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Applicants to the OTD Program apply online using the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS). See Application Information below to learn more about the OTCAS application process.

Baccalaureate Degree

Students are admitted into the Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) Program after successful completion of a baccalaureate degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (based on a 4.00 scale).

Prerequisite Courses 

Complete the following prerequisite courses within the past 5 years with a minimum grade of B and a minimum GPA in these prerequisites of 3.00 (based on a 4.00 scale).

  •     Human anatomy & physiology (with a laboratory component), 8 credits    
  •     Lifespan Human Development, 3 credits     
  •     Abnormal Psychology, 3 credits     
  •     Statistics, 3 credits   

    Note: AP credits are not accepted as fulfillment of prerequisite courses

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

GRE ® General Test scores within the past 5 years at or above the 50th percentile. Please arrange to send your GRE scores to the "University of Pittsburgh OTCAS" using institution code 1894. Visit the GRE web site for more information about the GRE.

Experience in Occupational Therapy 

Complete a minimum of 40 hours of volunteer or paid work experience in at least two different occupational therapy practice areas (e.g., pediatrics, geriatrics, medical rehabilitation, psychiatric rehabilitation, home healthcare, school system).

Letters of Recommendation

Submit three letters of recommendation attesting to the applicant’s academic and professional abilities (including one from an occupational therapist and one from a college-level instructor). Letters of recommendation are submitted through the OTCAS application. 

Self-Evaluation Essays 

Demonstrate evidence of graduate level writing skills in responses to essay questions. Submit an essay (personal statement), discussing your strengths, skills, and experiences that will contribute to your success in the OTD Program and your professional goals for becoming an occupational therapist, and submit responses to Pitt-OT essay questions. All essays are submitted through the OTCAS application.

Technical Standards/Essential Skills 

Attest to satisfactory performance of the technical standards/essential skills required for successful completion of the OTD curriculum. Students admitted to the OTD program must review the Technical Standards and submit a signed form at the time of matriculation.

View more on Technical Standards/Essential Skills

Application Information

Applicants to the OTD Program apply online using the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS). To learn more about the OTCAS application process and to create your OTCAS account, please visit the OTCAS portal.  

Admission to the OTD Program is only available on a full-time basis. The OTD Program begins the first week in June of each year. We encourage applicants to apply early in the application cycle, which begins in mid-July each year. Prerequisite courses must be completed by January 1. Official transcripts must be sent directly to OTCAS. OTCAS does not accept paper recommendations. Letters of recommendation are submitted electronically through the OTCAS system. The deadline for applying to the OTD Program is February 1; however, we encourage applicants to apply before this deadline as the Department of Occupational Therapy will begin reviewing applications in November.  Applications are reviewed when all materials, including transcripts and letters of recommendation, have been received and verified by OTCAS and GRE scores are available. OTCAS uses a verification process that can take several weeks. OTCAS will verify your documents before releasing them to the University of Pittsburgh. Applicants should confirm their status as verified with OTCAS. The Department of Occupational Therapy begins reviewing complete and verified applications and offering admission in November for the program starting the following June. 

For questions about the receipt, processing, and verification of your application, please contact OTCAS Customer Service at 617-612-2860,

International Applicants

  • Academic Credential Evaluation Information - The Academic Credential Evaluation must include a course by course evaluation and be submitted with your application to OTCAS. If an international applicant has earned an undergraduate or graduate degree in the United States, the Academic Credential Evaluation is not required.
  • Verification of English Language Proficiency - Applicants for whom English is not their first language must take the iBT (the Internet-based version) of the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System), or have a master’s degree from an English-speaking university. The minimum TOEFL score accepted is 90 and the minimum IELTS score is Band 7.0. TOEFL scores must be sent electronically through ETS to institution code 2927. IELTS scores must be mailed to the Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Pittsburgh, 5012 Forbes Tower, Pittsburgh, PA 15260.

PLEASE NOTE: Applicants who already have a baccalaureate degree in occupational therapy and are interested in obtaining a master’s degree should apply to the Master of Science (MS) in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences with a concentration in Occupational Therapy.