OTA Admission Requirements

The OTA program accepts 15 students each year. 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 Spring semester. Each new cohort begins in the Fall semester. Program applications are due April 15th of each year. Priority deadline for CMU students, March 15th of each year. Applications are accepted and reviewed through OTACAS.

OTACAS application documents include:

  • Resume with references
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Personal Essay
  • Transcripts

Students are welcome to apply to the OTA Bachelor of Science entry level degree however, CMU will not admit students into the occupational therapy assistant bachelor-level degree program until Candidacy Status has been obtained from the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE ®). Students should still register for required pre-requisite courses to be ready for acceptance into the OTAB once Candidacy Status has been achieved. We submitted our application for candidacy in August 2020 to the Accreditation Council of Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). Our first class is projected to start Fall 2021.

Students may apply to be admitted to the OTA program at the end of their Sophomore year if the following criteria are met:

  1. Meet all admission requirements to CMU and be fully admitted. This includes all high school and college transcripts. CMU Application
  2. Applicants submit the application for admission to the OTA program by the deadline.
  3. Applicants submit and ACT with cumulative score of 20 or above or ATI TEAS score of 60 or above.
  4. Applicants who have earned a bachelor of science degree are eligible for consideration for acceptance into the program without submitting an entrance exam score.
  5. Applicants with college level or dual credit courses must have earned a 2.75 cumulative GPA for all college level coursework.
  6. Students have the right to petition for consideration of alternative courses. Contact the OTA Program Director for instructions regarding petitioning.
  7. Applicants must meet certain academic standards, as the OTA curriculum prepares graduates to take a national certification examination. Students are eligible to enroll in occupational therapy courses after formal acceptance into the program. The following General education requirements and prerequisite science coursework requirements must be met for application into the program:
    1. OTA preadmission and science coursework criteria:
      1. Applicants must achieve a grade of B-(2.67 out of 4) or better in all prerequisite courses. Prerequisite courses include Human Anatomy with lab, Physiology with Lab, Introduction to Occupational Therapy, General Psychology.
      2. Human Anatomy with Lab and Human Physiology with Lab must be completed within the last five years.
      3. Introduction to Occupational Therapy (AH100) must be taken at CMU. Students who have not completed this course may still apply, applicants may be offered “pending” or “provisional” acceptance contingent upon completion of this course. Students will be provided the opportunity to complete this course in an online format during the summer session prior to the fall program start.
      4. All prerequisite coursework must be completed or in progress before or during the semester of the deadline. Students that are accepted on a provisional basis may take a course during the summer semester prior to the fall semester. Courses with a grade of "D" or "F" will not count towards any Allied Health program.
      5. General Education Coursework: All general education courses must be completed with an earned grade of "C" or higher
    2. Other courses:
      1. Students may transfer a Kinesiology or Human movement course to meet the Anatomy and Kinesiology course requirement. This course must be completed with a grade of C or better. This course must be completed prior to or during the first semester of the OTA program coursework sequence.
      2. 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.
      3. Additional required general admission courses include Medical Terminology, Introduction to APA, and Statistics. These courses may be completed within the OTA program course sequence.
  8. OTA Candidates will complete an interview upon request from the OTA department.

Admission Selection Process

  1. A maximum of fifteen (15) students are accepted each year. The accepted cohort starts each Fall semester.
  2. The program director and faculty members shall review all applications to the OTA program.
  3. Applicant files are reviewed and sorted into tiers based on interviews, examination scores, essay scores, and GPA values.
  4. Applicant files in each tier are divided into two groups: “current, active CMU applicants” and “transfer applicants”. Applicant files for “current, active CMU applicants” are considered first for admission in each tier.
  5. Applicants may be accepted either "fully" or "pending successful completion of pre-requisite requirements” or accepted “provisionally” if courses are in progress. 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. 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. All applicants accepted or placed as alternates/wait list candidates will be notified of their status and will be provided with information regarding their responsibilities in completing mandatory requirements, including urine drug screens, and other mandatory items of applicant responsibility.
  7. 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 August 15th of each year.
    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).
  8. Forfeited seats will be awarded to the next applicant or alternate from the applicant group who has completed the mandatory requirements.
  9. Applications are considered only in the year in which they are submitted.
  10. If 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 will be notified of their acceptance in the OTA program during the same term they applied.
  2. Students accepted with provisional criteria will enroll in and complete AH100 Introduction to Occupational Therapy over the summer session prior to the Fall semester.
  3. Students must provide vaccination records for Rubella, Tetanus, Mumps, Polio, Chicken Pox, and submit proof of or waiver of Hepatitis B vaccination.
  4. CPR: Students must have a current CPR certification through application date. Certification is acceptable through The American Heart Association.
  5. 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.
  6. 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. *
  7. 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.

*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 graduate's eligibility for certification and credentialing.