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Occupational Therapy

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Dr. Shirley Wells
Program Director
Phone: (956) 665-2474
wellssa@utpa.edu
Department of Occupational Therapy
Health Science Human Services East Bldg. - HSHE 1.130
occtherapy@utpa.edu
Phone: (956) 665-3081
Fax: (956) 665-2476
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FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

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Must I have a specific undergraduate major to be accepted to the program?
No. You must have earned a B.A. or B.S. degree in any field of study (other than occupational therapy). Your application will be evaluated and reviewed based on its merits and in the context of the applicant pool for that year. Examples of what other students have majored in at the undergraduate level include biology, kinesiology, psychology, sociology, anthropology, liberal arts, and anatomy. Regardless of the major, make sure you have taken the necessary prerequisites for admission into the program within 5 years of application to the program.
Do I need to take the GRE?
Yes. The Revised GRE must be taken within 5 years of the application deadline. The minimum required score is: 150 verbal, 140 quantitative and 2.0 writing. Official GRE Scores are sent to The University of Texas Pan American Graduate School but are self-reported on OTCAS. The applicant’s score is factored into the overall evaluation of the application. If a component is missing a score, the application will not be reviewed and will be considered incomplete.
Can I apply before I have completed all the prerequisites?
No. All prerequisites must be completed by the admission deadline. If prerequisites are not completed then the application is considered incomplete and is not reviewed. Prerequisites may be taken at any accredited university, college or community college. Internet on-line courses are acceptable. AP credit must appear on official college transcripts and be equivalent to the appropriate college-level coursework. Course substitutions must first be approved by the program Admission Chair.
How many volunteer hours or work experiences do I need?
There is no set number of volunteer hours or work experiences that you need to complete in order to be considered for admission into the program. Nor are you required to complete hours in occupational therapy through work or observation. However, it is vital that you have been exposed to volunteer and/or work experiences. (Observations are not considered as volunteer or work experiences.) Your volunteer and/or work experiences are submitted through the OTCAS application.
How much competition is there to be accepted in to the MS in Occupational Therapy program?
Acceptance to the graduate Occupational Therapy is very competitive. Currently the admitted class size is 22-24 students each year. The Admission Committee seeks a diverse mix of students representing a variety of ethnic, geographic and economic backgrounds. We admit a class that is the most academically promising and able, and whose varying perspectives will serve to enrich the occupational therapy community.
What is the application process?
To be considered for admission to the MS in Occupational Therapy program, applicants must:
  • Have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and 3.0 GPA on all prerequisite coursework.
  • Have a Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university by May 31st (or before) of the year you are applying. A degree in any area of study will be accepted.
  • Complete all prerequisites within 5 years of the February 1st application deadline.
  • Have a minimum score on the Revised Graduate Record Examination (GRE) of 150 on the verbal reasoning, 141 on the quantitative reasoning and 2 on the analytical writing within 5 years of the application deadline.
  • Apply for admission to the Graduate School of UT Pan American before applying to the Occupational Therapy program. This must be current.
  • Apply to the OT program through the Centralized Application Service for Occupational Therapy schools (OTCAS) online (http://www.otcas.org). All required materials must be completed and submitted online by the February 1st application deadline – official transcripts, three references, volunteer hours and/or work experiences, and Personal Statement.
  • Complete FERPA Consent Form (PDF) and submit to the Occupational Therapy Department.
Is this an “easy” major? Will I have to study?
No, this is not an easy major. Yes, you will have to study. The program is rigorous and quite demanding of your time. You will need to be a serious student. Graduate students in Occupational Therapy are expected to maintain an overall 3.0 GPA in all OT coursework. If this is not acquired or maintained the OT student become ineligible to continue and will be dismissed from the program.
Can I take some of the classes in the evening or on the weekend?
No. The MS in Occupational Therapy curriculum has been designed to be a full-time activity for the students. Courses are generally structured for the traditional day times. Most courses are blocked to make the best use of time on campus. However, courses may be scheduled for evening times to accommodate clinical exposure and experiences.
Can I work and attend classes?
The MS in Occupational Therapy program has been designed to be a full time-activity for the students. It consists of a very demanding course load with a great deal of time spent in class and clinical experiences. There are also special seminars, guest lectures, events, and activities that may be scheduled on relatively short notice.
What are my chances of getting a job after graduation?
Very good. At the end of fieldwork, current graduates are typically offered 1-3 jobs. You will likely have several offers from which to choose - locally, statewide, or nationally.
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