• Bachelor's Degree in any field
- Request transcripts through OTCAS from all colleges and universities you have attended, whether or not your studies resulted in a degree. You can upload official transcripts that include courses still in progress but if you are admitted to the program, you will need to request official final transcripts be sent by the institution directly to Duke University Occupational Therapy Doctorate Division.
- B or above cumulative average (as calculated by OTCAS)
- Evidence of mastery in 8 knowledge domains
While there are no prescribed pre-requisite courses, you will need to demonstrate knowledge in eight pre-requisite knowledge domains that are foundational to studying occupational therapy. These domains will be available in OTCAS once the 2021–2022 cycle opens on July 22nd. For each pre-requisite knowledge domain, you will need to identify the undergraduate courses and the learning activities you completed that fulfill each domain.
- Courses that will be completed by Dec. 31st of the application cycle year.
- Graded courses that you have completed and passed with a C or better or are now completing and are not at risk of getting below a C for the final grade.
- Pass/Fail courses with a grade of Pass.
- Courses must have been completed in the past 5 years prior to application (second career applicants should contact the Admissions Office).
- While AP credits that are accepted by your undergraduate institution are also accepted as part of your OTD application, AP courses may not be used to fulfill Prerequisite Knowledge Domains.
- Coursework from a community college or an online program that has been accepted by an undergraduate degree awarding institution, or an online course that was administered by an accredited undergraduate institution that can provide a transcript that includes the course, may be used to fulfill the Prerequisite Knowledge Domains.
An example of how to complete the pre-requisite questionnaire is provided in OTCAS.
Letters of Recommendation/Evaluation (3)
- Letters of Recommendation/Evaluation (minimum 3/maximum 5)
Applicants to the Duke OTD program should include recommendation/evaluation letters from at least three people, Evaluators can be a professor, academic advisor, teaching assistant, lab instructor, mentor, work supervisor, team coach, musical director, an occupational therapist, and similar positions. Letters from family members will not be accepted. Letters from a licensed occupational therapist are NOT required.
The three letters should include:
- A person who has taught or mentored you in a collegiate academic course and can attest to your academic abilities.
- A person who can speak to your work performance
- A person who can attest to your commitment to service
Please Note: Evaluations should be submitted through the Supporting Information section on OTCAS.
OTCAS Personal Essay/Statement
- We will use this essay to learn how you see the relationship and alignment between occupational therapy and your particular identity and gifts. This essay will be evaluated on the depth of insight and on the clarity of writing.
Duke Supplemental Essay
- You will find instructions for the Duke-specific essay in OTCAS. This essay relates directly to the vision, mission, core commitments, and knowledge domains of the Duke OTD curriculum. The essay will be evaluated on the depth of insight and on clarity of writing.
Hardship Statement (optional)
- APPLICATIONS MUST BE SUBMITTED TO OTCAS BY JANUARY 15. The OTCAS verification date may be later than January 15, however, your application can not move forward in the admissions process until it is verified by OTCAS.
Apply Email OTD_admissions@duke.edu with any questions.
How do I submit an external evaluation letter?
Click here to access the 2021 Duke OTD Request for Applicant Evaluation External to OTCAS.
Do I need to have a science major/degree to apply for the Duke OTD?
No. We welcome students with Bachelor's or Master’s degrees from all different educational backgrounds and fields of study.
Can international students apply to the Duke OTD?
Yes. All international applicants (Canadian institutions included) must have their foreign transcripts evaluated by the World Education Service and have that evaluation submitted directly to the Occupational Therapy Application Service (OTCAS) (study abroad courses do not apply if they are listed on the USA-transcript). Please note that the OTCAS transcript verification process can take 4–5 weeks.
Can I transfer my AP Credits?
AP credits that are accepted by your undergraduate institution are also accepted as part of your OTD application, but may not be used to fulfill Prerequisite Knowledge Domains.
Do you accept courses completed online and at community college?
We will accept coursework from a community college that has been accepted by your undergraduate degree-granting institution. If the online course was administered by an accredited undergraduate institution that can provide a transcript that includes the course, OTCAS will verify it and include it in your GPA calculation.
Do you admit transfer students?
Our unique curriculum does not allow the transfer of students to our program.
Do you consider applications from students who are undocumented immigrants?
Yes. Eligible applicants include individuals who have been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services at the time of the applications as well as undocumented students. If admitted, undocumented students could be eligible for institutional financial aid on the basis of financial need. Visit this link for more information.
What type of degree is required to enter the Duke OTD Program?
We require applicants to have completed a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree from a regionally accredited college. Degrees in progress are considered as long as the completion date is prior to matriculation.
I have a Master’s in Occupational Therapy. Can I apply to the OTD and complete it faster than 3 years?
No. If you already have a Master’s in Occupational Therapy and want to pursue a doctorate degree, a “post-professional OTD” is the program you are looking for. At this time, Duke does not offer a post-professional doctorate program.
If I take my GRE can I send my scores over to you?
Duke does not require a GRE score and it is not a factor in admissions.
Are pass/fail classes accepted?
Pass/Fail classes are accepted. Your undergraduate institution and OTCAS will determine the weight of these courses regarding GPA. You may use a pass/fail course in which you earned a Pass to fulfill a Pre-requisite Knowledge Domain.
Do you take unofficial or official transcripts?
OTCAS only accepts official transcripts.
Do all courses need to have been completed within a certain time frame? All courses used to substantiate the Duke OTD prerequisites must have been completed no earlier than 5 years prior to application. Second career applicants should contact the admission office. More recent prerequisite coursework is valuable as it may demonstrate readiness for entry into a rigorous academic environment. All courses used to substantiate Duke OTD pre-requisites must be completed by December 31 of the application year.
In addition to the requirements listed above, all international applicants (Canadian institutions included) must have their foreign transcripts evaluated by the World Education Service and have that evaluation submitted directly to the Occupational Therapy Application Service (OTCAS) (study abroad courses do not apply if they are listed on the USA-transcript). Please note that the OTCAS transcript verification process can take 4–5 weeks.