• 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
There are no prescribed prerequisite courses. Instead, you will demonstrate knowledge in eight prerequisite knowledge domains that are foundational to occupational therapy. The domains are available in OTCAS during the application cycle. For each prerequisite knowledge domain, you will identify a course that contributed to your learning in the domain and describe a course activity (project, paper, class activity, etc.) that was key to that learning.
- Courses may be from any discipline or subject.
- Courses must have been completed after high school (do not use AP courses).
- Courses must appear on your official transcript(s) submitted to OTCAS.
- You must have earned a final grade of Pass (for Pass/Fail courses) or a C or better (for graded courses). No courses in progress should be used.
- You may use the same course for up to 2 knowledge domains.
- Courses must have been completed in the 5 years prior to application (applicants whose courses were completed more than 5 years prior should contact the Admissions Office for additional guidance).
- Courses from a community college or online college program may be used to fulfill the Prerequisite Knowledge Domains if:
- The course has been accepted by the undergraduate degree-awarding institution, or
- The online course was administered by an accredited undergraduate institution and appears on the transcript.
An example response for the prerequisite domains is provided in OTCAS.
Letters of Recommendation/Evaluation (3)
- Letters of Recommendation/Evaluation (minimum 3/maximum 5)
Applicants to the Duke OTD program should submit recommendation/evaluation letters from at least three people. Evaluators may be a professor, academic advisor, teaching assistant, lab instructor, mentor, work supervisor, team coach, musical director, an occupational therapist, and similar. Letters from family members will not be accepted. Letters from a licensed occupational therapist are welcome but NOT required.
The three evaluators 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
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 depth of insight and 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 clarity of writing.
Hardship Statement (optional)
Applications are reviewed in two cycles–Early and Standard.
Duke Application Submission Deadline (OTCAS verification may occur after the submission date):
Early: Thursday, October 5, 2023
Standard: Thursday, January 11, 2024
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.