OTA Admission Policies

Occupational Therapy Assistant program applicants will be considered for admission into the program if they achieve the minimum scores on the required sections of the ACCUPLACER test of the College Board administered at the university, as defined in the following chart.

Reading 232
Writing 234
Arithmetic 212
Statistics Algebra 206

The applicant may take each of the Accuplacer tests required for admission to a program up to three times initially, with at least 48 hours between attempts.  If the applicant does not achieve a passing score on the required tests after three attempts, the applicant must wait two months before retaking the failed test(s).   After the two-month waiting period, the applicant may take the failed Accuplacer test(s) up to three more times.  If the applicant does not achieve a passing score after these three attempts, the applicant must wait one calendar year before retaking all of the Accuplacer tests required for admission to the program.  The applicant will be allowed to take each of the Accuplacer tests up to three times after the one calendar year waiting period.  If the applicant does not achieve a passing score on each of the required test(s) after these three attempts, the applicant will not be able to take the Accuplacer tests again for admission to a program at the university.

In addition to meeting the minimum admission policies for an associate degree program, each applicant must complete a questionnaire and have an interview with a designated member of the OTA faculty.  The interviewer will use a candidate interview form for the interview and will award points for the applicant’s responses on the questionnaire and in the interview according to a departmental rubric.

The interviewer will also award points according to the departmental rubric for the applicant’s scores on the Accuplacer examination, other examinations, or a grade point average earned for a degree or diploma.  The interviewer will combine these points with the points awarded for the questionnaire and interview into a total score according to the departmental rubric.  Based on the total score, the applicant will be ranked among the other applicants who are applying for admission to the program with the current cohort.

The 35 applicants who have met the minimum admission policies for an associate degree program and, who have the highest number of combined points awarded for the questionnaire, interview, and examination scores or grade point average, will be accepted for admission to the current cohort.  Should an opening occur, the applicant who has the next highest number of combined points may be accepted.  If there are more than 35 individuals qualified for admission in a given cohort, those who are not admitted to the current cohort will be considered for admission into a subsequent cohort.

Applicants with Criminal Convictions

Applicants to the OTA program are required to complete a background check form and pay the background check fee seven days prior to the start of classes.

Many clinical facilities will not permit OTA applicants (or employees/volunteers) in the facility with certain felony or misdemeanor convictions as part of an overall employment policy.  Stanbridge University cannot admit OTA applicants who cannot attain the mandated requirement of 640 level 2 fieldwork hours.  Accordingly, applicants for admission with a felony conviction will not be granted admission to the university.  Certain types of convictions, regardless of whether felony or misdemeanor, will result in denial of admission.  These types of convictions include certain drug/substance abuse offenses, violent crimes and offenses requiring mandatory reporting, such as elder abuse or child abuse.

Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapy assistant, administered by the National Board For The Certification Of Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the graduate will be a certified occupational therapy assistant (COTA). In addition, all States require licensure to practice; however, State licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT certification examination. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain State licensure.  The NBCOT describes the nature of the character questions asked on the exam candidate applications in the Exam Handbook under the section titled, Character Review. Please see the following link:


For more information regarding this and other certification questions, or to obtain a Character Review prior to starting your program, please contact the NBCOT:

One Bank Street, Suite 300, Gaithersburg, MD 20878
Phone: (301) 990-7979. Email: professional.conduct@nbcot.org

Individual State regulatory boards that issue licenses for the practice of occupational therapy must be contacted individually to inquire about licensing questions or restrictions.