What distinguishes this program from others?

Our program is uniquely designed to integrate social competency into the core curriculum. We emphasize the importance of understanding psychological, biological, & societal issues and how they intersect with occupational therapy practice. Additionally, our focus on leadership development prepares students to take on prominent roles within their communities and the field at large.

What support services are available to students?

We offer a range of support services to assist students throughout their academic journey, including academic advising, tutoring, peer mentors, and mental health resources. Our faculty and staff provide personalized support and guidance to help students thrive.

How many students are in each cohort?
Pacific OTD matriculates 35-40 students each January.

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


Program Admission FAQs

Do you offer admission in the fall trimester?
No. Our program follows a cohort model, and students begin the program in January of each year.

Do prerequisite courses need to be completed before applying?
We strongly recommend completing all prerequisite courses before applying for admission through Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS).

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

Does my undergraduate degree need to be completed before applying?
No, but you will be required to send University of the Pacific the final transcripts with the degree conferred before 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?
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-19 vaccination?
Yes. 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 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 seats, the applicant pool is deep and competitive. We recommend improving your overall GPA by retaking prerequisite courses with a grade below a ‘B.’ Also, 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 cannot 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 1st.

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?
You only need to submit official transcripts to OTCAS during the application process.

Where do I go to access the OTCAS application?
The OTCAS application is available at https://OTCAS.liaisoncas.com.

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 on the university's webpage; OTCAS or the department does not accept them.

Can I submit more than the three required letters of recommendation?
Yes, you may include more letters of recommendation, but no more than 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 helps you achieve your goals. This essay is an important part of your application and allows you to express yourself clearly and effectively. Share your personal story and why OT and Pacific are part of your long-term goals.

My application status still says "RECEIVED." Did I make the deadline?
Please 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 reach 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 two weeks, applications 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.


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 calculating 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 3.0?
The minimum GPA for prerequisite courses is 3.0.  Retaken courses will be calculated using the higher grade.

Cost and Financial Aid

How much does it cost to attend Pacific's OTD program?
Tuition is set at $1,105 per unit for the 120-unit program; lab fees are 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?
Pacific's financial aid packages 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 finaid@pacific.edu.

Do you offer opportunities for student tutors?
Yes, as a second-year student, you will have the opportunity to apply for a tutor position.

GRE Exam

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

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

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

Health Clearances:

Are health clearances required?

If you are admitted to the entry-level OTD program, you will be required to complete certain health clearances before enrolling in the program. These health clearances are required to participate in clinical rotations, which are required for the OTD degree.

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

  1. Criminal Background Check.
  2. Health History and Physical Examination. The Physical Examination Form must be completed no more than three months before matriculation and must 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 an 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 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 to complete 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.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

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

Can I work a full-time job while in your program?
No, the OTD program is rigorous and requires outside-of-class time for studying and community projects.

Will I be eligible to sit for the NBCOT exam when I complete the program?
Yes, our entry-level OTD program is fully accredited by ACOTE, and our students can take the NBCOT exam after graduation.