Admissions for the MS in OT program have been suspended as we  launched the entry-level Occupational Therapy Doctoral (OTD) degree program in August 2022.  The final cohort of MS students was admitted in Fall 2021 and will graduate in 2023.

The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) has granted UIC’s entry-level OTD program Candidacy Status. The second admission cycle is open for the entry-level OTD program, which is two years and 9 months in length, with enrollment starting in August 2023.


The following must be submitted by December 1st 11 PM CST:

  • UIC Graduate Application (including the $70 fee)
  • Occupational Therapy Centralized Application System (OTCAS) application (including the application fees)
  • Transcripts (Please note that transcripts should be submitted by the December 1st deadline as OTCAS will not consider your application complete without them.  If you have fall grades, please see the Academic Update instructions on the OTCAS website.)
  • Observation hours/experiences
  • OTCAS personal statement
  • UIC-specific personal statement
  • Supplemental statement (optional)

The following must be received by January 1st in order to be complete and reviewed by the admissions committee:

  • Fall grades (update your OTCAS application with Academic Update)
  • Official GRE scores (If you plan on retaking your GRE, please include your planned date on your OTCAS application.  GRE re-take scores must be received by January 10th.)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Official TOEFL scores (for applicants whose native language is not English)

We understand that there is an OTCAS verification process to ensure all of your coursework was entered correctly and consistently.  OTCAS verifications occur in chronological order and on average take two weeks to complete. Once your application is verified and complete with all the above required materials, we will start the review process at UIC.

UIC graduate 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.

You may receive an email from the UIC Office of Admissions indicating that you will need to upload your transcripts or letters of recommendation, or that you are missing these materials. Disregard this email if your materials have been received by OTCAS, as there is a time lag before the OTCAS materials are recorded by the Office of Admissions.

OTCAS application

Submit your OTCAS application online via the OTCAS website. There is a non-refundable application fee of $150, plus $65 per additional school to which you apply.


Submit original transcripts from each U.S. institution you have attended directly to OTCAS.

International students: Submit original transcripts from non U.S. institutions, transcript evaluations and translations to OTCAS and the UIC OT Department.


GRE scores are required for all applicants.

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.

The minimum recommended score on the GRE Exam is 150 on the verbal and quantitative sections, which is around the 40th-45th percentile. Scores below 150 are acceptable if the applicant’s grade point average is sufficiently high to demonstrate strong academic potential. The typical mean for accepted applicants on the verbal section is 157 or 158, which is approximately the 75th percentile. For the quantitative section, the typical mean is 153-154, which is approximately the 50th percentile.

There is no minimum score for the writing assessment, although most accepted applicants earn at least a 4 out of 6 and the mean is typically 4.3-4.4.

Retake scores will be accepted until January 10.

Observation hours

Enter all of your paid or volunteer experiences into the OTCAS application. Refer to the OTCAS website for detailed instructions on reporting.

OTCAS personal statement

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

UIC-specific personal statement

Submit a 400-word max UIC-specific essay answering the questions below.

Why is the UIC OT program a good match for you and why are you a good match for UIC? Think about the kind of OT you want to be, and how UIC will provide a means to get there. Answer the question by explaining how the UIC OT program links with your career plans and your prior experiences, interests, values or background.

Scan and upload your essay as a pdf document to the OTCAS Application under the Documents tab under 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 typically faculty, academic advisors, teaching assistants, or work or volunteer supervisors. Refer to the OTCAS website for submission requirements.

Supplemental statement (optional)

UIC allows applicants to submit an optional 3rd essay/supplemental statement. It must be no longer than 400 words. Submit the statement as an attachment and email to

In the subject line indicate “Supplemental Statement from (your name here)”. It must be submitted at the same time as your OTCAS application or it will not be considered. If the below condition applies, you may submit a supplemental statement as part of your application.

Condition for optional supplemental statement: If you earned a grade of C or below in one or more of the 6 prerequisite courses required by UIC, you may submit a supplemental statement directly to UIC. Your statement should describe the semester(s) and year this occurred, what year of college you were in (e.g. sophomore, junior, senior), the situation, how your grade(s) were affected, and, if applicable, the steps you took to prevent the situation from continuing to have a negative effect on your academic performance. Indicate if you retook the course(s) in which you received a grade of C or below and what the retake grade was.

If you choose to send a 3rd essay/supplemental statement and do not meet these criteria, it will not be included in your application review.

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.

Our 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

Please refer to the requirements per country/territory to determine which credentials are needed in your case on the UIC Office of Admissions website. Documents issued in a foreign language should be submitted along with certified, literal English translations.  For the purposes of application review, only a PDF copy of the credentials should be submitted online to your UIC graduate application. Official, sealed credentials will be requested only from admitted applicants intending to enroll.

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

We recommend applying by October 1 if you have transcripts that are not in English.

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.

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

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

Where to send materials

Upload to the UIC Graduate Application:

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

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

Send to OTCAS:

  • Detailed international academic credential report from ECE or WES

Financial Documents

Financial documents for visa processing are requested by the Office of International Services (OIS). Applicants may begin submitting OIS-requested documents online through the application system checklist during the application period, however, they do not need to be submitted until after an admission decision is made.

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

Please see the website of the Office of International Services for additional details and contact them with inquiries about OIS document requests or financial documents you’ve submitted.

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Maria Larson


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