General Program FAQs

How long is the program?
The accelerated program is eight (8) trimesters and will take 32 months to complete. This hybrid program is designed to be completed on a full-time basis. 

May I visit campus and talk with an advisor?
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we have currently postponed meeting with prospective students on campus, however we would love to meet with you over Zoom individually or during our group info sessions. Right now, we offer virtual information sessions and virtual tours to help answer your questions. Visit Events for upcoming information sessions.

How many students in each cohort?
Pacific OTD matriculates 40-45 students each January.

Program Admission FAQs

Do you offer admission in the fall trimester?
No. Due to the prescriptive nature of our program, we only admit students to begin the program in spring.

Do prerequisite courses need to be complete prior to applying?
We strongly recommend that you complete all prerequisite courses before applying for admission through Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS). Applications from students with more than two courses in progress or not yet completed will not be considered for admission.

Does my undergraduate degree need to be complete prior to applying?
No, however you will be required to send University of the Pacific a final transcripts with degree conferred prior to the start of the program.

Do you accept observation hours after the application deadline?
No, observation hours should be complete at the time of application submission.

Do I need to submit a CV or resume?
No, please do not send in a CV or resume; this is not part of the application process.

Do you accept transfer students or credits?
Unfortunately, we do not accept transfer students into the program or transfer credits.

Do you require COVID vaccination?
Yes. The University of the Pacific plus California Medicare and Medicaid regulations require healthcare workers to be fully vaccinated. Vaccination status is required for fieldwork placement.

I have not been able to complete volunteer OT shadow hours due to COVID-19. Will the program waive this requirement?
Yes. The OT department will waive the in-person observation requirement if you are able to demonstrate significant hardship in completing your hours. You can complete online observation by watching AOTA videos of OT treatment sessions. Please visit to find resources.

I received notification that I will not be offered a seat in the class this cycle. What can I do to improve my application for the next cycle?
With over 500 applicants for 40-44 seats, the applicant pool is deep and competitive. We recommend improving your overall GPA by retaking perquisite courses with a grade below a ‘B’. Volunteer in a community setting, and complete OT observation hours.

Is there a waitlist for acceptance?
With a robust and highly competitive applicant pool, we are unable to accept every qualified applicant. A waitlist of applicants will be selected during the class selection in late August. Applicants will be notified of their status no later than October. The alternate list is ranked; however, the rankings are not public and will not be shared. Alternates may be offered a seat in the class up until January 15th.

If admitted to the program, when will I need to make my decision?
Student decisions (to confirm our offer of admission) are due two weeks after the date on your admission letter.

Do I need to submit official transcripts to OTCAS and Pacific when I apply?
During the application process, you only need to submit official transcripts to OTCAS.

Where do I go to access the OTCAS application?
The OTCAS application is available at

What if my recommender does not want to fill out his/her letter of recommendation online?
OTCAS requires that all letters of recommendation be completed online. If your recommender does not want to complete the recommendation online, we suggest you find another recommender. Please do not use the recommendation forms found on the university's webpage; they are not accepted by OTCAS or the department.

Can I submit more than the three required letters of recommendation?
Yes, you may include more letters of recommendation but no more than a total of five.

What is the prompt and length requirement for the personal statement?
Your essay should be approximately 500 words. The OTCAS website prompt is as follows: "Your Personal Essay should address why you selected occupational therapy as a career and how this degree relates to your immediate and long-term professional goals. Describe how your personal, educational, and professional background help you achieve your goals. This essay is an important part of your application and allows you to clearly and effectively express yourself. Do not personalize this essay for a particular program, as it is shared with all your programs."

My application status still says, "RECEIVED." Did I make the deadline?
Please be sure to submit your application to OTCAS by June 1, 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time). To meet this application deadline, your OTCAS application must show a status of "RECEIVED." If your application shows a status of "On Hold" or "Undelivered," please contact OTCAS regarding the status of your application at 617.612.2030.

What if my test scores (transcript, letters, etc.) don't get to OTCAS by the June 1  deadline?
OTCAS will continue to accept items (e.g., test scores, transcripts, letters of recommendation, etc.) for two weeks following the deadline. After the two-week timeframe, applications that are still missing items will be considered "late" or "incomplete" and will not be reviewed.

Do I need to pay OTCAS & University of the Pacific?
There is only one fee which is paid to OTCAS.


Cost and Financial Aid

How much does it cost to attend Pacific's OTD program?
Tuition for set at $1,067 per unit for the 120 unit program and lab fees included in the per unit rate. Tuition and fees for the OT program are subject to change without notice. 

What kind of financial aid is available?
Financial aid packages at Pacific are tailored to each individual's eligibility and program of study. Students will receive financial aid information once they are admitted and have accepted admission to the program. For answers to specific financial aid questions, applicants can contact the Office of Financial Aid at 916.739.7158 or

Do you offer teaching assistantships or graduate assistantships?
No, the department does not offer teaching or graduate assistantships at this time.


What is the minimum GPA required to apply to Pacific's OTD program?
The minimum GPA required is 3.0.

I have a graduate degree. When I calculate my overall GPA, should I include my graduate course grades?
Yes. We will review your last 60 units of study, including all post-baccalaureate coursework (if applicable).

What if my prerequisite GPA is below a 3.0?
The minimum GPA for prerequisite courses is 3.0.  Courses that are retaken will be calculated using the higher grade.


GRE Exam

Is the GRE exam required?
The GRE exam is not required for admission.  However, you are welcome to submit GRE scores if you have taken exam.

Are my GRE scores too old?
GRE scores within the past five years are considered current.

What is the code I need to use to have my GRE scores reported to OTCAS?
University of the Pacific's OTCAS code is: 4615.


Other Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to find my own clinical fieldwork educator?
No, our fieldwork work office will find clinical educators and sites for you to ensure that you receive optimal clinical training and mentoring. You may be required to travel extended distances to clinical sites.

What happens if I am placed on the waiting list?
If you are placed on the waiting list, you will be asked to let us know whether or not you want to remain on the waiting list by emailing After June 30, the admissions committee will meet and review those who remain on the waiting list and will begin notifying students who have been admitted as space becomes available.

When do classes begin?
Classes typically begin in January for the spring trimester.

Is it possible for me to work a full-time job while in your program?
No, the OTD program is cohort-based and requires full-time status. 

Can I take a combined Anatomy & Physiology Course?
Yes, as long as you meet the minimum six (6) semester-unit requirement, including labs.

Are the program admissions requirements based on semester units or quarter units?
Our program admissions requirements are based on semester units.

Will I be eligible to sit for the NBCOT exam when I complete the program?
The University of the Pacific occupational therapy program is in the candidacy phase of the accreditation process. This first cohort of students will go through 8 trimesters of the program. Based upon successful completion of all the degree requirements (i.e., including fieldwork and capstone internship), this first cohort will graduate in August of 2023 and will be eligible to sit for the NBCOT exam thereafter.

What immunizations and health requirements are needed to attend your program?
Students must fulfill the requirements listed below prior to, and during the OTD Program, in compliance with the OTD Program’s policy for health and communicable disease clearance protocol.

  1. Criminal Background Check.
  2. Health History and Physical Examination. Physical Examination Form to be completed no greater than three months prior to matriculation. Needs to be completed annually.
  3. Hepatitis B — completion of vaccination series or verification of immunity (quantitative titer).
  4. MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) – Two documented doses or antibody titer showing immunity (quantitative titer).
  5. Tdap Vaccine (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Acellular Pertussis) — within three years.
  6. Varicella (Chickenpox) — Two documented doses or antibody titer showing immunity (quantitative preferred; qualitative accepted).
  7. Influenza Vaccine — Documentation of Influenza vaccine for the current season.
  8. Tuberculosis — initial 2-step PPD screening or QFGT blood test within three months of matriculation with annual 1-step PPD or Chest X-ray.
  9. Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine – One documented dose given on or after 16 for all students who are under 22 years of age.
  10. 10 panel toxicology screen.
  11. The University of the Pacific plus California Medicare and Medicaid regulations require healthcare workers to be fully vaccinated. Vaccination status is required for fieldwork placement. (COVID-19 screening/testing requirements are subject to change based upon CDC guidelines and University of the Pacific student health policies).

What are the health requirements for clinical placements during the program?

Students who are admitted to the University of the Pacific OTD program routinely participate in clinical education experiences as part of their program curricula. Most education facilities require criminal background checks and toxicology screens to determine a student’s eligibility for participation. History of a criminal background may disqualify students from participating in these experiences, which are required for successful completion of the degree program. Students should anticipate the need to complete clinical experiences requirements, in addition to the posted health requirements, which cost an average of $80 per experience. This estimate does not include transportation or housing costs.