Occupational Therapy Graduate Program

MSC09 5240
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Phone: (505) 272-1753
Fax: (505) 272-3583

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How should I record the hours spent directly shadowing or volunteering with an occupational therapist?

Please use the following template [PDF] for recording your hours.  You will enter this information directly into OTCAS when completing your application.  You can also upload this log onto your OTCAS application.

2. What is the average number of applicants each year?

Approximately 120+ New Mexico residents, WICHE PSEP state residents, or those with strong ties to the state apply each year.

3. What are the required prerequisites?

Prerequisite information is found on the apply page.

4. How can I verify that a course I have taken will qualify as a prerequisite?

First, use the link to UNM’s Transfer Equivalency System (TES) to see if your course is recognized as an equivalent to one of our pre-requisites.

If your course is not recognized in the TES system, you will need to download and complete a course waiver form [PDF]. Our admissions committee will review the waiver request and email you with a decision.

5. From where will you accept prerequisites?

Per the UNM Catalog:  The University of New Mexico accepts transfer credits from post-secondary institutions that are regionally accredited.  The University of New Mexico does not accept technical/vocational, remedial, personal development or dogmatic religion courses. Transferable credits from an accredited junior college will be accepted.

6. Which grade will be counted if I have taken a prerequisite more than once?

Two retakes are allowed for prerequisite courses.  If both classes were taken within the past 5 years, then the course with the higher grade is used. If one course was taken in the past 5 years and the other one was taken more than 5 years ago, then the grade from the most recent class will be used.

If a course is taken more than three times, only the first three attempts will be considered. A pattern of repeated coursework will have a negative impact on your application.

7. Can classes taken AFTER a bachelor's degree count toward prerequisites?

Yes.  Please note that prerequisites must have been completed within the last five years.  Applicants may submit a course waiver form to be considered for exceptions to the five year limit.  Download and complete the course waiver form [PDF].

8. Does the program offer a part-time option?

Yes. Students that choose the part-time track typically complete coursework in three to four years, instead of two, followed by two fieldwork II placements. Please note that part-time students still attend classes during the day Monday through Friday, alongside the full-time students. However, the part-time option allows for an abbreviated schedule.  This option can be discussed with a program advisor following admission into the program.  It is not a consideration during the admissions process.

9. How many fieldwork opportunities will I have during the program?

Students complete one fieldwork I requirement each academic semester (typically week long experiences incorporated into each semester).   Following the academic component of the program, students complete two Fieldwork II assignments (12 weeks of full time work per assignment). 

10. Am I able to do fieldwork out of state/abroad?

Yes. Students have opportunities to complete both Fieldwork I and Fieldwork II assignments in other states, although it is not required.  A handful of international fieldwork opportunities are also available.

11. Can you explain the OTCAS application process?

The Occupational Therapist Centralized Application Service (OTCAS) provides applicants with a single web-based application and set of materials to apply to multiple OT programs. Applicants will submit an online application including: biographical data, colleges attended, academic course history, occupational therapy observation hours, list of reference providers, work experiences, extracurricular activities, honors, professional licenses, and a personal essay.

12. Can I save my OTCAS application and then finish my application at a later date?

Yes.  You can create a login for OTCAS once the new application cycle begins in August each year.  Once you have a login, you can continue to work on your application up until the application due date of December 1st.  Your application cannot be viewed by the UNM OT Graduate Program until you officially submit the application and pay required fees.

13. How long does it take to complete the OTCAS application?

The OTCAS application is a lengthy process.  We recommend that you begin working on your application as soon as the application cycle begins in August each year.  However, the amount of time required to complete the application varies per individual.

14. Will my bachelors or master's degree be used as the point from which my last 50 hours are calculated?

The UNM OT Graduate Program calculates overall GPA based upon the last 50 graded credits taken at an accredited institution, regardless of how those credits related to degree completion.

15. I will receive my bachelor's degree after the application deadline, can I still apply?

Yes.  Students may apply while still enrolled in undergraduate courses or prerequisite courses if all courses will be completed by the end of the spring semester in the calendar year the student is applying for.  Students will need to supply evidence of enrollment in and successful completion of prerequisite courses with a grade of B or better by the end of the Spring semester.


16. If accepted into the program, when can I expect to begin classes?

If accepted, you will begin classes the fall semester after your interview.  The UNM OT Graduate Program admits only one cohort of students per year.

17. What does the typical class schedule look like for the first and second years of the program?

While the schedule varies per semester, students can expect to be on campus or in community settings from 9-5 most days of the week.  At this time, we do not offer online, evening or weekend classes.  Please see our website for our core curriculum schedule.

18. I am looking for places to shadow an occupational therapist, are you familiar with facilities that readily accept students?

There are a variety of wonderful places to shadow.  We recommend that you contact clinics and/or hospitals and request to speak with the occupational therapy department or supervisor.  Local schools and early intervention agencies are also possible options.  If you are having difficulty locating an occupational therapist to shadow, please contact us at OccupationalTherapy@salud.unm.edu for assistance.

19. I wasn't accepted into the program this cycle, how can I improve my application?

Appointments will be made available to review your application in March and April following the application cycle each year.  Information regarding scheduling will be emailed to all applicants who were not accepted.