Applying to the Residential Occupational Therapy Doctorate Program (Entry Level)

What makes a competitive applicant?

The program takes a holistic approach to admissions. That means we consider a combination of GPA, relevant work experience, volunteerism, etc., in addition to the in-person interview (if offered). Applicants receive additional profile points on their application for unique life experiences and service experiences in the AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps, or prior military service.

Applicants should demonstrate strong academic backgrounds and life experiences to be competitive. These may include additional OT volunteer work over and above the minimum 15 hours, volunteering in a community setting other than OT, significant leadership experience, research activity, scholarship history, and significant academic or community volunteer awards.

Admissions Requirements

The GRE is no longer required for admission.

  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required. A minimum prerequisite GPA of 3.0 is also required.  
    • *Clemson University students who are on the Accelerated Pathway track must provide signed verification of Clemson general education requirements validated by the Clemson Registrar’s Office by time of matriculation into MUSC.
    • Coastal Carolina University students who are on the Accelerated Pathway track must provide signed verification of CCCU general education requirements validated by the CCU Registrar’s Office by time of matriculation into MUSC. 
  • Complete 20 hours of prerequisite coursework at a regionally accredited college or university. A minimum of 12 hours need to be completed by the application deadline. The remaining hours must be completed by matriculation into the program. In-person and online courses are accepted. (see course list below)
  • Three references from individuals who know you and your abilities. We prefer two academic (professors or advisors) who are familiar with your academic ability and accomplishments, and one professional, preferably an occupational therapist.
  • Complete a minimum of fifteen (15) hours of shadowing or observation in occupational therapy. Shadowing can be completed in-person, via telehealth, or through webinars.
    • We cannot assist in finding placement for shadowing opportunities.
    • Certificate of completion must be submitted with application for webinars. Accepted webinars could include:
      • AOTA Online Modules/Continuing Education
      • OT State Association Online Modules/Continuing Education
  • Complete an application through the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS). Fee waivers may be available to qualified applicants.
  • Complete the MUSC application. Cost to apply.
  • Submit a resume and personal statement through OTCAS. The personal statement should describe why you should be admitted to the program and any unique attributes you would bring to the profession. 

Early Admission

MUSC offers early admissions for students who meet the eligibility criteria. Early admissions is determined by a holistic review of the application by the Admissions Committee, and an interview is not required. Applicants who are interested in early admission must submit their completed MUSC and OTCAS applications by September 1st for consideration. Applicants are not required to withdraw applications from other programs if they are accepted into the program.

Applicants must have the following to be considered for early admission:

  • Submission of the completed OTCAS & MUSC Application by September 1.
  • An overall cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher
  • A prerequisite GPA average of 3.5 or higher (at least 12 of 20 prerequisite hours completed at the time of application)
  • At least Anatomy & Physiology I (or equivalent course) with a B or higher

Note: Before applying to our program, please be aware that a felony conviction may affect your ability to sit for the examination administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy after you graduate and, subsequently, your ability to attain state licensure. The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy offers an early determination to assess examination eligibility. Go to and read the Early Review section for details.

Prerequisite Courses


Prerequisite Courses


Human Anatomy (must include lab) within 10 years*


Human Physiology (must include lab) within 10 years*




Lifespan Human Development


Abnormal Psychology




Medical Terminology (recommended)




Prerequisite Special Notes:

  • *Anatomy and Physiology prerequisites need to be rigorous courses. A minimum of 3.0 (B) is strongly preferred for all Anatomy and Physiology Lecture and Lab courses. Advanced Placement courses are not accepted. Combined Anatomy and Physiology courses are accepted; however, you MUST take Anatomy and Physiology I and II to fulfill the separate Anatomy and Physiology requirements, including labs.
  • View Frequently Approved Prerequisites for the OT program.To speak with an admissions specialist about your coursework or request an unofficial transcript evaluation, please call 843-792-2536 or The Office of Enrollment Management offers unofficial transcript evaluations between March 1 and 12pm on June 30.
  • If all prerequisite coursework has not been completed by the application deadline, please include courses in progress and those you plan to complete in the "Plans for Remaining Academic Year" in the application's supplemental forms section.
  • Dual enrollment courses are accepted for prerequisite courses so long as the course appears on your college transcripts.
  • We do not accept advanced placement, transfer of credit, or credit for experiential learning. Applicants do not receive credit for previous coursework and/or experience.

Application Process

  • Complete the MUSC Application. Opens July 1. 
  • Complete the OTCAS Application. Opens July 22. The following application items are submitted via OTCAS.
    • Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended for all college credit courses.
    • Resume
    • Three references: Two academic and one from an occupational therapist (see above)
    • Personal Statement. See details above.
    • Plans for Remaining Academic Years Form
    • Log of Occupational Therapy Experience (15 hours minimum)

All above information must be received on or before the application deadline to be considered for admission to the program. It is the applicant's responsibility to review the progress of his/her application by viewing the Application Progress Portal and ensure that all application materials (including official reference forms, and all official transcripts are received by the application deadline).

Early Admissions Timeline:

 July 1
 MUSC Application Opens
 July 22
 OTCAS Application Opens
 September 1
 Early Admission Application & Materials Due Date
 Mid-September  Admissions Committee Review
 October  Admissions Offers Made
 August 2025
 Orientation & Classes Start


Regular Admissions Timeline:

 July 1
 MUSC Application Opens
 July 22
 OTCAS Application Opens
 November 2
 Application & Materials Due Date
 Mid-December  Interview Offers Start
Interviews Conducted
 Mid-February  Admissions Offers Made
 August 2025
 Orientation & Classes Start

International Applicants

MUSC’s OT programs are unable to admit international students requiring an F-1 visa. Applications will only be accepted from U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or those holding other valid nonimmigrant visa classifications that allow participation in lawful study while in the United States.

Use of Marijuana and/or CBD Products

Marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug and is illegal to purchase in South Carolina. Apart from a narrow and limited scope of codified/documented medical exceptions, it is illegal for individuals to use marijuana/tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in South Carolina. Although cannabidiol (CBD) products may be purchased and used in South Carolina, please be aware that CBD products may contain higher levels of THC than represented on packaging and use of CBD products can result in a positive drug screen for THC/marijuana. Be aware that current drug testing methods cannot accurately ascertain the origins of THC metabolites (i.e., whether from marijuana or CBD products). Your academic program has the authority to conduct random and/or scheduled drug testing; if your test result is reported as positive for THC metabolites (even if you only used a CBD product), your ability to be accepted into the program, progress in the program, and/or successfully complete the program may be negatively impacted.

Scholarship Eligibility

MUSC offers scholarships for which you may be eligible. Some are awarded based on academic achievement; others are awarded based on community service, for example. However, the majority of scholarships awarded at MUSC are based on financial need. This means those scholarships are only awarded to students who need some financial assistance to cover the cost of tuition and fees. If you would like to be considered for a financial need-based scholarship, you must have an up-to-date Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file. Make sure you list Medical University of South Carolina on your FAFSA form, along with MUSC’s code: 003438. We encourage you to submit the FAFSA as early as possible. It is recommended to submit the FAFSA in January if you plan to enroll in the Fall.

Application Deadline

Start Term Application Type Available Deadline
Fall 2025   Early July 1, 2024 September 1, 2024
Fall 2025  Regular July 1, 2024 November 2, 2024