• Bachelor's degree in any discipline
- Request transcripts through OTCAS from all colleges and universities you have attended, whether or not your studies resulted in a degree. You may 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 (3.0) or above overall cumulative GPA, 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 2022–2023 cycle opens on July 21. For each pre-requisite knowledge domain, you will identify the undergraduate courses and the learning activities you completed that fulfill each domain.
- Courses that will be completed by December 31 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 welcome but 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 and readiness for doctoral-level work
- A person who can speak to your performance in a work, internship, or research setting
- A person who can attest to your commitment to service
Please Note: Evaluations should be submitted through the Supporting Information section on OTCAS. If you need to submit additional letters to fulfill Duke's requirements, please see below ("How do I submit an external evaluation letter?") for link.
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 will be reviewed in two cycles–Early and Standard.
Duke Application Submission Deadline (OTCAS verification may occur after the submission date):
Early Cycle: Monday, October 24, 2022
Standard Cycle: Monday, January 16, 2023
The OTCAS verification date may be later than our deadline; however, your application cannot move forward in the admissions process until it is verified by OTCAS.
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.
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.
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.
Our unique curriculum does not allow the transfer of students to our program.
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.
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 July 1 of the matriculation year.
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.
Duke does not require a GRE score and it is not a factor in admissions.
Yes, 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.
OTCAS only accepts official transcripts.
All courses used to substantiate the Duke OTD knowledge domains must have been completed no earlier than 5 years prior to application, and no later than December 31 of the application year. Second career applicants should contact the admission office. Recent coursework is valuable as it may demonstrate readiness for entry into a rigorous academic environment.
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.