Occupational Therapy

Entry-Level Doctorate in Occupational Therapy (OTD)

The entry-Level Doctorate in Occupational Therapy (OTD) is designed for students with a Bachelor's or Master's degree who want to become licensed occupational therapists.

See Also: SHP Bulletin and Student Handbook

Admissions Requirements

Application Opens: July 21
Program Application Deadline: OTCAS Deadline March 29, 2024

Applicants are encouraged to apply early for the first round of selection. Interviews will be held September through December 2023. Under the Application Process section, read bullet #7 for our rolling admissions policy.

Application Process

  1. Create an account and follow directions listed at the OTCAS website once it opens in mid-July. For more information, visit the OTCAS Applicant Help Center.
  2. Complete and submit your OTCAS application as soon as possible. Official deadline is March 29, 2024; with rolling admissions, screening will begin as applications come into our system and interviews will commence in September, 2023.
    Note: Your application will be considered incomplete if there is missing information, transcripts and/or documentation by the published deadlines, and will not be processed because of the volume of applications received.
  3. Submit all official transcripts from each college and university that you have.
  4. Pay appropriate fees to OTCAS (varies depending on number of programs you select).
  5. After your OTCAS application is in the verified status, OTCAS will submit your application to UTMB and then UTMB will send an email to the applicant with the link for the supplemental application ($40). Your application will not be processed until the supplemental application is completed.
  6. UTMB Enrollment Services will process your prerequisites and submit your application to the department for admission review. Once received, applicants will be given a UTMB ID number to access MyStar.
  7. UTMB Occupational Therapy has a rolling admissions process; therefore, your application is open until you hear from us with a final decision. Applicants are encouraged to apply early so that they are selected for the interview process. If you do not hear from us by December 15, please contact us ot.admissions@utmb.edu to inquire about the status of your application.
  8. Top 150 candidates will be invited for interviews. Applicants will have a choice to attend a virtual or in-person interview. If you opt for a virtual interview, it is highly recommended that you arrange to visit the campus during one of the Open Houses or contact the department for a date when we will host an open house for selected applicants.
  9. Once accepted, all selected students will be required to undergo a background check for security clearance and pass a drug screen in order to matriculate at UTMB and other off-campus clinical training facilities.
  10. Admissions decisions are final; unsuccessful applicants may contact the Admissions chairperson for advice on how to strengthen their application and reapply in subsequent cycles/years. Requests for review will be assessed between April-June of each year. Email us at ot.admissions@utmb.edu.
  11. Admissions decisions are based on a folder review and interview score. This holistic review allows the top 60 scoring applicants to be accepted into the program following the total sum of folder review from OTCAS and interview score as a holistic process.
  12. The Occupational Therapy department will maintain a waitlist of all applicants who qualify for admission into the program. The waitlisted applicants will be offered full acceptance as and when the first 60 selected applicants decline their seats.
  13. The department admissions committee is comprised of 6 OT faculty members who are charged with selecting each incoming class based on folder review. Core faculty perform interviews on interview days.


The entry-level Doctorate in Occupational Therapy (OTD) program includes both didactic and clinical courses totaling 114 credit hours of coursework over a period of 3 years. Level I Fieldwork is embedded in the first 2 years with Fieldwork Practicums. Level II Fieldwork follows successful completion of all didactic courses with the capstone experience at the end of the 3rd year.

All fieldwork education and doctoral capstone must be completed within 24 months of completion of academic coursework.

  • Program Curriculum


We will continue accepting student application materials for the Entry-Level Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (OTD) up to the official application deadline - October 20.

As soon as you are able to send your documents, please do so.

We are here to help you as you work through the admissions and application process. Please let us know if you have any questions via email at ot.admissions@utmb.edu.

Observation Hours

Applicants must complete a minimum of 20 clock hours of observation, volunteer or paid experience in one or more occupational therapy settings prior to the application deadline date your application will still be accepted for review. Applicants are strongly encouraged to observe in a variety of OT practice settings to understand the scope of practice of the profession.

Site managed by the School of Health Professions • Last Updated: 28-JUL-2023