Entry-Level OTD Program Early Decision Process
Applicants with a strong academic and testing record, for whom VCU is their top choice of schools for their OT education, who meet the criteria established for the early application and decision process, may request early review of their application by the Graduate Admission Committee through the Early Decision process. The Early Decision process provides an opportunity for top applicants to apply from mid-July when the OTCAS application goes live online, until the Early Decision deadline of November 1st. Early Decision applicants have the opportunity to be offered admission to the EL-OTD program for the following June, prior to review of applications during the regular application period.
In order to be considered for Early Decision, the applicant must meet the following criteria (These criteria are based upon academic and testing performance using the mean scores of the applicants who accepted offers of admission to the program from the previous year). All Early Decision applicants must:
- Hold a bachelor's degree or be on track to earn a bachelor’s degree by May of the following academic year and have attained an overall grade point average of a 3.5 or above on all college course work.
- Have completed all prerequisite courses (26 credits) either prior to submission of the application November 1 or no later than the conclusion of the fall semester and achieved no less than a 3.8 grade point average on all prerequisite courses. (Students who will not complete their prerequisite courses until the end of the spring semester are not eligible for Early Decision.)
- Taken the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), received the official scores by the application deadline of November 1st and had their official scores sent to OTCAS using the VCU OT Designated Institution Code of 1219. Early decision applicants must have GRE scores that are competitive with the mean GRE scores of the previous cohort. In the calculation of the application score the percentile scores for the verbal and writing subtest are worth 10% each and the quantitative score is worth 5%. All three GRE subtest scores combined constitute 25% of the application score. This means that scores need to be around 74th percentile on the verbal subtest, the 51st percentile on the quantitative subtest, and the 80th percentile on the analytical writing subtest. But higher scores can balance out a slightly lower score, so these are not regarded as hardline minimums.
- Submitted the VCU Graduate Admissions online application
- Submitted the OT Centralized Application Service (OTCAS) online application by November 1st and had all coursework verified by OTCAS from official transcripts.
The academic requirements of overall GPA, prerequisite GPA, and three GRE subtest scores account for 50% of the final application score (100 out of 200 possible points). The other 50% of the application score is the qualitative portion, which is derived from the scores on the Personal Statement, the Value Added Essay, and the three Letters of Recommendation. Both essays and the three letters of recommendation are submitted through OTCAS. Early Decision applications will be reviewed and acceptance offers made as early as possible. If prerequisites are complete offers can be made prior to December 1. If the Graduate Admissions Committee has to wait for the Academic Update in OTCAS for prerequisites being completed during the Fall semester applicants will be notified by January 15. All communication will occur through the OTCAS e-mail system, including questions and initial admission notification. The Graduate Admissions Committee reserves the right to defer an Early Decision application to the regular admissions process, if warranted.
Applicants accepted in the Early Decision process, are expected to accept the offer of admission and enroll in the VCU EL-OTD program. The applicant is expected to withdraw any applications already made to other programs, through OTCAS or other application processes, and to notify these programs of their intention to attend VCU.
The top Early Decision applicant will be eligible for the Patti Mauer Scholarship. This scholarship is applied to the first Fall semester tuition.