Occupational Therapy Admission Process

OT students in adult clinic


Applications for the Doctor of Occupational Therapy are accepted using the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS). Students are admitted once a year to the fall term.

Application Deadline: October 1 at 11:59 p.m. EASTERN time.

Applications must be filed prior to the application deadline, keeping in mind that it is to the applicant’s advantage to include as many grades as possible (i.e., grades from a summer term prior to application).  Applications must be submitted prior to 11:59 p.m. EASTERN time on October 1.



Late July
OTCAS opens to applicants
October 1 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern
Application Deadline
December and January
Selected applicants are invited for interviews taking place in December and January. Invitations are usually sent out in mid-to-late November and December.
Students are notified of admission decisions at the conclusion of interviews, typically in late January or early February. Additional students will be admitted from the waitlist throughout the summer. 

Due to the number of applications received by Samuel Merritt University on October 1, the above timeline may have to be adjusted. We merely provide the information as a general guideline and will do our best to stick to the timeline as much as possible. Calling to inquire about the status of your application takes us away from reviewing applications and delays the process even further. Please know that if you have not received a decision on your application, it is still actively under review by the University. As soon as we have any information to share, we will.

Application Deadline

The application submission deadline is October 1. Samuel Merritt University accepts applications using OTCAS. Applications must be filed prior to the application deadline. Keep in mind that it is to the students’ advantage to include as many available grades as possible with the application. For example, with the submission deadline of October 1, you should wait to submit an application until any summer grades are available. There is no opportunity to update your application at a later date.

Official Transcripts

No transcripts should be sent to Samuel Merritt University. Transcripts from all colleges/universities attended should be sent directly to OTCAS as early as possible to increase the speed with which your application is verified and reviewed. SMU recommends that students submit transcripts to OTCAS as soon as summer grades are available. Transcripts should be sent directly from your schools to OTCAS (along with the Transcript Request Form) to:

Transcript Department
PO BOX 9120
Watertown, MA 02471

OTCAS Support
Phone: (617) 612-2860
Email: otcasinfo@otcas.org
Hours: Monday- Friday 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. ET

Transcript Entry Service

OTCAS provides a service (for a fee) that will complete transcript entry for you. We do not recommend students use this service as it will delay the processing of your application up to a month.   

It is recommended that applicants enter all of their previous college/university-level coursework into the application themselves. This process can take approximately two hours to complete on your own depending on the amount of coursework you have taken. It is critical that students enter all of their completed, in progress and planned coursework. Otherwise, the processing of your application can be delayed.

Verification Process

All applications undergo a verification process conducted by OTCAS. During this process, the contents of the application are verified against the transcripts and the GPA is calculated. This process takes 3-4 weeks AFTER transcripts are received by OTCAS, which is why it is critical for transcripts to be sent to OTCAS in a timely manner.

Letters of Reference

OTCAS provides a tool for collecting letters of recommendation in the application. Please follow the application instructions for providing this information. Letters of recommendation mailed to Samuel Merritt University will not be considered. 

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