Dear Prospective VCU EL-OTD Student:

Thank you for your interest in the Entry Level Occupational Therapy Doctorate in the VCU Department of Occupational Therapy. VCU is proud to be supporting the partnership between the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) and Liaison International by participating in the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service, known as OTCASAll applicants to the VCU EL-OTD program must apply online through OTCAS. A centralized online application allows prospective OT applicants to apply to multiple OT programs using a single web-based application. In addition to the OTCAS application, VCU requires completion of the VCU Supplemental Information Application online

The OTCAS website is available for application from mid-July through December 1st of each application year. We recommend that you start the application process as early as possible. The entire application does not have to be completed at one time. You can add to your application anytime from late July until the deadline of December 1st, each enrollment year.  Acceptances are made from mid-January through early April. Orientation and coursework for the VCU EL-OTD program generally begins the first week of June.

By the December 1 deadline, applicants need to have done all of the following:


Completed the OTCAS Application


Completed  the VCU Supplemental Information Application


Taken the ETS Graduate Record Exam by December 1 and had the scores sent directly to OTCAS using the VCU OT Designated Institution Code of 1219.  


Completed at least 30 observation hours with an OT or OTA practitioner

If you are still taking classes, as soon as your fall semester grades are available, you must have your official fall semester transcripts sent to OTCAS so that they can verify the grades that you post when OTCAS reopens for the Academic Update. OTCAS will notify all applicants by email when they reopen for the Academic Update. This generally occurs after the fall semester is complete in late December and generally remains open through January. You must update your fall semester grades at this time. The Academic Update process will finalize your prerequisite GPA.

It is not necessary to have completed all prerequisite course work by the application deadline of December 1. Applicants can complete prerequisite coursework during the spring semester before enrolling in the EL-OTD program for the summer semester. Be sure that your electronic transcript includes any spring semester courses that you are taking. If prerequisite courses are taken in the spring, accepted applicants will be offered a provisional acceptance until a final transcript indicates that all outstanding prerequisite courses have been successfully completed at an "A" or "B" level. Any applicants who were offered provisional acceptance will be responsible for demonstrating that they completed their remaining prerequisites at the required "A" or "B" level before beginning the first day of class.

We encourage you to read carefully through these webpages. Many of the questions that we receive by email or telephone are answered on these pages. Once you have explored these webpages, if you live within a reasonable driving distance from Richmond, we encourage you to attend one of our monthly Information Sessions on the program and the admission process. These sessions are scheduled every third Friday of the month, year-round. The sessions are held in the Department of Occupational Therapy from 1:00-2:45 PM. These sessions provide applicants with an opportunity to discuss the admission process, tour our facilities, and meet current students in the program.

The Department is located on the second floor of the Theater Row Building at 730 E. Broad Street in Richmond, Virginia. Parking is available in nearby public parking lots located at 7th and Marshall Streets, or 7th and Clay Streets.

If it is not possible for you to visit us, the web pages should answer most, if not all of your questions. If after reviewing the webpages you still have questions about the admissions process, or the EL-OTD program, please send an email to or contact Lawrencine Smith, the OT Program Manager, by telephone at (804) 828-2219. Anita Wyrick, OTD, OTR/L, Assistant Chair of the Entry Level Graduate Admissions Committee monitors the email system. Dr. Wyrick, Ms. Lawrencine Smith, and Dr. Dianne Simons work closely together to respond to your questions. Please do not hesitate to contact us.

Dianne F. Simons, Ph.D., OTR/L, FAOTA
Director of the Entry-Level Education