Requirements for Admission

Acceptance is based on the students’ academic ability, aptitude for a career as an occupational therapist, interview and personal statement.

Potential students will:

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree in a discipline other than occupational therapy from an accredited college or university, or receive a baccalaureate degree prior to the admission year.
  • Have an overall minimum GPA 3.0 as calculated by OTCAS or a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 hours of coursework.
  • Have an overall minimum GPA of 3.0 or better for all prerequisite courses.
  • Complete all prerequisite coursework prior to the admission year.
  • Complete at least 20 hours of observation of occupational therapy. Various settings are recommended.
    • If you are facing challenges completing this due to the covid-19 pandemic then please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to discuss waiving this requirement.
  • If invited, complete an interview with faculty of the Department of Occupational Therapy.

Prerequisites

All prerequisites must be completed in the last 8 years with a grade of "B" or better, or must be scheduled for completion by a date of the admission year agreed upon in writing by the program director.

(Transfer equivalents for UAB can be found by clicking here.)

Course requirements are listed in semester credit hours

Arts and Humanities

  • Intermediate Writing – UAB Equivalent EH302 (3 credit hours)

Social and Behavioural Sciences

  • Abnormal Psychology – UAB Equivalent is PY 218 (3 credit hours)
  • Developmental Psychology – UAB Equivalent is PY 212 (3 credit hours)*

*Course must cover Human Development from prenatal period to old age.

Natural Sciences and Mathematics

  • Statistics (must be taken in Math, Psychology or Sociology) – UAB Equivalent MA 180, PY216 or SOC 410 (3-4 credit hours)
  • Biology with Lab – UAB Equivalent BY123/L (4 credit hours)
  • Human Anatomy with Lab – UAB equivalent BY115/L (4 credit hours)
  • Human Physiology with Lab – UAB equivalent BY116/L (4 credit hours)
  • Kinesiology – UAB Equivalent is KIN307 (4 credit hours)
  • Introductory Sociology – UAB Equivalent SOC 100 (3 credit hours) or Cultural anthropology – UAB Equivalent ANTH 101 (3 credit hours)

It is strongly recommended that applicants also take the following course: Medical Terminology – UAB Equivalent AHS 350 – may be taken online.

Transfer of Credit Policy

The Department adheres to the credit transfer policy established by the UAB Graduate School.

You will also find specific policy wording in the current Occupational Therapy Student Handbook.

In keeping with this University policy, requests for transfer of graduate credit from another entry-level occupational therapy program, accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE), will be considered on an individual case basis and will require approval from the program director and the department chair before it is submitted for approval to the Graduate School Dean. Each course submitted for review will be evaluated for equivalency to the required department course by the faculty member currently teaching the course, and the program director. Course syllabi must be provided for equivalence review, and a competency test may be administered at the program director's discretion.

Application Process

Step 1 – Application to the Department of Occupational Therapy

The University of Alabama at Birmingham Occupational Therapy Program participates in the centralized application service for occupational therapy programs (OTCAS).

  • Complete the OTCAS application which can be found by clicking here.
  • Applicant status in OTCAS must be “verified” by October 1st.

Application Fee

OTCAS charges an application fee based on a graduated scale that varies according to the number of institutions you designate to receive your OTCAS application. OTCAS charges a fee for the first program you apply to and then an additional fee for each subsequent program you apply to.

Learn more by visiting the OTCAS FAQ webpage.

This fee is payable to OTCAS at the time of application. OTCAS application fees are non-refundable. This fee is paid to OTCAS - UAB does not receive any of these monies.

Step 2 - Application Review Process

Upon receipt of your application in OTCAS:

  • UAB Occupational Therapy Admission Faculty will complete the initial review of all applications shortly after the stated deadline
  • All applicants will be ranked based on a number of criteria, including GPA and the OTCAS essay question (personal statement)
  • Selected applicants will participate in an interview with the faculty of the Department of Occupational Therapy. Interviews are typically held in December
  • Offer letters for admission will be emailed to applicants as soon as decisions are made. If you are offered a place in the occupational therapy department, you will be required to pay an admissions fee of $300 to secure your place in the summer class. This money will be applied to your first semester tuition. In the event that you decide to withdraw your acceptance of the offer, it will not be reimbursed to you.

Step 3 - Transcript Submission

By April 1, the UAB Graduate School must receive an official transcript stating that you have received a grade of at least a "B" in any completed prerequisites. For any coursework completed after your application was submitted in OTCAS, transcripts must be sent directly to the UAB Graduate School

Official transcripts from each institution where college credit was received can be submitted electronically by choosing University of Alabama – Graduate Admissions using the email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or mailed to:

UAB Graduate School
LHL G03, 1720 2nd Avenue South
Birmingham AL 35294-0013

Step 4 - Application to UAB Graduate School

If a potential student is offered and accepts a place in the occupational therapy program at UAB they are required to then complete an application to the UAB Graduate School.

Application Fee

The application fee to the UAB Graduate School for domestic applicants and green card holders is $50 and application fee for international applicants is $60.

Instructions for completing an application to UAB Graduate School

  • Complete an application to the UAB Graduate School.
  • Once you have established an account you will respond to the questions asked
    • For which of the following are you applying? I already completed an application through a Centralized Application System and now need to apply to UAB
    • Intended program of study: Occupational Therapy (OTD) – applied through OTCAS
    • Concentration: Not Applicable – the selected program does not offer concentration options
    • Term: Summer XXXX

Additional Information

For information regarding admissions to the Clinical Doctorate in Occupational Therapy program in the UAB Department of Occupational Therapy, please contact Kerry McAlpine at (205) 934-5420 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.