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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

  • Completion of a 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 3.0 (based on 4.0).
  • Experience in Occupational Therapy: Complete a minimum of 40 hours of volunteer, paid work or telehealth 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). NOTE: Due to COVID-19, this requirement has been reduced to 8 hours. Applicants with fewer than 8 hours of observation with an occupational therapist can watch a curated list of videos that have been vetted to ensure that they are reflective of current practice. After viewing, submit the signed attestation form to
  • Letters of recommendation: Submission of three letters of recommendation (evaluations) attesting to the applicant's academic and professional abilities: One from an occupational therapist (OTR) who was involved in their occupational therapy experience hours, and from a college-level instructor who instructed them in class. The third is of the applicant's choice and should be an individual who can attest to the skills, abilities and professionalism of the applicant. Letters of recommendation are submitted through the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS). NOTE: Due to COVID-19, applicants unable to obtain observation hours with an occupational therapist can submit a letter of recommendation (evaluation) from an individual who provided supervision to them and can attest to their professional abilities and skills.
  • Evidence of graduate level writing skills in response to self-evaluation essay questions. Applicants will submit an essay (personal statement), discussing their strengths, skills, and experiences that will contribute to their success in the OTD Program and their professional goals for becoming an occupational therapist, and submit responses to Pitt-OT essay questions. All essays are submitted through the OTCAS application.
  • 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.

NOTE: As of the 2020-2021 application cycle the GRE is no longer a requirement for the OTD Program.

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 three letters of recommendation (evaluations).
  • Provide evidence of graduate level writing skills in responses to self-evalutation essay questions. 
  • Additional requirements for international applicants

Additional Information

Admission to the OTD Program is only available on a full-time basis. The OTD Program begins in August (fall term) 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. 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 August. 

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.