Evaluations (Letters of Recommendation)

OT Program Reference Requirements

Applicants are required to enter three (3) evaluator names on your OTCAS application and may list a maximum of five. You are required to list three (3)  individuals even if the programs to which you are applying only require two. Contact your OT programs to determine the number and types of complete evaluations required by each institution. OTCAS will NOT determine if you have met the reference requirements for a particular OT program.

Electronic Letters of Reference Required

Alert your evaluator to watch for an automated email from OTCAS with the subject “OTCAS Reference Request”. If your evaluator does not receive an email from OTCAS, ask your evaluator to check all spam and junk email file folders or provide an alternate email address.

Committee and Composite Letters

OTCAS does not accept committee or composite letters. You must enter in the names of three to five separate references.

Reference Deadlines

Arrange for OTCAS to receive all of your references as early as possible. Although OTCAS will not hold the application if references are not received, OT programs may not consider applicants who submit late materials. OTCAS does NOT enforce reference deadlines and will forward the references to your designated OT programs, even if they arrive late.

OTCAS Providing References

OTCAS will begin to post your references to your designated OT programs once your file is complete. OTCAS will NOT hold your application for missing references.

Check Reference Status

Login to your application to check on the status of references sent to OTCAS.

Additional References

You will not be able to add more than five (5) references to your application. Send any additional references directly to your designated OT programs. OT programs may not consider extra references.

Editing Your List of References

If one or more of your evaluators is unresponsive or declines your invitation to submit a letter of reference on your behalf, you may edit your evaluator contact information on your OTCAS application before or after you e-submit your application to OTCAS. You cannot make edits to your evaluator’s information once the evaluator’s reference is received.

Evaluator’s Information

Enter the evaluator’s greeting, such as Mr., Mrs., Dr., etc.


Enter the evaluator’s first and last name.


Enter the organization with which the evaluator is affiliated, as well their official title within that organization.

Contact Information

Enter the evaluator’s e-mail address and telephone number.  This is the e-mail address where the request will be sent.

Due Date

You must specify the date by which you need this evaluation submitted to your evaluator.  It is advised to use a date no later than your earliest program deadline, while still allowing your evaluator time to complete the process.

Personal Message to the Evaluator

You may include a short note to the evaluator regarding this request which will also be included with the request e-mail they receive.


The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) gives applicants the right to access letters of reference written unless they choose to waive their right of inspection and review. Prior to requesting a reference from an evaluator, you are required to indicate whether you wish to waive your rights. OTCAS will release your decision to waive or not waive access to this reference to your evaluator and your designated OT programs. OT programs may interpret references as more honest and candid if you waive your right to see the letters. If you retain access, you must contact the evaluator or the admissions office directly to view the reference, and you may be asked to explain your reasons for your choice during the interview(s).

Your waiver decision on the OTCAS web application serves the same purpose as a legal signature, and is binding. If you decide to change your waiver decision, you must login to your OTCAS application to edit your selection online. For paper references, you must reprint the paper form and give the revised copy to your evaluator. Once your reference is received by paper or electronically, you cannot make changes to your waiver decision.


In order for OTCAS to process your letters of reference, you must certify the following statements:

  • I hereby give OTCAS permission to contact the Reference below via email to request the completion of the OTCAS reference form and letter of reference. If my Reference does not submit a paper or online reference form to OTCAS in response to the email request, it is my sole responsibility to contact the Reference directly to ensure all references required by my designated OT programs are received by the deadline.
  • I understand that the occupational therapist programs to which I am applying may contact the Reference either to verify the information provided and/or for further clarification of the information provided, and I hereby give permission for the programs to do so.