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NOTE: The COVID-19 pandemic has created multiple challenges, including 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 and the fall of 2021, we made some changes to the application requirements to address those challenges.  Those changes will be maintained for the 2022-23 application cycle and include:

  • Accepting attendance at webinars and other educational events in addition to or in place of observation/shadowing for OT experience. Those webinars/events must have the majority of their content related directly to the practice of occupational therapy.
  • Reference letter from an OT practitioner (OTR or COTA) is voluntary, rather than required.
  • Modified requirements for the Occupation Prerequisite (please see Prerequisites page for more information).
  • One change that will be maintained permanently 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  become more 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 2022 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 2022.

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 be directed within the online process to complete forms and upload documents specific to the program. As noted on the “Apply” page of this website, the MSOT program is moving to the use of the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service beginning with the application cycle for 2022-23. When the move to that system is complete (likely summer of 2022), more information will be provided about how to include all elements of the application in that system.

  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.
  3. REFLECTIVE STATEMENT The reflective statement gives prospective students an opportunity to reflect on their experiences in the occupation prerequisite course.
  4. RESUME Each applicant is requested to upload a one to two page personal resume highlighting academic, work, and volunteer achievements to date.
  5. LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION Each applicant is required submit the names and contact information for three individuals who will provide recommendations. References may be past supervisors, teachers, or others who can comment on the applicant’s professional characteristics. For the 2022-23 application cycle, the requirement that one reference be from an OT has been made voluntary. That is, if you are able to get a substantive reference from an OT practitioner, that is fine, but if not you will not be penalized in any way. You still need 3 references, but you do not have to have 1 from an OT practitioner.
  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). 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. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION/EXTRA ACTIVITIES/SPECIAL RECOGNITION: This section allows the applicant to provide information that is relevant to the desire to study occupational therapy, but does not fit into other categories. This may include special achievements or awards, life circumstances that have influenced you toward a career in occupational therapy, etc. You also may use this section to tell us about life circumstances that have created challenges for you in ways that may be reflected in parts of your application, but that you have managed with success. An example of this situation might be a student whose GPA is below 3.0 because of difficulties experienced in the transition to college that resulted in low grades in one or more courses, but later grades show much higher academic performance as difficulties were managed. This is just a single example, and if you feel you could use this section to help us understand you and your application more fully, please use it!