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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to the Occupational Therapy Program?
The Occupational Therapy Program invites the submission of applications through the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS). Applicants are encouraged to apply through OTCAS but, as an alternative, may apply online through TouroApply.
What is the application timetable?
There are two separate admission cycles for application, depending on your choice of location. The deadline for submission of the application and supporting documents is March 1 for the Bay Shore campus program, which begins each Fall semester, and September 1 for the Manhattan campus program, which begins each Spring semester. Applicants are encouraged to apply early. Applicants with superior academic records may wish to avail themselves of the "Early Decision" option through OTCAS for the Manhattan campus, for which the application deadline is June 1. Eligible candidates choosing this option will receive priority consideration in the admission process.
Is there a minimum cumulative GPA for admission?
A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and a minimum science GPA of 3.0 are recommended. The Occupational Therapy Admissions Committee evaluates applications and makes decisions regarding admission to the program based on a rigorous and competitive review process. Therefore, meeting only minimum requirements cannot guarantee selection for an interview or admission to the program.
How many students are accepted each year?
The OT Department accepts approximately 55 students per year; 30 at the Manhattan campus and 25 at the Bay Shore campus.
Does all the prerequisite coursework have to be completed before I can apply?
No. You may apply while coursework is still in progress. However, no more than 15 prerequisite credits in total, and no more than 4 credits in prerequisite laboratory sciences, may be outstanding at the time of application. Applicants must provide proof that they are registered for in-progress coursework.
Does the prerequisite coursework have to be completed before I can be accepted?
No. You may be accepted on a conditional basis. However, all required courses must be successfully completed, with a grade of “C” or better, and documented on official transcripts PRIOR to the first day of classes at the OT program location where you will be attending. Accepted applicants who cannot satisfy this requirement for conditional acceptance may be offered the opportunity to defer their entry to the following academic year.
Where can I take the prerequisites?
Prerequisites may be taken at any accredited college. Prerequisite courses are also offered by all Touro College undergraduate divisions.
Where can I complete my hours of volunteer experience?
Your volunteer experiences can take place in any facility as long as the observational experience is with a licensed Occupational Therapist. Volunteering in more than one type of setting or with more than one population will broaden your exposure to OT and is strongly recommended.
Do volunteer hours need to be completed before my interview?
Applicants are required to submit documentation of completion of 40 hours of volunteer experience under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist, completed within the last 3 years. The required hours must be completed and verified in order for an application to be eligible for review by the OT Admissions Committee for an interview.
Are interviews required?
Yes. Selected individuals will be invited to interview as part of the admission process. Candidates who are selected for an on-campus interview will be asked to produce a spontaneous writing sample during their interview visit. Eligible applicants may be invited for an interview if they have documented completion of volunteer work, have completed prerequisite coursework with no more than 15 prerequisite credits in total and no more than 4 credits in prerequisite laboratory sciences remaining, and have submitted their personal statement and two letters of recommendation on the required forms (one from a licensed occupational therapist, one from a professional or academic source).
What is the length of the B.S./M.S. Occupational Therapy program?
The Touro College OT curriculum is typically completed in 3 years of full-time study. With permission from the OT Department Chairperson, under certain circumstances a student may be allowed to complete the OT curriculum in 4 or 5 years of extended study. The extended study option (1) reduces the number of courses taken simultaneously for a portion of the curriculum and (2) extends the duration of study. A request to be considered for the extended study option should be made in writing at the time of application and sent to the School of Health Sciences Office of Admissions.
If I already have a Bachelor's degree or previous related coursework, do I still need to take all the courses in the program?
Yes. Regardless of your previous education or degree(s), if admitted you must attend all classes for the entire length of the program, as the coursework is professional in nature and is required to earn the dual degrees which are granted.
What degree will I earn upon graduation from the Occupational Therapy Program?
Graduates of the OT program earn the dual degrees of Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences and Master of Science in Occupational Therapy. Graduates of the program are eligible to sit for the national board certification examination for occupational therapists. Passing this exam is required for licensure to practice as an occupational therapist.
When are classes scheduled?
At the Bay Shore campus, students attend classes in the Fall and Spring semesters and participate in full-time clinical fieldwork over the summer. Most classes are scheduled between the hours of 8am and 7:30pm Mondays through Thursdays with some classes scheduled later, and between 8am and 2pm on Fridays.

At the Manhattan campus, students attend classes in the Spring and Summer semesters and participate in full-time clinical fieldwork in the fall. Most classes are scheduled between the hours of 8am and 7:30pm Mondays through Thursdays with some classes scheduled later, and between 8am and 2pm on Fridays.

In addition, the Occupational Therapy Programs adhere to a Jewish holiday calendar.
Will I attend the Occupational Therapy Program at the Bay Shore or at the Manhattan campus?
Admission can only be to the program to which the candidate has applied. Please be aware that, although the majority of classes are held on the campus to which the student was admitted, occasional travel between campuses may be required for special classes and functions.
Can I transfer my acceptance from one campus to the other?
No. Admission is only to the program at the campus to which the candidate was accepted.
Can I request postponed admission once accepted?
Yes. An accepted candidate may request a deferment of enrollment, but only for one year and only to the campus to which s/he was initially accepted. Deferment of enrollment requires approval of the Touro College OT Admissions Committee and the Occupational Therapy Chairperson and Director. A limited number of applicants will be granted deferment.
Can I re-apply if I am declined admission?
Yes, but any reapplications should be updated to include additional coursework and/or accomplishments that the candidate feels will contribute to academic and clinical success.
Can someone with a criminal record be credentialed as an occupational therapist?
Since certification and professional licensing are designed to protect the public, the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) and NY State Department of Education-Division of Professional Licensing monitor professional practice and control entry by felons. Anyone who has a previous criminal record should contact both the NBCOT and the Department of Education prior to commencing study toward the occupational therapy degree to assure that practice following study is an option.
Is the Occupational Therapy Program accredited?
Yes. The dual degree program in Occupational Therapy at Touro College is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE), 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD. 20814-3449, (301) 652-2682. www.acoteonline.org