Applying to OT School

Hello there! If you’ve come here looking for advice about how to successfully apply to an occupational therapy program, you’re in the right place!

All of the posts in my “Gotta Get Into Grad School” series can be found here, and they cover topics ranging from writing essays to getting recommendations to using OTCAS. All of these posts are based on my VERY RECENT experience applying to U.S. occupational therapy programs in the 2013-14 cycle, and I hope that the information and resources here will make your journey to becoming an OT a little easier!

Gotta Get Into Grad School Series


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19 thoughts on “Applying to OT School

  1. shaylinguist May 21, 2015 / 8:51 pm

    So accurate =) Although I think you need a post on racing to the GREs at top speed in the rain. It was a critical experience.

    -ps: trusted editor five!

    • lej1123 May 21, 2015 / 9:04 pm

      You’re right — the part about swerving into a Sweetfrog right after will help millions! lol
      P.P.S. Thankful editee return five!!

  2. kaa1416 June 29, 2015 / 8:22 am

    Thank you, your posts really helped me! I am applying to OT school for the 3rd time and your posts helped me improve my application and better my understanding of the process. I wish I could hire someone like you to review my materials! Thanks again 🙂

    • lej1123 July 1, 2015 / 9:47 pm

      Your determination is awesome, and I’m sure the third time will be the charm! I’m glad my resources could help you, and best of luck in this application cycle!

  3. mallyjayne July 13, 2017 / 4:40 pm

    Hello! So, I’ve been accepted to a newly accredited OT school in Michigan, Davenport Univeristy. However, the results of the class’s NBCOT will not be available for a few more months, and I have to decide or not to go there before then. What should I do? Is it unwise to commit to a school when their board pass rates are yet to be seen?

    • lej1123 July 25, 2017 / 3:49 pm

      Thanks for commenting! That’s a tough question, and without more information about your personal situation or the program itself, I’m not really in a position to offer advice. I suggest talking with the OT program’s director and students to help guide your decision making. You may also want to check out forums related to this topic in the OTD Forums on the Student Doctor Network website. It’s a tough choice, and I wish you the best of luck!

  4. Kristin Collison (@KristinCollison) August 7, 2018 / 2:40 pm

    Thank you so much for your posts! You are truly inspiring. I am an undergrad still getting my pre requisites done and I’ve already had to retake Anatomy and the second time around I received a B in the class, but I just learned I’ll have to retake Physiology as well. I am hoping to receive an A the second round of Physiology but I am feeling so discouraged. I feel like I will never get into grad school, do you have any helpful advice on how to make my application show I am dedicated even though my gpa may be low? This has been my dream since I was 14 and I am now 20 but right now it seems so hard to accomplish. Thanks again! – Kristin

    • lej1123 August 23, 2018 / 9:38 pm

      Hey Kristin – thanks for commenting! It’s exciting to hear that you’ve been pursuing your dream of being an OT for several years, and you’re getting closer and closer as you complete your college courses! Even if your grades or GPA aren’t outstanding, I think one of the most powerful tools you can use for your OT school applications is a strong, well-reasoned, and purposeful essay. Wherever you choose to complete your shadowing experiences, take notes and consider how what you’re learning and how the patients you are seeing will impact your future as a professional. I would also recommend establishing a relationship with a career counselor who you trust to give you specific guidance on how to strengthen other elements of your application.

      Finally, don’t give up!! Taking courses is important, but being passionate and driven matters too. Even if you don’t pass a course on the first try or get into OT school on the first try, just know that if it’s something you want to do, you will get there. Feel free to email me at if you’d like to talk more about the OT school application process or anything else, and best of luck to you!

  5. Joslyn Amaya April 6, 2020 / 12:12 am


    So I applied to OT school in 2018 and I didn’t get in. I did get an interview for one of the schools. I did feel that my responses for the interview questions were horrible. I took a year off applying and I started working as behavioral therapist for children on the spectrum. I also graduated with a 3.5 Gpa. I am doing More observations and retaking my Gre right now. And I am hoping to apply this round 2020. Is there any advice you can give me?

    • lej1123 April 6, 2020 / 9:00 pm

      Thanks for commenting. It’s pretty disappointing to not get into a program on the first round, but you are doing all the right things by finding a job, improving your GRE score, and getting more observation hours. Unfortunately, without knowing more about your specific situation — for example, whether the issue was with your essay, interviews, overall application, observation hours, recommendation letters, etc. — the best advice I can give you is to ensure that your second round of applications is as strong as possible. So make sure any recommendations you get from current OTs are VERY strong (not lukewarm, and definitely not bad!!), have multiple people and experienced writers (like at your university’s alumni/career center) review your application essay/materials, carefully read and follow all application instructions to a T! If you are interested in obtaining mentorship through the process and your career as an OT, you might also look into the COTAD Minority Mentorship program ( Good luck!

  6. eunice September 27, 2020 / 11:56 am

    Hello I recently came across your blog while applying for OT school and I just wanted to say thank you for your insight/sharing information!
    I couldn’t find the answer to the question- Can I enter “Activities and Accomplishments” with bullet points, like on a resume?
    Would you suggest writing it out in bullets or simple sentences like a resume or would you

    • lej1123 October 4, 2020 / 6:16 pm

      Hi Eunice! For ease of reading, I prefer to write things out in bullet points, like on a resume. It’s easier on the eye and allows you to highlight achievements more effectively than using a block of text.

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