Special Admissions Programs

Occupational Therapy Assistant A.S. Degree Program

Admission Requirements  The Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) Program at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200 Bethesda, MD 20814-3449.  ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its Web address is acoteonline.org

This program is a joint program between Rutgers University and Passaic County Community College and is a competitive 

program. Students must complete the prerequisite General Education courses at PCCC and then apply to Rutgers School of Health Related Professions for admission to the professional phase of the program. The courses offered in the professional phase are held at the Scotch Plains campus of the Rutgers School of Health Related Professions.

Regarding admission to the professional phase of the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program, students should note that admission criteria are minimum standards, and in most cases, applicants accepted into the program exceed these requirements. The following requirements must be met prior to admission to the program:

  1. Meet Passaic County Community College admission criteria.
  2. Achieve proficiency on the College Placement Test, OR complete the required remediation with a grade of “C” or higher.
  3. Complete at least sixteen (16) credits of the required courses including EN 101, EN 102, PS 101, and BS 103 prior to application, and provide documentation of enrollment in the remainder of the prerequisite courses to ensure completion before the start of the professional phase courses. Applications are available online form the Rutgers School of Health Related Professions OTA website and are due no later than June 1st for the full-time program, which begins in the Fall, and no later than November 1st for the part-time program, which begins in the Spring. Applicants may request permission to take two (2) of these courses concurrent with the professional curriculum:
  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Ethics or Philosophy
  • Diversity Studies

In addition to the application, the following items are required to be submitted.

4. Submit official college transcript(s) that document a grade of “C” or higher in each prerequisite course and a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.5 in these courses. BS 103, BS 104, and PS 102 must have been completed within the last five (5) years.

Alternatively, applicants may submit a request to waive the five year requirement by providing documentation that knowledge from Human Anatomy and Physiology and/or Developmental Psychology/Lifespan has been used in an employment situation during the past five years. This documentation will be reviewed and considered by the Admissions Committee for the OTA Program. This documentation must include:

  • Job description with narrative statement describing how knowledge from coursework was used in employment setting
  • Letter of recommendation from a person of authority at the work agency which includes reference to job functions where this knowledge was applied

5. Applicant must complete and submit documentation of a minimum of 20 hours of observation experience in a setting where occupational therapy services are provided. The documentation of this required observation must be signed by a licensed occupational therapist or licensed occupational therapy assistant preferably on the facility letterhead

6. Submit two (2) letters of recommendation on the OTA Applicant Recommendation Form.

7. Applicant must write and submit an essay justifying OT as a career choice, reflecting on volunteer experience, prerequisite course work, and other community service.

8. Selected applicants must participate in an on-site meeting with the OTA Program Admission Committee. This includes an individual, and group interview, and the applicant must complete an on-site writing sample.

9. Applicants who did not attend secondary school in the US or have not completed a sufficient number of college level English courses are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Acceptable scores for TOEFL areas follows: 550 and above for paper based test and 79 for Internet based test. All results must be forwarded directly to SHRP from the testing agency.

Please note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure. An individual who is considering entering an OT educational program or who has already entered an OT educational program can have his or her background reviewed by requesting an Early Determination Review. The fee for this review is $100.00 for information on candidate’s code of conduct, character, and early review contact.

Credentialing Services at NBCOT
12 S. Summit Avenue, Suite 100
Gaithersburg, MD 20877