Preferred Applicant Track for Occupational Therapy 

The Preferred Applicant Track for Occupational Therapy offers honors pre-occupational therapy students an opportunity to apply to the Honors College Guaranteed Admission Program for Occupational Therapy at the end of your sophomore year at VCU. Upon successful completion of the Guaranteed Admission Program, students will be eligible to enter the College of Health Professions Department of Occupational Therapy, Entry Level Occupational Therapy Doctorate Program without further competition.

Who is eligible?

All Honors College pre-occupational therapy students entering VCU as freshmen are eligible for the Preferred Applicant Track. Students who are not admitted to the Honors College prior to entering VCU must meet the requirements for admission to the Honors College and be accepted prior to the end of the second year of undergraduate studies.

In order to apply, a student must be in good standing in the Honors College with a 3.5 cumulative grade point average and have completed, or be enrolled in, the following courses: BIOL 151-152 and labs, BIO 205, PHIS 206, PSYC 101, PSYC 304, PSYC 407 and STAT 210. Courses must be completed at VCU during either the fall or spring semesters or by AP/IB/dual-enrollment credit in high school. Any exception to this requires the written approval of the director of the Guaranteed Admission Programs.


Candidates who have received any institutional sanction, such as an honor code violation, or any legal convictions are not eligible to apply.

Are transfer students eligible?

Yes. Transfer students must be enrolled in the VCU Honors College by the time of application (end of the second year of undergraduate studies).

What do I need to do to apply?

An application for admission to the Honors College Preferred Applicant Track Program (Occupational Therapy) will be available from the Honors College during the spring semester of your sophomore year. This application, along with at least two letters of recommendation (one of which must come from a practicing occupational therapist), must be submitted to the Honors College by the deadline date.  When you fill out your application, you will list your references and their email addresses. Once you submit your application, each reference will automatically receive an email from the Honors College with steps on how to upload their letter to your application. All reference letters are to be submitted online by 4:30 p.m. EDT, Monday, May 6, 2019.

 The application will be available on the VCU Honors College application portal.  Students should log in using their VCU eID and password. A minimum of two and maximum of four reference letters are required.  One letter must be from a practicing occupational therapist who is not a relative nor a caregiver to you. These letters should include, but are not limited to, statements about your ability as a student, potential as a health professional, and extracurricular activities within your school and community.   When you fill out the application, you will list the name and email address of each reference writer. Upon submission of the application, each reference writer listed will receive an email from the Honors College with instructions on how to upload their letter online to your application. While the application can be saved prior to submission, the emails to reference writers are only sent upon submission of the application. Please note that you may track the status of your reference letters after submission of the application by logging back into the portal, but all letters will remain confidential.  

There are two essay prompts for the Preferred Applicant Track Program application:

1. Provide a narrative statement describing your motivation for choosing your specific healthcare profession.  5000 characters or less

2.What are two characteristics you possess that would make you a great future healthcare provider in your chosen field? 1500 characters or less

Additional fields on the application will request information on exposure to the healthcare profession, community service, extracurricular activities, honors and awards as well as research experiences.

Applications and all supporting materials must be received in the Honors College office by Monday, May 6, 2019. If your file is not complete by close of business (4:30 p.m. EDT) on this date, you will not be considered by the selection committee. There are no exceptions to this deadline; it is your responsibility to make certain that materials are received by the stated deadline date. Interested students are encouraged to apply early in order to ensure adequate time for submission of all required materials.

What must I do if I get an offer?

Students accepted into the Preferred Applicant Track for Occupational Therapy must successfully complete the requirements of the Guaranteed Admission Program for Occupational Therapy.

What if I don't get an offer?


You will still have the benefit of an excellent pre-OT education. Further, all applicants who are not offered admission in this process will be given an opportunity to receive feedback from the director of the Guaranteed Admission Program.

Can I go to occupational therapy school a year early?

The Preferred Applicant Track is a seven-year program — four years of undergraduate study and nine semesters (three years) of study at the Department of Occupational Therapy. If you wish to apply for an earlier date of admission, you must go through the standard admission process.

What about SAT scores?

No minimum SAT score is required for this track. However, you should be aware that you will be expected to achieve well academically in a challenging curriculum. We are aware that SAT scores alone will not guarantee academic success. Therefore, for this program we are choosing to focus on your demonstrated achievement, as opposed to your test scores.

What do I have to major in?

Students are free to choose any of the undergraduate majors offered by VCU. All can accommodate the prerequisite course work for OT school and offer excellent pre-OT preparation, although very structured majors may require summer school to complete the prerequisites. Your four years as an undergraduate should be a time of wonderful challenge, exciting discovery and the joy of learning — all experiences that are best achieved if you choose a major you are passionate about. Your Honors College advisor will work closely with you to help you accomplish your learning goals.

Whom do I contact for more information?

Contact Associate Dean Carrie Connolly, Ed.D., at (804) 828-1803 or