Our entry-level OTD degree program has applied for accreditation and has been granted Candidacy Status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its web address is The program must have a preaccreditation review, complete an on-site evaluation, and be granted Accreditation Status before its graduates will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). In addition, all states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.

UIC will learn ACOTE’s decision regarding accreditation of the entry-level-OTD in December 2024, in advance of the graduation of the first entry-level OTD cohort in May 2025.

Ready to apply?

Check the pre-admission resources on the Before You Apply page.

Holistic admission process

The department’s thorough holistic admission process emphasizes a balanced and equitable approach that considers multiple factors including experiences and attributes, as well as traditional metrics such as grades.

Completion of requirements does not guarantee admission. The admissions committee considers many factors. Our goal is to consider each applicant’s strengths that will promote their success as an occupational therapy student within our program and ultimately as an occupational therapist.



The following must be submitted by Dec. 1, 11 p.m. CST:

  1. UIC application, including $70 fee
  2. Occupational Therapy Centralized Application System (OTCAS) application and application fee, including:
    • OT observation hours and employment, volunteer and extracurricular activities (college organizations, sports, performing arts), leadership roles, community service, internships, study abroad, research and personal disability experiences
    • personal statement
    • UIC prerequisite report: enter all courses that fulfill each requirement. If a course was retaken, include each attempt in the UIC prerequisite section of the OTCAS.
    • UIC-specific personal statement
    • UIC-specific questions on international experiences, language fluency and presentations; recommended supplemental statement on prerequisite grades below B minus (if applicable).
  3. Transcripts: transcripts must be submitted to OTCAS by Dec. 1 or applications will not be considered complete. To add fall grades, see Academic Update instructions at OTCAS.

The following must be received by Jan. 10 for applications to be considered complete for review by the admissions committee:

  • fall grades (update OTCAS application using Academic Update)
  • three letters of recommendation
  • official TOEFL scores (for applicants whose native language is not English).

OTCAS verifications occur in chronological order and take about two weeks to complete. The UIC review process will begin after the application is verified and complete with all required materials.

Application components

Recommended statement for prerequisite grades below a B minus

It is recommended that UIC applicants submit a supplemental statement of no more than 2500 characters if an applicant has a grade of below B minus in a prerequisite, whether or not the course was retaken.  In the case of a retake, both grades will be calculated in the prerequisite GPA.

The statement should include the semester(s) and year the grade below a B minus occurred, class year (sophomore, junior, senior), the situation, how grade(s) were affected and, if applicable, the steps taken to prevent a continuing negative effect on academic performance. Indicate if you retook the course(s) in which you received a grade below a B minus and the retake grade, as well as the semester and year it occurred.

UIC application

Submit the online UIC application .  You will select “Occupational Therapy – Entry-level – EOTD” as your planned course of study, then select if you are a “Domestic or International Degree Seeking” applicant.

There is a non-refundable $70 application fee for all applicants. There are a small number of waivers, but financial hardship waivers for professional applications are not available.  For more information, visit the UIC Office of Admissions.

Do not complete the section requesting grade point average.

If application materials have been received by OTCAS, disregard email from the UIC Office of Admissions concerning the upload of transcripts, letters of recommendation or missing material. There is a time lag before OTCAS materials are recorded by the Office of Admissions.

OTCAS application

Submit the OTCAS application online. There is a non-refundable application fee of $159, plus $69 for each additional school to which you apply.

A limited number of fee waivers are available to qualified applicants on a first-come, first-served basis. Each fee waiver covers only the initial application fee. If you received a fee waiver during a previous cycle, you may apply for another in the next cycle. You may request a fee waiver as soon as you create an application, but fee waiver funds can be quickly depleted. Contact customer service at 617-612-2860 before submitting a fee waiver request to determine if waivers are still available. For more information, visit the OTCAS Help Center.


Transcripts and a list of courses and grades must be submitted according to OTCAS instructions. There are two steps:

  1. Send transcripts to OTCAS according to instructions on the Coursework page.
  2. Enter each completed course and grade, using a personal copy of your transcript. Enter the courses you plan to complete. Using the Special Classification drop-down menu, indicate whether each course was honors, study abroad or another category. Click on the Instructions button at the top for details.

Once completed, OTCAS will verify your grades against your transcripts. If you are taking courses in the fall, update the grades on your OTCAS application and send a transcript to OTCAS as soon as grades are posted.

Send transcripts directly to OTCAS. Do not send official transcripts to the UIC Office of Admissions.

International students: Submit original transcripts from non-U.S. institutions, transcript evaluations and translations to OTCAS and the UIC OT Department (see International Student section below).

OTCAS Personal Statement

Submit a personal essay that addresses why you selected OT as a career, relevant experiences and how an OT degree relates to your professional goals. Refer to OTCAS for instructions.

UIC-specific personal statement

Submit a maximum 400-word, UIC-specific essay on these topics:

  • Why is the UIC OT program a good match for you?
  • Why are you a good match for UIC?
  • What kind of OT do you want to be? How will UIC provide a means to get there?
  • How does the UIC OT program connect with your career plans and prior experiences, interests, values and background?

Scan and upload your essay as a PDF document to the OTCAS Application under the Documents tab in the Program Materials section specific to UIC.

Letters of recommendation

Submit three letters of recommendation in support of your application. Personal references are not acceptable. Recommenders are usually faculty, academic advisors, teaching assistants, or work or volunteer supervisors. Refer to OTCAS for submission requirements.

International students

If English is not your native language, you must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

Scores must be submitted to UIC directly using the institutional code 1851.

The OT program has higher minimum score requirements than the Graduate College. Our minimum score for the internet-based TOEFL is 93, with subscores of Reading 22, Listening 25, Speaking 22 and Writing 24.

Academic credentials

Refer to the requirements per country/territory at the UIC Office of Admissions to determine which credentials are needed. Documents issued in a foreign language must be submitted with certified, literal English translations. For application review, submit a PDF document of credentials with your UIC graduate application. Official, sealed credentials are requested only from admitted applicants intending to enroll.

A mandatory, nonrefundable $100 International Credential Evaluation Fee will be assessed for all graduate degree-seeking applicants with post-secondary coursework taken outside the United States.  International applicants who have only U.S. coursework are not required to pay this fee. Payment will be requested online through the application system.

We recommend applying by Oct. 1 if transcripts are not in English.

Detailed International Academic Credential Report

A Detailed International Academic Credential Report is required. A course-by-course report is needed to calculate grade point average and prerequisite course completion.

The Detailed International Academic Credential Report should be sent to OTCAS via the instructions on the Coursework page.

The evaluation must be completed by one of the companies listed below:

Educational Credential Evaluators (strongly preferred)
P.O. Box 514070
Milwaukee, WI 53203-3470

World Education Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 11623
Chicago, IL 60611-01623

Where to send materials (international applicants only):

Upload to the UIC Application:

  • Original transcript in the native language
  • ATA transcript translations on official letterhead.

While official credentials are referenced, only a scanned photocopy of the documents is required to be uploaded to the UIC graduate application system for application review. Official, attested and sealed credentials will be requested only from admitted students.

Send to OTCAS (international applicants only):

Detailed international academic credential report from ECE or WES.

Financial documents (international applicants only):

Financial documents for visa processing are required by the Office of International Services (OIS). Applicants may begin submitting documents online through the application system checklist during the application period. However, documents do not need to be submitted until the admission decision.

OIS document requests and visa processing do not affect application review or admission decisions.

Visit the Office of International Services for additional details and inquiries about OIS document requests and financial documents.

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Maria Larson


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