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How hard is it to get into a OT program

Discussion in 'Occupational Therapy [ O.T.D ]' started by LightFighter, Oct 2, 2008.

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  1. LightFighter


    Oct 2, 2008
    I have a BS in Psychology and am tired of Corporate Amercia. I want to go back to school and get a masters in OT, i love the work. But my final GPA was terrible due to poor chocies and life circumstances. I did okay on the GRE but not great. However I was pursuing a Masters in counseling and I got a 3.0 there but got out of it becuase of how bad the mental health system is terrible. Also, I just found out that I have some learning disabilities. Do I even have a shot as A guy to get into an OT program? Please respond.
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  3. SuperKirby

    SuperKirby 5+ Year Member

    Oct 6, 2008
    There are very many OT programs out there that will almost take anyone who meet just the minimum requirements. If you noticed on application forms, they ask that the deadline application date is "on available basis". Meaning they take anyone until the seat is filled.
    Whereas PT applicants are so competitive that you have to apply about 7 to 10 months in advance with NO "on available basis" seating.
    There are a lot of private schools that people just dont apply to. I know a lot of OT classes where there are only about 15 people, and the max class size should have been 30. Thats 15 available spaces that could have been filled!
    Also, alot of times, applicants just drop their OT application from smaller schools because they find out they get into bigger schools they were on the waiting list for...USC, NYU, OSU, etc.
    I know at a certain school, They ask PT applicants who don't get accepted to join OT with automatic acceptance, because there are so many seats available for OT. Thats a fact! So apply to many OT schools and I am sure you will get in. just meet the minimal requirements!
  4. superCOTA

    superCOTA MS, OT by 2011 !!! 2+ Year Member

    Jun 18, 2008
    OT's roots began in the mental health field, and while saying that a big comeback is imminient in the face of the economy the way it is, OT runs many aspects of health care facilities, especially when they demonstrate their proficiency to management. Just letting you know you can have your cake and eat it too if you still like psych.

    An OT school may take anyone, and if they learn that it's not for them down the road, the school doesn't mind if you leave. You have to make sure it's what you want to do. OT and PT's work from the minute we get there to the minute we leave. It has to be billable time.. or leave. So if your desk job was (like many) 2 hours working and 6 hours looking like you were working but surfing the net... heads up! I know an OT who was an office manager and she does so much more running a sub-acute rehab for 20K less it makes her head spin.

    As for PT schools offering seats in the OT program, business is business. I hope applicants stick to their guns, the OT program closes, and demand continues to exceed supply in the OT marketplace. Maybe these things are cyclic.

    But OT working in the health care field is just another instance where OT runs rings around PT for personal variety and career exploration ..
  5. JaJa0812


    Jan 18, 2009
    Raleigh, NC
    I would say that OT may not be as competitive as Med, Dental and Pharm school, but it is still competitive.

    From my experience, some schools are more competitive than others.'; in general, OT programs that are highly respected (ie. UNC-CH, BU, Washington University) are going to be more competitive than newly-accredited OT programs.

    For most OT schools, you have to have pretty good GPA on your pre-req's (pre-req GPA matters more than overall GPA) ie.) <3.5 and gre (verbal + quan) < 1000 to be competitive. And if you have good objective and varied recommendations(ie. worker rec, academic rec, volunteer rec)
    - that is a big plus.

    Also, working/volunteer experience goes a long way. The people who review your application also encounter the same misconceptions/ lack of awareness by the public about OT, so they really want to know that you have a clear understanding of OT and you are sure that is what you want to do.
    At the end of day, it would be a waste of time 2 go thru the program and get to fieldwork and decide that OT is not for you. If that is the case, why not give ur seat to someone who knows what OT is and knows they want to become an OT?
    So with that said, your purpose statement can make a big difference, if you can demonstrate that you are knowledgeable about the profession and you REALLY want to be an OT.
    rmkunitz likes this.
  6. SuperKirby

    SuperKirby 5+ Year Member

    Oct 6, 2008
    i agree with everyone here!
  7. fridaynights

    fridaynights MOT Student 2+ Year Member

    Feb 28, 2009
    dominican university in california is the easiest school to get into. it's a private university, free application fees, and no interview. don't worry about curriculum, it is certified by aota. i was accepted even before i sent my 40+ volunteering hours.

    however, this was a school that was going to be my 'fall back' plan just incase i didn't get into the schools i wanted. as for your previous grades and education, i feel you. i've been there. hopefully you'll turn up your motivation and keep pushing toward your dreams. grades are grades- don't let it keep you from trying to get ahead. good luck man!
  8. wave06

    wave06 5+ Year Member

    Jun 25, 2007


    Did you end up choosing Dominican? It's the last school I'm waiting to hear from. I have been at this OT thing for 2 years. Last year I was waitlisted at Columbia and NYU and rejected this year. I also had an interveiw at Samuel Merrit that I couldn't make because they lost my info and contacted me last minute. Not to mention, they sent me an orientation e-mail by mistake. Sloppy and hurtful! Haha! I didn't get in there or Loma Linda this year.

    Right now I'm trying to figure out if I should stick it out. I read somewhere that it could take up to three years to get into OT school. I didn't think that would be the case for me because I have great grades, wonderful recs, and amazing experience in a variety of settings (pediatric school-based ot, inpatient rehab, and neurology with brain/spinal cord injury war veterans from Iraq).

    When I called to inquire about my rejection, I get the same generic answer, "There were simply too many strong applicants such as yourself." Riiiiight! Anyway, I do know that applications to OT programs have skyrocketed perhaps due to demand or the economy or both. But, this is becoming very discouraging. So, like I mentioned before, Dominican which was supposed to be my back up school is now the only school I have hope for this year. But, I've read some mixed reviews about it. I read something about the classrooms being cramped in the basement of dorms, and that the teachers aren't very good. Friday, have you heard things like this or experienced them (not sure if you attend Dominican)? I'm also not too crazy about 3 year programs with the thesis requirement. One thing I do know is I want to live in the Bay area and would probably deal with all the cons if I got in.
  9. beeme123


    Feb 26, 2010
    I don't believe Dominican takes "everyone", since there are many people on here still witing to be accepted. I have heard the entering class size is from 35-40 students. What was your GPA? I think they weigh heavily on GPA, so let's say if you have above a 3.5 and most of your pre-req's done or in progress then they may assume you are a strong student and admit you conditionally. It is also my understanding that all OT schools have recieved an average of a 85% or higher depending on the school increase in applications for Fall 2010. I think many people are heading back to school, and OT is becoming more well-known so more people are applying. Also because of the current employment situation, many people are going "back" to school, and many students are choosing to stay in school longer and get advanced degrees. Wishing you and everyone else out there the best!! Good luck to you all!!!
  10. asianlad

    asianlad 2+ Year Member

    Dec 15, 2009

    I also applied to Dominican University of California. I applied in December and I was half way done with my prerequisites when I applied. Currently, I am in the process of finishing Physics and Human Anatomy and Physiology. My GPA is not that great, just 3.0. I called them and they told me that they are waiting for the final grades of Physics and Anatomy and Physiology classes. When did you apply and when did you find out you were admitted? What is your GPA and did you finish all your prerequisites when you applied?
  11. physiorooike


    Aug 20, 2010
    Did you get accepted with a GPA of 3.0?
  12. andgelyo

    andgelyo 2+ Year Member

    Sep 6, 2011
    * Don't know how to post a question here, as i am fairly new to this site. I need opinions and responses as to whether i am deemed as a competitive applicant to an occupational therapy program( preferably at my university, Kean).

    Current undergrad GPA( accumulative):3.426 (aiming for at least 3.5)

    Current prerequisite GPA: 3.5

    Settings observed: Rehab center( 60hrs), hand therapy clinic( 24hrs), hospital setting( 4hrs), low vision clinic (4hrs), home care (6hrs), Psychiatric Rehab center (20hrs). Total: 118 hours of observation/volunteering, with 6 different settings. I also intend to observe at a school setting( pediatrics) over break, so a possible 7 settings.

    Extracurricular activities: Director of Public Relations of Asian Culture Club( 2009-2010), member of Association of Latin American Students(2009-2010), member of Student Organization Public Advertising Committee( 2010-2011), member of Filipinos Uniting Nation at Kean( 2011-present), and member/Public Relations committee member of Students of Occupational Therapy Association( 2010-present).

    Awards: Dean's list ( spring '10), Dean's list( fall '10), Dean's list (spring '11)

    *P.S.: I had already applied to the dual degree occupational therapy program last year, and managed to make it to the interviews. However, ultimately i was not admitted. The difference in my application this year is I added an additional 26 hours accumulated from another hand therapy clinic (4hrs), same home care setting( 2hrs), and a new setting: psychiatric rehabilitation center( 20hrs). These observations were a required assignment for my intro to occupational therapy class, which was an added prerequisite this year. My only fear is that there is a strong possibility that I may receive a B or B+ for my intro to occupational therapy class( my teacher is a hard grader). Thank you
  13. occupationalguy


    Aug 9, 2016
    This is just pure BS for the record. It is not a rule that PT programs are harder to get into or more rigorous than OT programs. This is tiresome.

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