How long does it take to finish the OTA Program?
The minimum time required to complete the entire degree program, including all pre-clinical and clinical phase courses, is two years and three months (5 semesters). The full-time Clinical phase curriculum is completed in 18 months.
How can I change my major to OTA?
The change of major form is in the Registrar website: http://www.laguardia.edu/registrar/.
Go toward the bottom of the page under Forms, subheading Student Forms and you should be able to download the form. Once it is completed, you can email it as an attachment to the department’s email address at HealthSci@lagcc.cuny.edu.
What are the requirements to apply for the OTA program?
To apply for the OTA Program Candidacy, students must:
- Be an Undeclared Pre-Health/OTA major at LaGuardia,
- Submit a candidacy application by the deadline.
- Complete all four key courses (ENG101, SSY101, SCB203, and MAT120 or 115)
- Submit the ATI-TEAS Exam scores by the deadline.
What happens if I apply for candidacy and I don’t get accepted?
A student has two attempts for OTA candidacy. After an unsuccessful second attempt, we recommend meeting with an advisor to explore alternative academic planning.
What is the minimum score I have to get to pass my ATI-TEAS Exam and when can I take it?
All applicants are required to take the ATI-TEAS Exam as a requirement for candidacy. A proficient composite score of 55% or higher is the minimum required. The TEAS score must be within 18 months of the end date of candidacy. There is no limit on the number of attempts for this exam in order to achieve the minimum score required.
Do I have to retake the TEAS Exam if I score a passing, but low score? Would that increase my chances to get accepted?
You don’t necessarily have to retake your TEAS as long as you have a passing overall score of 55%. The TEAS Exam scores are not ranked.
Are the TEAS Exam scores due at the same time as the candidacy application is due?
The OTA Program does not require that you submit your scores together with your candidacy application. The TEAS Exam scores are due prior to or at the end of session I of the semester of candidacy application.
Does the OTA Program offer an evening schedule?
The OTA Program offers both day session and evening session options. Please review the following information on program schedules so you are clear on when is the appropriate time to submit your candidacy application.
- Spring Applicants will be considered for the Fall - Evening Program. Evening session classes begin at 5:45PM and may extend to 10:15PM. In the evening session schedule, semester two requires all day Saturday classes for the 12 week semester.
- Fall Applicants will be considered for the Spring - Day Program. Day session classes begin as early as 9:15AM and may extend into the evening session
- Fieldwork placement schedules depend upon the site, however all fieldwork placements require a regular work day determined by the schedule of the clinical site.
If accepted into the OTA Program, when do I start?
Successful candidates are scheduled to begin the Clinical phase in session I of the following semester after candidacy application. Candidates that are unable to begin the program as scheduled will forfeit their seat in the program.
When will I know if I got accepted into the OTA Program?
Students will be notified of the results during session II (Fall II or Spring II) of the semester of candidacy application (Fall I or Spring I).
When can I apply for candidacy for the OTA Program?
Candidacy occurs twice a year during the first session of the school semester. Students can submit applications for candidacy during Fall I and Spring I. The candidacy deadlines are listed on the school calendar and it is the student’s responsibility to apply for candidacy on time.
Students have to request a Candidacy Form by emailing the Health Sciences Department at HealthSci@lagcc.cuny.edu.
The Candidacy Form then needs to be filled out and emailed to the Health Sciences Department before the Candidacy Deadline. Once the form is received by the Health Sciences Department the student will receive an acknowledgement email confirming receipt of the Candidacy form.
What is the required GPA to get accepted into the OTA Program.
Minimum GPA requirement to apply for candidacy is 2.50. However, please note that the program is highly competitive. The minimum GPA of successful candidates varies but is always well above 2.50. Candidacy follows a GPA ranking system and the top twenty students get the twenty available seats in the program.
Can I take the remaining pre-clinical courses while I am taking Clinical Phase courses?
Accepted students are able to take the remaining pending pre-clinical courses together with their clinical coursework. It is highly recommended that pre-clinical courses be completed prior to beginning the clinical phase. Most clinical courses have pre- and co-requisite requirements that must be fulfilled by the pre-clinical phase courses. It is the student’s responsibility to seek academic advisement from the director of the program, Prof. Regina Lehman, soon after getting accepted into the program.
I took science a long time ago, can I use that course to fulfill my science requirement? Do science courses expire?
SCB203 and SCB204 taken more than 7 years of the candidacy semester will not be accepted for OTA candidacy. Prospective applicants must retake science courses older than the required 7 years.
What is the minimum course grade to get accepted into the program?
Students must have a minimum of 2.50 in all the key courses to be considered for the OTA program. Please note: students are not permitted to repeat any course with a grade of C or above. In addition, the original grade in any pre-clinical courses required for the OTA major, are averaged into the ranking along with the repeated grade. This includes transfer credit grades.
What is the OTA Program’s policy on criminal records?
CUNY does not require criminal background checks; however, individual health care facilities may require background checks and drug screening. Please note that students must complete varied clinical rotations during the clinical phase. Students are required to have a current medical exam with blood work (within 3 months). Please note: A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.
Where can I get more information on the OTA Program to review at my own pace?
All program requirements and additional information can be found in the OTA Handbook.
Can I start working right after I complete the OTA Program?
At the completion of the program, students are eligible to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) for occupational therapy assistants. Eligibility for licensure is based upon successfully passing the NBCOT examination. OTA graduates are eligible to practice as an occupational therapy assistant in New York for one year under a limited permit/temporary New York State license in certain facilities and agencies. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.
I applied for admission into LaGuardia as a transfer student, when can I apply for candidacy.
Admission into the OTA program is offered to LaGuardia students only. You can apply for candidacy after your transfer credits (if any) are posted to your transcript at LaGuardia and/or you are officially admitted into the college as a matriculated student.
How long is the clinical fieldwork?
Students must complete 2 level I (part-time) and 2 level II (full-time 8-10 weeks) clinical placements during the clinical phase. Fieldwork placement schedules depend upon the site, however all field work placements require a regular work day. Please note that CUNY does not require criminal background checks. Individual health care facilities may require drug screening, fingerprinting and a background check.