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Clinical Participation Requirements

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   


  • AP credits are not accepted as fulfillment of prerequisite courses.
  • S grades are not accepted as fulfillment of prerequisite courses (with the exception of prerequisite courses taken during Spring 2020).

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 scale).
  • Experience in occupational therapy: Complete a minimum of 12 hours of volunteer, paid work and/or telehealth experience. Experiences can occur in one or more occupational therapy practice areas (e.g., children and youth/pediatrics, health and wellness, productive aging/geriatrics, rehabilitation, mental health, work/industry, home care). NOTE: Applicants having difficulty obtaining volunteer, paid work or telehealth experience hours may view approved videos to obtain up to 12 experience hours. See OT Video Attestation for the list of approved videos.  After viewing the videos, upload the signed attestation form in the OTCAS application.
  • Letters of recommendation: Submission of three letters of recommendation (evaluations) attesting to the applicant's academic and professional abilities. Letters of recommendation are submitted through the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS).
    • Letter #1 - from an occupational therapist (OTR) who was involved in the applicant's experience in occupational therapy hours.
    • Letter #2 - from a college-level instructor who instructed the applicant in one or more classes.
    • Letter #3 - from an individual who can attest to the skills, abilities and professionalism of the applicant.
  • Evidence of graduate level writing skills. Applicants will submit a personal statement through the OTCAS application. In your personal statement explain why you selected occupational therapy as a career and how this degree relates to your immediate and long-term professional goals. You are strongly encouraged to include how your lived experiences (e.g., personal, professional, etc.) have influenced your interest in pursuing occupational therapy and how your strengths and skills will contribute to your success in the OTD program.  
  • 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 April 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 June 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.  
  • See below for additional requirements for internationally educated students. 

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,

International Students

In addition to the above, internationally educated students will be required to provide:

Academic Credential Evaluation:

  • Applicants who have completed the equivalent of a baccalaureate degree or higher at an institution outside of the United States are required to provide an official third-party course-by-course evaluation of those academic credentials verifying Grade Point Average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale. The evaluation is an application requirement.
  • Upon admission official transcripts of all original language academic records for all post-secondary educational endeavors are required. If original documents are issued in a language other than English, certified English translations must also be submitted. A final transcript or diploma showing completion of the undergraduate degree must be submitted prior to starting all SHRS graduate programs.
  • The School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (SHRS) requires credential evaluations from one of the companies listed below. SHRS neither endorses nor recommends any company over another. Electronic submission is preferred.
  • International applicants are not required to submit an evaluation for degrees earned in the United States. Applicants who have attended an English Canadian institution should contact the SHRS Admissions Office.

Verification of English Language Proficiency:

  • International graduate applicants must possess proficiency in English at a level that enables them to succeed in graduate-level studies. Applications will not be processed until the required test results are submitted, or eligibility for an exemption has been verified. Only original official test scores received directly from test administration agencies are accepted. Electronic submission is preferred. Copies of test results are not acceptable.
  • Request official English Language Proficiency test scores be sent to the University of Pittsburgh from one of the following options. Minimum scores accepted and instructions for sending official test scores follow:

Verification is required unless the following apply:

  • The applicant is a citizen of a country whose official language is English.
  • The applicant has completed a degree program at a regionally accredited institution in the U.S.
  • The applicant is not a citizen of a country whose official language is English but has completed a degree program at an institution outside of the U.S. where the language of instruction is English and where the official national language of the country in which the institution is located is English.
  • Additional requirements for international applicants

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) program in Occupational Therapy.