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Admission Requirements


Completion of the following prerequisite courses within the past 5 years with a minimum grade of B and a minimum GPA in these prerequisites of 3.0 (based on 4.0).

  • Human Anatomy & Physiology (with a laboratory component), 8 credits  
  • Lifespan Human Development, 3 credits     
  • Psychopathology/Abnormal Psychology, 3 credits     
  • Statistics, 3 credits   

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

Additional Requirements

  • Students are admitted into the Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) Program after successful completion of a baccalaureate degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (based on 4.0).
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE General) scores taken within the past 5 years (at or above the 50th percentile preferred). NOTE: The GRE requirement has been waived for applicants applying for the 2020-2021 cycle.
  • Experience in Occupational Therapy: Complete a minimum of 40 hours of volunteer or paid work experience. These experiences should occur in at least two different occupational therapy practice areas (e.g., children and youth/pediatrics, health and wellness, productive aging/geriatrics, rehabilitation, mental health, work/industry, home care).
  • 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 Procedures

Application Deadline: Applications must be e-submitted in OTCAS no later than February 1 to be considered for admission. Applicants are encouraged to apply by November 1 as the Admissions Committee begins reviewing and offering admission in November/December. The OTCAS application cycle opens in mid-July. Prerequisite courses must be completed by January 1.

All applicants must:

  • Apply online using the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS). To learn more about the application process and to create your account, please visit the OTCAS portal.  
  • Submit 3 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. 
  • Provide evidence of graduate level writing skills in responses to self-evalutation 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.
  • Arrange to send your GRE scores to the "University of Pittsburgh OTCAS" using institution code 1894. NOTE: The GRE requirement has been waived for applicants applying for the 2020-2021 cycle.
  • Additional requirements for international applicants

Additional Information

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. Official transcripts must be sent directly to OTCAS. OTCAS does not accept paper recommendations. Letters of recommendation are submitted electronically through the OTCAS system. Applications are reviewed when all materials, including transcripts and letters of recommendation, have been received and verified by OTCAS and GRE scores (NOTE: The GRE requirement has been waived for applicants applying for the 2020-2021 cycle) 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,

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) Program in Occupational Therapy.