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Our Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program is a three-year, clinical program for students seeking entry-level professional education.

Admission Requirements - COVID Updates

Students applying to the program must obtain a bachelor's or master's/graduate degree prior to entrance into the OTD program, though they may apply during their senior year of undergraduate study. For more information on applying as a sophomore or junior undergraduate student, refer to the Occupational Therapy Scholar program.

In addition to the degree, you must complete certain prerequisite coursework prior to beginning the program. All coursework must be completed and a bachelor's degree obtained by June 1 prior to beginning the OTD program.

Important Deadlines for the 2020-2021 Admission Cycle

  • Preferred Deadline: October 1, 2020
  • Final Deadline: February 1, 2021

Application Process

Enrollment is limited to 32 students selected through a competitive application process. Applicants are responsible for verification or receipt of all documents to OTCAS and the Graduate School.

  • Applicants must apply to the Occupational Therapy program through the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS). Your OTCAS application must include:
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • Three letters of recommendation/reference. No references from family members will be accepted.
    • One reference is recommended from a healthcare provider, preferably an occupational therapist.
    • One reference is recommend from an instructor/advisor.
  • Personal statement
  • Work or volunteer experience in occupational therapy or related area (recommended minimum of 30 hours in at least three different areas of practice) - Optional tracking form
  • Community involvement, leadership, and diverse cultural experiences
  • Official GRE scores submitted using the USD OT/OTCAS Code - 1216. GRE scores can be no more than 5 years old.
  • In addition to the OTCAS online application, all applicants are required to apply to the Graduate School by paying a $35 application fee. In order to submit the application fee, please go to https://apps.usd.edu/administrative/deposits/ and select USD Graduate Application Fee ($35.00).

Questions about the application, forms, or processing can be directed to:
Rita Humphrey, Assistant Admissions Officer
605-658-6356 or Rita.Humphrey@usd.edu

Application Requirements

  • 6 of 9 prerequisites must be completed at application submission with no more than two prerequisites to be completed after the fall 2020 semester
  • 2 of 3 science prerequisites completed at application submission
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 (as calculated by OTCAS based on a 4.0 scale)
  • Prerequisite GPA of 3.0 (as calculated by OTCAS based on a 4.0 scale)
  • Science Prerequisite GPA of 3.0 (as calculated by OTCAS based on a 4.0 scale)
  • No grade below "C" in prerequisite courses

Applicants with a GPA below 3.0 may submit their application for review. Merit of the application will be determined by reviewing grades for the most recent 64 semester hours.

Interview Dates for the 2020-2021 Admission Cycle

November 6, 2020
December 4, 2020
January 15, 2021
February 12, 2021
March 5, 2021
Other dates may be added as needed

WICHE Applicants

The University of South Dakota participates in the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education’s Professional Student Exchange Program. For more information about this program, including states that participate in occupational therapy programming, please access a handout at: https://www.wiche.edu/tuition-savings/psep/psep-faq/.

Initial Acceptance

Upon contingent acceptance into the physical therapy program, applicants are required to complete three steps to secure your seat.