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Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) FAQ

Do you require a bachelor's degree for admission into the OTD program? If so, is there a specific bachelor's degree required for applying to the OT program?

Yes, a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited school in the US is required for admission into the Doctor of Occupational Therapy program; however, the type of bachelor's degree is at the discretion of the applicant. 

Does my bachelor's degree have to be completed prior to the application deadline?

No, a bachelor's degree does not have to be completed by the application deadline; however, in the application, you are required to submit a plan of study which outlines completion of the bachelor's degree by end of the spring semester. Note that by the end of the fall semester of which the application is submitted, at least four (4) of the seven (7) prerequisite courses must be complete; completion of all seven (7) courses by the deadline is preferred. Courses beyond the seven required prerequisites which may be helpful to the student in the OTD program include: medical terminology; advanced science courses; psychology courses and/or research courses

If I have already earned a bachelor's degree, can I go back to a community college to take my prerequisites?

Yes, community college prerequisite courses are accepted; note that the 300 level science courses are only available at the senior college/university level.

Where should I take my prerequisites?

Prerequisite courses may be taken at any regionally accredited school in the United States, including universities and community colleges. Online courses from accredited schools are acceptable. The prerequisite course GPA and the overall degree GPA must be a 3.0 to apply.

Will it improve my application if I get a degree from Ole Miss?

No. Preference is not given to applicants from a particular school or program.

How do I find out if my prerequisite courses transfer?

The Office of Enrollment Management determines the courses that can be transferred. Call (601) 984-1080.

Do you require the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) for admission? If so, is there a minimum score required?

The GRE test is no longer required as a part of the admission process for the OTD program.  

What is the average GPA accepted into the program?

The average GPA typically exceeds a 3.5. This means that students with higher and lower GPAs are accepted into the program. All students with a 3.0 GPA or higher are encouraged to apply.

How many applicants receive an interview?

The Admissions Committee of the Department of Occupational Therapy determines the exact number of individuals who are offered an interview. Historically, this has been approximately twice the number of available admission slots.

When and how will I be notified if I get an interview?  Will I be notified if I don’t get an interview?  When are interviews?

Interview invitations and other official communication is provided by email. Interviews are conducted in the spring semester (typically February-March) of each year.

How many are accepted each year into your program?

Currently, the Department of Occupational Therapy accepts 40 students one time a year.

Do you accept out-of-state residents? How can I establish residency?

For admission purposes, the School of Health Related Professions at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) may give preference to residents of Mississippi, as defined by Miss. Codes §§ 37-103-7 and 37-103-13, and IHL Policy 610. The School of Health Related Professions currently only accepts admission applications from individuals who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.

The Office of Enrollment Management can answer questions regarding residency and how to establish residency.  


When and where may I get an application?

Applications are available only online beginning July 1 of the year preceding enrollment with an application deadline of October 1 of the year preceding enrollment. All applicants pay a nonrefundable application fee of $25. Admissions information may be obtained from the Office of Enrollment Management.

I'm having technical trouble with my online application. Whom do I call?

For technical difficulty, please reach out to the Help Desk at 601-984-1145. 

Where do I go to observe? Who sets it up?

For the current application cycle, a virtual observation option (see website) is available as an alternative to, or in conjunction with in-person hours. In-person observation must be done with either an occupational therapist or a certified occupational therapy assistant. It is up to the individual applicant to set up his or her own observation hours. The documentation forms for both the virtual option and the in-person observation are found in the online application or via a link on the application page. All observation forms must be received by the Office of Enrollment Management by the application deadline.


Do I have to observe eight hours in the same facility?

No, the observation requirement is a minimum of 24 documented hours from at least three occupational therapy clinical departments or practices within the 2 calendar years preceding the application deadline. This could be 4 hours in 6 settings, 8 hours in 3 settings, etc. 


What can I do to improve my chances of being accepted?

The admissions committee prefers candidates with a high GPA, strong interpersonal skills, and an ability to communicate knowledge of and an aptitude for the profession of occupational therapy. The Department of Occupational Therapy does not distinguish between applicants based on where courses are taken. Previous work experience as a COTA or OTR, while helpful to the applicant, is not given special consideration in the application process. Everyone is evaluated equally based on the published admission criteria.

Is there a waiting list?

No, students who are not accepted for admittance during one enrollment year must submit a new application for any other enrollment year. This includes all forms, documentation and transcripts.

May I work while attending the OT program?

The faculty of the Department of Occupational Therapy strongly recommends that students not work while going through the program. To be successful, most students must treat the program like a full time job. Average classroom time may exceed 30 contact hours a week (i.e., Monday-Friday) with additional readings, papers and projects required.

Is there an option for part-time, online or evening coursework?

No, we do not have a part-time, online or evening option for students. The OTD curriculum requires full-time study, plus six months of full-time fieldwork and 16 weeks in a clinical doctoral experience. Classes generally take place during the week between the hours of 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Is financial aid available?

The Office of Student Financial Services can supply information only after an individual is accepted into the occupational therapy program. Call (601) 984-1117. Other sources may be identified through the American Occupational Therapy Association or the American Occupational Therapy Foundation.

What if I am accepted into the program and decide I want to withdraw after classes start?

Because the curriculum is progressive in nature, students are not allowed to withdraw from a single class without withdrawing from the entire program. When a student becomes interested in withdrawing from the program, the UMMC Bulletin provides details regarding the institution’s withdrawal policy and related tuition refunds. Additionally, withdrawal dates are highlighted on the academic calendar provided on the School of Health Related Professions webpage.