OTA Admission Requirements

Admission to the Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program is on a selective basis; qualified applicants will be accepted on a case by case basis into the OTA program during each fall semester. Each new cohort begins in the spring semester. Program applications are accepted between July 18th and November 31st of each year. Summer session students will be subject to an adjusted application deadline.

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Applicants will submit a completed package containing a completed OTA program application, a resume with three sealed reference forms, current CPR certification, and a biographical handwritten essay.

To be admitted to the OTA program, applicants must:

  1. Meet all admission requirements to CMU and be fully admitted. This includes all high school and college transcripts. CMU Application
  2. Applicants must meet certain academic standards, as the OTA curriculum prepares graduates to take a national certification examination. Applicants are expected to have completed a college prep program. Students are eligible to enroll in occupational therapy courses when the following requirements have been met:
    1. Applicants must complete the Pre-OTA semester course requirements:
    2. BI109 (BI107/BI205), PY101, AH100, and AH324
    3. Applicants submit the application for admission to the OTA program and participate in the interview process.
    4. ACT: Taken within the last three years of the date of application to the program, with a composite score of 20. Students can choose to substitute a low or unavailable ACT score with a TEAS score. The ACT can be waived and substituted with the TEAS exam if the student has an Associate or Bachelor's level degree or if the student's ACT is greater than 3 years old.
    5. TEAS: A TEAS V score will be accepted for students having taken the ACT greater than 3 years prior to application or having completed 12 or more credit hours of college level course work (excluding dual credit). A score of 60 or higher is required. The TEAS-V is administered by the Division of Health Professions for a nominal fee.
    6. Applicants must score 20 or above on the ACT English sub score, OR have previously completed ENG110 and ENG111.
    7. Applicants who have earned a bachelor degree and carry a GPA of 2.75 are eligible for consideration for acceptance into the program without submitting an entrance exam score.
    8. GPA: A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 for all college coursework or a GPA of 3.0 for High School graduates. A minimum GPA of 3.0 in Science coursework is required. Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.5. (Grades will not be rounded to next percentage).
    9. CPR: Students must have a current CPR certification through application date. Certification is acceptable through The American Heart Association
    10. General Education Coursework: All general education courses must be completed with an earned grade of "C" or higher.
    11. OTA Pre-admission & Science Coursework: Applicant must have completed defined general admission coursework, prerequisite science coursework and Introduction to Occupational Therapy prior to acceptance into the OTA program. All prerequisite coursework must be completed or in progress before or during the semester of the deadline. Courses with a grade of "D" or "F" will not count towards any Allied Health program
    12. Grades in Science Courses: Must maintain at least a "B-" in all science course work. Letters of academic reference are suggested.
      1. Completion of the following prerequisite courses with a minimum GPA of 2.7 or letter grade of B-. Anatomy and Physiology with Lab, Introduction to Occupational Therapy, and Kinesiology. Students must have earned a grade of "B-" or better in no more than two (2) attempts per course
      2. Anatomy and Physiology must have been completed within five years of applying to program; students may explore the opportunity to avoid repeating this course by choosing to test out via a comprehensive exam of Anatomy & Physiology material.
      3. Questions about course equivalencies for transfer purposes may be directed to the registrar's office or directly to the OTA Program Director prior to submission of your packet.

Selection Process

  1. The program coordinator and faculty members shall review all applications to the OTA program.
  2. Each completed applicant's file includes:
    1. Completed application form
    2. Check or money order made out to CMU S.O.T.A.
    3. Resume
    4. American Heart Association BLS CPR documentation
    5. Handwritten Biographical essay
    6. References (to be sealed and signed by reference across the seal)
  3. Applicant files are divided into 3 tiers based on AH100 Advisory Board interviews, examination scores, essay scores, and GPA values.
  4. Applicants may be accepted either "fully" or "pending successful completion of pre-requisite requirements." In addition, applicants may be admitted as an alternate. There will be at least two alternates per cohort. Students that are ranked as #16 and #17 will be offered the position of alternate. Alternates may reapply to the program during the next application process. Alternates are encouraged to meet with an OTA faculty advisor to confirm their continued interest in the program, delivery of an updated application with updated references and a reinstatement application fee delivered to the center for Allied Health.
  5. All applicants accepted or on the wait list are notified of their status and are provided information regarding their responsibilities in completing mandatory requirements, including carrying out criminal background check, urine drug screens, and other mandatory items of applicant responsibility. Please note, additional cost to the student may be incurred.
  6. An applicant forfeits her or his reserved seat in the program if she or he
    1. Has not completed the mandatory requirements (other than coursework) prior to Dec. 15;
    2. Does not meet the minimum requirements encompassed by the criminal background check and urine drug screen; or
    3. Drops out of any required pre-requisite coursework or does not meet the academic requirements for that coursework (accepted pending).
  7. Forfeited seats will be awarded to the next applicant or alternate from the applicant group who has completed the mandatory requirements.
  8. Applications are considered only in the year in which they are submitted.
  9. Applicants will be ranked on a point value system to achieve fairness and to promote objectivity in the selection process.
  10. In the event that two applicants are tied for placement an admissions committee will be responsible for making the final decision regarding the applicant selection. The committee may be comprised of (1) faculty member, (1) advisory board member, and an administrative official from within CMU, i.e. provost, department chair, or dean.

After Acceptance

  1. Students must provide vaccination records for Rubella, Tetanus, Mumps, Polio, Chicken Pox, and submit proof of or waiver of Hepatitis B vaccination
  2. Students must provide proof of physical examination to ensure that they are physically capable of performing the required minimum physical standards of the occupational therapy assistant student
  3. A criminal background check must be completed-students will be notified via mail or email regarding the process of completing this requirement. Students are responsible for the cost of this process. *
  4. A drug screen will be completed prior to clinical participation- students will be notified via mail or email correspondence regarding the process of completing this requirement. Students are responsible for the cost of this screen.*
  5. Students are required to be covered by a personal health insurance

*An unsatisfactory result on the criminal background check or drug screen may result in an individual's inability to participate in clinical education experiences. Clinical education experiences are required for successful completion of the program.

**A felony conviction may affect a graduates eligibility for certification and credentialing.