The following requirements apply to the Entry-Level Army-Baylor OTD program and must be met by every applicant to be considered for admission.
Program Admission Requirements
All applications must be submitted through the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS).
Admission to the Entry-Level Army-Baylor OTD program closely follows the admission criteria for all health science programs in the Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences with differences reflecting the need for prerequisite courses unique to and in support of the OTD curriculum. Students applying to the Army-Baylor OTD program should have the requisite skills and demonstrated potential to navigate the academic rigors of an accelerated military based OTD education.
Prerequisites for Admission
All applicants must hold a Baccalaureate Degree in Arts or Sciences from an accredited university or be in the last semester of coursework at the time of the board. All applicants must complete 29 credit hours of specified prerequisite coursework. A minimum 3.0 prerequisite GPA is required. A minimum 3.0 overall GPA is required. The following prerequisites (or their approved transfer equivalents) are required for admission:
- Biological Science with Lab (3 semester hours)
- Human Anatomy and Physiology I with laboratory (4 semester hours)
- Human Anatomy and Physiology II with laboratory (4 semester hours)
- Kinesiology, Biomechanics, or Physics with laboratory (3 semester hours)
- Human Development (lifespan) (3 semester hours)
- Social Science (any combination of Psychology, Sociology, or Humanities) (total of 6 credit hours)
- Abnormal Psychology (3 semester hours)
- Statistics (3 semester hours)
Additional Prerequisite Information
- Requirement: Our OTCAS GRE Code is 3539. All applicants must request ETS.org to send their GRE scores to our OTCAS GRE Code: 3539
- Requirement: Prerequisite courses must be less than 10 years old from the application deadline.
- Requirement: Graduate Record Examination (GRE) completed within the last 5 years, including the analytical writing portion.
- Requirement: Must achieve a GRE Combined score (quantitative + verbal) of 300.
- Requirement: Must achieve a GRE Verbal score of 145 or greater.
- Requirement: Must achieve a GRE Quantitative score of 149 or greater.
- Requirement: Must achieve a GRE Analytical Writing score of 3.5 or greater.
- Requirement: Must complete a minimum of 24 volunteer observation hours under an occupational therapy setting. It is highly recommended that these hours come from at least two clinical practice settings, with at least one in a traditional OT clinic (e.g. outpatient orthopedic, and/or acute care). If the opportunity is available, we encourage applicants to gain military, Veterans Affairs, or H2F (Holistic Health & Fitness) OT experience.
- Requirement: Must receive 3 (4 max) letters of reference (LOR); all letters of reference are submitted via OTCAS. LORs must be dated and signed by the author.
- LOR 1 – From a Professor of Faculty Advisor. This LOR is separate from Dean’s Letter stating applicant’s projected graduation date.
- LOR 2 – From a current or previous Supervisor
- LOR 3 – From anyone of the applicant’s choosing (employer, professor, faculty member, occupational therapist, peer, etc.).
- LOR 4 (Only for applicants currently serving in the military) – Endorsement from the Commander
All selected applicants must be motivated and capable of becoming a military Army officer undergoing rigorous academic and clinical preparation, and developing into a military occupational therapist consistent with the program mission and goals. Qualified students will be admitted regardless of race, color, national or ethnic origin, or gender.
The Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences and the Baylor University Graduate School work with the Army-Baylor OTD Program Director to review student candidates for the OTD program to ensure that students who are considered for the program meet admission standards for the Army-Baylor OTD program, Robbins College, and the Baylor University Graduate School.
The Army-Baylor OTD admissions committee and faculty will review all completed applications (i.e., application and all supporting materials received) in the order of receipt. Applicants are evaluated based on the following items:
- Cumulative GPA
- Pre-requisite GPA
- GRE verbal percentile rank
- GRE quantitative percentile rank
- Observation hours
- Letters of Recommendation
- Leadership/volunteer experience
- Telephonic/Virtual Interview Score
Other factors considered, but not required:
- Relevant work experience
- Prior military experience
The Army-Baylor OTD admissions committee uses this evaluative process to ensure nondiscrimination and equal opportunity for all applicants. The Army-Baylor OTD admissions committee will grant admission interviews by invitation only. The Army-Baylor OTD program does not offer credit for previous work experience, coursework, or experiential learning, nor is advanced placement credit available for this program.
The Army-Baylor OTD Program Director or designee will contact selected applicants and provide further instructions for completing the interview process.
All applications must be submitted through the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS).
Each year, the OTCAS application cycle opens in late July; and application to the Army-Baylor OTD Program closes late September. Please visit OTCAS for exact dates each cycle. Our goal is to review your application as soon as possible, but we can only review applications that are verified by OTCAS. It is the responsibility of each applicant to ensure that their application becomes "verified" in OTCAS. If you have any questions regarding the status of your application, please contact OTCAS. The verification process may take up to 5 weeks.
After an individual applies through OTCAS (Phase 1), if they are academically approved by the program, they will continue to Phase 2 requiring weekly communication with their local Army Medical Recruiting Office.
- Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution prior to Army-Baylor OTD classes beginning. Provisional admission may be granted pending completion of the undergraduate degree. Students are required to successfully complete and document a minimum of four (4) FTE academic years of pre-professional preparation.
- Must complete all prerequisite courses with a prerequisite coursework as listed above
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE) completed within the last 5 years, including the analytical writing portion.
- Must NOT be a graduate of an entry-level occupational therapy program (U.S. or foreign), regardless of the level of degree conferred. Note: this requirement does not restrict pre-occupational therapy degrees, or those with COTA certification from applying. Only graduates of entry-level OT programs from any degree level are NOT eligible for admission to the entry-level Army-Baylor OTD program.
- Must NOT have ever matriculated into another OTD program.
- Applicants must be U.S. Citizens.
- Applicants must be between 21 and 42 years old.
- Applicants must be eligible for a ‘Secret’ security clearance and achieve a favorable security background screening.
- Applicants must meet the medical screening standards for commissioning. Applicants will complete a physical examination where the Department of Defense screens for certain conditions that may be disqualifying for military service. All applicants must meet height and weight standards to be deemed eligible for commissioning.
- Applicants must meet U.S. Army physical fitness standards. For more information, please visit: www.army.mil/acft/.
- Students become Army Officers and incur a 90 month active duty service obligation (ADSO) which comprises of 30 months of doctoral training + 60 months of Active Duty service upon timely completion of the program. However, Officers will incur a recalculated ADSO if they either fail to timely complete the program or if they are withdrawn for any reason.
- Special Circumstances:
- Current Service Members must obtain a Conditional Letter of Release from their current branch prior to the application deadline.
- Current military officers with greater than eight years Active Federal Commissioned Services (AFCS) by 01 November of the year the applicant is boarding are ineligible to apply. AFCS waivers may be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Army Medical Specialist Corps.
- Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) Cadets may apply to the program with or without an approved Education Delay. All ROTC Cadets must apply through the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS) (https://otcas.liaisoncas.com/applicant-ux/#/login).
Technical Standards and Accommodations
Occupational therapy is a mentally, physically, and psychologically demanding profession. Throughout the Army-Baylor OTD curriculum, students acquire the foundation of knowledge, attitudes, skills, and behaviors that are necessary for a successful career as an Occupational Therapist. Technical standards reflect those abilities that an occupational therapist must possess for safe and effective clinical practice. Prospective and current students must meet the following technical requirements with or without reasonable accommodation for admission, progression, and graduation in the Army-Baylor OTD program.
The student must demonstrate the alertness and endurance to attend classes 30 hours or more each week, including active participation in combinations of lectures, discussion, lab, and fieldwork/clinical activities. Preparation for class typically requires an additional 20-30 hours per week, students must be active participants prepared for all sessions. During lab sessions, students may be required to participate as patients, therapist, and observers with a variety of people representing different physical attributes, gender, age, abilities and disabilities, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, and ethnic backgrounds to simulate the diversity expected in the practice setting. Participation in lab experiences may require exposure of body parts and palpation of body structures by faculty, students, and supervisors of both sexes in preparation for professional practice. Fieldwork/clinical experiences often require 40 hours or more per week on a schedule that corresponds to the operating hours of the facility and the fieldwork educator’s schedule.
The student is expected to possess functional use of the senses of vision, touch, hearing, taste, and smell. All data received by the senses must be integrated, analyzed, and synthesized in a consistent and accurate manner. In addition, the individual is expected to possess the ability to perceive pain, pressure, temperature, position, equilibrium, and movement.
Observation requires the functional use of vision, hearing, somatic sensations, and the use of common sense. Candidates must have visual perception which includes depth and acuity. A student must be able to observe didactic instruction, laboratory-dissected tools, and lecture and laboratory demonstrations. The student must be able to observe a patient accurately, observe digital and waveform readings and other graphic images to determine a patient's condition. The student must observe patients accurately and obtain an appropriate medical history directly from the patient or guardian. A student must observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand, noting nonverbal as well as verbal signals.
Appropriate visual field, acuity, and scanning for safety factors are required for emergency situations. The student must have adequate functional tactile sensations (i.e., feel vibrations, detect temperatures, feel differences in surface characteristics) and proprioceptive abilities necessary to perceive and synthesize inputs during patient/client evaluation/assessments, interventions, and interactions. Auditory capacity to receive instructions and to evaluate and provide interventions for patients/clients, involving abilities to hear normal speaking levels, faint body sounds, and auditory alarms must be present as well as olfactory abilities to detect odors and smoke.
The occupational therapy student must write, speak, hear, and observe in order to elicit information, examine, educate, and provide interventions, describe changes in mood, activity, posture, and perceive non-verbal communication. Communication includes speech (verbal and non-verbal), language, reading, writing and computer literacy. The student must communicate effectively, sensitively, and convey a sense of compassion and empathy with clients/patients to obtain information regarding mood and activities and perceive non-verbal communications. Occupational Therapy education presents exceptional challenges in the volume and breadth of required reading and the necessity to impart information to others. The student must be able to communicate quickly, effectively and efficiently in oral and written English with all members of the health care team. The student must complete forms and documentation according to directions in a timely manner. Communication also includes articulation and speaking with volume which is understandable to the listener and/or audience whether in a one-to-one, small group, or large group setting. Sensitivity in communication is required regardless of lifestyle, age, gender, ethnic/racial, religious/spiritual background, educational level, socioeconomic status, and physical, cognitive, or emotional disabilities. Communication requires the student to uphold privacy and confidentiality policies.
The student is expected to have emotional stability required to exercise sound judgment and complete assessment and intervention activities with clients. The student must establish rapport and maintain sensitive, interpersonal relationships with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds. The student is expected to have the flexibility to function effectively under stress. Concern for others, integrity, accountability, interest, and motivation are necessary personal qualities for the occupational therapy student.
The occupational therapy student must have motor function and strength to execute movements required to assess and provide interventions with patients in a therapeutically effective and safe manner. The student must possess motor function to elicit information from the client/patient examination. The student must be able to execute movements required to provide general and therapeutic care, such as positioning large or immobile clients/patients for engagement in therapeutic activities, client/patient mobility with use of therapeutic aids and orthotics, provision of balance stability and guarding of falls during transferring of clients, performing manual mobilization techniques, and setting up/moving equipment. The student must have the physical strength to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation and emergency treatment to individuals. These skills require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movement, equilibrium, and the integrated use of touch, vision, vestibular, and proprioception senses. The student must be able to provide interventions to clients through a variety of mobility to include rolling, crawling, standing, walking, and sitting.
The student must have the capacity to sit for long periods, stand and maintain balance for up to 6-8 hours per day in classroom/fieldwork/clinical settings, walk or mobilize self through the environment independently, occasionally climb stairs or navigate uneven terrain, twist/bend/squat, carry equipment and supplies, reach above shoulders and to floor, lift/support 50 lbs., exertion of push-pull forces of a minimum of 90 lbs., coordination of verbal, manual, and gross-motor activities, move from place to place and position to position with safe speed, strength, coordination, and endurance for handling equipment and classmates or patients/clients, frequently use hands repetitively with a simple grasp and frequently use a firm grasp and manual dexterity skills, pinch/pick-up objects with both hands, grasp small objects with hands/fingers, twist with hands, write with a pen or pencil, manipulate computer touch screens and keyboards.
Intellectual-Conceptual Integrative and Quantitative Analysis Skills
To effectively solve problems, the student must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, integrate and synthesize information in a timely fashion including ‘on the spot’ situations and under pressure situations. The student must be able to synthesize knowledge from multiple sources and integrate the relevant aspects of a client's history, physical examination, and laboratory data, provide a reasoned explanation for likely therapy, recalling and retaining information in an efficient and timely manner. The ability to incorporate new information from peers, teachers, and the medical literature in formulating treatment and plans with increasing complexity throughout the academic program is essential. In addition, the student must be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand spatial relationships of structures. The student must use computers for searching, recording, storing, retrieving, and communicating information. The student must adhere to safety precautions and demonstrate self-reflection and the ability to apply feedback in order to develop proactive strategies for growth and development. The student must identify subtle cues of mood, temperament, and gestures provided by others.
Behavior/Social Attributes and Professional Skills
The occupational therapy student must have appropriate social skills for forming and maintaining mature and culturally sensitive relationships with a variety of people. The student must possess the psychological ability required for the full utilization of own intellectual abilities, to exercise good judgment, and to promptly complete responsibilities. The student must tolerate physically and mentally taxing workloads and function effectively under stress by adapting to a changing environment, display flexibility and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of clients. As a component of professional education, the student must demonstrate ethical behavior and the ability to work as a team/group member. The student will be required to deal appropriately with situations involving pain, grief, death, stress, communicable diseases, blood and body fluids, and toxic substances. Compassion, respect, courtesy, integrity, interpersonal skills, motivation, and concern for others are examples of qualities expected of the occupational therapy student. The student must demonstrate the ability and willingness to modify behavior after receiving performance feedback. The student must maintain personal appearance and personal hygiene guidelines appropriate for the classroom, fieldwork, and doctoral capstone facilities.
Minimum Technology Specifications Computer Requirements
The student is required to have a laptop computer and a mobile device that can support the technology programs and resources used by the Army-Baylor OTD program. The student is required to have the laptop computer (with a full version of Chrome browser), and mobile device in possession at the time of the Army-Baylor OTD Program Orientation.
- The minimum system requirements for a PC or Mac laptop computer are listed below.
- System performance (processing speed and available RAM) will vary based upon installed software, actively running software/applications, and internet speed.
- Laptop computer with Windows or iOS operating system, is acceptable with the minimum requirements below.
- Each student should ensure a laptop, internet speed/capacity, a working microphone, and webcam that can support the technology programs and resources used throughout the Army-Baylor OTD Program.
Internet Access and Capabilities
- The student must have regular and reliable access to a broadband (DSL, cable, or satellite) internet connection. We recommend a minimum 15 Mbps download and 2 Mbps upload speed. Students can test their current internet speed at http://www.speedtest.net/. A dial-up modem will not be able to handle the multimedia format of an online course.
- Mobile broadband capability for the mobile device is suggested to provide an internet connection when a local wireless network is not available.
- Google Chrome is the recommended web browser and is required when taking online examinations. Other web browsers that are compatible with Canvas are found at https://guides.instructure.com/m/67952/l/720329-which-browsers-does-canvas-support.
- Microsoft Office 365 is required. If you do not currently own a version of Microsoft Office, you can access a subscription for free at https://www.baylor.edu/helpdesk/index.php?id=975949 by using your Baylor University BearID.
- If additional software or digital content is required for a course, it will be stated in the course syllabus to allow sufficient time to purchase. A variety of mobile device applications are required for use throughout the program.
- Software is required that enables viewing and editing frequently used file types including Microsoft files (Word, PowerPoint, and Excel) and portable document files (PDFs).
- Even while using the most compatible applications, some software and applications may not be fully compatible with all hardware and across all platforms. For example, Adobe Flash files may not run on some Apple and Android operating systems. In these situations where incompatibility results, it is the student’s responsibility to view any required files utilizing compatible hardware or utilizing the Baylor University computer laboratory.
- For assistance with technology support. Please contact Baylor University Information Technology Services at its.web.baylor.edu.
Additional Requirements Once Accepted into the Program
Once accepted into the Army-Baylor Occupational Therapy Program, and prior to beginning classes, the student must:
- Attend Army Medical Department (AMEDD) Direct Commissioning Course (DCC) and Basic Officer Leader Course (BOLC) prior to the OTD program start date.
- Attend the mandatory Army-Baylor OTD Program Orientation.
- Purchase all required OTD textbooks, manuals and laboratory supplies.
- Assume all responsibility for transportation to and from all facilities used for educational experiences, including clinical agencies assigned.
- Adhere to the Army-Baylor OTD Program Dress Code (i.e. military appropriate uniform, scrubs, graduate school research uniform)
Please email questions to ArmyBaylorOTD@baylor.edu.