Credentials Display

Quinn P. Tyminski, OTD, OTR/L, BCMH

Lenin C. Grajo, PhD, EdM, OTR/L


The use of holistic admissions in higher education has been demonstrated to increase the diversity of incoming student classes; yet, in occupational therapy (OT) research, admissions processes remain under-explored. This phenomenological study aimed to explore the process of OT admissions from the perspective of students, faculty, and staff at a single OT program with the goal to create a more inclusive, equitable, and holistic process. Focus groups were conducted with first-year students, and an online survey was sent to faculty to explore perspectives on the admissions process, necessary qualities for an OT graduate student, and suggestions for increasing inclusion and equity in the admissions process. Several key themes emerged: the cost of applying, lack of uniformity across different institutions’ admissions requirements, and preconceived notions of institutions; flexibility in admissions requirements, connections with the institution, and the need to recruit more diverse participants. Findings of this study are consistent with the literature regarding the use of holistic processes in graduate education, recommending less focus on student academic achievements and increased view of the student as a multifaceted individual with numerous talents. As a result, recommendations can be made to change admissions processes at this institution and in OT.


The authors declare that they have no competing financial, professional, or personal interest that might have influenced the performance or presentation of the work described in this manuscript.