Entry-level OTD - FAQ

1. Have admissions requirements changed due to COVID-19?  Yes, we have made a few temporary adjustments to our admissions requirements du COVID-19:

  • We are not requiring OT observation hours. We encourage you to submit these if you have them. One of the purposes of the OT observation requirement is ensuring students have fully explored whether the occupational therapy profession is right for them. As a ‘Plan B,’ we’ve created an OT resource board, which you can explore to learn more about OT.
  • We are requiring the GRE for admission, but we will accept the GRE at home option.
  • We will accept Pass/Fail grades for the Spring 2020 and Summer 2020 semesters.
  • We are not requiring a recommendation from an OT, but it is recommended.

2. What documents are required to apply to the Baylor OTD program?  In order to complete and submit your application in the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS) you will be required to submit the following items into the OTCAS system: official transcripts, official test scores, writing sample, and letters of recommendation. 

3. What is the deadline for the OTCAS application?  The deadline for our application is November 3, 2021 for the cohort beginning in January 2022. The applications and all supporting materials must be submitted by the deadline for your application to be reviewed by the Admissions Committee. The Baylor OTD program will make offers of admission on a rolling basis, so applicants are encouraged to apply early within the application cycle.

4. What are the fees for the application?  The fee for the OTCAS Application depends on the number of schools you apply to as well as your application submission date. Note:  There is an additional application fee of $50.  A link to pay this fee can be found in OTCAS.

5. Where should I send my original transcripts and GRE scores?  All original transcripts should be sent to OTCAS. You will be able to self-report your GRE score on the OTCAS application. Official GRE score reports must also be sent to OTCAS. The Baylor OTD Program GRE code is 4686. After sending these items to OTCAS you will NOT need to submit them to Baylor as well.

6. How many letters of recommendation are required?The OTD program requires three letters of recommendation. It's recommended that one be from a licensed occupational therapist. The other two may be from someone of the applicant's choosing (e.g., professor, occupational therapist, employer/supervisor, advisor, mentor). We will not accept letters from family members, friends, clergy, or politicians. Applicants must arrange for references to be submitted electronically through OTCAS. Each evaluator providing a reference will be contacted using the email address provided in OTCAS by the applicant.

7. Is there an interview required?  Yes. The Admissions Committee will select and invite the most qualified applicants for an interview. All interviews are conducted using a video-based platform called Kira Talent. Students record and upload their responses to a series of standardized interview questions for review by program faculty and the Admissions Committee. Students must have a computer with webcam and internet service to complete this interview.

8. If I am accepted into the Baylor OTD program, is a deposit required?  Yes. deposits will be collected beginning in august, in accordance with guidelines set forth by the accreditation process.  A $500 non-refundable tuition deposit is required to guarantee your spot in the program. The entirety of this deposit will be applied to your tuition in the first semester of the program.

General Information

1. What type of OT degree is offered at Baylor?  Baylor offers a full-time, entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree (OTD). The curriculum is completed in 2 years and provides a learner-centered educational program across six academic semesters. The hybrid program infuses on-line technology with hands-on immersion lab sessions, fieldwork, and a doctoral capstone experience to prepare students for clinical practice. 

2. How can I reach the OT Admissions Office?  For questions related to admission to the program, please contact the OTD Admissions at Admissions@onlineotd.baylor.edu.

3. Is the Baylor OTD Program accredited?  The entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program has applied for accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE®) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). 

The program must be granted Candidacy Status, have a preaccreditation 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.

Questions regarding program accreditation may be directed to ACOTE® at: 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its Web address is www.acoteonline.org.

Prerequisite Courses

1. What are the minimum requirements for admission?  Please click here for a full and detailed list of admissions requirements.

2. Do GRE scores have an expiration date?  Applicants must complete the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) within 5 years of when they would begin in the OTD program if admitted. 

3. Is volunteer or work experience in occupational therapy required in order to apply?  No. The OTD program recommends a minimum of fifty hours of observation of an occupational therapy practitioner for admission. 

4. What prerequisites are required to enter the program?  Please click here for a full and detailed list of program prerequisites.

5. When applying to this program, can I still have prerequisites in progress?  You may apply with prerequisites in progress. You must have 19 credit hours complete to submit an application.

6. Can I substitute a similar course for one or more of these prerequisites?  The OTD Admissions Committee may consider requests for course substitutions on a case-by-case basis. The applicant must submit the course description and syllabus for review

7. Do you accept advanced placement (AP) credits in lieu of a letter grade to fulfill prerequisite courses?  Yes. The OTD program accepts all AP courses that were counted toward a student's undergraduate degree as fulfilling prerequisite requirements. These must be documented on official transcripts.

8. Do prerequisite courses have an expiration date?  Applicants must complete Anatomy and Physiology courses within the last 5 years prior to application or demonstrate ongoing work experiences that have kept this knowledge current (e.g., occupational therapy assistant, athletic trainer). All remaining letter-graded prerequisite coursework is acceptable no matter when the coursework was completed. However, we strongly recommend that applicants take refresher courses as needed to fully prepare themselves for our accelerated OTD program. 

9. Can Baylor OTD accept international students?  At this time, we can only accept U.S. Permanent Residents and U.S. Citizens. We cannot accept international students due to the hybrid nature of our program and the many restrictions placed on student visas.

Program Specific Information

1. What is meant by hybrid-model or blended-learning program?  Blended learning refers to an educational model in which the student learns through a combination of online and onsite delivery platforms. Using this format, our curriculum combines the best aspects of online learning activities and interactions, on-site laboratory sessions, and hands-on fieldwork I experiences that include simulation and standardized patients.

2. What sets Baylor’s OTD program apart from other programs?  Our program is the first two-year, hybrid Doctor of Occupational Therapy program in the country, and it’s these two unique aspects that set it apart from other programs. You can find more information below about specific aspects of our hybrid program, or please join us for a live informational webinar where you can learn more. Register here.

3. How much of the program is completed in distance learning versus onsite?  Approximately 50% of the program is completed as distance education using a variety of online learning platforms, 20% is conducted as onsite hands-on lab immersion sessions, and 30% is completed as fieldwork education and doctoral capstone experiences. 

4. Will students need to make their own housing arrangements for on-campus labs and clinical placements?  Students will be responsible for making their own housing arrangements, but you will have an opportunity to connect with others in your cohort so you can share accommodations or rent an Airbnb to save money on travel costs.

5. What can I expect from online classes?  Course faculty use the Canvas Learning Management System (LMS) to create and deliver a wide variety of online teaching and learning activities. Each course includes both asynchronous and synchronous learning activities. Asynchronous activities such as recorded lectures, readings, and assignments, provide students with considerable flexibility in creating and managing their weekly schedule. Synchronous live classes are held each week using the WebEx learning platform to create an online virtual classroom. Faculty use a variety of synchronous learning activities during these class periods such as live discussions, faculty demonstrations, case studies, and group projects, to deepen student understanding and develop clinical reasoning skills. 

6. What is the minimum GPA for successful completion of the OTD program?  Students are required to maintain an overall 3.00 GPA to successfully complete the program.

7. What types of settings will I be exposed to during my fieldwork education experiences?  Students receive exposure to a variety of practice settings that demonstrate the breadth, depth and continuum of occupational therapy practice across the lifespan. During the Level I fieldwork experience, students gain experience in traditional and emerging practice areas which include acute care rehabilitation, pain science and much more. Students participate in simulated and faculty-led sessions, intended to develop clinical reasoning and promote the advancement of student organizational skills, therapeutic process, safety awareness and ethical OT practice.  Students work with the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator (AFWC) to determine their placements for the two, Level II Fieldwork sessions.  

8. Can I complete my fieldwork experiences close to where I live?  While we strive to keep students close to their geographical location, we factor in many other considerations when placing students into their fieldwork sites (e.g. professional and personal needs, specialty exposures, site availability). The optimal location to improve a student's clinical skills is always paramount when determining their clinical education placement. The Academic Fieldwork Coordinator (AFWC) works with each student to determine optimal clinical placement. 

9. Can I work while in the program?  No.  We recognize that some students may desire to maintain some level of employment while enrolled in an OTD program with a flexible blended-learning format. However, our students are full-time students in every sense of the term with course loads ranging from 16-24 credits per academic semester. The academic demands of this accelerated curriculum and the travel requirements for onsite lab immersions and fieldwork education will make employment virtually impossible for the majority of students. In fact, working more than a few hours per week would almost surely negatively affect your academic performance and is strongly discouraged.

10. Are there scholarships available for this program through Baylor  There are no scholarships available for the OTD program from Baylor University; however, our Student Financial Services department will help each student find the student loans that they need. Additional information related to Student Financial Service can be found here.

11. Where can I learn more?  Please join us for one of our upcoming informational webinars. Click here to complete the online registration.