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Associate's Degree

The Fall 2020 OTA Application Deadline is January 13, 2020.

The Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) Program at Radford University Carilion is the first OTA Program in Virginia, established in 1992. With over two decades of development, our program provides innovative, real world experiences.

The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree for occupational therapy assistant is a two-year program, designed for students from all educational backgrounds. Students range in age from recent high school graduates to individuals returning to school to prepare for a second career. These differences in age and life experiences make for lively discussions in classes as we explore different roles people assume throughout their lifespan. Our small class size (average 25 students) allows for more individualized instruction and hands-on participation in the classroom.

Program Overview

Client-centered intervention is the core of the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program. Students learn how to assist clients return to participate in activities that matter the most to them: cooking dinner for the family, getting out of bed without assistance or driving. With respect for cultural diversity and individual differences, each client’s intervention plan is unique.

What makes this program different 

  1. Extensive hands-on learning. Almost 150 hours of clinical rotations are split among mental health, pediatrics and adult/geriatrics. Students will also complete two intensive 8-week (full-time) fieldwork experiences in different settings.
  2. Personal attention. Class sizes are small to ensure 1-on-1 instruction from our highly skilled and experienced faculty. Additionally, lab sizes are half the size of a lecture class to guarantee as much individual attention as possible to learn the necessary hands-on skills.
  3. Networking. Students are afforded the opportunity for multiple community and professional experiences.
  4. Standardized patients. The use of standardized patients throughout the program enhances student preparation for client interactions.

Career Path

This program prepares graduates to work in:

  • Hospitals
  • School Systems
  • Outpatient Clinics
  • Home Health Agencies
  • Rehabilitation Centers
  • Skilled Nursing Facilities
  • Mental Health Agencies
  • Community Agencies
  • Work and Industrial Settings

Admissions Requirements

Requirements for consideration for admission to the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program:

The OTA Program has a selective and competitive admissions process. There are a limited number of seats for the program. It is important that applicants submit as much information as possible to be a more competitive candidate.

To be considered, all the following must be completed and submitted by the stated deadline. Applicants who do not submit all the required documents by the deadline will not be considered for admission.

  1. Meet all the admission requirements for Radford University Carilion. (For additional general undergraduate requirements, please visit Undergraduate Admissions.)
  2. Submit the online Radford University Carilion Application.
  3. Submit official transcript(s) from all institutions – high school OR all higher education institution(s) to the admissions department. Cumulative GPA must be 2.5 or higher.
  4. Attend a college open house/OTA Information Session OR review the online OTA Program Information Session Slideshow [PDF] and complete a short quiz.  

Complete the OTA Admissions Packet [PDF].


The Occupational Therapy Assistant program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449.

ACOTE’s telephone number, c/o AOTA, is (301) 652-AOTA (2682) and its web address is

Graduates of the OTA program will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapy assistant, administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT®). After successful completion of this exam, the graduate will be a certified occupational therapy assistant (COTA). In addition, most 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.

Student and Program Outcomes

The average pass rate over the past three calendar years (2016, 2017, and 2018) for graduates attempting the national certification exam within 12 months of graduation is 96%.

Graduation Year Total Number First Time New
Graduate Passing Rate
2016 100%
2017 88%
2018 100%
Total 96%


The average graduation rate over the past three calendar years (2016, 2017, and 2018) is 91%.

Graduation Year Students Entering/Graduating Graduation Rate
2016 19/18 95%
2017 25/23 92%
2018 23/20 87%
Total 67/61 91%