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How many students do you accept into your Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program? Enrollment is based on class availability with a maximum of 30 students accepted in each class.

How often do you select a class? The selection process will begin in February and invitations to enroll in the fall OTA classes will be sent out in early March.

When is the application deadline? Application for the OTA program should be submitted prior to January 31 of the same year planning on being admitted into the fall class.

What GPA is required? A minimum GPA of 2.9 (on a 4.0 scale) in all OTA core classes is required for admittance to the OTA program.

Do I have to complete all of the prerequisite core classes before I enroll in OTA classes? Yes.  All prerequisite classes need to be completed by June 30 prior to enrolling in any of the OTA classes.

I already have taken some of the prerequisite courses with my bachelor’s degree, is there a limit on how long ago I took the prerequisite courses?
Yes. Human anatomy pre-requisites must be taken within the last seven (7) years.

If I retake a prerequisite outside of USI, which grade will the OTA Program use on my OTA Application Audit?
Providing the course is an equivalent course accepted by USI, the OTA Program will use the higher grade on the OTA Application Audit.

I already have a bachelor’s degree (e.g., psychology, health services, biology)—what prerequisite courses do I need?

  • PSY 201: Introduction to Psychology
  • BIOL 121: Human Anatomy & Physiology I
  • BIOL 122: Human Anatomy & Physiology II
  • HP 115: Medical Terminology

How long is the program? After completing the required 17 credit hours of pre-requisite courses, the program length is 18 months starting the fall of your first year.

  • Fall 1st year = 15 credit hours
  • Spring 1st year = 15 credit hours
  • Summer 1st year = 12 credit hours
  • Fall 2nd year = 6 credit hours of fieldwork experience

What degree do I receive? Associate of Science (AS) Degree

What do I become? Occupational Therapy Assistant

Do you have a COTA program? A COTA, or Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, is the title received after one passes the national certification examination.  One must graduate from an accredited OTA program (such as the University of Southern Indiana (USI) program) to be eligible for the national certification examination.

Is the OTA program accredited? The OTA program at USI is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 7501 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 510E Bethesda, MD 20814, telephone (301) 652-2682.

What do I need to do to become a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA)? In order to be able to use the title COTA, you must graduate from an accredited program and to successfully pass the national certification exam given by the National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT).

What are the admission requirements for OTA? The prospective student must be accepted for admission to USI before completing a separate process to this program.  The program selects students for admission to the OTA program on the basis of:

  • Completion of OTA core curriculum and minimum GPA of 2.9 (on a 4.0 scale).
  • Submission of all materials in admissions packet by January 31 of the year planning to be admitted to the fall class.
  • Interview with Occupational Therapists Admission Committee
  • The selection of students for admission to the program is based on a combination score that includes the standardized interview with the Occupational Therapists Admission Committee, and cumulative GPA.  Thirty students with the highest scores will be admitted to the OTA program.
  • Prerequisite classes are required to be completed by June 30 of the year planning to be admitted to the fall class.

Student applicants must show capability of fulfilling clinical practice requirements, eligibility for the occupational therapy practitioner credentialing the evidence of satisfactory health status.  Please note: A felony conviction (this includes documentation of driving under the influence – DUI) may negatively impact a prospective student’s eligibility to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state practice credentials; contact the program for further information.

What is the average salary upon graduation?

Percentile wage estimates for Occupational Therapy Assistants:

Percentile 10% 25% 50% (Median) 75% 90%
Hourly Wage $22.50 $24.46 $29.68 $36.90 $38.56
Annual Wage $46,810 $50,880 $61,730 $76,740 $80,210


What are the key features of the USI OTA program? Students may pursue a baccalaureate degree in another major while completing the Associate of Science degree requirements.  Students are encouraged to consider completing requirements for a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Services.

How will a felony conviction affect my status in the OTA program? A felony conviction will affect your eligibility to take the national certification examination and also state credentialing (e.g., license, certificate, registration). If you are currently charged with or have been convicted of a felony, please notify the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program immediately. In addition, if you have had credentials (e.g., license, registration, certificate) in another field (e.g., PTA) denied, revoked, suspended, or subject to probationary condition, your eligibility to take the national certification exam may be in jeopardy.

For more information about tuition, fees and other costs, visit our Financial Aid Cost of Attendance page.