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Occupational Therapy (OTD)

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Admissions Updates Due to COVID-19

Admissions Requirements

The entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy (O.T.D.) Program selects students based on grade point average (GPA), Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, a written essay, letters of recommendation, and an interview. 

All applicants must:

  1. Complete an undergraduate or graduate degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  2. Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale for each of the last two years of study.
  3. Have a prerequisite GPA of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale.
  4. Have a grade of C (2.0) or better in all prerequisite courses.  A grade of C- or below will not be accepted.
    Course Prerequisite Name/Subject Semester
    Lab required Additional Information
    Biology with lab (introduction, general, or principles of) 3-4 Yes  
    Human Anatomy and Physiology with lab
    OR Human Anatomy with lab
    AND Physiology with lab

    Yes If Anatomy taken separately from Physiology, Anatomy with lab should be 4 credits & Physiology with lab will be 3-4 credits
    Physics with lab (general, college) OR Kinesiology 3-4 Yes for Physics,
    No for Kinesiology
    Psychology 6 No Must include 3 credits of Introduction to Psychology and 3 credits of an upper-level psychology course—Abnormal Psychology, Social Psychology, Substance Abuse, etc.
    Human Growth and Development OR Developmental Psychology 3 No Must cover infancy through aging
    Other Social Sciences 3 No Examples are ethnic studies, anthropology, sociology, ethics
    English Composition 6 No  
    Other humanities 9 No Examples are art, communications, literature, foreign language, history, philosophy, logic, or humanities
    Statistics 3 No
    Medical terminology (college) 1 No Minimum of 1 credit, college level
    Recommended courses - not required Semester
    Ethics 3
    Public Speaking 3
    Theories of Personality 3
    Intensive Writing Course 3
    Logic/Philosophy 3
  5. Submit official GRE scores that are less than five years old for all three areas of the general test (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing).  There is no required minimum GRE score. The GRE is considered along with all other application requirements. Scores should be sent to OTCAS using the OTCAS GRE code for Nova Southeastern University – Tampa Bay, 2576.
  6. Complete a minimum of 40 volunteer hours in at least two different occupational therapy settings that provide services related to children and youth, work and industry, rehabilitation, health and wellness, mental health, productive aging, or another specified facility (or graduation from an accredited occupational therapy assistant program).  Applicants will enter the observation hours completed in the OTCAS application.
  7. Submit a written essay in the OTCAS system.
  8. Submit three letters of recommendation in OTCAS.  At least one of them must be from a licensed Occupational Therapist.
  9. Have completed the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or Pearson Test of English-Academic (PTE-Academic), if applicable.

Still have courses or requirements in progress?  Prospective students who have not yet met all admissions requirements can apply and may be reviewed pending completion of some of these requirements.  Individuals in this situation must have submitted official GRE scores and have no more than two prerequisite courses in progress during the Spring 2021 semester.  Additionally, all coursework, observation hours, and other admission requirements must be completed prior to the start of the Summer 2021 semester.

Throughout the program, students must have access to and use computer skills such as word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation software. It is recommended that students have coursework or self-study to meet these needs. 

Additional Information

For more information, please contact Jason Barshay, Assistant Director, Student Recruitment & Enrollment Management at (813) 574-5286 or

Admissions Updates Due to COVID-19

We do realize that the pandemic has impacted people in many different ways. Nova Southeastern University's O.T.D. program has provided information on mechanisms that may be helpful to applicants in satisfying requirements: 

  • Official GRE Scores:We will accept the "GRE General Test at Home" option that ETS currently provides
  • Official TOEFL Scores (If applicable): We will accept the "TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition" option that ETS currently provides
  • Letter of Recommendation from an Occupational Therapist: If you are unable to obtain a letter of recommendation from an Occupational Therapist due to the impact of COVID-19, a letter of recommendation from the following sources may be substituted:
    • Professor within your undergraduate degree program
    • Lab Instructor from a course within your undergraduate degree program
    • Employer or supervisor for whom you have worked for 
    • Representative from an organization for whom you completed volunteer work with 
    • Recommendation letters should minimally state how the person knows you (relationship), how long they have known you and direct contact time the person has had with you. 
  • Observation/Volunteer Hours Requirement: If you have not fully completed your volunteer hours, we have developed an alternative, virtual mechanism to help you satisfy this requirement.
    • The virtual alternative to observation hours will entail the review and completion of modules found by accessing the Occupational Therapy Online Shadowing Experience, using the password LucasQU (case sensitive).
    • For students who have completed a portion of their observation hours with an OT, please see below for the number of modules required based on the number of observation hours completed. 
      • If you have completed less than 10 hours, complete all 6 modules.
      • If you have completed 10 – 20 hours, complete your choice of 5 modules.
      • If you have completed 21 – 30 hours, complete your choice of 3 modules.
      • If you have completed 31 – 40 hours, complete your choice of 1 module.
    • Students must complete the questions and reflections for each module chosen and upload their completed packet to OTCAS.  Navigate to the "Program Materials" section of your OTCAS application, select Nova Southeastern University - Tampa Bay, and click on the "Documents" tab

NSU would like to recognize and thank Cheryl B. Lucas, EdD, OTR/L, Quinnipiac University for her willingness to share these learning modules in support of our future Occupational Therapists

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