Pre-Health career pathways

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Pre-Occupational Therapy pathway

Pre-Occupational TherapyPre-health advising

You are encouraged to meet with a pre-health advisor at least once a semester to discuss options for careers in medicine, opportunities to gain relevant experience, discussing the best time to apply, preparation for the GRE, the OTCAS application, and much more. For more information, schedule an appointment with your advisor.

Due to a growing demand for Occupation Therapy Doctorates, most OT programs will offer the Occupational Therapy Doctoral (OTD) degree.  Completion of the OTD degree takes approximately 3 years to complete. 


Partnerships/Priority Consideration/Pipeline Programs

Four-year plan

College year 1


  • Maintain a strong GPA and focus on coursework. 
  • Make an appointment with a pre-health advisor to introduce yourself. 
  • Begin to get involved with clubs and student organizations.
  • Also, begin volunteering and gaining observation and shadowing hours.


    • Meet with pre- health advisor to prepare for interviews.
    • If waitlisted or rejected, explore post-bac options, retaking classes, or consider taking a gap year to gain more observation hours.

    Dates to remember

    • Be aware that OT programs will have individual application deadlines.

    July 19, 2017

    OTCAS opens for submission

    December 15, 2017-February 15, 2018

    Academic updates for fall 2017 coursework

    June 19, 2018

    OTCAS cycle closes

Involvement (clubs and student organizations)

Clubs and student organizations

  • Health Occupation Students of America at ASU-DPC (HOSA)
  • Occupational Therapy Club

AMSA/Pre-Health Club at ASU-DPC


College year 2


  • While maintaining a high GPA, look into opportunities for volunteer experience and continue to gain shadowing and observation hours with a licensed OTD.  
  • Build relationships with professors and licensed Occupational Therapists as they may become letter writers.
  • Attend pre-health meetings and events. Begin to look into preparing for the GRE (Studying and Registration). 
  • Continue to meet with your pre-health advisor at least once a semester. 

Clinical experience

Leadership and community service 

Grade point average

    OTCAS calculates 14 GPA’s for every complete application received.  The OTCAS includes all U.S. and Canadian college courses with grades and credit hours at all regionally accredited institutions, including repeated courses.
  • Grade Repeat Policy at ASU- 

College year 3


  • Maintain a high GPA and stay involved with campus clubs/ organizations, volunteer opportunities, and clinical experience.
  • Begin an internship and start prepping for the GRE (take the GRE by spring of Junior year).
  • Apply through OTCAS one year prior to when you plan to matriculate. 
  • Continue to meet with your pre-health advisor.



Calculate your science and overall GPA to determine your competitiveness.


Begin collecting letters of recommendation.


Take the GRE no later than April. 


Work on creating a final draft of your personal statement.


OTCAS will open for submission. Make sure you submit your application as soon as possible.


OT programs may request students to complete supplemental applications.  It is important that you complete these in a timely manner and are aware of program specific deadlines and requirements. 


Register for test date

Prep courses and practice exams


Personal statement

  • OTCAS Personal Statement Guidelines
    • 7,500 characters long.
    • Do not make your personal statement program specific as it will be sent to each program that you apply to through OTCAS.  Review of personal statement offered by Pre-Health Office.

Letters of recommendation (LOR)  

  • Identify people who know you well and can firmly comment on your ability as a medical student and future physician. 
  • OTCAS will only allow references to submit their evaluations electronically through OTCAS. 
  • Applicants are required to enter three references. 
  • OTCAS will not allow more than five references.

Schedule mock interview with Pre-Health Office your senior year  

College year 4


  • Meet with pre- health advisor to prepare for interviews.
  • If waitlisted or rejected, explore post-bac options, retaking classes, or consider taking a gap year to gain more observation hours.