Apply to the OTD program

Western Michigan University's Department of Occupational Therapy utilizes a centralized system to college applications to our doctoral program. To apply, you must submit your application in the Occupational Therapist Centralized Application Service (OTCAS) by January 15. (New cohorts in the WMU OTD program begin in summer II sessions.)

Apply in OTCAS


  • We will consider applications that reach "complete" or "verified" status by this date.
  • These applications must have all minimum application requirements met AND must have all prerequisite courses completed (not in progress).
  • A select number of applicants will be invited to interview during October 2023.
  • Applicants who meet the early consideration requirements, but are not admitted during this early admissions process, will still be considered for admission after the regular deadline in January 2024.

REGULAR DEADLINE - January 15, 2024

  • The status of your application must be "complete" or "verified" by 11:59 p.m. ET on January 15.
  • Make sure ALL official documents and application materials arrive at OTCAS one to two weeks before the January 15 deadline. Applications that are not in a "complete" or "verified" status as of January 16 will be considered late and will not be reviewed.
  • You must complete a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution by June 1, before the summer II start of the OTD program.


Initial scores are based on the following criteria:

  • Average GPA from the last 60 credit hours of coursework completed. (You must have a minimum 3.0 to apply.)
  • Average GPA from the required prerequisite courses (see below). While there is no required minimum GPA from completed prerequisites, this average will be factored into the application score.
  • You must complete each prerequisite course (or equivalent) before the application deadline, and you must pass with a minimum C (or 2.0) grade:
    • BIOS 2110: Human Anatomy
    • BIOS 2400: Human Physiology
    • PSY 1000: General Psychology
    • PSY 2500: Abnormal Psychology
    • HSV 2250: Lifespan Development
    • STAT 3660: Data Analysis for Biosciences - or
      STAT 1600: Discovery with Data
    • MDSC 2010: Medical Terminology
  • Volunteer/work experience
  • Leadership/teamwork experience
  • Diversity experience
  • Research experience

We will use scores from the above criteria to determine which applicants to invite to campus for interviews with program faculty. Interview scores will be combined with initial scores to determine a final rank order of applicants.

Note regarding interview: It is essential that you demonstrate your knowledge of the profession during this interview. Therefore, while not required to apply to the program, it is strongly encouraged that you seek out job shadowing (or other related experiences) within the OT field before you apply.

Admissions Timeline

Upon receiving a complete or verified application in OTCAS, the department will:

  • Review and score applications.

  • Send interview invitations to a select number of applicants. Interviews will take place in February.

  • A final score will be calculated and applicants will be ranked (highest to lowest).

  • Offers of admission will be made for both Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids cohorts, and will be emailed out by late March.

  • A small number of applicants will be placed on a waiting list.


Contact Sarah Anderson, Manager of Recruitment and Outreach.

Accreditation Status


The entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its web address is Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). In addition, all states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.