Doctor of Occupational Therapy

The Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) degree prepares students for lifelong and rewarding careers. Graduates are prepared to play their part in improving quality of life for people who experience difficulties and challenges to everyday living.

Our high-quality program is provided at an academic medical center and the curriculum is rigorous and engaging. Educational technology enhances classroom learning, group work develops professional skills, and experiential learning refines practice skills.

Interprofessional education is a hallmark of the program and involves connections with other health professionals across the campus and in the community. Research shows that working in teams produces better outcomes. Teamwork supports innovation and promotes excellence.

Beginning in the first semester, fieldwork experiences are an integral part of the curriculum and allow opportunities for direct observation and participation in a variety of practice settings and contexts. These experiences help integrate learning from the classroom and lab and enhance capacity for becoming a proficient occupational therapist.

Semester seven and eight are two fulltime 12-week rotations at facilities throughout the state and across the country working under the direct supervision of a clinical instructor. The final semester involves a doctoral capstone course. The 14-credit capstone course provides an in-depth, customized experience specific to the interests, skills, and professional goals of the occupational therapy student. The capstone experience fosters advanced occupational therapy skills through engagement in a doctoral capstone project. With faculty mentorship, students will select and plan an individualized experiential component project with emphasis in advanced clinical practice, research application, population-based health, leadership, program and policy development, or education.

Accreditation

The entry-level Occupational Therapy Doctoral degree program has applied for accreditation and has been granted Candidacy Status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its Web address is www.acoteonline.org. The program must have a pre-accreditation review, complete an on-site evaluation, and be granted Accreditation Status before its graduates will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). In addition, all states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.

Requirements

Students entering the OT program are evaluated by their GRE scores, undergraduate academic performance, and successful completion of prerequisite courses. A minimum of a 3.0 cumulative GPA is required.

We also assign credit for volunteer/work experience. In order to obtain credit, applicants must complete a minimum of 30 hours (preferably in two or more settings such as clinics, hospitals, schools, home health, etc.) in occupational therapy.

Three references (submitted through OTCAS), one from the occupational therapy practitioner who supervised volunteer or work experience. The second and third references should be provided by major advisors or professors.

GRE scores can take up to 4 weeks to delivered and should be received by the deadline. The GRE test code is 4792.

To be competitive, applicants should demonstrate a strong academic background, strong GRE scores, and good life experience activities such as: additional OT volunteer work over and above the minimum 30 hours, volunteering in a community setting other than OT, significant leadership experience, research activity, scholarship history and significant academic or community volunteer awards.

Prerequisites

A bachelor's degree and 20 hours of prerequisite coursework are required.

 

Prerequisite Courses

Semester
Hours

Human Anatomy (must include lab) within 10 years

4

Human Physiology (must include lab) within 10 years

4

Statistics

3

Lifespan Human Development

3

Abnormal Psychology

3

Sociology/Anthropology

3

Medical Terminology (recommended)

1

TOTAL

21

Special Notes:

For a guide of Frequently Approved Prerequisites, click here.

Combined Anatomy and Physiology courses are accepted; however, you MUST take Anatomy and Physiology I and II to fulfill the separate Anatomy and Physiology requirements, including the labs.

Anatomy and Physiology prerequisites need to be rigorous classroom-based courses, online Anatomy and Physiology lab will not be accepted. Advanced Placement courses are not accepted for Anatomy and Physiology prerequisite courses. Prerequisite courses must be from an accredited institution.

The Office of Enrollment Management is able to offer unofficial transcript evaluations from March 1st - June 30th.  Please call Enrollment Management at 843-792-2536 to speak with an admissions specialist or email them to oesadmis@musc.edu.

Before applying to our program, please be aware that a felony conviction may affect your ability to sit for the examination administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy after you graduate, and subsequently your ability to attain state licensure. The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy offers an early determination to assess examination eligibility. Go to www.nbcot.org and read the Early Review section for details.

Application Checklist

1. Minimum of a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale. 

a. Must check Pre-Requisite course equivalents here prior to applying.

2. Complete university application. Access to supplemental application
    materials will be available in the application and sent in a follow up email
    after you submit your application.

3. Complete OTCAS Application:

a.    Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended for all
               college credit courses (Submit on OTCAS)

b.    Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores (at least 4 weeks
               before the application deadline) (Submit on OTCAS with GRE code
               4792)

c.    Resume (Submit on OTCAS)

d.    Personal Statement (Submit on OTCAS)

Admissions Timeline:

  • MUSC Application Opens: July 1
  • OTCAS Application Opens: July 16
  • MUSC Application, OTCAS Application, and Application Materials
    (including official GRE scores) must be received by: Nov. 2
  • Interview Offers Start: Mid-December
  • Admissions Offers: Mid-February
  • Orientation and Classes Start: Late May

Applicants receive additional profile points on their application for unique life experiences and service experiences in the AmericCorps, the Peace Corps, or prior military service.

Please note: All above information must be received on or before the deadline an admission decision can be made. It is the applicant's responsibility to review the progress of his/her application by viewing the Application Progress Portal and ensure that all application materials (including official reference forms, official GRE scores, and all official transcripts are received by the application deadline).

International Applicants

MUSC’s OT degree program is unable to admit international students requiring an F-1 visa. Applications will only be accepted from U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or those holding other valid nonimmigrant visa classifications that allow participation in lawful study while in the United States.

Application Deadline

Start Term Application Type Available Deadline
Summer 2021 Regular July 1, 2020 November 15, 2020