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Before you start, check out our admission criteria on the Before You Apply page to make sure you meet all the requirements.
Applications for Spring are due November 1st (domestic applicants only) and applications for Fall are due March 1st.
Applications are accepted throughout the year. Applications received after the deadline will be considered for the following semester’s admission cycle, unless there are extenuating circumstances warranting an exception.
- UIC application
- OTD application form
- GRE scores
- Personal statement
- Letters of recommendation
- Curriculum vitae
Official UIC application
Submit your application online via the UIC Website—just follow the instructions listed there. There is a non-refundable application fee of $70 for all applicants.
You may leave the section of the application requesting that you compute your grade point average blank. We’ll do that calculation.
Complete the OTD application form. Upload this with your UIC application.
Submit unofficial transcripts documenting coursework from your undergraduate degree and any graduate coursework. Submit a scanned PDF of your official transcript or obtain an official PDF transcript through the school’s Registrar’s Office and forward that to UIC.
If necessary, request an official, sealed transcript from your prior college or university to be sent to your home. Scan it and save it to your computer as a PDF, then upload it to the application checklist. Note that PDFs in a Portfolio format and password-protected PDFs are not compatible with application system.
If you have completed studies outside the United States while attending a U.S. college or university, you should have those credits reflected on your U.S. transcript. If you don’t have international credits recorded on a U.S. transcript, or have completed all of your post-secondary education outside of the U.S., you must present all post-secondary school credentials and transcripts.
Official transcripts sent directly from the school to UIC in a sealed envelope will only be requested from admitted students.
GRE scores are required for all applicants.
The minimum recommended score on the GRE Exam is 150 on the verbal and quantitative sections. Scores below 150 are acceptable if the your GPA is sufficiently high to demonstrate adequate academic potential. The typical mean for accepted applicants on the verbal section is 157. For the quantitative section, the typical mean is 153-154. There is no minimum score for the writing assessment, although most accepted applicants earn at least a 4 out of 6.
Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores should be sent directly from Education Testing Service to UIC. If you have taken the GRE within the past five years, you must request that scores be sent from ETS to UIC. UIC Institution Code: R1851.
If you took the GRE more than five years ago, you have two options:
- Submit your old scores, together with a letter requesting that the Admissions Committee accept them and why. This option is strongly recommended if you had high GRE scores in the past. Previous scores can still be submitted if other areas of the application are particularly strong since applications are reviewed as a total package. If you choose to submit these scores, remember that the admissions process is highly competitive, and the Admissions Committee reserves the right to request that an applicant complete the GRE before a final decision is rendered.
- Retake the GRE and submit new scores. If you chose this option, the official GRE scores must be received by the application deadline. Self-reported scores must accompany the application. Please be advised that your application will be considered incomplete until the University receives your official GRE scores.
- The GRE can be repeated, but one month must elapse between each attempt. Please contact GRE at 800-GRE-CALL or visit the GRE website for testing dates and locations. Please be advised that your application will be considered incomplete until the University receives your official GRE scores.
Submit a three to four page statement using 1 inch margins, 12 point font and double spacing. Send your personal statement electronically to email@example.com.
Address each of the following points in the personal statement:
- Explain your career goals and why you want an OTD. Address how you expect to use the degree in the future to meet your goals.
- How do the program areas of development and competency (advanced practice, education, leadership/management, and applied evidence-based research and theory) correspond to your identified career goals? If you have ideas about the focus of your OTD project, include that information..
- Identify no more than two potential occupational therapy faculty advisors and an explain how these faculty members and their work correspond to your interests and career goals. If you’ve contacted a faculty member prior to submitting your application, note that in your statement. If a faculty member is willing to be your advisor, have them sign the second page of the OTD application form. If obtaining their signature is complicated by geographical separation or other practical issues, it’s acceptable for you to attach an email from them indicating their willingness to advise you if you’re accepted.
- Discuss and reflect on your personal and professional strengths, and how these strengths will allow you to contribute to the Scholarship of Practice philosophy of the Department of Occupational Therapy and your cohort of OTD students. You are strongly encouraged to review information about our Scholarship of Practice model when preparing this aspect of the statement.
Letters of recommendation
Three professional letters of recommendation are required for each applicant who is not already enrolled as a MS student. At least one referee needs to have a doctoral degree (professional or research) and address your potential to complete professional doctoral studies. Post-professional applicants are strongly encouraged to select referees who can speak to your potential for doctoral study in your areas of focus in the program, e.g. advanced clinical practice, education/teaching, or leadership.
Personal references are not acceptable. Recommenders are typically faculty, academic advisors, teaching assistants, or work or volunteer supervisors.
Complete the Applicant section of the recommendation forms. Send the recommendation forms to the designated recommenders. Request they complete the form, attach a narrative letter, and return it to the address listed on top of the form with their signature written over the seal. Letters can also be submitted electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org directly from the recommender. Do not have letters sent to you. Have them sent directly to address above.
The CV is a key component of your application package. It provides the admissions committee and prospective faculty mentors with a view of your experiences and accomplishments. This allows the committee to understand your background, determine your fit with our program and individual faculty mentors, evaluate your readiness for doctoral education, and evaluate your potential for success. Academic CVs tend to be significantly longer than typical professional resumes, and there is no length limitation.
Prepared your CV using 1 inch margins, 12 point font and single spacing, with extra spaces in between the sections listed below. Send your CV electronically to email@example.com.
We strongly encourage you to include the following information. Use only the categories that apply to you. (We assume that applicants who are applying for co-enrollment in the MS and OTD or who are in the midst of their occupational therapy education will have some categories that do not apply.)
We recommend that you use the following headings when you prepare your CV:
- Name and Contact Information: Address, phone and email.
- Certifications and licenses: List any certifications or licenses you hold, including certification or licensure numbers and states in which they are valid.
- Educational background: Degree(s), date(s) of graduation, college/university & major.
- Employment history: Job title, location, beginning and ending dates of employment, and brief description of major responsibilities.
- Teaching experience: Includes but is not limited to appointments as a faculty member, adjunct instructor, fieldwork/clinical educator, teaching assistant, guest lecturer or tutor. List the employer or organization, role, topics/content, dates, and percent time of appointment.
- Research experience: List employer or organization, role, description of responsibilities, dates, percent time of appointment, name of research supervisor, and name of the project.
- Publications: List any publications you have had, including peer-reviewed journal articles, newsletter or newspaper articles, and any other publications. Provide full citations.
- Presentations: Includes but is not limited to training sessions, inservices, conference presentations and continuing education programs.
- Volunteer work and community service: Include experiences in and outside of OT. List organization, your role and responsibilities, length of service (dates), and an estimate of total number of hours completed during the time you have been involved with the organization.
- Organization membership and leadership: Includes but is not limited to student, professional and community organizations. List organization, role, offices held (if any), length of service (dates), and an estimate of total number of hours completed during the time of your involvement with the organization.
- Honors and awards: Includes but is not limited to scholarships, honors or awards for accomplishment in school, work, or volunteer settings
- Completed continuing education: Workshops, conferences, or intensive professional continuing education completed. List the provider, dates and title/topic.
- Other: Relevant experiences not listed above.
If English is not your native language, you must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
Scores must be submitted to UIC directly using the institutional code 1851.
Declaration and Certification of Finances
The Declaration and Certification of Finances form must be signed by both the student and the sponsor.
It must be accompanied by an original or certified copy of a bank statement showing proof of sufficient funds in U.S. dollars.
Provide an original transcript in the native language AND a translated copy in English. Translations should be on a translator’s letterhead and should be literal (not an interpretation).
UIC only accepts translations from ATA certified translators, court-appointed translators, or from the consulate. You can find a translator on the ATA website. Plain translations, notarized translations, and translations done by someone other than a certified translator are not acceptable.
Detailed International Academic Credential Report
A Detailed International Academic Credential Report is also required. Make sure to get a course-by-course report. The evaluation must be completed by one of the companies listed below. An ECE translation is strongly preferred.
Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE)
P.O. Box 514070
Milwaukee, WI 53203-3470
World Education Services, Inc. (WES)
P.O. Box 11623
Chicago, IL 60611-01623