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 7501 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 510E Bethesda, MD 20814. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-6611 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. 

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 a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university prior to the start of the OT program. 
    • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and 
    • a minimum prerequisite GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale are required for consideration to the UC OT program. 
  • Completion of prerequisite coursework (listed below) - revised for 2024/2025 application cycle.  
    • A grade of C or better is necessary for each prerequisite course. 
    • 5 of the 9 prerequisite courses must be completed at the time of application (Anatomy & Physiology are counted as 2 courses).  
    • All remaining prerequisite classes must be completed before the start of the OT program in May  
    • 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.
  • Completion of 40 hours minimum of occupational therapy observation in two settings for a minimum of 20 hours in each setting. Sample Observation Hours Log Sheet
    • Completion of at least 20 observation hours at the time of application submission.  Completion of the any remaining observation hours by start of OT program in May. 
    • Occupational therapy assistants are not required to submit proof of observation hours but are required to submit proof of passing NBCOT Exam.  
  • Submit 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.
  • Completion of statement of the reasons for choosing the University of Cincinnati for your occupational therapy educational preparation.
  • Pay the University of Cincinnati Graduate College Supplemental Application fee of $65 (international applicants $70).  You will receive an email from the UC Graduate School once your application is submitted and verified by OTCAS..
  • Complete the online interview in Kira Talent by October 9.  You will receive an email to complete this after you pay the UC Supplemental Application fee.

***Please note  that a felony conviction may affect a graduates ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.

Prerequisite Coursework

Starting in the 2024/2025 application cycle all applicants seeking admission to the University of Cincinnati OTD program must have at least 5 of the 9 prerequisite coursework completed at the time of application submission 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 and BIOL2002C

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 - 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

Recommended [but not required] courses

  • Musculoskeletal Anatomy or Kinesiology (UC equivalents HLSC 2021C, HLSC 2022C online, HLSC 3023C)
  • Neuroanatomy/Biological Psychology/Psychobiology (UC equivalents HLSC 4020 online, PSYC 2070 online)
  • Intro to OT (UC equivalent HLSC 3061)
  • Healthcare Ethics (UC equivalents HLSC 2011 - online or HLTH 2011)
  • Pharmacology (UC equivalent HLSC 3014 online)
  • Biomechanics (UC equivalents 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

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Occupational Therapy Program

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