Apply to the Program
Our Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) professional program is a three-year graduate training program designed for students who have undergraduate degrees in a discipline other than occupational therapy. This degree prepares graduates to become practicing occupational therapists in a variety of settings. The OTD is a cohort-based program, with new students beginning once per year at the end of May.
CSU-OT follows a holistic admissions model. This refers to University mission-aligned selection processes that take into consideration the applicants’ experiences, attributes, and academic performance, as well as the value an applicant would contribute to learning, practice, and teaching.
Holistic review refers to mission-aligned admissions or selection processes that take into consideration the applicants’ experiences, attributes, and academic metrics as well as the value an applicant would contribute to learning, practice, and teaching (CSU Holistic Graduate Review Guide)
University Diversity Statement
Colorado State University is committed to embracing diversity through the inclusion of individuals reflective of characteristics such as: age, culture, different ideas and perspectives, disability, ethnicity, first generation status, familial status, gender identity and expression, geographic background, marital status, national origin, race, religious and spiritual beliefs, sex, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, physical appearance, medical diagnosis, documentation status, and veteran status with special attention given to populations historically underrepresented or excluded from participation in higher education. The University’s commitment to diversity is a longstanding one that reflects our role and mission as a land-grant institution (CSU Inclusive Excellence)
CSU OT considers the following holistic criteria:
- Cumulative GPA
- GPA in prerequisite courses
- Number of credits completed in prerequisite courses
- Personal Statement (submitted to OTCAS)
- Resume (submitted to OTCAS)
- Experience observing Occupational Therapy
- Three Recommendations (submitted to OTCAS)
- Short answer responses to CSU-specific prompts
The review process consists of calculating an admissions score for each applicant based on the factors identified above and then ranking applicants based on these scores.
CSU OT does NOT consider the following:
- GRE scores or other academic testing
*Applicants’ references and personal statements submitted through OTCAS may be considered when making final decisions pertaining to scholarships, graduate teaching assistantships, and graduate research assistantships.
Deadlines and Application Instructions
There are two application forms that are required in order for your application to be considered complete: OTCAS (Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service) and the Colorado State University Graduate School Application. Our priority deadline to submit BOTH of these applications as complete is October 15 at 11:59 PM MT.
Applicants who submit before the priority deadline will be notified of our decision in early November via email to the email address used to complete their CSU Graduate School application. Our final deadline is December 15 at 11:59 PM MT, with applicants notified via email in early January.
*Please note that applications submitted after the October 15 priority deadline will be reviewed, but may be deferred to the next admissions cycle (Summer 2025) at the Department’s discretion. Applications that are not submitted in full by December 15 are incomplete and will not be considered for admission.
- All applicants must have a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale to be considered for enrollment per the rules established by the Graduate School at Colorado State University.
- For applicants currently completing their first undergraduate degree, satisfactory completion of that degree must occur prior to summer admission (May 28, 2024) into the doctoral program.
- For applicants who are still completing prerequisite coursework, satisfactory completion of all coursework must occur prior to beginning summer classes in the doctoral program (May 28, 2024). The minimum acceptable grade for any prerequisite is a C; however, grades of A and B are recommended.
To successfully submit this application, you must include: Application #1
Prompt: Share how your lived experiences (e.g., personal, professional, cultural, etc.) have influenced your interest in pursuing OT.
This document should include the following information as applicable:
- Education, other professional training and licenses
- Complete work history including internships and other major life experiences
- Research experience
- Leadership experience
- Extracurricular activities
- Honors and awards
- Diversity, equity and inclusion
- Exceptional individual experience or characteristics
Official transcripts for completed semesters from all institutions are required.
Submission of transcripts:
- Request official transcripts to be sent only to OTCAS
- Do not request official transcripts to be sent to Colorado State University or the Department of Occupational Therapy
Transcripts for college-level courses from US and Canadian institutions:
- Transcripts are required from every institution you have attended even if courses are listed on another transcript of an institution to which you have transferred.
- Transcripts are required from every institution you have attended even if courses do not apply to prerequisite requirements.
- College transcripts are required for all college-level courses taken while in high school. The transcript of the credit-granting institution is required.
Transcripts for study abroad US institution coursework:
- If study abroad courses were sponsored by the institution in the US and the courses with credits and grades are listed on the US transcript, transcripts from the international institution are not required.
- If courses with credits and grades do not appear on the US transcript, unofficial transcripts are required from the international institution. These unofficial transcripts can be sent to the Department of Occupational Therapy at Colorado State University.
Transcripts for degrees received at international (non-U.S. and non-Canadian) institutions:
- Course-by-course equivalency report from an international transcript evaluation service must be received by the department by the application deadline date.
- Official international transcripts are not required to be sent to the department.
These can be from former professors or university staff with whom you worked closely, supervisors, or OTs who you may have shadowed. Please do not submit recommendations from friends or family members.
List of Completed and In Progress Prerequisite Coursework
Coursework does not need to be complete by the time you submit your application. In the prerequisite section of OTCAS, you are able to enter coursework that you plan to take in the fall 2024 and spring 2024 semesters. If admitted, all prerequisite coursework must be complete by the time you begin courses in late May 2024. Please see here for more information.
Answers to three CSU-specific Short Answer Questions
You will be asked to respond to each of the following in 3-5 sentences:
- Consistent with the mission of Colorado State University, a land-grant institution, CSU Occupational Therapy strives to develop reflective and intentional practitioners and researchers. What excites you about attending CSU-OT?
- CSU-OT understands that our differences and our respect for alternative views and voices are our greatest source of strength. Describe a time you received feedback from a peer, mentor, instructor, or supervisor with which you did not agree. How did you handle it? How did these conversations/experiences influence you?
- Describe a time you took on a formal leadership role (e.g., project, position, sports). Describe your strengths in that role. What were your successes? What would you do differently now and why?
Explanation of any OT Shadow Experiences
Not required, however, priority is given to those with OT shadowing experiences, especially in more than one setting
Application #2: CSU Graduate School Application (Opens for the 2024 Summer semester on August 21, 2023)
Note: Please upload the same personal statement as was submitted to OTCAS
Frequently Asked Questions
In addition to the materials listed above, we also require proof of English proficiency. You can read more about what is required here.
OTCAS application does not need to be verified by the October 15 deadline; however, the application and fee must be submitted by this date for priority review. See above for other required application materials.
The GRE is not required and will not be used in the application review process.
We do not have interviews.
Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory or Pass/Fail Coursework Related to COVID-19
Courses marked Satisfactory or Pass will be allowed for all coursework taken during 2020-21 (spring, summer, and fall semesters), including prerequisites. Applicants will identify prerequisite courses marked Satisfactory or Pass on the CSU-OT Departmental Application. These will be reviewed to ensure that courses otherwise meet CSU prerequisite standards. Applicants are reminded that admission to the program remains competitive and considers GPA. Applicants are encouraged to weigh the benefits and risks of taking Satisfactory or Pass marks instead of letter grades. The impact will be different for each individual applicant.