Des Moines University participates in the web-based Occupational Therapist Centralized Application Service. Direct applications to DMU are not accepted. OTCAS applications are made available each year in July for the class that begins in August the following year.

Note: If you are an international student, please refer to our international student information pages.

Program Pathways

To appeal to and meet the needs of a more diverse group of learners, applicants to DMU’s O.T.D. program can choose one of two pathways to earning their Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree. Both pathways are a part of the same student cohort and follow the same full-time schedule. Students from both pathways will come together for weekly laboratory sessions.

  • Traditional Campus Pathway
    Students who choose the traditional campus pathway will engage in most class and laboratory sessions face-to-face on the DMU campus. Students in this pathway will also have access to virtual class sessions when needed.
  • Hybrid Pathway
    Students who choose the hybrid pathway will engage in class sessions virtually (synchronously or asynchronously) and will attend laboratory sessions face-to-face on the DMU campus. Laboratory sessions will generally occur two consecutive days per week. Students in this pathway will have the option to attend class sessions face-to-face on the DMU campus periodically.

Application Process

  1. Review the requirements for admission.
  2. Submit your online application through OTCAS. Applications are available in July for the class that begins in August of the following year.
  3. Submit all official transcripts to OTCAS. Please include all colleges and universities attended. Transcripts must be from a regionally accredited college or regionally accredited university from within the United States.
  4. Submit your personal statement to OTCAS. Please articulate your understanding of occupational therapy and your interest in becoming an occupational therapist. Your personal statement should include personal and professional goals which reflect thoughtful pursuance of doctoral-level studies, including the doctoral capstone experience and project.
  5. Submit any supporting documents, including observation or volunteer hours, to OTCAS.
  6. Submit letters of recommendation to OTCAS. You must submit three letters of recommendation. One letter must be from an academic instructor with whom you have taken a course and who can attest to your academic ability to be successful in a rigorous professional program. It is preferred and highly desirable that at least one letter is from an occupational therapist, but letters from another academic instructor, academic advisor, work supervisor, or colleague will be accepted. 

Admission Decisions

Once your application file is verified with OTCAS, it will be sent to Des Moines University. You will be contacted by email if you are selected for an interview.

An interview is required for admission. Applicants will be contacted by email if they are selected for an interview. The interview process includes two components. The first interview is conducted using the Kira Talent Virtual Interview Assessment, a competency-based, holistic, asynchronous assessment.  The second is a live session conducted via Zoom. Additional follow-up interviews may be required. Applicants will receive a response to their application status after the interview process.  Because of the rolling admissions schedule, those who apply early in the admissions cycle are more likely to be interviewed than those who apply later.

The O.T.D. program uses Holistic Review in making admissions decisions. This means that we employ mission-aligned admission processes that take into consideration your experiences, attributes, and academic performance as well as the value that you would contribute to teaching and learning within our program and the practice and profession of occupational therapy. As a program, we work to consider you as a “whole” applicant, rather than focusing on one factor over another. This means that we link our selection criteria to the mission and goals of DMU and our program, and thus promote numerous aspects of diversity, as essential to excellence.

Please note: First-time entering students may apply to only one Des Moines University clinical program at a time (includes D.O., D.P.M., PA, O.T.D. and D.P.T.). Multiple applications will not be accepted or processed.

Accommodations in Education Policy

The university complies with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, the Iowa Civil Rights Act and other laws relating to the accommodations of disabilities in its educational programming.

View the Accommodations in Education Policy

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