Entry-Level OTD Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is the admissions deadline a rolling deadline?

We offer an early decision option. Applications submitted by September 15 will be considered for the first round of interviews in December. We encourage submitting your application by September 15.

The deadline for the regular decision option is December 7.


Q: What is the timeline for interviews and application decisions?

To be considered for early decision, candidates must submit their application materials by September 15th. In mid-November the most competitive candidates from the early decision application cohort will be invited for an on-campus interview scheduled for mid-December. Admissions decisions will be made before the semester winter break.

To be considered for regular decision, candidates must submit their application materials by December 7th. In mid-January the most competitive candidates from the regular decision application cohort will be invited for an on-campus interview scheduled for mid-February. Admissions decisions will be made by mid-March.


Q: Is a bachelor’s degree required for admissions?

Yes, a bachelor’s degree in any field besides occupational therapy is required.


Q: May I still have prerequisite courses in progress at time of application?

Yes, you may still have prerequisite courses in progress when you apply, but all courses must be completed prior to the program start in Fall/September.


Q: How do I verify that a course I took fulfills a prerequisite?

If you are unsure if previous completed coursework will meet a prerequisite requirement for the BU OTD program, please email the course syllabus to the OT Department at OT@bu.edu. We will review the course syllabus and then email you to communicate a decision regarding the prerequisite course.


Q: May I take the prerequisite courses at a community college or online?

Yes, community college and online course credit from an accredited institution are acceptable.


Q: What is the Boston University code for the GREs?

Official GRE scores should be sent directly to OTCAS and received by December 15.  The new GRE designated institution code for Boston University-OTCAS is 1891.


Q: What are the GRE requirements?

Minimum scores are Verbal 153 (500 on the prior 200-800 scale), Quantitative 144 (500 on the prior 200-800 scale), and Analytical Writing 4.5.  Your GRE scores must be received by OTCAS no later than the December 15 application deadline and must be taken no more than five years prior to applying to the program.


Q: What is the minimum GPA for the program?

The minimum GPA for acceptance into the program is a 3.0.


Q: Where can I find information on tuition and financial aid?

Please visit the entry-level OTD Tuition and BU Sargent Graduate Financial Aid webpages for more information.  The BU Sargent Graduate Financial Aid Administrator Janet Turner can assist you in exploring additional financing options.


Q: Do you accept transfer students or credits?

Unfortunately, we do not accept transfer students into the program or transfer credits.


Program Questions

Q: When does the entry-level OTD program begin?

Boston University’s entry-level OTD program begins in the Fall semester only (September).  For exact dates, please visit the Registrar’s academic calendar.


Q: Is the program full-time?

Yes, the program is a three-year, full-time program (on-campus and on-line). It is designed for full-time study.


Q: What is the average class size of the program?

We aim for a total class size of 30 students.


Q: What are the similarities and differences between an entry-level MS and entry-level OTD?

An entry level-MS and entry-level OTD program both prepare students for entry-level practice as an occupational therapist. Both programs require Level I and Level II Fieldwork. Currently, either degree level is a route of entry to the profession.

An entry-level OTD program includes additional course work and prepares students to develop both entry-level skills and advanced practice leadership skills in the areas of clinical practice, clinical research, policy and advocacy or education.  Students in an OTD program complete a mentored 14-week Doctoral Capstone and a culminating project.


Q: What is the added value of the entry-level OTD as compared to the entry-level MS degree?

Both the entry-level MS and OTD programs provide students with the skills to work as an occupational therapist in diverse practice environments (e.g., hospitals, schools, community centers, homes) with a range of clients (individuals, groups, populations).

In addition to achieving excellence in clinical practice, the BU entry-level OTD program prepares students for leadership roles in teaching, clinical research, management, or advocacy.


Q: What is the difference between an OTD and a PhD?

An entry-level doctoral program (OTD program) prepares students to sit for the National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam and work as a registered occupational therapist.

A PhD prepares students for academic careers in research and teaching. The PhD program is not designed to prepare students to become certified occupational therapists.  Some students may choose a research-based PhD after completing a clinical doctoral program.


Q. What is the difference between an entry-level doctoral program and a post-professional doctoral program?

An entry-level doctoral program is for those students who have a baccalaureate degree in any area of study and want to pursue further education to become an occupational therapist. A post-professional doctoral program is for occupational therapists who want to advance their skills. Boston University offers both types of programs.


Q: What is unique about Boston University’s entry-level OTD program?

Boston University’s entry-level OTD program has many unique features. They include:

  • Our world-renowned faculty have extensive clinical and research experiences and are passionate about engaging students in these professional activities
  • Our program has a large network of community-based clinical sites
  • Our college is situated within a stimulating, urban research university
  • Our program incorporates weekly fieldwork experiences which occur throughout each on-campus semester and provide a broad exposure to clinical settings and client populations.
  • Our coursework and Doctoral Capstone components are integrated into a curriculum that’s organized from a life-course perspective.
  • Our curriculum includes on-campus and on-line courses

Q: What is the Doctoral Capstone?

The Doctoral Capstone is an in-depth experience (14 full-time weeks) in one or more of the following student-selected areas: advanced clinical practice, research, policy and advocacy, or education.  Please visit our Doctoral Capstone page for more information.