OTCAS Application Now Open for the Class of 2022!
Soft Deadline: December 15, 2018
The Department of Occupational Therapy offers two avenues for admission into the entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy Degree (OTD) Program.
- Traditional Pathway
- Health Sciences Pathway
This pathway will require candidates to possess a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university (degree in any field) or be in the senior year of undergraduate study. A completed bachelor degree will be required prior to enrollment in the OTD Program, as evidenced by a final official college/university transcript. A minimum overall grade point average (for both undergraduate and, if applicable, graduate study) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale will be required.
Traditional pathway applicants will be scored on admissions criteria as described in the admissions process.
Health Sciences Pathway
The Methodist University Health Sciences Pathway will provide academically qualified Methodist University undergraduate students the opportunity to enhance their undergraduate study through a unique connection to the University's clinical doctoral program in occupational therapy. The pathway will challenge the Methodist University candidate academically in preparation for the exclusive opportunity of preferential consideration for admission into the OTD Program upon successful completion of a Methodist University bachelor degree.
This pathway is open to all traditional freshman students admitted to Methodist University who desire to pursue a bachelor degree in the following majors: kinesiology, biology, psychology.
In addition to the courses that are required as part of the bachelor degrees in the candidate's chosen field of study, the student applying for admission through this pathway will also be required to complete the same prerequisite courses as candidates applying through the Traditional Pathway.
Applicants applying through the Health Sciences Pathway will be scored on the same admissions criteria as described in the admissions process. However, these candidates will be guaranteed an interview opportunity for a place in the program's entering class by meeting the minimum qualifications outlined.
With a solid interview and application file (as determined by OTD Program faculty), the Health Sciences Pathway students will be offered first opportunity to join the entering class for the doctoral program. While not a guarantee of admission, the Health Sciences Pathway provides preferred applicant status, which is extremely beneficial in competitive admissions environments.
Consistent with the University admission policy, admission to the Methodist University OTD Program is without regard or discrimination on the basis of race, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, or status with regard to public assistance or disability. However, becoming an occupational therapist requires the completion of an education program which is intellectually as well as physically challenging, that the candidate should be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner, and reasonable accommodation does not mean that students with disabilities are exempt from certain tasks inherent to the practice of occupational therapy. Methodist University's Program in Occupational Therapy is committed to recruiting, enrolling and educating a diverse student body.
In addition to the degree requirements, candidates for admission will also have to achieve the following:
- A minimum prerequisite grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Applicants should not have any prerequisite courses with a grade less than B-. Additionally, successful applicants will have earned at least a B+ in all prerequisite Anatomy and Physiology coursework.
- Candidates are expected to have no more than two prerequisite courses remaining to be taken in the spring semester after they apply.
- Upper Level Life Science, 3 credits: Any 200-level or above biology course. No lab required. Suggested courses include, Advanced General Biology, Microbiology, Genetics, Cellular Physiology, Cognitive Neuroscience, Zoology, Biochemistry, Exercise Physiology, and/or Pathophysiology.
- Kinesiology or Biomechanics, 3 credits: An introductory biomechanics or kinesiology course will fulfill this requirement. No lab required. Applied Kinesiology, Kinetic Anatomy, and Motor Learning courses are also accepted.
- Abnormal Psychology, 3 credits: An abnormal psychology or a psychopathology course fulfills this requirement.
- Developmental Psychology, 3 credits: Any lifespan development course that includes learning, motor, language, cognitive, emotional, and social development fulfills this requirement. Course content must cover the lifespan.
- Human Anatomy and Physiology, 8 credits: Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II or individual courses of Human Anatomy and Human Physiology with a lab in each. These courses cannot also fulfill the Upper-level Life Science requirement.
- Social Science, 3 credits: Suggest courses include, but are not limited to other psychology courses, sociology, anthropology, economics, political science, public health, epidemiology, gerontology, and urban studies.
- Statistics, 3 credits: You may choose behavioral, educational, psychological, or mathematical statistics. In some instances a Research Methods course may fulfill this requirement, at the discretion of the admissions committee. Business statistics does not fulfill this requirement.
- Each prerequisite course is separate and applicants can not use a course for more than one requirement. (for example Human Anatomy and Physiology 1 cannot be used for both the Human Anatomy and Physiology requirement and the Upper Level Science requirement). Individual courses are needed for each prerequisite.
- All prerequisite courses must have been completed within ten years prior to application.
In addition to the prerequisite requirements, all candidates must achieve a competitive score on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) taken within the past five years. If the candidate is a non-native speaker of English, a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) will also be required.
Two letters of recommendation are required from:
- A professor, teacher or academic advisor who is familiar with the applicant's scholastic performance.
- A person, other than a relative or friend, who is familiar with the applicant's professional work capacity, professional behavior, and dependability (a person who supervised observation experiences is encouraged).
Each applicant must complete a minimum of 50 hours of occupational therapy-related experience or observation of two different settings or populations. It is strongly recommended, but not required, that a portion of the hours include observation with an occupational therapist. The Admissions process will also consider demonstration of excellent writing skills in the application essay and participation and leadership in extracurricular activities.
Students need to be aware that felony related charges and convictions may prevent participation in fieldwork experiences. In addition, a criminal record may prevent the student from taking the National Board Certification of Occupational Therapists (NBCOT) exam and also from becoming licensed. A student should contact NBCOT if there is a prior criminal record that might interfere with eligibility to sit for the national exam.
Please submit all application materials through OTCAS at www.otcas.org.
Applicant Review Process
Prior to being submitted to the Admissions Committee, all courses and grades entered by the applicant will be verified by the OTD Program Admissions Coordinator. Once the application has been verified, the information will be forwarded to the OTD Program Admissions Committee.
The initial phase of the admissions process is designed to insure that students enrolled in the OTD Program possess the academic credentials to successfully complete the program of study. A number of criteria are used during this phase of the admissions process to score the applicants. The Admissions Committee will use the following criteria:
- Undergraduate Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA): The applicant's total GPA for credit hours taken at the undergraduate level.
- GPA of Prerequisite Course Work: The applicant's GPA calculated on the prerequisite courses required for admission into the OTD Program.
- Graduate Record Examination Scores: Quantitative, Verbal Reasoning, and Analytical Writing scores.
Additional factors that may affect the applicant's score during Phase I of the admissions process include:
- Assessment of the clinical/observation experience attained by the applicant prior to submitting the application. Clinical exposure and experience will be assessed based on both variety of clinical sites and quantity of hours.
- The faculty value the skills and perspectives that are inherently developed as part of experiences such as travelling abroad, research publications/presentations, certifications, athletic achievements, and artistic or other creative pursuits. Therefore, if an applicant has demonstrates a range of life experiences and/or leadership endeavors; points will be awarded to the PAS.
Scoring rubrics for each of the criteria will be used to produce a Portfolio Admission Score (PAS) by the OTD Program Admissions Committee to determine the top applicants who will then be moved into Phase II of the admissions process.
The second phase of the application process is an onsite interview. Applicants will be selected for an interview based on the Phase I admission score. The OTD Program will invite the top applicants for an onsite interview with the OTD faculty and students. The interview process involves a series of program interactions, individual interviews, and a writing sample. Based on this process, an Onsite Interview Score (OIS) will be awarded to each candidate and added to his or her PAS that was based on the Portfolio materials.
After the interviews are completed, core faculty will meet to rank order the applicants based on the total application score (PAS + OIS). Through this process the faculty will identify the top 30 applicants for acceptance and create a wait list for admission to the OTD Program.
Applicants will be notified of admissions decisions as soon as possible. The time required to review applications and respond to applicants will vary depending on many factors, including application volume.