OTA Program Admission Criteria

Admission Criteria

Admission Requirements for the OTA Program

The OTA program is made up of 2 phases: (1) the pre-professional phase and (2) the professional phase. The pre-professional phase is considered the time required to complete all prerequisite coursework and application requirements for the OTA program. After the student has applied and been selected for admission into the program, the student will enter the professional phase.

The OTA Program admits one class of 20 students per year that begins each Fall semester (mid-August). The deadline to apply is June 1st of the year you wish to enter the professional phase. The professional phase is completed over 4 semesters (16 months) with the student graduating the following Fall semester (Fall, Spring, Summer, Fall).

The deadline for applying (June 1) occurs during the SUMMER semester prior to the FALL semester start date. If a student is enrolled in courses that will complete all requirements during the Summer Semester of the June 1 deadline, the student may submit the application with those required courses still in progress. However, the student will not be scored as high as the student that completes the prerequisites prior to the June 1 deadline.

Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) examination. After successful completion of this examination, the individual will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). Most states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination.

*If you have a felony, misdemeanor, or have been convicted of legal and/or moral violations, NBCOT and the state licensure board have the right to refuse to grant you certification and/or licensure despite graduation from an accredited program.

***Please note the OTA program has a selective admissions process, therefore due to the competitive nature of the selection process, careful preparation for application is highly recommended.

Specific Admission Criteria

To be considered for admission to the Occupational Therapy Assistant program, the applicant must:

  1. Apply and be fully admitted to Albany State University before May 1st of each year.
    • You may apply now by selecting this link.
    • A $20 application fee (subject to change) is required at the time you apply to the institution.
    • Do not send the ASU application fee to the OTA Program. The two application processes are separate and no additional fee is required when submitting the OTA Program application.
    • For transfer students: Official transcripts must be sent to the Albany State University Registrar’s Office and must be received by the June 1 deadline.
      • Please note that admission to the University does not ensure admission into the OTA program.
  2. Electronically submit your FAFSA application for Financial Aid before May 1st of each year.
    • For information on completing your FAFSA application, please visit the ASU financial aid information page at the following location: Office of Financial Aid.
  3. Submit the completed OTA application by the June 1st deadline.
    The student must complete an Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) Program Application Packet. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure all application material has been completed as directed and submitted by the deadline.
    1. GRADE POINT AVERAGE: Applicants must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or higher for all college or university level courses taken, or a 2.5 or higher grade point average for the last 40 credit hours completed to be considered for program admission. The general education GPA coursework must be completed with no grade below a “C”. Students that do not meet these GPA requirements will not be considered for program admission.
      • Please note that the last 40 hours earned option is a “forgiveness” GPA for those that may have performed poorly in his or her initial college coursework and has since significantly improved.
    2. OBSERVATION HOURS: Applicants must complete a minimum of 40 observation hours in two or more occupational therapy settings. It is the student’s responsibility to arrange these observation hours.
      • The hours must be documented and verified/signed by an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant.
      • You may submit any documentation form from the facility or utilize the Observation Hours Form located within the application packet on page 10.
    3. RECOMMENDATION FORMS: At least two recommendation forms must be completed by an OT or OTA. The required Recommendation Form is located within the application packet on pages 11 and 12 and may be photocopied for additional recommendations.
    4. IMMUNIZATION FORM: Must have immunizations completed with current PPD within 3 months of June 1 deadline. The required Certificate of Immunization Form is located within the application packet on page 13 and may be photocopied.
    5. GENERAL EDUCATION COURSEWORK: To receive full consideration of your completed application, 8 general education courses must be completed before the June 1st application deadline. Candidates that have remaining courses that will be completed in the Summer Semester prior to the start of the program will be rated lower than those that have completed all general education courses before the application deadline.
      • All required general education courses must be completed with a grade of “C” or higher.
    6. UNOFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS: Copies of unofficial transcripts for all colleges or universities ever attended must be submitted with the OTA program application.
    7. PROOF OF HEALTH INSURANCE: Proof of health insurance must be provided prior to the start of the OTA program. Please do not submit proof with this application packet. If you are selected for the program, then additional information will be given to you at orientation for the submission of proof of health insurance. For additional information regarding this University System of Georgia requirement, refer to the link on the Albany State University website: UnitedHealthcare Student Resources.
    8. HAND WRITTEN ESSAY: Applicants must include a hand-written essay explaining why you have chosen OTA as a career. (There is no required length for the essay, but it is recommended that you submit a paper that is at least two pages in length to fully answer the question.)
    9. TEAS TEST REQUIREMENT: Submit a copy of the TEAS score report. Please refer to page 15 of this application packet for more information.

Selection Process

The OTA Selection Committee reviews and scores each application based on the following criteria: grade point averages (Cumulative GPA or for the last 40 credit hours and GPA for all required general education courses), the total number of hours observed in two or more occupational therapy settings, the quality of the hand written essay, TEAS score report results, the quality of the received recommendations, and the completion status of general education courses.

Applicants will be notified via email no later than June 15. Correspondence of acceptance or regret will be made through email and should be sent to OTA Selection Committee no later than July 1. The Albany State University OTA Program does not utilize a waiting list and those denied acceptance must reapply the following year. Application information such as volunteer hours and essays can be reused for reapplications.

Legal Limitations

Individuals who have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor may not be eligible for licensure. If convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, it is recommended that you contact the Occupational Therapy Board in the state where you plan to seek licensure to verify your eligibility for licensure. All students will be required to complete a national criminal background check prior to placement in clinical externships. Some clinical facilities may also require a drug screen prior to placement (students may be responsible for payment). The clinical affiliate determines whether a student can participate in the clinical rotation based upon the results of the background check and drug screen. Should the student be denied clinical placement, he or she cannot progress through the program and will be dismissed. Careful consideration of any questionable record should be carefully scrutinized prior to application. The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) also performs background checks to determine the eligibility of graduates to take the certification exam. You can request an Early Determination Review prior to applying for the OTA Program by contacting NBCOT.

Non-Discrimination Policy

Albany State University’s Darton College of Health Professions, in compliance with Federal law, does not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, handicap, sex, religion, or age in any of its policies, practices, or procedures. This includes but is not limited to admissions, employment, financial aid, and educational services.

The faculty of the Occupational Therapy Assistant program acknowledges Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and PL 103-336, The Americans with Disabilities Act and will consider for admission, progression, and graduation candidates who demonstrate the ability to perform the essential abilities. These standards are admission guidelines and are subject to continuing revision and improvement.

The Health Sciences department is responsible for the information on this page.
To inquire about the Occupational Therapy Assistant program, please contact .