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UPDATE for 2021: The outbreak of COVID-19 across the U.S. created significant interruptions in daily life and the need for social distancing, a move to remote coursework for most schools, and increased stress and workload for all of those working in health care situations, including OTs. The situation had an impact on applicant opportunities for observing/shadowing OT practice, completing the Occupation prerequisite in person, and getting a letter of recommendation from an OT practitioner. For those who applied to the MSOT program in the fall of 2020, we made some changes to the application requirements to address those challenges. We have not made any decisions about changes to the application requirements in the fall of 2021. We will post information on our website when those decisions are made.

One change will be maintained, and that is that GRE scores are no longer required for application to the MSOT program. 

While we are hopeful that in-person shadowing/observations of OT will again become available for applicants, we know that it could be some time before this happens. Therefore, we do encourage prospective students to take advantage of online learning opportunities that provide some depth and/or breadth of information related directly to OT practice. For instance, the American Occupational Therapy Association will be offering sessions of the April 2021 conference online, and the North Carolina Occupational Therapy Association also has some online offerings. There are other agencies and organizations that may be providing similar types of online education for and about OT.  If you participate in any of these online learning activities specific to OT practice, you may list them on your OT observations chart that is submitted with your application in the fall of 2021.

Please note, however, that by making you aware of these learning opportunities the UNC OT program is not necessarily endorsing the content of these activities. We also are not requiring any of these activities or implying that participating in them will improve your chances of being offered admission to the UNC OT program or any other OT program. There may be a cost associated with online learning activities but that cost varies.

Supplemental Application Materials:

Applicants to the MS program in occupational therapy will, in addition to the standard graduate school application, be directed within the online process to complete forms specific to the program. The following information is provided to clarify those requirements:

  1. PREREQUISITE COURSES
  2. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE Each applicant will be prompted to write an admissions essay (approximately two pages; 800 words) according to the guidelines provided on the application. This document should be uploaded through the electronic application system in the Statement of Purpose section.
  3. REFLECTIVE STATEMENT The reflective statement gives prospective students an opportunity to reflect on their experiences in the occupation prerequisite course. This statement should be uploaded as Additional Document #1 in the Supplemental Documents section.
  4. RESUME Each applicant is requested to upload a one to two page personal resume highlighting academic, work, and volunteer achievements to date. (Each applicant will be required to upload a resume AND fill in the Work & Volunteer Experience section on the application.) This document should be uploaded in the resume section of the application.
  5. LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION Each applicant is required to provide the names and contact information for three individuals who will provide letters of recommendation (in the recommendations section of the application). References may be past supervisors, teachers, or others who can comment on the applicant’s professional characteristics. Each reference will receive an email generated by the application system with instructions explaining how and where to upload his/her letter of recommendation.
  6. EXPERIENCE WITH OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY Each applicant is expected to have gained exposure to the profession of occupational therapy through clinical observations, site visits, and conversations with practicing occupational therapists. The division does not require a specific number of observation hours; instead, the emphasis is on understanding the breadth of the profession and the different types of practice settings (medical, educational, community-based) and populations served (based on age, diagnosis, situation, etc). Applicants are asked to complete the chart linked here. This document should be uploaded as additional document #2 in the supplemental documents section. Experiences in areas of human service that do not include occupational therapy are not to be included in this section, but are welcomed on the resume.
  7. EXTRA ACTIVITIES/SPECIAL RECOGNITION: This additional document allows the applicant to provide information that is relevant to the desire to study occupational therapy, but does not fit into other categories. Please feel free to provide information regarding special skills or achievements, life circumstances that have influenced you toward a career in occupational therapy, and commendations or awards you have received, either within or beyond academic realms. This information should not exceed one typed page and should be uploaded as additional document #3 in the supplemental documents section.

Please note: Consult the Graduate School website for Statement of Purpose and Reflective Statement Prompts. To find this, select Graduate Degrees and Programs and then Occupational Therapy from the drop down menu.