General Admissions & OTCAS Chances for OT School & Suggestions for strengthening my application

Mar 14, 2016
40
6
Status
Pre-Occupational Therapy
Hi All!

So, last year I made a huge mistake and only applied to one school (because the location, price, and convenience) - and as you could guess, I did not get accepted! So now I am reapplying this application cycle (to a TON more schools) & hoping to get into at least one! Since last year I've been constantly worried that it might not go as expected, and I was wondering how my chances are looking... So here are my "stats":


Major: B.S. Integrative Neuroscience
GPA: 3.37 - also went to community college for a year where I had a 3.91
--- so if they combine & weight out the two I would say overall 3.5 GPA?
Pre-Req GPA: ~3.2-3.5 depending on the school
--- Okay, I didn't do too wonderful in A&P (B- and B); I know people suggest to retake it BUT I was a TA for the lab the following year! Does that make up for it? Also, I have the professor I TA'd for writing me a letter of rec!
Extracurriculars: Undergrad A&P TA for a year, Relay For Life Committee Member, Colleges Against Cancer, & Hula Hooping Club
--- Also, recently got First Aid/CPR Certified hoping it would help!
Observation: Peds for 35 hours, Nursing & Rehab center for 40 hours, I have like 20 more hours at two other places that I didn't get proof for |: that was over 2 years ago, not sure if I can go back and ask for proof |:

I haven't taken the GREs yet but I'm planning to very soon... just terrified of them.

Any suggestions or feedback to how I might be able to improve my chances would be wonderful, or if you even think I have a chance, please let me know! I've been stressing since I didn't get accepted last year, and just hoping I can start my journey as an OT! Every time I shadow I get more and more excited at the thought of becoming one :)
 
Last edited:

RUNNING_OT

2+ Year Member
Mar 1, 2015
179
86
Phoenix, AZ
opportuneot.wordpress.com
Status
Occupational Therapist
Hi All!

So, last year I made a huge mistake and only applied to one school (because the location, price, and convenience) - and as you could guess, I did not get accepted! So now I am reapplying this application cycle (to a TON more schools) & hoping to get into at least one! Since last year I've been constantly worried that it might not go as expected, and I was wondering how my chances are looking... So here are my "stats":

SUNY Binghamton
Major: B.S. Integrative Neuroscience
GPA: 3.37 - also went to community college for a year where I had a 3.91
--- so if they combine & weight out the two I would say overall 3.5 GPA?
Pre-Req GPA: ~3.2-3.5 depending on the school
--- Okay, I didn't do too wonderful in A&P (B- and B); I know people suggest to retake it BUT I was a TA for the lab the following year! Does that make up for it? Also, I have the professor I TA'd for writing me a letter of rec!
Extracurriculars: Undergrad A&P TA for a year, Relay For Life Committee Member, Colleges Against Cancer, & Hula Hooping Club
--- Also, recently got First Aid/CPR Certified hoping it would help!
Observation: Peds for 35 hours, Nursing & Rehab center for 40 hours, I have like 20 more hours at two other places that I didn't get proof for |: that was over 2 years ago, not sure if I can go back and ask for proof |:

I haven't taken the GREs yet but I'm planning to very soon... just terrified of them.

Any suggestions or feedback to how I might be able to improve my chances would be wonderful, or if you even think I have a chance, please let me know! I've been stressing since I didn't get accepted last year, and just hoping I can start my journey as an OT! Every time I shadow I get more and more excited at the thought of becoming one :)
Your stats are pretty good. Mine looked similar to yours when I applied. I also applied and got rejected the first-time around. So don't give up! Good plan on applying to multiple schools!
In regard to asking for proof, DO IT! I requested proof from a place that I had volunteered at 3 years prior and I believe that experience is what set me apart from other applicants. At the other 2 places did you have to sign-in and sign-out? They usually keep that documentation for a few years. However, if they don't (which was the case for me), they asked me to send them an estimate of my hours. Lucky for me, I had kept my own spreadsheet on my laptop. I also went through my emails of places I had volunteered at to get an idea of how many times I went in to volunteer and for how long. Try to be as honest as possible.
Make sure you study for the GRE, don't take it lightly. I practiced as much as I could for 4 months to get a feel for the exam.

Remember: grades aren't everything. The quality of the letters of recommendation are very important as is the personal statement. Don't just do one draft for your personal statement. Take time to edit, re-read, get feedback, and re-write. I wrote about 6 or 7 drafts before I was content with my personal statement.

Hope this helps! Good luck!
 

MusicalOT14

2+ Year Member
Mar 26, 2016
47
17
Status
Occupational Therapy Student
Hi All!

So, last year I made a huge mistake and only applied to one school (because the location, price, and convenience) - and as you could guess, I did not get accepted! So now I am reapplying this application cycle (to a TON more schools) & hoping to get into at least one! Since last year I've been constantly worried that it might not go as expected, and I was wondering how my chances are looking... So here are my "stats":


Major: B.S. Integrative Neuroscience
GPA: 3.37 - also went to community college for a year where I had a 3.91
--- so if they combine & weight out the two I would say overall 3.5 GPA?
Pre-Req GPA: ~3.2-3.5 depending on the school
--- Okay, I didn't do too wonderful in A&P (B- and B); I know people suggest to retake it BUT I was a TA for the lab the following year! Does that make up for it? Also, I have the professor I TA'd for writing me a letter of rec!
Extracurriculars: Undergrad A&P TA for a year, Relay For Life Committee Member, Colleges Against Cancer, & Hula Hooping Club
--- Also, recently got First Aid/CPR Certified hoping it would help!
Observation: Peds for 35 hours, Nursing & Rehab center for 40 hours, I have like 20 more hours at two other places that I didn't get proof for |: that was over 2 years ago, not sure if I can go back and ask for proof |:

I haven't taken the GREs yet but I'm planning to very soon... just terrified of them.

Any suggestions or feedback to how I might be able to improve my chances would be wonderful, or if you even think I have a chance, please let me know! I've been stressing since I didn't get accepted last year, and just hoping I can start my journey as an OT! Every time I shadow I get more and more excited at the thought of becoming one :)
It is awesome to see someone who is so excited to become an OT! Keep that passion and follow your dreams! Your stats are fine and don't be discouraged it takes a lot of people two rounds if not more to get into a school. Your background in neuroscience is going to be a huge plus in my opinion, I know some schools ( I believe University of New England is one) that has neuroscience as a pre req. I would apply to many schools to increase your chances, continue to get OT hours, write an awesome personal statement and study / take your GRE. I don't think there is a magical formula for getting into OT school unfortunately, each program is different and therefore each school is looking for / focusing on something a bit different. So you just have to find the one that is focused on the same thing you have to offer. It sounds like you are on the right track from everything you have said and I wish you the very best of luck!
 
OP
O
Mar 14, 2016
40
6
Status
Pre-Occupational Therapy
Your stats are pretty good. Mine looked similar to yours when I applied. I also applied and got rejected the first-time around. So don't give up! Good plan on applying to multiple schools!
In regard to asking for proof, DO IT! I requested proof from a place that I had volunteered at 3 years prior and I believe that experience is what set me apart from other applicants. At the other 2 places did you have to sign-in and sign-out? They usually keep that documentation for a few years. However, if they don't (which was the case for me), they asked me to send them an estimate of my hours. Lucky for me, I had kept my own spreadsheet on my laptop. I also went through my emails of places I had volunteered at to get an idea of how many times I went in to volunteer and for how long. Try to be as honest as possible.
Make sure you study for the GRE, don't take it lightly. I practiced as much as I could for 4 months to get a feel for the exam.

Remember: grades aren't everything. The quality of the letters of recommendation are very important as is the personal statement. Don't just do one draft for your personal statement. Take time to edit, re-read, get feedback, and re-write. I wrote about 6 or 7 drafts before I was content with my personal statement.

Hope this helps! Good luck!

This all helped a lot, thank you! I'm about to contact the person who approved my shadowing at that time to see if she will help out :)
 
OP
O
Mar 14, 2016
40
6
Status
Pre-Occupational Therapy
It is awesome to see someone who is so excited to become an OT! Keep that passion and follow your dreams! Your stats are fine and don't be discouraged it takes a lot of people two rounds if not more to get into a school. Your background in neuroscience is going to be a huge plus in my opinion, I know some schools ( I believe University of New England is one) that has neuroscience as a pre req. I would apply to many schools to increase your chances, continue to get OT hours, write an awesome personal statement and study / take your GRE. I don't think there is a magical formula for getting into OT school unfortunately, each program is different and therefore each school is looking for / focusing on something a bit different. So you just have to find the one that is focused on the same thing you have to offer. It sounds like you are on the right track from everything you have said and I wish you the very best of luck!
Yes! Thank you so much for your help and suggestions! Another issue I have is that I took Intro to Anthropology instead of Sociology. Do you happen to know if this will make them completely disregard me as an applicant? I just emailed a couple of schools to ask the same question, but I'm waiting to hear back.
 

Bokonomy

2+ Year Member
Apr 1, 2015
401
116
Status
Occupational Therapy Student
What's important to you? A particular region, research interests, cost, class size..? We may be able to give some recommendations for preferable if we know a little more about you, if you're comfortable sharing a little.
 
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OP
O
Mar 14, 2016
40
6
Status
Pre-Occupational Therapy
What's important to you? A particular region, research interests, cost, class size..? We may be able to give some recommendations for preferable if we know a little more about you, if you're comfortable sharing a little.
Probably the two most important things are region and cost! I'm from Upstate New York and unfortunately the only school near me is Sage - that is where I applied and didn't get accepted last year. But as I said, I am trying again this year. When I called to check up on why I wasn't accepted, she told me that they only accepted four students outside of their school, which has me worried every time I look at other schools that have combined bachelors/masters programs!

I would be interested in any schools along the East Coast (but would probably like to stay within a 5-hour drive from where I live now). I'm trying to avoid any schools in NYC, but I'm definitely looking into Stony Brook (wonderful price).

Also, I've heard mixed feelings about weekend programs if you have any input about those? Right now I'm fairly open to a weekend program, but I think I'd prefer the normal full-time schedule.
 

Bokonomy

2+ Year Member
Apr 1, 2015
401
116
Status
Occupational Therapy Student
Probably the two most important things are region and cost! I'm from Upstate New York and unfortunately the only school near me is Sage - that is where I applied and didn't get accepted last year. But as I said, I am trying again this year. When I called to check up on why I wasn't accepted, she told me that they only accepted four students outside of their school, which has me worried every time I look at other schools that have combined bachelors/masters programs!

I would be interested in any schools along the East Coast (but would probably like to stay within a 5-hour drive from where I live now). I'm trying to avoid any schools in NYC, but I'm definitely looking into Stony Brook (wonderful price).

Also, I've heard mixed feelings about weekend programs if you have any input about those? Right now I'm fairly open to a weekend program, but I think I'd prefer the normal full-time schedule.
Oh okay! Le Moyne in Syracuse NY, Salus, Thomas Jefferson University, and Temple (maybe also PhilaU? All around the Philly area) accepted the MAT last year, so maybe you should look into that if the GRE doesn't work for you. It's 75 dollars and an hour, and isnt math intensive if that's a problem for you.

Salus is in the Philly suburbs (not sure if it's within 5 hours of upstate to be honest), and I interviewed there and loved it! They accommodated me for an interview since I was from New England and was interviewing at Thomas Jefferson that week. And they were about 60k. The faculty I did meet seemed lovely and we had an interesting conversation about the DSM. If you apply early you'll probably have a good shot (they do rolling admissions). Unfortunately I don't really know any schools in the Northeast that are much cheaper (other than Stony Brook would be for you, of course). I believe Bay Path in Springfield Mass is around 75k (my friend is going into her second year and she likes it for the most part, if it means anything). No GREs for them.

Best of luck!
 

MonsieurTarzan

5+ Year Member
Jan 23, 2013
18
8
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Last edited:

scgirl2017

2+ Year Member
May 17, 2016
26
5
Status
Pre-Occupational Therapy
Your stats are pretty good. Mine looked similar to yours when I applied. I also applied and got rejected the first-time around. So don't give up! Good plan on applying to multiple schools!
In regard to asking for proof, DO IT! I requested proof from a place that I had volunteered at 3 years prior and I believe that experience is what set me apart from other applicants. At the other 2 places did you have to sign-in and sign-out? They usually keep that documentation for a few years. However, if they don't (which was the case for me), they asked me to send them an estimate of my hours. Lucky for me, I had kept my own spreadsheet on my laptop. I also went through my emails of places I had volunteered at to get an idea of how many times I went in to volunteer and for how long. Try to be as honest as possible.
Make sure you study for the GRE, don't take it lightly. I practiced as much as I could for 4 months to get a feel for the exam.

Remember: grades aren't everything. The quality of the letters of recommendation are very important as is the personal statement. Don't just do one draft for your personal statement. Take time to edit, re-read, get feedback, and re-write. I wrote about 6 or 7 drafts before I was content with my personal statement.

Hope this helps! Good luck!
Hey y'all!
I am wondering what you all think my chances are to getting into a OTD program preferably Belmont, Mary Baldwin, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and/or Virginia Commonwealth.
Undergrad: University of South Carolina
Major: Exercise Science
Overall GPA: 3.71
Pre-Req GPA: 3.7 (all A's except for B's in anatomy and physiology)

Current Graduate Program: Medical University of South Carolina
Program: Masters in Public Health -Epidemiology tract
Current GPA: 3.66 (should only improve until graduation)

GRE: I have not taken the GRE yet

Relevant Work Experience:
4 years as an assistant swim coach
3 summers teaching swim lessons to children of all ages (swim instructor coordinator last summer)
2 years as a peer tutor at USC in physics, organics, abnormal psych, and developmental psych

Also, I received Graduation with Leadership Distinction in Professional and Civic Engagement

OT Experience: 100.5 hour practicum at a private pediatric OT clinic
10 hours in public school district (maximum time allowed in my area)
12 hours in private Montessori school
15 hours in rehab OT facility
65 additional hours at the same facility as my practicum was completed at
41 hours working as Interim OT clinic office manager

will have 200 hours of OT research at MUSC OT school by the end of this semester

Also, 15 hours in developmental pediatric clinic and observing autism diagnostic testing and 60 hours shadowing in pediatric free clinic

Volunteer Work has included assisting in therapeutic horseback riding lessons for special needs children and adults, special olympics, campus held events for children, 50 hours in adult free clinic, and other stuff I can't think of without pulling up my resume

I've received letters of recommendation from the lead therapist and a second OT at the location where the most shadow hours were completed and a graduate school professor in the School of Medicine at MUSC.

I am wondering what my chances are for acceptance thus far.
 
Mar 18, 2016
6
3
27
Washington, DC
Status
Pre-Occupational Therapy
Hey guys! I am from Maryland right outside of Washington, D.C., I went to University of South Carolina, majored in Biology, graduated with a 3.7, and got a great score on the Dental Admission Test. I was pre-dental all of undergrad and while I was applying to dental schools, I worked as a dental assistant. Long story short, I obviously realized I did not want to be a dentist. So by the time I figured out that Occupational Therapy was my passion, I had a limited time to get OT observation hours, take the GRE, finish pre-reqs for OT school that I did not need for dental school, get recommendation letters, and submit my applications to OTCAS. I ended up working in a PT clinic as a tech while I was getting all of this done. I think I had about 5-10 hours total of actually shadowing an OT, however, I had worked with children with autism using ABA for years, I worked as a tutor for people at a community college with disabilities ranging from mild ADHD to a student that had mitochondrial myopathy. She was deaf (but had cochlear implants), low vision, complete loss of function in her lower extremities (paraplegia), and limited upper extremity function. I was involved in a lot of volunteer and other extracurricular activities in college, and I was awarded a summer research fellowship in a Biochemistry lab at NIH the summer after my sophomore year. I got a pretty good grade on the GRE, and I was told that my personal statement was extremely unique and well written.


I applied to Towson, Howard, Temple, NYU, LIU, and Le Moyne, just barely meeting all of their deadlines. I don’t remember exactly which ones rejected me, but I do remember Towson told me that they didn’t even look at my application because I did not meet their required observation hours. I got an interview with Le Moyne, and honestly, I almost didn’t take it because it was my last choice.


I am so glad I ended up doing that interview. I am currently in my Spring semester of my first year at Le Moyne. It is truly the best thing that could have happened to me. I finally feel like I’m learning things that will help change the world. It is very non-traditional. My advisor and favorite teacher is a DPT, another favorite teacher is an anatomist at Upstate Hospital. There is a focus on neuroscience and mental health, and a push to make our place in primary health care. We go out in the community and work with various populations for fieldwork during the first semester. Most other programs just observe during their level 1 FW, but we got to do a lot more hands on work with ours which was fun. For the second and third semester you'll get two FW rotations at different types of sites to expose you to all of the different types of setting OTs work in. The professors are really cool and they're always willing to go out of their way to make sure everyone succeeds. Lots of things to do around the city like the NY state fair, there's always bars, school activities, and you'll probably end up hanging out with your classmates/my classmates most of the time. Our director is great and she's written a lot of OT curriculums so she definitely has the experience. We were recently officially accredited, with flying colors.


I just wanted to let you guys know that if you get an interview at any school, you should see what the school is asking from you, what they see in you. Because I quickly learned that Le Moyne valued my various experiences, and I could be very honest about all the twists and turns that led me to OT. Other schools were quick to dismiss me because of my dental background but they actually saw a lot of significance in my unique experiences. Let me know if you have any questions!
 
Aug 20, 2017
3
0
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Hey all,
I'm currently in my last semester as an undergraduate, and I'm highly interested in applying to an OT school after graduation. I'm currently looking at Brenau University and MUSC. I know my stats are not stellar,:( but it'll be awesome if y'all can give me your insight on if you think I have a shot at getting accepted into an OT Program.

Cum GPA: 3.25 hopefully I'll end with a 3.35
Pre-Req GPA: 3.4
GRE: I have not taken it yet...
Volunteer: 50 hours
Work experience: I currently a Registered Behavior Technician who works with kids who have mental disabilities.

ANY ADVICE IS HELPFUL!!!! THANKS!!!!