Admissions, Tuition & Financial Aid

Applicants for the Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) Program must apply through the Centralized Application Service for Occupational Therapy Programs (OTCAS). By submitting an OTCAS application, the applicant certifies to Johnson & Wales University (JWU) that all information on their application and supporting documentation is true, correct, and complete. Note that JWU does not retain all application material submitted by the applicant.

The OTD Program begins accepting applications for our June 2021 enrollment in mid-July, 2020. Johnson & Wales University enrolls on a rolling admissions basis, with a deadline of February 15, 2021. We strongly recommend you apply earlier in the cycle.


  • Our OTCAS cycle begins in mid-July each year with a deadline of February 15 the following year.
  • JWU will notify you via email when we receive your verified application.
  • OTCAS verified applications are reviewed by the OTD Program Admissions Committee to evaluate applicants’ overall qualifications.
  • Qualified applicants will be offered a virtual interview for the 2020-2021 application cycle to assess interpersonal and communication skills, as well as overall commitment to the field of occupational therapy.
  • Qualified candidates will be offered acceptance into the program. Candidates that are not offered admissions after the interview may be placed on a waitlist.
  • Deferring entrance is not allowed.


  • Apply through the OTCAS system
  • You must have received your bachelor’s degree (or be in the process of attaining it)
  • You must hold a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 from an accredited US institution
  • Submit a personal statement
  • Submit 3 letters of recommendation
  • GRE scores are no longer required for admission


Applicants must complete required prerequisite classes listed below with a grade of “C” or better. Applicants who plan to complete these classes prior to OTD enrollment will still be considered. JWU’s Occupational Therapy Doctorate program does not accept Advanced Placement (AP) credits to fulfill prerequisite courses; the program also does not accept transfer credits or experiential learning credits.

  • Anatomy and Physiology: A complete year course sequence in anatomy (one semester) and physiology (one semester) is required. Students may take a combined anatomy/physiology sequence, but they must take both semesters in order to fulfill the requirement. Labs are required. (8 credit hours)
  • Developmental Psychology: A one-semester psychology course in child and adolescent development, adult development and aging, or lifespan development. (3 credit hours)
  • Abnormal Psychology: A one-semester course in abnormal psychology is required. (3 credit hours)
  • Statistics: A one-semester course in general statistics is required. Business statistics, psychology statistics or biological science statistics courses are accepted. (3 credit hours)
  • Coursework in medical terminology and physics, kinesiology, or biomechanics are recommended but not required.

There is no minimum requirement for shadowing or experience in the field.

Applicants must:

  • Obtain a physical exam and provide documented proof of program and university required immunization as listed in our Graduate Catalog. Program immunizations requirements are based on current Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations for health professionals. Students may also be required to meet the physical examination requirements of fieldwork sites which may have specific requirements in addition to JWU’s requirements.
  • Anticipate a complete background check.

The OTD program runs a full 36-month span, including summer semester. OTD students are charged as a cohort with tuition and fees remaining the same throughout the program.

1 $41,778 $1,608 $2,000 $87 0 $45,473
2 $41,778 $1,608 $1,000 $87 0 $44,473
3 $41,778 $536 0 $87 0 $42,401
TOTAL $125,334 $3,752 $3,000 $261 0 $132,347

*Tuition and fees are subject to change annually.
**Students are responsible for travel plus room and board (if applicable) for Level II fieldwork placements.

By university policy, all students are required to have health insurance coverage while enrolled at JWU. If a student decides to forgo SHIP, evidence of other comparable health insurance must be provided; note that the insurance coverage must be of a type accepted in the United States. Learn more about SHIP.

Tuition is applicable to all students, including those on approved off-campus programs. Student health insurance, program fees, and room & board are nonrefundable, if applicable. Review the tuition refund policy.

As an OTD student, upon completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA), you may qualify for the Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan in the amount of $20,500 annually. You can also apply for the Federal Graduate PLUS loan (credit qualified) for up to the cost of the program after what you may qualify for in the Unsubsidized Loan.

The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) and the American Occupational Therapy Foundation (AOTF) both offer scholarships for entry-level occupational therapy students. Outside scholarships may also be available through searching online.

A limited number of JWU OTD scholarships, up to $25,000, are available and awarded to selected applicants. No separate application is required for these scholarships.

For more information on how best to finance your education, contact a financial planner at Student Academic & Financial Services.

The Johnson & Wales University Entry-Level Occupational Therapy Doctorate 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.

The program must have a pre-accreditation 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.