The Class of 2024 admissions cycle is now OPEN! Apply online at www.otcas.com. Early Decision Deadline: October 15, 2020; Regular Admission Deadline: December 15, 2020
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT for Class of 2024 applicants:
Many universities are asking students if they are willing to be graded in a ‘pass/fail’ manner for these distance education courses. We realize that some of you may be completing your final prerequisites to meet all the requirements for our program. Historically, our policy has been that we do not accept ‘pass/fail’ grades for prerequisite coursework. During this unique time, we are willing to have some flexibility. The Methodist University OTD Program will allow two prerequisite courses, up to a 8 credit hours, to be graded as ‘pass/fail’. This courses must have been taken during the spring 2020 or summer 2020 semester.
DUE TO RESTRICTIONS RELATED TO COVID-19, applicants will not be penalized for observations hours not completed. Applicants should fulfill occupational therapy related experience and exposure through a variety of socially distant and virtual experiences, including: virtual interview of an OT practitioner, TED talks related to OT practice and disability, virtual chat with OT students or recent grads, free OT COVID-19 and telehealth webinars from AOTA.org and state OT associations.
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. Your OTCAS application must be submitted by the deadline for that application cycle. OTCAS will take two to four weeks to verify the submitted application. The Methodist University OTD program will not review an application until it is in a verified status.
Early Decision Deadline: October 15
Official GRE scores and required letters of recommendation must also be reported by this deadline in order to be considered for Early Decision. Interview decisions will go out approximately 4-6 weeks after the deadline.
Regular Admission Deadline: December 15
Official GRE scores and required letters of recommendation must be received by the program before an interview decision can be made. Interview decisions will go out approximately 4-6 weeks after the deadline.
The Early Decision process is designed for candidates who are highly qualified for admissions to the Methodist University OTD program and have made the program their top choice school. This process allows for candidates to apply, interview, and receive an admissions decision prior to the review of applications during the regular application period. Early Decision candidates must meet the same admissions eligibility requirements as outlined in the Admissions Procedures.
To be competitive for Early Decision admission, the OTD program suggests that candidates have one or more of the following criteria in their application:
- An Overall GPA (determined by OTCAS) and Prerequisite GPA (determined by the program) higher than the 3.0 minimum requirement
- A Science GPA (determined by the program) over the 3.2 minimum requirement
- More than the 50 required hours of occupational therapy-related experience or observation
- At least 6 of the 8 required prerequisite courses completed at the time of application
- GRE scores above the suggested 25th percentile in Quantitative and Verbal and above a 3.5 in Analytical Writing
- Two or more experience sections completed in the OTCAS application (i.e. Employment, Volunteer/Community Enrichment, Leadership, etc.) This is not a requirement for admissions but is considered to strengthen a candidate’s Profile Admissions Score for all applicants. This is an optional section on the OTCAS application.
If an applicant meets the deadlines and eligibility requirements for admission to the OTD program but is not offered an interview or seat in the Early Decision process, the applicant will automatically be considered through the Regular Admission process. Early Decision candidates who are moved to the Regular Admissions category will not have to interview again.
Candidates accepted into the Methodist University OTD program through the Early Decision process are expected to accept the offer of admission and enroll into the program. The candidate is expected to withdraw any applications already made to other programs. If the candidate’s top choice for OT school is not the Methodist University OTD program, the candidate is encouraged to apply through regular admissions as there will be limited Early Decision seats available.
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.