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General Admissions & OTCAS getting into an OT program

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rach528

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Hello all!
I will be applying to OT programs this summer. I thought that I had a pretty good chance of being accepted until I came on here! It seems to be very competitive. Just wondering if anyone had any tips on how to get in. I still have some time to get some things done but so far here are my stats:
  • I will be receiving a Bachelor's degree in Biology. I am finishing a year early (3 years instead of 4). As of right now, I am planning on minoring in Psychology also.
  • GPA: 3.6
  • Have over 200 hours working at a nursing home, helping with ADLS.
  • CPR certified
  • Volunteer at an animal shelter and various other places through school
  • Have over 200 hours of babysitting a boy with Down Syndrome
  • So far I have only job shadowed in one setting: Nursing home. 20 hours. I will be doing more settings before I apply.
  • I haven't taken the GRES yet, still studying.
If anyone could give me advice, it would be much appreciated! Thanks :)
 

FUTUR3OT

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It is competitive but your stats look good. I didn't have as many volunteer hours as you currently do and my gpa was a little lower than yours and i still got in to a program. Have you picked out the schools you want to apply to? Cuz you need to have a list and then make sure you have their pre-reqs done or plan on start doing them. Contact the schools to find out if they only receive their own undergrad student applications. Find your reference writers and let them know way beforehand about recommending you. Some schools have changed their program requirements (Some schools require you to complete your prereqs 2 semesters before their program starts/some have added more prereqs etc) so i'd start by picking schools and looking at those. If you haven't already done so, visit aota.com and look at their list of accredited schools by state. Oh, and consider applying to out of state schools (public lol cuz private will be too expensive...unless you want to ;)). Hope that helps a little :)
 

rach528

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It is competitive but your stats look good. I didn't have as many volunteer hours as you currently do and my gpa was a little lower than yours and i still got in to a program. Have you picked out the schools you want to apply to? Cuz you need to have a list and then make sure you have their pre-reqs done or plan on start doing them. Contact the schools to find out if they only receive their own undergrad student applications. Find your reference writers and let them know way beforehand about recommending you. Some schools have changed their program requirements (Some schools require you to complete your prereqs 2 semesters before their program starts/some have added more prereqs etc) so i'd start by picking schools and looking at those. If you haven't already done so, visit aota.com and look at their list of accredited schools by state. Oh, and consider applying to out of state schools (public lol cuz private will be too expensive...unless you want to ;)). Hope that helps a little :)


Thank you for responding! I live in PA so I am definitely going to apply to Pitt, Chatham, Duquesne, Salus, and Gannon. I will be looking out of state also though because I want to apply to more than just 5! I have already taken Anatomy I and II and Statistics. I still need to take the psychologys though. What program did you get into?
 

RedHeadOT

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Hello all!

  • Have over 200 hours working at a nursing home, helping with ADLS.
  • Have over 200 hours of babysitting a boy with Down Syndrome
  • So far I have only job shadowed in one setting: Nursing home. 20 hours. I will be doing more settings before I apply.
I don't know how you are planning on reporting those hours, but if you don't end up putting the nursing home or babysitting hours into the "Occupational Therapy Observation Hours" section of OTCAS, I would definitely mention them in your essay somehow.

I would also get as many prerequisites done as possible before you apply. You can probably take the psychology courses online over summer to get them out of the way before you apply to programs if you aren't completing them this spring.
 

rach528

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I don't know how you are planning on reporting those hours, but if you don't end up putting the nursing home or babysitting hours into the "Occupational Therapy Observation Hours" section of OTCAS, I would definitely mention them in your essay somehow.

I would also get as many prerequisites done as possible before you apply. You can probably take the psychology courses online over summer to get them out of the way before you apply to programs if you aren't completing them this spring.

I am not sure where I am going to put those hours, because I am unfamiliar with the OTCAS application. I will definitely reference those experiences in my essay though because they really helped me realize why I wanted to be an OT!
 

c2902

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I am not sure where I am going to put those hours, because I am unfamiliar with the OTCAS application. I will definitely reference those experiences in my essay though because they really helped me realize why I wanted to be an OT!
If it's a job, you put it under work experience. If it's volunteering, you put it under non-OT volunteer experience. As far as I remember from the application process, if it's not under the supervision of an OT, it doesn't count as observation hours. But both can absolutely be documented elsewhere in the OTCAS system rather than just in your essay.
 

Makingmoves2014

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It is competitive but your stats look good. I didn't have as many volunteer hours as you currently do and my gpa was a little lower than yours and i still got in to a program. Have you picked out the schools you want to apply to? Cuz you need to have a list and then make sure you have their pre-reqs done or plan on start doing them. Contact the schools to find out if they only receive their own undergrad student applications. Find your reference writers and let them know way beforehand about recommending you. Some schools have changed their program requirements (Some schools require you to complete your prereqs 2 semesters before their program starts/some have added more prereqs etc) so i'd start by picking schools and looking at those. If you haven't already done so, visit aota.com and look at their list of accredited schools by state. Oh, and consider applying to out of state schools (public lol cuz private will be too expensive...unless you want to ;)). Hope that helps a little :)

Yes I was wondering what program you got accepted into?? I applied to Creighton University and Abilene Christian University and OTA to OT bridge program is my back up plan..........I'm stressed because people keep telling me there is no OTA jobs.......
 

RedHeadOT

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If it's a job, you put it under work experience. If it's volunteering, you put it under non-OT volunteer experience. As far as I remember from the application process, if it's not under the supervision of an OT, it doesn't count as observation hours. But both can absolutely be documented elsewhere in the OTCAS system rather than just in your essay.

c2902, Thank you for clarifying. I could not remember if there was a spot in OTCAS or not.
 
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rach528

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If it's a job, you put it under work experience. If it's volunteering, you put it under non-OT volunteer experience. As far as I remember from the application process, if it's not under the supervision of an OT, it doesn't count as observation hours. But both can absolutely be documented elsewhere in the OTCAS system rather than just in your essay.
Okay thanks a lot!
 
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FUTUR3OT

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I live in Texas.....i got into the UTMB program at Galveston. @Makingmoves2014, Abilene is not yet accredited is it? Cuz you have to make sure you apply to schools that are accredited. You can't take the NBCOT exam if you graduate from an unaccredited program.....after all that hard work...and money o_O. ACU is so expensive...i got accepted for their clinical psych program in 2013 right before i changed my career field....tuition was too high....anyway back to OT, there ARE OTA jobs you just gotta do research on where the jobs are...geographic location and all that.
 

Makingmoves2014

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I live in Texas.....i got into the UTMB program at Galveston. @Makingmoves2014, Abilene is not yet accredited is it? Cuz you have to make sure you apply to schools that are accredited. You can't take the NBCOT exam if you graduate from an unaccredited program.....after all that hard work...and money o_O. ACU is so expensive...i got accepted for their clinical psych program in 2013 right before i changed my career field....tuition was too high....anyway back to OT, there ARE OTA jobs you just gotta do research on where the jobs are...geographic location and all that.

Ok I'm just so so stress out with the process of applying to OT school. I just need a back up plan. I have a bachelors degree in health service management. I want to get my masters. So you attend ACU before. How was it?? Yeah its going to cost 60,000 dollars for my masters and room and board if I go to ACU. Is it hard to get accepted into their programs. I don't think I'm a competitive applicant far as grade wise. I have a 3.11 overall gpa last 60 credits. I've worked with children since 2003. I've worked with children who have special needs since 2010. I have 63 hours of observation hours in three different settings. I have five letter of recommendation letters. Two are professional. One is from an occupational therapist. Two are form colleague. I was just wondering if ACU is a good school. I believe they are accredited. They only accept 22 students and they are excepting 60 to apply. I don't know. What do you think???????
 

lucys1024

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Ok I'm just so so stress out with the process of applying to OT school. I just need a back up plan. I have a bachelors degree in health service management. I want to get my masters. So you attend ACU before. How was it?? Yeah its going to cost 60,000 dollars for my masters and room and board if I go to ACU. Is it hard to get accepted into their programs. I don't think I'm a competitive applicant far as grade wise. I have a 3.11 overall gpa last 60 credits. I've worked with children since 2003. I've worked with children who have special needs since 2010. I have 63 hours of observation hours in three different settings. I have five letter of recommendation letters. Two are professional. One is from an occupational therapist. Two are form colleague. I was just wondering if ACU is a good school. I believe they are accredited. They only accept 22 students and they are excepting 60 to apply. I don't know. What do you think???????
I am very stressed out. I heard a few people tell be that they did not get in for two years. I don't have two years. I applied to a lot of schools just so that had a lot of options. Probably a lot of rejections, but, hey... I am practically stalking the mail man at this time. :) Really, it is any time from now till April that I should hear and that is so stressful to wait that long after putting yourself out there. I do want to mention that here in Portland- my son's ESD classroom used OTA for regular visits because the OT case load was so great that she could not make every session with every kid. Also, I did observation hours at the Rehabilitation Institute of Oregon and I watch an OTA for 30 mins, she was in charge of implementing the daily exercise routines of stroke patients. (Hand exercises). 22/60 is a good ratio. Most of the schools I applied to are 25/200. :( Also 60,000 is a good number. My local Uni will cost over 100,000 and up to 200,000. <- 3 year OTD, private, Room and Board, not able to work.
 

Makingmoves2014

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I am very stressed out. I heard a few people tell be that they did not get in for two years. I don't have two years. I applied to a lot of schools just so that had a lot of options. Probably a lot of rejections, but, hey... I am practically stalking the mail man at this time. :) Really, it is any time from now till April that I should hear and that is so stressful to wait that long after putting yourself out there. I do want to mention that here in Portland- my son's ESD classroom used OTA for regular visits because the OT case load was so great that she could not make every session with every kid. Also, I did observation hours at the Rehabilitation Institute of Oregon and I watch an OTA for 30 mins, she was in charge of implementing the daily exercise routines of stroke patients. (Hand exercises). 22/60 is a good ratio. Most of the schools I applied to are 25/200. :( Also 60,000 is a good number. My local Uni will cost over 100,000 and up to 200,000. <- 3 year OTD, private, Room and Board, not able to work.
What schools have you applied to?? I just finish applying to Davenport University. What's your stats?? Did you apply out of state??
 

lucys1024

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What schools have you applied to?? I just finish applying to Davenport University. What's your stats?? Did you apply out of state??
Where didn't I. hahaha. Seriously. When I started I applied to 6. But then when I came on to this forum, I realized that everyone had great stats. So I added on. Pacific, USC. UW, Puget, WUSL, CSU, UPitt, Thomas Jefferson, UNE.
OTCAS gpa calculated: 3.38 (4.0 scale)
last 60: depends on school 3.93- 3.73
Observation/volunteer hours: 100+ Peds Rehab @ local Children's hospital, Peds private clinic, school setting, RIO (Rehab hospital)
 

Makingmoves2014

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Where didn't I. hahaha. Seriously. When I started I applied to 6. But then when I came on to this forum, I realized that everyone had great stats. So I added on. Pacific, USC. UW, Puget, WUSL, CSU, UPitt, Thomas Jefferson, UNE.
OTCAS gpa calculated: 3.38 (4.0 scale)
last 60: depends on school 3.93- 3.73
Observation/volunteer hours: 100+ Peds Rehab @ local Children's hospital, Peds private clinic, school setting, RIO (Rehab hospital)
Wow!!! That's great. I applied to Creighton University, College of Saint Mary, Davenport University, Abilene Christian University, and I'm going to look for some schools to apply to. Well I didn't take the GRE. I might have to take it.......Is the GRE Hard??????????????
 

coolrunnins

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Where didn't I. hahaha. Seriously. When I started I applied to 6. But then when I came on to this forum, I realized that everyone had great stats. So I added on. Pacific, USC. UW, Puget, WUSL, CSU, UPitt, Thomas Jefferson, UNE.
OTCAS gpa calculated: 3.38 (4.0 scale)
last 60: depends on school 3.93- 3.73
Observation/volunteer hours: 100+ Peds Rehab @ local Children's hospital, Peds private clinic, school setting, RIO (Rehab hospital)
My mom is a guidance counselor and so I've had many years of high school and all of bachelors undergrad to hone my application skills and style. Here are my thoughts:
I wanted to bring your attention to the fact that basically you've applied to only top 50 schools and many top 20. Schools in the top 50 (and to an even greater degree top 20) are going to have very ultra steep competition and acceptance rates. You might feel like everyone here is a brainiac or has a 4.0 but applying to grad school should really can be made easier be applying with a three pronged approach: reach schools (those you really don't meet stats for without some luck), in-range schools (those you're a good bet to get into), and safety schools (those which schools has acceptance statistics below yours and therefore you have a high probability of acceptance to). My advice is don't stress now just wait. It's too late to apply or more. You should definitely be calling and talking with those programs you really want. Express continues interest and make sure they don't still need more info from you. Also see if you can come to campus and meet with them. If you don't get into any programs this go around definitely find safety schools to apply to next year.
 
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FUTUR3OT

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Ok I'm just so so stress out with the process of applying to OT school. I just need a back up plan. I have a bachelors degree in health service management. I want to get my masters. So you attend ACU before. How was it?? Yeah its going to cost 60,000 dollars for my masters and room and board if I go to ACU. Is it hard to get accepted into their programs. I don't think I'm a competitive applicant far as grade wise. I have a 3.11 overall gpa last 60 credits. I've worked with children since 2003. I've worked with children who have special needs since 2010. I have 63 hours of observation hours in three different settings. I have five letter of recommendation letters. Two are professional. One is from an occupational therapist. Two are form colleague. I was just wondering if ACU is a good school. I believe they are accredited. They only accept 22 students and they are excepting 60 to apply. I don't know. What do you think???????
I didn't go to ACU lol i was accepted but declined and then changed to OT. From what i've heard ACU is pretty easy to get into but i think it depends on the program. ACU's OT masters program is in the process of being accredited by ACOTE. If you've never visited aota before, here's the link http://www.aota.org/Education-Careers/Find-School.aspx it gives you a list of all the accredited schools as of Dec 2013 and it also has some useful information for those interested. As for the GRE, i never took it because i was just not ready to study but if you study consistently and do the practice tests you should be fine.
 

lucys1024

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My mom is a guidance counselor and so I've had many years of high school and all of bachelors undergrad to hone my application skills and style. Here are my thoughts:
I wanted to bring your attention to the fact that basically you've applied to only top 50 schools and many top 20. Schools in the top 50 (and to an even greater degree top 20) are going to have very ultra steep competition and acceptance rates. You might feel like everyone here is a brainiac or has a 4.0 but applying to grad school should really can be made easier be applying with a three pronged approach: reach schools (those you really don't meet stats for without some luck), in-range schools (those you're a good bet to get into), and safety schools (those which schools has acceptance statistics below yours and therefore you have a high probability of acceptance to). My advice is don't stress now just wait. It's too late to apply or more. You should definitely be calling and talking with those programs you really want. Express continues interest and make sure they don't still need more info from you. Also see if you can come to campus and meet with them. If you don't get into any programs this go around definitely find safety schools to apply to next year.

Thank you. :) I have been thinking a lot about the mistakes I made this time and they line up with what you are saying. I honestly thought I was a good applicant. I graduated summa cum laude, at 3.89. I volunteer at a top Peds Hospital and have great references... BUT- that was before I went on here and realized the competition was intense. So, I have made a plan to relax and learn from this and do things differently next year. :) That is all I can do now, right.
 

Makingmoves2014

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My mom is a guidance counselor and so I've had many years of high school and all of bachelors undergrad to hone my application skills and style. Here are my thoughts:
I wanted to bring your attention to the fact that basically you've applied to only top 50 schools and many top 20. Schools in the top 50 (and to an even greater degree top 20) are going to have very ultra steep competition and acceptance rates. You might feel like everyone here is a brainiac or has a 4.0 but applying to grad school should really can be made easier be applying with a three pronged approach: reach schools (those you really don't meet stats for without some luck), in-range schools (those you're a good bet to get into), and safety schools (those which schools has acceptance statistics below yours and therefore you have a high probability of acceptance to). My advice is don't stress now just wait. It's too late to apply or more. You should definitely be calling and talking with those programs you really want. Express continues interest and make sure they don't still need more info from you. Also see if you can come to campus and meet with them. If you don't get into any programs this go around definitely find safety schools to apply to next year.

Yeah my gpa isn't stellar overall otcas calculated 2.77 which I've taken two classes so far and received A's in. I have 3 more classes to take still. The schools I applied to is Creighton, Abilene Christian University, Davenport University, and College of St. Mary's. If I don't get in. I'm going to have to take the GRE to open up doors for me. So what schools you recommend applying to??? I was thinking about applying to Tennessee State University, Milligan College, Belmont University, and many more???
 

lucys1024

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@Makingmoves2014 - UNE was a no GRE school and Pacific. Also, my friend applied 3 years. She ended up applying to Southern Maine (no GRE) and got in.
 
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