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Top 10 Tips for a Successful OTCAS Application

Posted by Chelsey Borchardt Thursday, Jul. 13, 2017

OTCAS logo - centralized application service for occupational therapy programs

OTCAS is a centralized application service for occupational therapy programs that offers a convenient and efficient process to apply to occupational therapy school using a web-based application.

The application offers online checklists and instruction to easily navigate through the process of applying. Students are able to track the receipts of the application, transcripts and references 24/7.

Like many programs around the country, Nebraska Methodist College has partnered with OTCAS to assist with all of our Master in Occupational Therapy applications.

As most of us know, online applications add convenience but can also add an element of frustration if things go awry. We’ve compiled 10 tips to help ensure your experience with OTCAS is as seamless as possible:

Insider Tips

  1. Create an account in OTCAS today because it’s never too early to familiarize yourself with the application. Flag the institutions you are interested in, and then start to track deadlines, admissions criteria and application requirements.
  2. Complete the application on a desktop computer rather than a mobile device or tablet.

  3. Google's Chrome web browser seems to work best.

  4. Take care of items out of your control first, such as requesting your official transcripts and professional references. Transcripts must be requested from the institution and sent directly to OTCAS. This process can take a few weeks and can cause a delay in completing your application in a timely manner.

  1. Ask your professional references if they have time to write a letter of recommendation for you, and if they say yes, give them a copy of your most recent resume. Your professional references must send their letters of recommendation directly to OTCAS on their own time.

  2. If you are asked to answer essay questions directly on the application, write your response in a word document and copy and paste your materials into the application. This way you can save your responses just in case. 

  3. Include your name and page numbers on all documents that you attach to your application, i.e. personal statements, essay questions, resume and observation hours.
  4. Double check prerequisites. OTCAS will list program prerequisites and then ask you to plug in the courses you have taken to meet the requirements. If your prerequisites are in progress, we recommend typing the information for the course that you plan to take in the future and then leaving the grade blank.

  5. Don’t procrastinate submitting your application. It can often take 3-4 weeks to get materials verified in OTCAS. Don’t wait until the last minute to submit your materials, you might miss the deadline.

  6. When in doubt, contact the OTCAS Customer Service at or (617) 612-2860.

At Nebraska Methodist College, our Recruitment & Admissions Coordinators are here to help you in your journey to becoming a healthcare professional. Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.

Topics: lists, Master of Occupational Therapy, occupational therapy, admissions

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