Application Requirements

Doctor of Occupational Therapy Degree

The entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program has applied for accreditation and has been granted Candidacy Status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its web address is The program must have a preaccreditation review, complete an on-site evaluation, and be granted Accreditation Status before its graduates will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). In addition, all states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.

If you are applying to the OT program you must meet the following requirements in order to be considered for admission:

  • Completion of the OTCAS application.
  • Completion of an bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university. A minimum overall GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and a minimum prerequisite GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is required for consideration to the UC OT program. 
  • Completion of prerequisite coursework (listed below). A grade of C or better is necessary for each prerequisite course. 7 of the 11 prerequisite courses must be completed at the time of application (Anatomy & Physiology are counted as 2 courses).  Any remaining prerequisite classes must be completed before summer OT classes begin.  If you have completed any of the recommended (but not required) courses please fill out the OT Recommended Courses form and upload this document to your application in OTCAS.
  • Minimum of 40 hours of occupational therapy observation (not required for occupational therapy assistants with current state licensure). Must be completed in two settings for a minimum of 20 hours per setting.
  • Three recommendation letters (Professional or Academic/Non-Relative). For OTA applicants, one of the three recommendation letters must be from a supervising occupational therapist.
  • Completion of essay (500 word max) 
    • A statement of why you have selected occupational therapy as a career path.
    • A description of previous activities and experiences that are consistent with / supportive of your career choice.
    • A description of the personal attributes that you feel are most important for career success in occupational therapy.
    • A statement of the reasons for choosing the University of Cincinnati for your occupational therapy educational preparation.
  • Effective for the 2023-24 admission cycle, the Graduate Records Examination (GRE) is no longer required.
  • After your application is submitted and verified in OTCAS you will be required to pay a $65 supplemental application fee to the UC Graduate School.  You will receive an email from the UC Graduate School regarding this.
  • Applicants will then be prompted to complete an online interview in Kira Talent.

Prerequisite Coursework

All applicants seeking admission to the University of Cincinnati OTD program must have at 7 of the 11 prerequisite coursework completed at the time of application to be considered for admission (Anatomy & Physiology are counted as 2 courses).

Please review the information under each of the prerequisite categories below.  We have provided some of the UC course equivalent to help determine if your courses meet our requirements.  To look up how courses from other institutions transfer to UC use the transfer equivalency database.  Scroll to the bottom of the page to search for your institution. 

While we don’t offer transcript reviews as a service, we are happy to answer questions about individual courses that are not in the above linked databases.  For questions, please email and allow 72 hours for a response.  Please include university, course number, course name, description, # of credits, course objectives or syllabus.

Minimum 6 semester credits - These can be taken as separate course or combined. Both anatomy and physiology content must include all human body systems. Lab is not required but preferred. A gross anatomy lab is highly recommended but not required.

UC Course Equivalents: BIOL2001C, BIOL2002C, HLSC4015C

Introductory course. Minimum of 3 semester credits.

UC Course Equivalents: PSYC1001

Minimum 3 semester credits or a combination of coursework that covers the lifespan – physical, cognitive, emotional, and psychosocial human development.

UC Course Equivalents: PSYC2040, previously PSYC2005 &PSYC2007

Minimum 3 semester credits. Coursework covering the spectrum of mental illness.

UC Course Equivalents: PSYC2051 (online)

Minimum 3 semester credits. Coursework should provide in depth examination of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves as well as content on how disease or injury can affect the nervous system and an individual’s functioning. No lab is required

UC Course Equivalents: HLSC4020 (online), PSYC2070 (online), PSYC3024

Minimum 3 semester credits - Basic college level statistics course.

UC Course Equivalents: STAT1031 or STAT1034

Medical terminology course related to medical / health professions.

UC Course Equivalents: HLSC2012 (online)

Minimum of 3 semester credits.

UC Course Equivalents: ENGL1001, ENGL2089

Introductory course. Minimum of 3 semester credits

UC Course Equivalents: SOC1001, ANTH1001

Advanced level anatomy. Minimum 3 semester credits. Coursework should focus on anatomy of bones, ligaments, muscles, and joints and how these structures influence movement of the human body. 

UC Course Equivalents: HLSC2021C, HLSC2022C (online), HLSC3023C

Recommended [but not required] courses

  • Intro to OT (UC equivalent HLSC 3061)
  • Healthcare Ethics (UC equivalent HLSC 2011 - online or HLTH 2011)
  • Pharmacology (UC equivalent HLSC 3014 online)
  • Biomechanics (UC equivalent HLSC 3020 online or HLSC 3022C)
  • Sensation and Perception (UC equivalent PSYC 2030 online)

If you have successfully completed any of these courses please fill out the OT Recommended Courses form and then upload it in the documents section of your OTCAS application.  

Transfer Credit

Transfer credit is allowed for undergraduate prerequisite coursework. Transfer credits are not accepted for courses within the OT curriculum. There is no credit given for previous work experience.

International Student Requriements

Headshot of Victoria McQuiddy

Victoria McQuiddy

Occupational Therapy Program Director

+1 513 558 7484