I know you mentioned not wanting to take a gap year, but for more competitive schools, this may be a way of distinguishing yourself from other applicants. I'm definitely not trying to dissuade you from applying to the above schools, you absolutely should! I would just diversify a bit and look at what you can do now to strengthen your application. There are people in my class who applied three years in a row before they got a spot. It would suck to spend a ton of money on apps and then not have somewhere to go!
 
OP
J
Aug 31, 2015
4
0
Status
Pre-Occupational Therapy
I agree with ot.377, I think applying to some lesser known, private schools would be a good idea. Admissions has become crazy competitive the last few years and since you don't want to have to wait another year to apply, I would tackle these admissions like you would undergrad: a few safety, a few right there, and a few reach schools. I'm currently a second year student at VCU, and know a decent amount about how they make admissions decisions. When they get applications in, they have to meet certain criteria or they won't even be looked at. I can say that for here, and probably many of the ones you mentioned, minimum requirements mean very little. Nearly everyone scores far and above those scores. For example, here are the average scores from this year's incoming VCU class:
  • Mean Overall GPA – 3.5
  • Mean Prerequisite GPA – 3.82
  • Mean Verbal GRE – 74th percentile
  • Mean Quantitative GRE – 51st percentile
  • Mean Analytical Writing GRE –– 80th percentile
This means that just because you have met the minimum requirements, if the grades and GRE scores overall are much higher than the minimums, you may not even be considered. There were over 700 applications last year at VCU, for 42 spots. The odds aren't great, so you really want to set yourself apart. I know you had mentioned not wanting to retake classes because you don't want to wait a year, but I would definitely say for some of the highly ranked schools, especially if they are state schools, boosting your GPA would only help. Those who get in with somewhat lower stats are often career changers who bring a lot of unique insight into the class. This is where the personal statement comes in. For VCU, once you make it past the quantitative portion, the admissions committee looks at your LORs and personal statement. We have been told before that there have been many people with awesome stats who weren't accepted because their application didn't stand out. The class below me is on the younger side, but about 75% of my class took at least a year off between undergrad and grad school. Many taught abroad, worked as aides in classrooms for students with autism, were rehab techs, etc. I know you mentioned not wanting to take a gap year, but for more competitive schools, this may be a way of distinguishing yourself from other applicants. I'm definitely not trying to dissuade you from applying to the above schools, you absolutely should! I would just diversify a bit and look at what you can do now to strengthen your application. There are people in my class who applied three years in a row before they got a spot. It would suck to spend a ton of money on apps and then not have somewhere to go!
Awesome feedback, thanks!

The closer I get, the more I am leaning towards taking the gap year to retake the GRE and gain more experience, as I am learning that it is more common than I initially thought. Given that you are a second year OT student and have gone through the application process and know what they are looking for, I have another question that I've been wondering about.....Given how dominant females are in the profession, would being a male looking to go into OT liken my odds at all? Obviously I wouldn't be able to change that if it doesn't, but when reading through admission info for OT schools, they seem to harp on promoting diversity within the profession, yet 90+% of OT's are female and that gender ratio does not represent that of the patients who see OT's.

Hope to hear back!
 

Bokonomy

2+ Year Member
Apr 1, 2015
401
116
Status
Occupational Therapy Student
Awesome feedback, thanks!

The closer I get, the more I am leaning towards taking the gap year to retake the GRE and gain more experience, as I am learning that it is more common than I initially thought. Given that you are a second year OT student and have gone through the application process and know what they are looking for, I have another question that I've been wondering about.....Given how dominant females are in the profession, would being a male looking to go into OT liken my odds at all? Obviously I wouldn't be able to change that if it doesn't, but when reading through admission info for OT schools, they seem to harp on promoting diversity within the profession, yet 90+% of OT's are female and that gender ratio does not represent that of the patients who see OT's.

Hope to hear back!
I hate to say it, but I doubt your gender would matter. I feel like they'd rather cultural diversity if anything. After all, even though there aren't a lot of male OTs, males are still privileged. But when it comes down to it, stats will come first. Anyway, you don't necessarily have to do a gap year, since your stats are okay. Also, there are schools that don't require the GRE that you could look into. And if you change your mind and want to wait, you just wasted a little time and money. Not the end of the world! I know my app could be much stronger in a year, but I'm still going to try.