kabobberz

2+ Year Member
Jul 24, 2016
17
11
Status
Pre-Occupational Therapy
Hi everyone,

I dabbled with OT back in 2011 and after a few life detours have finally settled on this course for real. I'm more passionate and serious about it than ever, but I don't know if my experience demonstrates that, so I'm not sure if I should apply this year or the next. Here are my stats:

University: UCLA '10
Major: B.S. in Anthropology; minor in Spanish
Overall GPA: cum 3.44
Pre-Req GPA: HAVEN'T TAKEN THEM YET (!!!)
GRE: 166V/162Q, writing: 5.5 (these scores will expire, but I'm confident I can achieve comparable scores on my second try)
Extra-Curric: Director of A Cappella Group (1 yr); Director of REACHE – tutoring/mentorship to underresourced community (1 yr); study abroad in Spain (1 yr); internship with Buenos Aires Embassy (3 months); lived abroad in Argentina for 2 years – I know this is all kind of hodgepodge, but it's been so long since I was in school, I thought I'd throw in some other life experiences there...
Volunteer: 100+ hrs in outpt peds OT clinic
Also, I saw some other posters mention that diversity is a big deal and even though it is a kind of unsavory topic, I am of Asian descent. Don't know if that hurts or helps these days.

Where I stand, I need more hours in more diverse settings in OT, which is doable before the first admissions deadline I'm aiming for, LLU, September 30. What seems less doable is that all the schools say pre-requisite courses can be begun and must be completed, if admitted, before the program starts. That has me looking at:

Human Anatomy w/ lab
Human Physiology w/ lab
Introductory Statistics
Developmental Psych
Human Lifespan Development (is this the same as Dev. Psych?)
Medical Terminology

– All in one semester, in theory! Is this even possible? Surely, it's not recommended...

Which brings me back to my final question, maybe I should just wait it out another year and apply for the cycle of 2017 to start in 2018. It would be painful to wait a whole year when, in theory, I could apply this year; I just (a) don't think I'm a competitive enough candidate with my current experience and (b) think trying to get all those prereqs done in one semester might be too rushed.

Can y'all weigh in with your experiences?
 
Last edited:

RUNNING_OT

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

I dabbled with OT back in 2011 and after a few life detours have finally settled on this course for real. I'm more passionate and serious about it than ever, but I don't know if my experience demonstrates that, so I'm not sure if I should apply this year or the next. Here are my stats:

University: UCLA '10
Major: B.S. in Anthropology; minor in Spanish
Overall GPA: cum 3.44
Pre-Req GPA: HAVEN'T TAKEN THEM YET (!!!)
GRE: 166V/162Q, writing: 5.5 (these scores will expire, but I'm confident I can achieve comparable scores on my second try)

Extra-Curric: Director of A Cappella Group (1 yr); Director of REACHE – tutoring/mentorship to underresourced community (1 yr); study abroad in Spain (1 yr); internship with Buenos Aires Embassy (3 months); lived abroad in Argentina for 2 years – I know this is all kind of hodgepodge, but it's been so long since I was in school, I thought I'd throw in some other life experiences there...

Volunteer: 100+ hrs in outpt peds OT clinic

Also, I saw some other posters mention that diversity is a big deal and even though it is a kind of unsavory topic, I am of Asian descent. Don't know if that hurts or helps these days.

Where I stand, I need more hours in more diverse settings in OT, which is doable before the first admissions deadline I'm aiming for, LLU, September 30. What seems less doable is that all the schools say pre-requisite courses can be begun and must be completed, if admitted, before the program starts. That has me looking at:

Human Anatomy w/ lab
Human Physiology w/ lab
Introductory Statistics
Developmental Psych
Human Lifespan Development (is this the same as Dev. Psych?)
Medical Terminology

– All in one semester, in theory! I live in CA and am only looking in-state (though I see a lot of other people looking at out-of-state options but I am really trying not to spend more money if I don't have to!) Looking at other people's stats, I just don't see myself making it into CSUDH – it's too competitive. Holding out hope for LLU because I live nearby but it's also a small class size. So most likely, I would have better chances at USC, but their cost to attend is prohibitive... I don't know...

Which brings me back to my final question, maybe I should just wait it out another year and apply for the cycle of 2017 to start in 2018. It would be painful to wait a whole year when, in theory, I could apply this year; I just (a) don't think I'm a competitive enough candidate with my current experience and (b) think trying to get all those prereqs done in one semester might be too rushed.

Can y'all weigh in with your experiences?
I'm glad you have found the field of OT as the one you want to immerse yourself into! Don't worry about how you think your experience looks like. Many students that go to OT school are actually going for their second career. Not everyone goes into, or finishes, college with the exact career choice in mind. Applying this year will be a risk considering Anatomy is a prereq for Physiology, so you won't be able to take them simultaneously. Another thing to keep in mind is that some schools want the prereqs done by a specific deadline. I know LLU wants everything completed by December before their June start date. It would be a good idea to research how many courses you can have in-progress and when they need to be completed by. I had to retake A&P and statistics because of the 5 year expiration date for some programs. It ended up benefiting me since I got As when the first time I took them I got Bs. Based on my experience, I would suggest to wait a year. I rushed into applying the first time and just got so overwhelmed taking classes, working full-time, volunteering, and applying. Waiting a year seems like torture, but you can strengthen your application so much during that year. It was tough for me trying to get volunteer hours during the summer, since that is when everyone is attempting to do the same thing. I emailed clinics, school districts, and hospitals during the summer letting them know I was interested for volunteering in the fall. I kept constant communication and I was one of the first people they emailed about volunteering once the summer ended. Trust me, things will go a lot more smoothly waiting a year. Ultimately, the choice is yours! :)

Good luck!
 
OP
K

kabobberz

2+ Year Member
Jul 24, 2016
17
11
Status
Pre-Occupational Therapy
Hi RUNNING_OT and CoraBeth,

Thanks so much for your responses! I was actually not aware that Anatomy was a prereq for Physiology, shows how much I really know about this whole process! :confused:

I agree with what you have both said, it's best for me to wait and apply next year. I think this upcoming year will be a good growth experience for me, and actually focusing on the prereqs is a good idea not only because I'll have a higher GPA, but I'll also absorb the information and actually have a good foundation for OT school – because learning how to be a good OT is just as important to me as actually getting into OT school.

I think the next step now, aside from taking the prereqs and doing well on the GRE/apps, is finding a part-time position that will make me a stronger applicant. I noticed that a lot of people here had work experience as a rehab aide/tech or had worked in a healthcare settings such as in a long-term care facility or in-home behavioral intervention (for example). Do you think this is important to be a competitive applicant, or should I just continue working from home as I have been and then finding more volunteering/shadowing experiences in OT instead?

Thanks again! :biglove:
 

RUNNING_OT

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

Thanks so much for your responses! I was actually not aware that Anatomy was a prereq for Physiology, shows how much I really know about this whole process! :confused:

I agree with what you have both said, it's best for me to wait and apply next year. I think this upcoming year will be a good growth experience for me, and actually focusing on the prereqs is a good idea not only because I'll have a higher GPA, but I'll also absorb the information and actually have a good foundation for OT school – because learning how to be a good OT is just as important to me as actually getting into OT school.

I think the next step now, aside from taking the prereqs and doing well on the GRE/apps, is finding a part-time position that will make me a stronger applicant. I noticed that a lot of people here had work experience as a rehab aide/tech or had worked in a healthcare settings such as in a long-term care facility or in-home behavioral intervention (for example). Do you think this is important to be a competitive applicant, or should I just continue working from home as I have been and then finding more volunteering/shadowing experiences in OT instead?

Thanks again! :biglove:
I worked as a rehab tech primarily for the exposure and I just loved what I did. However, it was a little tough for me working around my work schedule to get volunteer hours since other techs were still going to school. If you can get exposure to various settings while keeping your current job that's great! I also don't know your financial situation, but if you are better off keeping your job and volunteering, I suggest you do that. You can use this as the opportunity to save money for the application process next year