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Entry-Level OTD, Occupational Therapy (Professional)

Learn from leading educators and take advantage of New York City’s unparalleled fieldwork and research opportunities. One of the top-rated entry-level occupational therapy programs in the country, this degree prepares you to become a registered occupational therapist, working as an educator, administrator, policymaker, or practitioner in settings such as schools and health facilities. 

Official Degree Title

Doctorate in Occupational Therapy



Application Deadline

Fall Start:
January 31

Plan Code






How to Apply

Your application to NYU’s Entry-Level OTD program must be completed through OTCAS.

These instructions and requirements are for all applicants. If you are not a citizen or a permanent resident of the United States, please also read the special instructions for international applicants.

Admissions Requirement

Minimum GPA: 3.0

Apply through OTCAS

1. Prepare Your Application


You are required to upload a copy of your most recent résumé or curriculum vitae as part of your application.

On your resume include a section for “OT Related Experiences”. Indicate your OT experiences, including, but not limited to, the site you observed at, name of supervisor, dates of observation/volunteer experience, and what you observed.

Statement of Purpose

You are required to answer two essay questions. These questions will pertain to knowledge and experiences related to the profession of occupational therapy, why you are choosing to pursue an entry-level OTD at NYU, and your experiences with or desire to become an agent of change in your community (and/ or family).

You are required to answer the required question and one supplemental question. Each question should have the following format:

  • Maximum of three pages
  • Double-spaced
  • 12-point Times New Roman font
  • 1-inch margins on all sides

Required Question

OTCAS requires all applicants to submit a personal statement that addresses the following prompt:

  • Explain why you selected occupational therapy as a career and how an Occupational Therapy degree relates to your immediate and long-term professional goals. Describe how your personal, educational, and professional background will help you achieve your goals.

Required Supplemental Questions (choose one):

Reflect on a time/situation when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to take action? What influenced your decision?


What do you identify as important social and cultural factors to consider as you enter a healthcare profession?


Letters of Recommendation

Submit three letters of recommendation. At least one of the recommendation letters should be from an OT supervisor at an occupational therapy experience site.  Be sure to request them well in advance of the deadline. 

  • One letter of recommendation should be from an OT supervisor at an occupational therapy experience site.
  • Do not submit letters from family members or friends of the family.

Occupational Therapy Prerequisite Checklist

Complete the “Prerequisite Course Requirement” section of the application.

Prerequisite courses are as follows:

  • Abnormal Psychology (covers the lifespan)
  • Developmental Psychology (covers the lifespan)
  • Behavioral Science (social science course)
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II with dissection lab (course must be completed within 10 yrs)  
  • Elementary Statistics
  • Community Health


  • Grades of B or above are required for the prerequisite courses. Three credits are required for each prerequisite course.
  • AP, CLEP Exam and Regents College Exam will not be accepted unless credited and graded by a previously attended college or university.
  • A&P I and II with dissection lab must be completed in-person.
  • Courses taken at non-accredited institutions will not be accepted.

For questions about prerequisite courses please contact the Occupational Therapy Department at


OT Observation Hours

A minimum of 10 hours of documented occupational therapy experiences in at least 2 service delivery settings (e.g. schools, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, community health centers, private clinics) is needed. 

NYU OT's Observation Hours Verification Form (make additional copies as needed)


Upload one official copy of transcripts from every postsecondary school you have attended or are attending. Make sure to request them in advance of the deadline.

If you completed or are completing a degree at an institution outside of the US or Canada, you are required to provide a WES or ECE evaluation. Please review our requirements for translation and a course-by-course evaluation of your transcripts.


Not required.

Proficiency in English

2. Apply


Start your application now

You will apply through OTDCAS only. You do not need to fill out a separate NYU Steinhardt application.

The OTDCAS application portal is for our on-campus program.

Application Policies

It is your responsibility to ensure that all materials are submitted through OTDCAS by the appropriate deadline, and we reserve the right to return any application that arrives after the deadline. Only completed applications will be considered. We advise you to apply early.

Please check the online system to confirm that you have successfully submitted your application. Due to the volume of applications and related materials received, the Office of Graduate Admissions will only contact you if your application was successfully submitted and is deemed incomplete because of missing required materials. Otherwise, you will hear from us when the admissions committee has made its decision.

Deferral policy: NYU Steinhardt does not allow deferrals. Applicants who wish to be considered for a future semester must reapply by submitting a new application with all supporting materials, including letters of recommendation, by the application deadline.

3. Receive Your Admission Decision


You will be notified about your decision by email. Typically, decisions will start going out in late November for Spring semester enrollment and in late March or early April for Summer or Fall enrollment. You may learn of your decision before or after this timeline.