Top 10 Most Prestigious Schools for Occupational Therapy With Low GPA Requirements in the US
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What is the Minimum GPA Required for Occupational Therapy (OT) School?
A master's degree is required to practice occupational therapy. Graduate admissions requirements for this degree can vary slightly between the various U.S. institutions that offer it.
A low grade point average for graduate school is 3.00. Even if you don't get into the best graduate schools in the world, you should still have plenty of options if your GPA in undergrad is 3.0.
However, please note that these are only the bare minimums in terms of GPA. Students who apply with a higher GPA have a better chance of being accepted. Students accepted into Springfield College's occupational therapy program typically have a GPA of 3.5, according to the college. Even higher than that, at UNC Chapel Hill, the average GPA of accepted students was 3.6.
The truth is that there is no magic GPA that will ensure acceptance. GRE scores, relevant work or volunteer experience (if any), and faculty/supervisor recommendations are all factors that universities take into account when reviewing applications. Therefore, a candidate's undergraduate GPA just at the minimum requirement might not be a huge factor if they excel in other ways.
You can't advance to the master's or doctoral level in occupational therapy without first earning your bachelor's. The bachelor's degree you earn is generally transferable to a variety of graduate programs. As far as I can tell, there is no required major to join the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).
Academic eligibility requirements for admission to OT schools include a minimum GPA and prerequisite courses, as stated by The Student Doctor Network's Occupational Therapy Admissions Guide External link.
Academic eligibility requirements for admission to OT schools include a minimum GPA and prerequisite courses, as stated by The Student Doctor Network's Occupational Therapy Admissions Guide External link. Common prerequisites include courses in biology, anatomy and physiology, human development, psychology, sociology, statistics, and medical terminology. You may be advised to take a different course.
If you want a rewarding and financially stable career in the healthcare industry, you should consider enrolling in an occupational therapy program. Occupational therapy is a fascinating field because its practitioners improve the quality of life for their patients.
If you're looking for the most up-to-date information on less rigorous programs that accept applicants with lower GPAs to study occupational therapy, then you've come to the right place.
Occupational Therapy Career Scope
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of occupational therapists will grow by 18% between 2018 and 2028, which is significantly faster than the average for all occupations. The average salary for occupational therapy master's degree holders is $84,000.
Top 10+ Occupational Therapy (OT) Schools with Low GPA Requirements
Courses in occupational therapy (OT) can be found at many schools across the USA. Using this figure and the data presented here, you can find out which ones have minimal GPA requirements.
1. DePaul University
Location: 1 E. Jackson Blvd. Chicago, IL 60604 (312) 362-8000
Tuition & Fees: $42,840
|DePaul University - Best Occupational Therapy (OT) Schools with Low GPA|
Students at DePaul University hail from 136 nations and 49 states.
Founded in 1898, DePaul University is a private institution. The campus is 41 acres in size, has a total undergraduate enrollment of 14,294 (fall 2021), and is located in an urban area. It makes use of an academic calendar based on quarters. The National Universities section of the Best Colleges ranking for 2022–2023 places DePaul University at #137. The total cost of attendance is $42,840.
The two primary campuses of DePaul University are situated in Chicago's Loop and Lincoln Park districts. DePaul's 10 academic colleges, which are split between the two main campuses and offer in-person, online, and hybrid class formats, house more than 130 undergraduate majors. Adult learners are catered to by DePaul's School of Continuing and Professional Studies, which also provides opportunities for additional credit based on prior work experience. More than 5% of students join fraternities and sororities, and there are more than 350 student organizations representing a variety of academic, professional, and personal interests. In 15 different sports, the DePaul Blue Demons compete in the NCAA Division I Big East Conference. Additionally, the school fields esports teams that take part in collegiate competitions.
All DePaul University students have access to on-campus housing options on both campuses. For students of any age, University Center, a multi-college community residence hall, is one option. There, DePaul students live in shared apartments and floors with classmates from other nearby universities. The actors Gillian Anderson from "The X-Files" and "The Crown," John C. Reilly from movies like "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" and "Step Brothers," and Tarell Alvin McCraney, the author of the Academy Award-winning movie "Moonlight," are all notable DePaul University graduates.
2. Western New Mexico, New Mexico
Location: 1000 W College Ave, Silver City, NM 88062
|The football stadium at Western New Mexico University provides a dramatic backdrop for watching a game. New coach Philip Vigil promises to bring an aggressive brand of football to Silver City.|
More than 3,500 students attend our campuses and are enrolled online.
50% of our undergrads are Hispanic, and we are designated as an Hispanic Serving Institution.
Classes have 18 students each, on average.
500 degrees are awarded each year.
18 countries are represented in our student body.
Established on February 11, 1893
We've had four names: Normal School, New Mexico State Teacher's College, New Mexico Western College and Western New Mexico University (1963).
Five buildings on campus are registered as cultural properties: Fleming Hall, Graham Gymnasium, Hunter Hall, Light Hall and Ritch Hall.
Longest tradition: the Great Race, established in 1967
WNMU offers more than 70 academic specializations, ranging from zoology to accounting.
The WNMU Master of Social Work program recently received top marks from EDUMed, which assessed more than 7,000 similar programs across the country. The fully online MSW program was ranked second in the country for 2023 when affordability, student support and outcomes, and academic rigor were compared. The curriculum trains generalists who are culturally competent and prepared to compete in the workforce.
For its online MBA program in 2023, Online Master's Degrees has ranked WNMU as one of the top schools. Comparing the program to more than 7,000 other accredited programs across the country, the ranking praised the program's overall quality, affordability, and dedication to student success. It also praised the university's efforts to keep costs low for WNMU students overall.
WNMU|Online is one of the five most affordable programs in the country, according to BestColleges.com, which also ranked it among other colleges and universities. The evaluation determined how much tuition would cost, how much federal aid would typically be given to WNMU students, and how much debt would result from attending WNMU's online program.
3. Salem State University
Location: 352 Lafayette Street, Salem, Massachusetts 01970
|Salem State University|
The public Salem State University (also known as Salem State or SSU) is located in Salem, Massachusetts. It is the oldest and largest institution of higher learning on the North Shore and a part of the state university system in Massachusetts. It was founded in 1854.
The university offers numerous bachelor's, master's, and post-master's certificates in more than 40 different academic fields. It is the only institution of public higher education in Massachusetts that offers a graduate program in social work. Salem State had 5,716 undergraduate and 1,526 graduate full- and part-time students enrolled as of Fall 2020, hailing from 37 states and 48 foreign nations.
4. Vincennes University, Indiana
Location: 850 College Avenue, Jasper, IN 47546
A public university, Vincennes University (VU) has its main campus in Vincennes, Indiana. VU is Indiana's oldest public institution of higher learning and was established in 1801 as Jefferson Academy.
Up until the founding of Indiana University in 1820, VU was the only publicly funded four-year university in the state of Indiana. It was established in 1806 as the four-year university for the Indiana Territory. The State of Indiana granted VU a two-year university charter in 1889.
Vincennes University and the institution that would become the Ivy Tech Community College had a state-mandated partnership from 1999 to 2005. VU started awarding baccalaureate degrees in 2005.
The Vincennes campus of VU is a residential campus tucked away along the Wabash River. Additional VU locations include a campus in Jasper, Indiana, the Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics in Fort Branch, Indiana, as well as centers for American Sign Language, Aviation, Logistics, and Advanced Manufacturing in the Indianapolis region.
5. Community College of Baltimore County, Maryland
Location: Baltimore County, Maryland
With three main campuses and three extension centers, the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) is a public community college in Baltimore County, Maryland.
More than 100 associate degree and certificate programs are offered by CCBC in a variety of subject areas. More than 72,000 students enroll each year, the majority of whom reside in the neighborhood. With students from 55 different nations enrolled, the college has both domestic and international connections. An honors program is available to both daytime and evening students at the Catonsville, Dundalk, and Essex campuses.
CCBC has three main campuses in the Maryland communities of Catonsville, Dundalk, and Essex as well as extension centers in the Baltimore County communities of Hunt Valley, Owings Mills, and Randallstown. The Hunt Valley, Owings Mills, and Randallstown centers were originally extensions of Catonsville Community College. However, in 1998, Catonsville Community College, Dundalk Community College, and Essex Community College merged to form the Community College of Baltimore County.
6. Eastern Michigan University
Location: Ypsilanti, MI
The GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology offers top-notch learning opportunities in engineering, technology, cybersecurity, project management, autonomous vehicles, drone technology, aviation, and other subjects of study in fields with high employment demand.
GameAbove is a group of ardent Eastern Michigan University alumni who want to positively impact the school. The team is made up of a diverse group of people from all ages and backgrounds, including former student-athletes from EMU, active business owners and entrepreneurs, Hall of Famers, and a few select EMU coaches who are all EMU graduates.
7. Townson University
Location: 8000 York Road, Towson, MD 21252
Towson University is a renowned leader in inclusive excellence, a warm place to live and learn, and a significant anchor institution for the greater Baltimore area. TU fosters opportunities for the public good while advancing research.
Towson University has a long history of academic success and has played a significant role in the advancement of higher education for more than 150 years. It continues to look strategically ahead with purpose and passion.
Because TU never stops creating opportunities and connecting students to industry experts in small learning settings, Tigers are always ready for anything. TU is one of only a few colleges in the nation and the only one in Maryland without an achievement gap. This means that all students succeed academically and that Tigers learn in an inclusive environment. TU also prioritizes giving students a rich and exciting educational experience.
Eight miles north of Baltimore and less than an hour's drive from Washington, D.C. are where our 329-acre campus is located. Strong collaborations between TU and both public and private organizations in the region offer one-of-a-kind opportunities for research, internships, and employment. The Towson Learning Network reaches off-campus locations all over the state in addition to its main campus. Transfer students in northeastern Maryland are given the choice to complete their bachelor's degrees at TU's satellite campus in Northeastern Maryland thanks to creative partnerships with Maryland Community Colleges.
8. Gannon University
Location: 6363 9th Ave. North, St. Petersburg, FL 33710
More than 4,000 academically gifted and diverse students can choose from online and conventional associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs at Gannon University, a Catholic diocesan university with campuses in Erie, Pennsylvania, and Ruskin, Florida.
Gannon University is committed to providing top-notch instruction, research, and service. The University offers a thorough, values-based educational experience that places an emphasis on faith, leadership, inclusivity, and social responsibility and is inspired by the Catholic Intellectual Tradition.
On Friday, August 23, 2019, Gannon University celebrated the official opening of a new 80,000-square-foot academic building on its Ruskin, Florida campus. The Dedication and Blessing Ceremony was held at the campus, which is located south of Tampa, in front of about 220 people.
Gannon University started to expand into Ruskin in 2014, and in 2015 it launched its doctoral program in occupational therapy with 28 students. Since then, Gannon has built our newest academic building, acquired and completely renovated the existing building, and created a new parking lot. Over 240 students are currently enrolled at the university.
This brand-new structure, which cost around $20 million, will accommodate the expansion of our program offerings, student body, faculty, and staff. The building provides room for extra classrooms, labs, and faculty offices that incorporate modern amenities like a fitness center and a common area for student gatherings.
The academic building at Gannon University, according to Steven Mauro, Ph.D., vice president of academic administration, "is symbolic of our permanence in the Ruskin area and community."
Seven programs are currently available through Gannon University, which also has a growing faculty and staff of 30 people. Along with the doctorate program in occupational therapy, other graduate programs include a master's in athletic training, a master's in physician assistant science, a master's in sport and exercise science, and a master's in speech-language pathology is currently being developed.
In Erie and Florida, Gannon University is a pioneer in healthcare education. With a long history of providing top-notch academic programs, the Morosky College of Health Professions and Sciences has helped students become knowledgeable, creative, and socially conscious professionals in their fields and communities.
Excellent learning and support environments are provided by this new structure, which will be used to train students to become future healthcare professionals, support faculty and student research, and offer community service.
Sarah Ewing, dean of the Morosky College of Health Professions and Sciences, said, "The Dedication and Blessing of our new academic building on the Ruskin, Florida campus is a testament to Gannon University's continued growth and success in delivering exceptional graduate education in the health professions." "As we grow our campus, we are so appreciative of the community at Ruskin. The new structure will offer our students cutting-edge learning environments where they can study and put what they learn to use in ways that benefit the community.
9. Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College
Location: Perkinston, Mississippi
A public community college, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (MGCCC) has its main campus in Perkinston, Mississippi.
It was established in 1912 as Harrison County Agricultural High School. With its main campus in Perkinston, a campus in Jackson County in Gautier, a campus in Harrison County in Gulfport, a center in George County in Lucedale, a center in West Harrison in Long Beach, a center for advanced manufacturing and technology in Gulfport, a center at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, a center for the Naval Construction Battalion in Gulfport, and a center at Tradition in Harrison County, MGCCC has three campuses and six centers.
Additionally, MGCCC has a Community Campus that offers employers and residents in south Mississippi on-site and online workforce education programs.
The athletic teams at the college are referred to as the Bulldogs. The Mississippi Association of Community & Junior Colleges hosts competitions for these teams in the sports of football, basketball, baseball, soccer, softball, golf, and tennis. In 1971 and 1984, MGCCC won the National Junior College Athletic Association Football Championship.
In 2007, it was co-national champion, and in 2019, it triumphed completely once more. The 1948 Williamson Football Rating Bureau national championship was split between the football team and Compton Junior College. In 2018, the men's golf team captured the NJCAA Division II Men's Golf Championship, and in 2017, Colin Troxler claimed an individual national title. In 1973, the women's basketball team captured the national title of the Association for Intercollegiate Women's Junior College.
10. Humboldt State University
Location: 1 Harpst Street, Arcata, CA 95521
Total Enrollment: 5,739
Student-Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Students at Cal Poly Humboldt have a unique college experience because of the small classes and individualized attention they receive from their professors. They do both in one of the most breathtaking locations on earth, close to ancient redwood forests, mountains, and beaches. We are situated in Arcata, one of the best college towns in the West, which is 275 miles north of San Francisco.
Cal Poly Humboldt is a public university that is a part of the California State University system, which has 23 campuses. They offer one of the best values in higher education in the country with full-time undergraduate tuition of just $7,863 per year.
They have 490 faculty members and approximately 5,739 students. With 59 majors and 13 graduate programs offered across three Colleges, they provide a broad range of academic options. The best teachers and researchers in their fields are faculty members. Nationally renowned natural resources and science programs exist, and visual and performing arts are also well-liked fields of study. Students can find a long-standing commitment to social and environmental responsibility throughout the curriculum.
They were established in 1913 as a teacher's college. They have developed over the past 100 years from a university with extensive research facilities to a university accredited and solely dedicated to teacher education. Numerous names have been used for the institution over the years, including Humboldt State Teachers College, Humboldt State College, CSU Humboldt, and Humboldt State University since 1974.
What is the Minimum GPA Required for OT School?
The minimum undergraduate GPA required for admission to graduate school varies by institution. Students accepted into occupational therapy programs at North Central College typically have a GPA of 3.5 or higher.
While it's true that some schools for occupational therapy have a lower required GPA, it's important to keep in mind that admission to these schools is typically quite competitive.
If you want to attend graduate school for occupational therapy, you'll need to maintain a high GPA throughout your four-year undergraduate program. A higher grade point average may be required in subjects like math and science.
The minimum combined GRE score for admission to a MOT program is typically around 290; the minimum required scores for the verbal and quantitative sections are typically 150 and 140, respectively. It's possible for various programs to have either quantitative or qualitative stipulations.
Admissions & Application Process in Occupational Therapy Schools
The first thing you need to remember is that the faculty of the occupational therapy program you're applying to will be evaluating your application for signs of academic readiness and potential for becoming a prominent practitioner.
The following factors will be considered in the selection process:
Activity in the classroom
A bachelor's or master's degree with regional accreditation is needed.
Extracurricular activities, interpersonal relationships, and a minimum GPA of 3.0 all point to a potential interest in a career as an occupational therapist.
compassion for people of all backgrounds and the neighborhood they live in.
There has been evidence of sound judgment, intelligence, empathy, moral behavior, and high levels of personal accountability.
The most likely winners are those with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Because the NAU OTD program adopts a holistic approach to education, candidates with overall undergraduate GPAs below 3.0 may still be considered if they can provide compelling justifications for the lower GPA and have at least a 3.0 in the prerequisite courses.
Other factors include experience components/qualifications, a 3.0 GPA in the final two years of undergraduate study, indications of good, strong trends in GPA growth, and other factors.
Requirements for Entry into the OTD Program
The following are the basic requirements for entry into an occupational therapy program:
A regionally accredited bachelor’s or master’s degree is required.
A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required.
Biology (6 credits) OR biology (3 credits) AND chemistry (3 credits). A lab that supports human biology must be included in the biology credits.
6 Human anatomy and physiology (6 credits)
3 credit hours in statistics, particularly in applied or biostatistics
3 credits of ethics, with current health care and medicine topics
3 hours of abnormal psychology credit
6 credits above the foundational level of human development must cover the full lifep from conception to death. A child development course combined with an aging/gerontology course OR a 3-credit course covering the full lifep and a 3-credit course on human development, such as health, cognition, social perception, personality, or gender, can be used to meet this need.
6 credits in sociology or social justice above the introductory level, including issues, development, structure, and functions of society.
If you are unsure whether a particular course satisfies the necessary course requirements, please complete the self-assessment form. The admissions committee for the school will review your feedback and get back to you via email as soon as they can.
Observation and volunteering Hours — 40 hours in at least two distinct community settings (organizations, programs, camps, etc.) addressing health, rehabilitation, disability, quality of life, community challenges, or sustainability for vulnerable, disabled, or disadvantaged people or populations AND 40 hours observing two different occupational therapists working with various age groups in various settings (minimum of 20 hours in each setting).
Transcripts of every college course taken are required to be sent to OTCAS and the NAU Graduate College Observation and Experiential Hours.
It is significant to remember that timely applications are necessary for the program to be accepted. The OTCAS system should be filled out by applicants as soon as the application process starts in July.
Steps to Become an Occupational Therapist
There are some processes involved in becoming a certified OT specialist. Below are some of the important ones you should meet before making the most of the profession:
You must be certified by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy to work as an occupational therapist (NBCOT). Occupational therapy students can log onto NBCOT after graduation to examine the prerequisites for registering and taking the OT certification exam. The AOTA website has study materials for the exam.
Visit the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Resources to learn how to get a license in Illinois.
To obtain a license in another state, you must first research the requirements of that state.
How Long Do You Have To Attend OT School?
Let's examine how long an occupational therapy course at a college or university will take you to complete. You can determine when you will get the certificate necessary to practice this medical specialty based on this information.
To become an occupational therapist, you must first complete a master's degree program after earning your bachelor's degree. You must complete a MOT program, which typically lasts two years, in order to enter the profession. Some programs offer a Ph.D. in occupational therapy (OTD).
To be eligible for licensure (AOTA), therapists must possess a master's degree in occupational therapy that has been fully authorized by the American Occupational Therapy Association. Master's programs will include extensive fieldwork in hospitals, private practices, and other settings in addition to classroom instruction.
Students looking for meaningful careers that make a difference in people's lives frequently choose occupational therapy.
Since a bachelor's degree is typically required for entry-level positions in this field, prospective students may find it beneficial to enroll in one of the top OT schools that has less stringent GPA requirements.
To help students find the best schools, we compiled information on the admissions processes for OT schools and institutions with low GPA requirements.
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