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Doctor of Occupational Therapy FAQ

OT students learn orthopedic assessment techniquesDo 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. 

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. 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.

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 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.

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

Yes, applicants must submit an official GRE report that includes verbal, quantitative and analytical writing scores by the application deadline. All students are encouraged to apply regardless of the GRE scores.

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 these schools are acceptable. The prerequisite course GPA and the overall degree GPA must be a 3.0 to apply.

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.

How do I find out if my prerequisite courses transfer?

The Office of Student Records and Registrar determines the courses that can be transferred. Call (601) 984-1080.

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

The University of Mississippi is a state supported school and, therefore, preference is given to Mississippi residents. The Office of Student Records and Registrar determines the status of residency and may be contacted at (601) 984-1080.

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.

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.

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

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 are found in the online application or via a link on the application page. Observation forms must be signed and received by the Office of Student Records and Registrar 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.

How many are accepted each year into your program?

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

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.

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.

Can I apply to more than one program at UMMC?

Students may apply to multiple programs at UMMC. Each admissions process is separate.

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 Aid 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.

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 Jan. 15. All applicants pay a nonrefundable application fee of $25. Admissions information may be obtained from the Office of Student Records and Registrar.

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.