Doctor of Occupational Therapy (Entry-Level)

OT student works with adult patient on cookie cutter project

Occupational therapists help people engage in activities that give their lives meaning. As an occupational therapist, you will be a health care provider who asks your clients “what matters to you?” and then designs solutions to help them succeed.

The entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) degree educates professional occupational therapists by providing them with a strong foundation of knowledge, encouraging active learning and critical reflection, and fostering integrity and compassion. Our program will prepare you to:

  1. Enter the field ready to practice with confidence, creativity and caring.
  2. Continue on a path of scholarly inquiry as you practice the art and science of occupational therapy.
  3. Practice according to ethical principles that benefit clients individually as well as society as a whole.
  4. Provide leadership within the profession of occupational therapy.
  5. Contribute to health care and social policies of the state, the nation and the world.

Graduates of the program 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 graduate will be an occupational therapist, registered (OTR). In addition, all states require licensure to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. A felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to sit for the NBCOT Certification Examination or attain state licensure.

Students must complete all Level II fieldwork and the doctoral capstone within 29 months of initiating the first fieldwork.

Program requirements

The entry-level OTD degree requires 90 credit hours over 9 semesters in 3 years to complete. The program begins once a year in the summer session, and applications are accepted the preceding year.

See full program requirements in the Graduate Catalog.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Doctor of Occupational Therapy (entry-level)

Program Contact

Admission Deadlines

The program begins once a year in the summer session. Applications are accepted the preceding year.

  • July 1 – Apply Texas application opens
  • July 22 – Occupational Therapist Centralized Application Service (OTCAS) application opens
  • October 1 – Final deadline (CST 11 pm) – OTCAS application must be complete and all documents received. It is strongly recommended that applicants submit by September to allow for timely verification.
  • November 19 or 20 - Virtual interviews by emailed invitation only. If you are invited, you will be assigned a date and time.

If you are applying on or near October 1st, you will want to make certain that you have submitted your OTCAS and Applytexas applications with transcripts sent to both OTCAS and TWU.  Please scroll down to the “How to Apply” section for important details.

If your application process is complete, you should get an email saying that it has been sent to the admissions committee for review, so please check your email regularly. In early November you will receive another email regarding application status and possibly an invitation for an interview.

Admission Requirements

  • Baccalaureate degree completed at the time of enrollment.
  • Minimum overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 calculated on the last 60 credit hours of your bachelor’s degree at the time of application (no post-bac hours will be included in the last 60), or minimum overall GPA of 3.0 on 12 or more graduate credit hours.
  • Report from the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) taken within five years of application date. This requirement is temporarily suspended in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Prerequisite courses GPA of 3.0 or higher and no grade below C. Advanced Placement credit will not be accepted. All prerequisite courses must be completed at the time of application. For prerequisite equivalency approvals, email the course title, university attended, and course description (required). Prerequisite Courses:
    • Elementary Statistics
    • Anatomy and Physiology I & II Lecture / Lab
    • Lifespan Developmental Psychology
    • Abnormal Psychology
  • Competency in Medical Terminology demonstrated by a passing grade in a medical terminology course (college credit or continuing education certificate). This may be submitted after acceptance, prior to OTD program entry.
  • Complete a minimum of 20 contact hours with one licensed occupational therapist within two years of application.
    • In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, applicants may have less than the required minimum of 20 observation hours. It is highly recommended that applicants who have not met the observation hours visit to review the "Education & Careers" and the"Practice" information. Here applicants can learn more about the profession and areas where occupational therapists work which may assist in responding to the application essay and interview.
  • A minimum of three evaluator references.  One reference must be from the licensed occupational therapist the applicant conducted their minimum 20 contact hours with. The other two evaluators should be academic and/or professional references.  Applicants should select evaluators that will show their breadth of experience from different sites or institutions.
    • Applicants who were unable to meet the minimum contact hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic are may select an alternate professional evaluator who can attest to their suitability for a career in healthcare.
  • All students in the TWU OTD Program must comply with background checks, random drug screening, and immunization requirements in order to progress through experiential learning and fieldwork.

TWU Alumni Advantage Admission Requirements

Texas Woman’s University students or graduates who qualify may apply for an Alumni Advantage into the OTD program. In addition to the above requirements, the Alumni Advantage Admission requires:

  • Texas Woman’s University baccalaureate degree be completed at the time of enrollment with a Pre-OT track degree plan in Child Development, Family Studies, Health Studies, Kinesiology Exercise Science, or Psychology.
  • A minimum of 30 hours completed at Texas Woman’s University at the time of application.
  • Overall GPA of 3.7 on the last 60 credit hours at the time of application.
  • Prerequisite courses GPA of 3.5 or higher and no grade below B.
  • One of the evaluator references must be from a TWU faculty member in the pre-OT major under whom the applicant has completed a course of study.

How to Apply

  1. Apply for admission to the TWU Graduate School. IMPORTANT: When you complete the Apply Texas application, you must select:
    • Target University: Texas Woman’s University (Denton)
    • Semester of Entry: Summer (for the following year)
    • Major: Occupational Therapy (OTD-Entry Level) with your campus of choice - Denton, Dallas, or Houston.
      • Do not submit multiple applications for different campuses.  Only one application will be considered.  The campus designation you select may not be the campus to which you are assigned and can be changed internally as needed.
  2. Take the GRE General Test and submit your GRE scores to TWU (code 2215). This requirement is temporarily suspended in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  3. Submit TOEFL and TSE/Test A (if applicable).
  4. Apply to The TWU School of Occupational Therapy through OTCAS. If you experience technical difficulty completing the OTCAS application, visit the OTCAS help page.
    • Use a permanent email address when applying to OTCAS.
    • Observation hours must be manually entered into OTCAS. Backup documentation is not required.
    • Notify the three Evaluators they will receive a reference request from OTCAS. Applicants are encouraged to follow-up with evaluators to ensure the references are submitted prior to the deadline.

Technology Requirements for the Program 

Page last updated 3:04 PM, October 8, 2021