Applying in 2 Years (typically fall of Sophomore Year)
- Look through the Pre-Health Handbook.
- Choose courses very carefully to meet occupational therapy schools' prerequisites but avoid overloading yourself with difficult courses (grades are much more important than they were freshman year).
- Meet with your advisor once and keep him/her abreast of your progress and problems.
- Take a look at the GRE schedule online and plan when you will take the exam in the future.
- Begin to plan summer experiences. Where will you get your shadowing experience?
- Meet with your advisor to discuss summer plans such as research, shadowing, and classes.
- Actively set up summer experiences early in the semester before the mid-term crunch.
- This would be a good time to shadow an occupational therapist.
Applying in 1 Year (typically fall of Junior Year)
- Touch base with your advisor to bring him or her up to date on your plans. If you have any questions regarding course selection, contact your advisor early.
- Look at the current Pre-Health Handbook to check for changes from last year that might affect you.
- Register for GRE to be taken in April or May.
- Register for a GRE course or buy GRE study books.
- Touch base again with your advisor.
- Begin summer planning; shadowing is a must if you have not done so already.
- Make good course selections for second semester.
- Complete a draft of your personal statement.
- Approach trusted professors for letters of recommendation. One of your letters should come from an occupational therapist.
- Make a tentative list of occupational therapy schools to which to apply.
- Update your resume.
- Finalize list of individuals who will write letters of recommendation.
- Meet with a pre-health advisor to outline your personal essay for the OTCAS application.
- Make sure you have taken the GRE by this point so that you have the scores back before you apply.
- Begin working on your OTCAS personal statement.
- Ensure that the writers of your recommendation letters know when their letters are due.
- Submit request for transcript to be sent to OTCAS.
- Complete personal statement and have it reviewed by a pre-health advisor.
In the Year of Application
- Decide on the basis of your first GRE scores whether you will want to take them again.
- Check periodically to see if letters of reference have been submitted.
- Send polite 'reminder' letters to recommendation writers if letters are not in (check with pre-health director for assistance with any delayed letters of recommendations).
- Draw up a flow grid or neat checklists to chart the progress for each of your applications from initial contact through interviews. Create folders for each school.
- OTCAS will begin accepting applications in mid-July.
- Save money for interview trips.
- Begin calling schools to ensure that applications are complete.
- Talk with your advisors about potential questions that will be asked during your interviews, review strengths and weaknesses in your application, and discuss how to deal with your weaknesses.
- Make sure all of your secondary applications are completed.
- Interviews are scheduled by OT programs.
- Interviews continue into the spring semester. But if you do not receive any interviews, alternate plans should be considered. Talk to a pre-health advisor before re-applying.
- Acceptances sent!
- Things to consider when choosing your school include quality, location, and financial aid package.