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Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) Admission Requirements

Faculty member explains the components of a therapeutic activity*Applicants for 2020-2021 OTD Admission Cycle - Please see note at bottom of page regarding Observation Hours.  

Admission into the occupational therapy doctoral program (OTD) is competitive and selective due to a limited class size. Preference is given to Mississippi residents; out-of-state applicants will be considered only if there are positions available after all qualified Mississippi applicants are accepted. The program does not accept outside course work, work experience or experiential learning in place of any OTD curriculum course. The program does not offer advanced placement or admission based on ability to benefit.

In addition to the general admission requirements for UMMC and SHRP, candidates seeking admission into the occupational therapy doctoral program must also meet the following minimum requirements:

  1. Completion of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning or submission of a plan of study which outlines completion of a baccalaureate degree prior to summer enrollment. There is not a required major for the baccalaureate degree;
  2. Earn a minimum overall cumulative grade point average of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale;
  3. *Provide evidence of 24 hours of observation under an occupational therapist or an occupational therapy assistant in at least three occupational therapy clinical departments or practices within the two calendar years preceding the application deadline (click here for the observation form);
  4. Submit an official GRE report that includes verbal, quantitative and analytical writing scores;
  5. Complete all prerequisite courses with the following stipulations. By the application deadline, at least four (4) of the seven (7) prerequisite courses must be complete; completion of all seven (7) courses by the deadline is preferred. Students  must achieve a grade of "C" or better on each prerequisite course with a minimum prerequisite average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale; and
  6. Upon request, complete an interview with representatives from the Occupational Therapy Admissions Committee.
Prerequisite Courses*Number
of Courses
General Psychology13
Human Growth and Development or Developmental Psychology13
Anatomy and Physiology with Lab228
Physics with Lab14
Biological or Physical Science (300 level or above)13-5
Total prerequisites24-26

1 Statistics may include courses such as Elementary, Behavioral or Introductory. Survey courses are not acceptable. 
2 One course of pure human anatomy with lab AND one course of pure physiology with lab is equivalent to two combined anatomy and physiology with lab courses.
* Courses beyond the required prerequisites (above) which may be helpful to the student in the OTD program include: medical terminology; advanced science courses; psychology courses and/or research courses.

Click here to apply

*Observation Hours adjustments due to COVID-19. 

As we continue to monitor the coronavirus (COVID -19) and associated restrictions, our priority is the safety and well-being of our applicants and for the medical institutions who are committed to providing excellent care to our fellow Mississippians. While we must continue to uphold the integrity of our admission process, we also recognize the need to offer some flexibility as related to in person observation hours.

Please note that when it is possible to obtain in person observation experiences, we encourage you to do so. Nonetheless, the following exceptions have been established for earning observation hours.

Observation hours for the 2020-2021 OTD application cycle shall be accepted as follows:

  1. Applicants who have already completed the minimum 24 hours should upload documentation as instructed in the online application process.
  2. All other applicants are encouraged to complete as many in person hours as possible and to supplement any remaining hours by completing the virtual observation modules.  Click here to link to the virtual observation modules and instructions. 
  3. Applicants who are unable to secure in person observation hours may still meet the observation requirements through completion of the virtual observation modules as instructed. Please note that while you will not be penalized for a lack of in person observation hours – it may impact your interview performance. Therefore, you should prepare accordingly.

Once the minimum number of hours is complete, applicants should upload the in person observation form(s) and the entire virtual observation  reflection document together in one combined file/attachment to the admission application in Workday.