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Program-Specific Info / Q's University of the Sciences (USciences Philadelphia)

Discussion in 'Occupational Therapy [ O.T.D ]' started by AspiringOT16, Jan 10, 2017.

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  1. AspiringOT16

    AspiringOT16

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    Nov 9, 2016
    Hey guys, I wanted to share with you an honest opinion and some really helpful information on UScience's Occupational Therapy program that came from a student who I graduated with and just finished her first two semesters of the program. It's pretty lengthy, but it really helped me get a better idea of what the program is like and if it would be a good fit for me. Here it is:

    I chose USciences b/c I like the city living and that it is a community-based school so they are all about giving back to others and doing service. I also like that it is small and you can make more personal connections with professors and students. I also love that it offers a lot of fieldwork and hands-on experience in your first fall semester and throughout your entire 2 1/2 years.

    Some Pros:
    fieldwork begins in your first full semester and hands on right away, for certain labs we got to observe children and babies and get hands on experience with that and apply what we are learning to what we observe, the classes are interesting and you learn a lot in your first semester, most professors genuinely want to help you succeed and pass everything, many opportunities for community volunteer experience, some classes are discussion based vs just power point lectures, the exams are fair and straight forward usually

    Some Cons: there are a few professors I don't care for and who made the learning experience very negative (but one is not coming back next semester so that's a pro lol) some classes are unorganized and if there are two professors who teach one class, sometimes it is difficult to know what to go off of for exams, some unnecessary projects in certain classes that just don't really teach you much and take too much time for little credit, some professors can be really vague with assignments and offer little help if you're confused. Some labs are pointless and some are VERY helpful because it's hands on.

    Overall i love the program and wouldn't want to be anywhere else. We are accredited for 10+ years which is hard to come by for most schools. Our curriculum is spiral so things are always coming back in each class which helps to reinforce the info from another class. Some of our exercise sciences and psychology classes we took in undergrad really helped me to do well in some classes at USciences. The first summer is intense and really tests your ability to manage time and work under pressure. You take neuroscience first and it's interesting but fast paced and it's very doable you just have to work through it. You also take an intro course which is pointless and stupid but it's required so just gotta get through it.

    we do get good field placements but because there are a few OT schools in the area, we compete with them for some spots. But our fieldwork coordinators handle all that for us. The last two field works which are 3 mo. each, you can choose any state or location you want to go to as long as it is outside a 45 mi. radius from the university. So you can stay local or go somewhere else. (So, for example, I'm going to Texas for the first 3 mo. and living at home for the last 3 mo.) they make you decide that in your first semester. But the first semester clients come to USciences.

    In march or feb before i applied, I had a meeting with Aimee Viggiani and asked her a ton of questions about the curriculum as well as took a tour. From then, i really loved the school and the atmosphere, i also went to open house which didn't help that much but i felt excited about this school the most. I also knew a few people in the OT program and reached out to them. Other schools didn't have the community feel as much as usciences and the location was big for me. Other schools like Thomas Jefferson are way too stuck on academics and being the best and I didn't like that. USciences is a great location and it's a little closer to home for me, but I did get an apartment in Philly. USciences is also big on being diverse in terms of culture and what not. Side note is at the end of your 2 1/2 years they pay for people who have an affiliation with NBCOT to come out and prep you for your exam. The school pays for it and it's 8 hours sat and sun I believe. They basically give you tips and tricks to help you study/pass the exam. Which I really appreciate.

    But as far as fieldwork the two 3 mo. ones are your level 2 fieldwork. So if you are going to live in philly for fieldwork or if you live close to Philly like I do then you are put into a lottery. So basically anyone who is within a 45 mi radius from campus is put into it, they give you a list of fieldwork sites and you rank 1-8. Out of those 8 you will be placed at one of them. If you go outside 45 mi from campus then you can choose your site from the places that our school has a contract with but let's say our school doesn't have a contract with a place you are interested in, then you can put up to 2 places and they will try and start a new contract with them. For level 1 in the P1 year, the first one i had in the fall and clients came to campus 3 times. For this spring i get a week at a placement site the week after spring break and for that you can be anywhere as well. I chose to stay home but if you vacation somewhere then you could stay an extra week for field. In the summer you get a partner and get assigned to go to someone's home in Philly and assess their home layout, etc. I know fall and spring of P2 year level 1 field involves community service learning for 10 Tuesdays in a row.

    UPDATE!!!!!
    Below, is some really great info about the program and the school in general, which I got from a chatroom that we did on Thursday for students who were accepted to the program. I also got to speak with the admissions counselor and Department head in person and they were extremely personable and helpful with answering all of my questions about the program. I personally, was impressed with the updated buildings, classrooms, and technology they provide for OT students. There are two buildings in which we have classes that are right next to each other, so we don't have to walk all over the place. Everything is close together and there is even a Starbucks on campus! The gym is also really nice; plenty of equipment and new basketball court. It is a safe area and there are plenty of security guards around. There are also plenty of transportation means to get around the city, including the trolly. All of the students that I met in the MOT and DrOT program said they are happy they chose USciences!
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017
    wannabeOT2 and OldieBroddie like this.
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  3. AspiringOT1218

    AspiringOT1218

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    Thank you so much for this information! I applied and have been told I should hear back within the next week, but I was getting a little nervous since the website doesn't give too much detailed information about the program! This has definitely gotten me even more excited!
     
  4. AspiringOT16

    AspiringOT16

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    Yeah I agree their website is very vague, so it is really important to go out of your way and reach out to current students in the OT program (not undergrad students becuase they have different professors and do not have the typical undergraduate college experience since it is a smaller school...and they tend to say they've had a negative experience). Instead, talk to current graduate students to get their insite on anything related to the program and what the school offers for their MOT and DrOT students.

    There is some info on their website that talks about their main focus being "learning by doing"/ going out in the community, and how their program is different from others since they provide us with fieldwork the first fall semester, which holds true based on what I heard from current students in the program.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017
  5. AspiringOT1218

    AspiringOT1218

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    Wow they definitely cleaned up the website and made it easier to use!
     
  6. FutureOT1015

    FutureOT1015

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  7. AspiringOT16

    AspiringOT16

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    No, they don't do interviews so it's really important that your personal statement reflects why OT is the right profession for you. It's also rolling admissions, so it's a good idea to apply as early as you can.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2017
  8. AspiringOT1218

    AspiringOT1218

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    How do you know the class is filled already?
     
  9. AspiringOT16

    AspiringOT16

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    cwilly1226 said they were waitlisted under 'who have you heard back from'
     
  10. AspiringOT16

    AspiringOT16

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    Is anyone planning on moving and living in the philly area? I'm from about an hour away but I think the commute would still be stressful so I want to find a place near campus.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2017
    wannabeOT2 likes this.
  11. wannabeOT2

    wannabeOT2

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    Thank you for your information! I was accepted here so I've been trying to get as much information as possible.
     
  12. AspiringOT16

    AspiringOT16

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    Are you strongly considering going here? And I noticed that you are applying to a few different schools. Are you waiting to hear back from a particular school or are you just kind of waiting until you hear back from most before making a decision? I'm assuming you already paid the deposit even though you have not visited the school yet. What do you think of the price of the program? In my opinion it is way too high but that is something I will have to ask them about when I go to visit on Friday.
     
  13. wannabeOT2

    wannabeOT2

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    Dec 15, 2015
    I still have to hear back from 3 other programs but I already made a deposit to the other school I got into; MCPHS. I wanted to reserve my spot for grad school while I wait to hear back from everyone else. Their tuition was 50k cheaper than Usciences which yes, is what deterred me from putting the deposit down for there. Very expensive. My top choice is Pacific U in Oregon
     
  14. AspiringOT16

    AspiringOT16

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    Nov 9, 2016
    Were you able to extend your time with paying UScience's deposit? Is it because you are out of state? I only had a month to put mine down.
     
  15. wannabeOT2

    wannabeOT2

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    The letter told me I had until January 30th. Possibly because I am out of state.
     
  16. SENIORPRES15

    SENIORPRES15

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    MDApps:
    MDApps:
    anyone applied for the OTD program?
     
  17. AspiringOT16

    AspiringOT16

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    Nov 9, 2016
    Bump for anyone who was accepted to USciences. I added some really helpful info to the top!!!!!!
     
    wannabeOT2 likes this.
  18. AspiringOT1218

    AspiringOT1218

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    Still haven't heard from them.....anyone else still waiting?
     
    MOTmking likes this.
  19. FutureOT1015

    FutureOT1015

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    I still haven't heard anything either
     
  20. AspiringOT16

    AspiringOT16

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    Call the OT admissions department 888-996-8747 and see if they can give you some info on where your application stands.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
  21. SENIORPRES15

    SENIORPRES15

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    MDApps:
    MDApps:
    yup, i haven't heard anything either..
     
  22. SENIORPRES15

    SENIORPRES15

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    MDApps:
    MDApps:
    and that number is for DSW shoes lol
     
  23. AspiringOT16

    AspiringOT16

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    Haha that's embarrassing...Sorry! It's 888-996-8747
     
    thebiggestsky and SENIORPRES15 like this.
  24. AspiringOT16

    AspiringOT16

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    Nov 9, 2016
    Okay so to answer your question about how many people get accepted, Aimee said about 56. So about 50 are MOT and 6 are DrOT. They don't bring in a lot of post-bacc DrOT students because right now there are about 20 students in each cohort for the accelerated 6 year DrOT program. She also said that they are not finished looking at applications and they are waiting for more people to say no to the program before sending out more acceptances. Hopefully this helps!
     
    shilly1002 and AspiringOT1218 like this.
  25. AspiringOT1218

    AspiringOT1218

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    Found out I was accepted via email yesterday! Good luck to those still waiting to hear! :)
     
  26. FutureOT1015

    FutureOT1015

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    Hi everyone! I just found out today via email that i've been accepted to the USciences program! It's my first acceptance (or response from any school at all), but the school is super expensive ($142K for tuition and fees for the full program), so I'm not sure what to do. They gave me $12,500 in grants for the full duration of the program, but that really doesn't make a big enough dent in the overall cost.

    Is anyone else going through a similar situation?
     
  27. AspiringOT16

    AspiringOT16

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    The price is absolutely terrifying but I will most likely be going here because I know people in the program and they really like it. After visiting and talking to the new department head (who actually used to be Temple's department head), I feel that the program is a good fit for me and I like the location. I'm waiting to hear back from one other school but that program is 3 1/2 years so if I do get accepted, my options are to: a) go to an expensive school that will take me 20 years to pay off but have a more exciting and hands on experience at OR b) go to a school that is almost half the price, but I would have to commute an hour, the program is much longer which is like doing undergrad all over again, and I heard the coordination for fieldwork is awful and you basically have to find placements yourself. The two programs are very different and my gut is telling me to go to USciences because it feels right to me. Paying off the loans will suck but it is what it is. Not everyone is lucky enough to get the best of both words in terms of getting accepted to OT programs (good price and good quality/high pass rates).

    Did you get your award packet yet? Everyone gets the health science grant but make sure to call admissions to make sure they have your SSN and are abele to see that you filled out the fafsa so they can send you the package that tells you how much you can get in loans. The award packet also comes with more instructions on next steps to take including getting graduate plus loans.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
    FutureOT1015 likes this.
  28. shilly1002

    shilly1002

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    Jan 23, 2017
    waitlisted today via mail
     
  29. SENIORPRES15

    SENIORPRES15

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    MDApps:
    MDApps:
    anybody still haven't heard anything?
     
  30. shilly1002

    shilly1002

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    I got an email today saying that it wasn't likely that I would get off the waitlist but can stay on it until classes start on May 31st.
     
  31. SENIORPRES15

    SENIORPRES15

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    MDApps:
    MDApps:
    mhmm, i wonder whats taking them so long
     
  32. AspiringOT1218

    AspiringOT1218

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    Hello to those still waiting to hear! I just wanted to let you know that as of this afternoon, I have officially given up my spot in the incoming MOT class, so hopefully one of you will hear good news shortly! Good luck!
     
  33. DLHPREOT

    DLHPREOT

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    Hi! I just submitted my application to U Sciences, has anybody else? And if so, have you heard anything back yet?
     

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