Program faculty will evaluate your application for indicators of readiness for an academically rigorous course of study, and your potential to become a leading occupational therapy practitioner.
Applicants will be evaluated on the following criteria:
- Academic achievement
- Bachelor’s or Master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
- Minimum GPA of 3.0 *
- Extracurricular and interpersonal life experiences
- Experiences, academics and prerequisites that indicate a focus and intention of joining the field of occupational therapy
- Demonstrated concern for individuals from diverse backgrounds and their surrounding community
- Demonstrated use of good judgment, insight, empathy reasoning, ethical behavior and strong personal accountability
* The candidates most likely to be successful will have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above. However, because the NAU OTD program embraces a holistic approach to education, applicants whose overall undergraduate GPA is lower than 3.0 may be considered provided there are significant reasons behind the lower GPA and provided that they earned a minimum 3.0 GPA in the prerequisite course work for this curriculum. Other factors include a 3.0 GPA within the last two years of undergraduate study, indications of significant positive trends in the improvement of the GPA, and experiential components/qualifications.
Persons interested in the program must apply to both the Occupational Therapist Centralized Application Service (OTCAS) and to the NAU Graduate College.
Information to be submitted through the application systems include:
- Transcripts of all college-level coursework – with transcripts being submitted to OTCAS AND directly to the Graduate College
- 2 letters of recommendation with one of the recommendations from a licensed Occupational Therapist
- Information indicating completion of a minimum of 80 hours of observation and experiential hours
- 40 hours observing two different occupational therapists each practicing in a different type of setting with different age-groups (minimum of 20 hours in each setting) AND
- 40 hours in at least two different community settings (agencies, programs, camps, etc.) serving vulnerable, disabled or disadvantaged individuals or populations that address health, rehabilitation, disability, quality of life or community issues or sustainability initiatives
- The hours may be applied toward the requirement of experiential hours or for observation hours. They cannot be double-counted as both experiential hours and as observation hours. The hours may be paid or unpaid hours.
- Complete applications
Note: successful applications into the program must be timely. Applicants are strongly encouraged to begin entry of data into the OTCAS process when the application process begins in July.
How to fill observation/volunteer hours during COVID-19
Due to COVID-19, many applicants may experience difficulty finding placement for observation and/or volunteer hours. To accommodate for this, we have created an opportunity to complete these hours safely from your home using alternative hour products and modules.
If you are able to complete all or a portion of your hours meeting the in-person criteria before the June 1st, 2021 deadline, they will still be accepted with proper documentation in OTCAS.
If you are unable to obtain all or some of your hours in-person by the June 1st, 2021 deadline, please follow the step-by-step instructions and submit the alternative hours request form to request and complete alternative hours. The hour calculation worksheet can be used to determine remaining hours.
Alternative hour products must be uploaded to OTCAS by January 3, 2021 at midnight AZ time, however extensions can be requested until January 15, 2021. Please review the below chart for important deadlines.
If you have any questions about any of the information provided please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Admission to the OTD program is dependent upon completion of the below prerequisite courses and a bachelors degree from a U.S. regionally accredited institution.
- 6 credits of biology OR 3 credits of biology AND 3 credits of chemistry. The biology credits must include a lab that supports human biology.
- 6 credits of human anatomy and physiology
- 3 credits of statistics, preferably in applied or bio-statistics
- 3 credits of ethics, with topics related to current health care and medicine
- 3 credits of abnormal psychology
- 6 credits above the introductory level of human development, which must encompass the entire lifespan from birth to end-of-life. This can be met with a child development course coupled with a course on aging/gerontology OR a 3-credit course encompassing the entire lifespan AND a 3-credit course on human development, such as health, cognition, social perception, personality or gender.
- 6 credits above the introductory level of sociology or social justice covering problems, development, structure and/or functions of society of the present day.
If you have questions about whether courses fulfill prerequisite course requirements, please complete the self-assessment form. Our admissions committee will review your responses and get back to you via email as soon as possible.
The OTD program requires all prerequisite course work to be completed with a letter (A, B, C, D) or numerical (4.0, 3.0, 2.0, 1.0) grade. Prerequisite courses completed with pass/fail or credit/no credit are not accepted.
Successful candidates must have and maintain the statutory requirements that will be needed for licensure. While requirements vary from state to state, NAU OTD requires that students meet background requirements of the State of Arizona. This is because of the extensive fieldwork experiences in Arizona.
Arizona Revised Statutes states that in order to be licensed the individual must: “be of good moral character” and be eligible to legally work in the U.S. https://ot.az.gov/sites/default/files/4-43.pdf provides the definition of “good moral character”. The section states, ‘Good Moral Character’ means “an applicant has not been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor within 5 years before application and never been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude. “
Certain health and Basic Life Support requirements are in place for students for the health and well-being of our campus community and community engagement activities, including fieldwork education.
Once in the program and prior to fieldwork experiences, students will be informed and provide direction on the receipt of immunization and obtaining evidence of health clearance. This includes items such as basic life support (BLS), health insurance, immunizations and criminal background checks. The cost of all requirements are the responsibility of the students.
Fingerprint clearance card
All students are required to have a current fingerprint clearance card on file with the department. Some agencies will require documentation of fingerprint clearance or background check of students prior to the clinical experience. Students will assume the costs and responsibility of getting the fingerprints completed as necessary before starting the OT program. A valid fingerprint clearance card issued from the Department of Public Safety in Arizona is required.