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How to Apply

Ready to apply? Learn about the requirements and two-step application process for the entry-level clinical doctorate in occupational therapy from the University of Kansas.

Application materials are accepted beginning July 21 for the class entering the program during fall semester of the following academic year. The application cycle closes October 1 at 11:59 p.m. (CDT).

Our application process includes two components: separate online applications submitted to OTCAS and the KU online application platform. Learn about the application requirements and selection process below.
Early Admission Option for Kansas Residents
Highly qualified students in Kansas may secure their spot in the program by mid-September, allowing them to avoid applying to other programs with later admission cycles.
  • The minimum criteria for early admission applications are a grade-point average of at least 3.80 and to be a resident of Kansas.
  • Early admission application materials are accepted July 21-August 31 for the class entering the program in August of the following fall.
  • All application materials must be received by August 31 for an application to be complete and qualified for review to be considered for early admission.
  • If materials are submitted after August 31, the application will be reviewed during the standard application period July 21-October 1.

Step 1

KU uses the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service. Visit OTCAS to begin your application process.

Application fee

You will pay an application fee to OTCAS. The total amount due is dependent on the total number of schools selected for application.

Materials to submit

Prepare the following items to be submitted electronically to OTCAS:

  1. Academic transcripts – An official copy of transcripts from each college and university attended must be submitted for evaluation. Review the required coursework. International transcript analysis is the responsibility of the applicant and will take additional time to complete the process. Review more information for international applicants.
  2. Personal statement – Write about why you chose occupational therapy (OT) as a career and how a degree in OT will support your personal and professional goals. Applicants are encouraged to explain how personal, professional and educational background/experience has prepared them for this career decision and a future in occupational therapy. This is your opportunity to present yourself to the selection committee!
  3. Letters of recommendation – Three separate references are required and should be written by a professional, advisor, instructor, supervisor, coach or other adult contact who can attest to the applicant’s potential success in the program and future contributions to the occupational therapy profession. 

Step 2

Once all OTCAS materials have been received and verified, you'll receive an email with instructions to begin the final step of the application in Slate. The email you receive will include a link to submit additional application materials. A supplemental KU application fee is required.

Please prepare to submit the following:

  1. Prerequisite course work and plan for completion – Student may apply to the program while completing prerequisite course work. All prerequisite course work meeting minimum GPA requirements must be completed before students can officially begin the program.
  2. KU program statement of interest – In less than 500 words, applicants provide information about specific interest in the occupational therapy degree program at the University of Kansas. Unlike the personal/professional statement submitted to the OTCAS, this statement should be specific about the KU program. A text field will be provided for the response in the online application.

Selection Process and Interviews

The standard application window opens July 21 and closes October 1 for the class entering the program during fall semester of the following academic year. Materials from both OTCAS and Slate must be received by October 1 at 11:59 p.m. (CDT) for an application to be complete and qualified for review.

We base our selection of applicants on:

  • Overall GPA.
  • Personal statements.
  • Volunteer/work experience and recommendation letters.

Although our program does not require proof of volunteering or shadowing experiences, we review applicants holistically and recommend that applicants include any shadowing and related volunteer experiences in their application materials.

Patterns of past or current academic performance that include multiple withdrawals, failures or repeats of coursework as noted on official transcripts may indicate the applicant is at risk of not succeeding in the intense and demanding KU occupational therapy degree program.

If you're chosen to move on to the next step of admission, you will receive an email invitation to interview.

Additional Application Requirements

Non-refundable Deposit

After signing a contract of acceptance to the program, you will be asked to pay a $400 non-refundable deposit.

CPR Certification Current Health Insurance Requirements

Once accepted, you must submit copies of current, valid CPR certification (Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers training, American Heart Association) prior to the program start date and maintain certification while in the program. You must also provide proof of current health insurance coverage.

Background Check and Drug Screening

The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations requires all incoming students to pay for a background check. You pay this one-time fee directly to the company performing the background investigation. You will be asked to provide information and make the payment once you have been officially accepted into the program. Drug screenings are required for work at clinical sites. These are not required for admission but are to be expected later. The clinical site will provide information on its requirements prior to entering the fieldwork portion of the program. For more information, please see the School of Health Professions background check and drug screening information.

Technical Standards and Accommodations

Please read the program technical standards carefully after you submit your application materials. Signed verification will be required of our students after they have been accepted.

Reasonable accommodations will be made for any accepted student who has a documented disability and can meet program expectations. Applicants with documented disabilities can request reasonable accommodations if needed during the admissions process.


The National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy administers a national certification examination to graduates of accredited entry-level programs. All states require licensure or registration to practice; initial certification is obtained by completing the nationally administered, standardized examination. Students are eligible to take the national certification exam after completion of all program requirements.

Financial Aid Deadlines

Complete your FAFSA prior to KU's March 1 priority deadline for the best opportunity for financial aid. KU cannot process your FAFSA unless you have applied to the school (including receipt of application fee). You'll have more financial aid options by submitting an application by early February. Learn about tuition and aid opportunities.

"There will be many days where you wonder 'Can I do this?' The answer is YES, YOU CAN! Keep your focus on your ultimate goal of being an occupational therapist!"
KU School of Health Professions

Occupational Therapy Education
KU Medical Center
3901 Rainbow Blvd  MS2003
Kansas City, KS 66160
913-588-7195 • 711 TTY