Admission Requirements

Fall 2024 Application

The deadline to apply to the Fall 2024 OTA cohort closed on April 1, 2024.


General Information Sessions

If you would like to learn more about the OTA program, attend one of the following general information sessions. Current students, faculty, and clinical educators will be on the call to answer questions regarding the OTA program. Applicants are required to attend one informational sesion as part of the application process. The date attended will be a requirement on the application. Please note, this is not a drop-in event and the session will begin at the stated time.

Date Time Zoom Link
None scheduled    

OTA Program Admission Requirements

The NSCC OTA program admits one class of 30 students per academic year. The application cycle for fall admissions for each academic year will occur from January 1 to April 1. A student may apply to the NSCC OTA program during the application cycle only.

  • Complete admission requirements to Nashville State Community College
  • Complete online application to NSCC OTA program
  • Applicants must have an overall combined GPA of 2.0 or higher to apply to the NSCC OTA Program. NSCC defines overall inclusive GPA as GPA based on all classes taken at NSCC and transferred undergraduate courses including learning support classes.
  • Applicants are required to attend an information session before applying to the NSCC OTA Program. The date of the information session attended will be a requirement on the application.

Students must have all pre-requisite courses completed with a grade of "C" or better by the start of the program in the fall semester. Students will not be able to start OTA program if pre-requisite courses are not completed before the beginning of the fall semester.

*If an applicant is accepted into the OTA program, all prerequisite courses must be completed before entering the OTA program in Fall 2024. If a student is accepted into the program, but unable to complete the required pre-requisite course before entering the Fall 2024 semester, they will lose their seat in the program and will need to reapply for admission next year. The student is not guaranteed program admission upon reapplication.

  • BIOL 2010 Anatomy and Physiology I
  • ENGL 1010 English Composition I 
  • PSYC 1030 Intro to Psychology 
  • Humanities Elective
  • COMM 2025 Fundamentals of Communication or COMM 2045 Public Speaking or PSYC 2130 Lifespan Development Psychology 

 **Medical Terminology is no longer required in the OTA curriculum. 

 In accordance with our mission as a Tennessee Community College, Nashville State does not award priority or preferential status based on where a student completed General Education coursework. All transferring institutions are treated equally. 

Information for Applicants 

  •  Per guidelines of the TN Department of Health-Related Boards and the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT), applicants need to review the "Questions of Moral Character" and the information provided regarding NBCOT exam eligibility and Tennessee Licensure eligibility. A felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure. This information can be found on the OTA Program Application and at and 
  • CPR certification, criminal background checks, and drug screens are NOT required for program application. If selected to participate in the program, you will be provided with additional information for CPR certification, background checks, drug screens, and the timeline for completion. 

The Program requires that students be proficient in the use of as well as have ready access to a personal computer and dependable internet and/or identify alternative computer resources, such as the computer labs at NSCC. Students should be prepared to access and submit documents through Desire2Learn (D2L), use PowerPoint, and be proficient with email. The Program utilizes an online testing format. 

Prospective students will be required to provide a copy of a background check and drug screening. NSCC does not use background checks or drug screenings as criteria for admission to the program. Background checks and drug screenings are required by clinical sites as a condition of participation. Students are required to participate in a variety of clinical experiences to successfully complete the program. For questions regarding the background check, please call 615-353-3708.

Important information for Students Applying to the 2023 NSCC OTA Program 

Graduates of our program must successfully complete the NBCOT Examination before they are eligible for licensure in the State of Tennessee. All OTA licensure applicants must have a criminal background check completed before licensure will be granted. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure. If students have questions or concerns regarding criminal history and employment eligibility, please contact NBCOT at 301-990-7979 ( and the Tennessee Board of Occupational Therapy at 615-532-3202 or 800-778-4123.

The role of an Occupational Therapy Assistant is both rewarding and demanding. The following essential functions are required of all students who enroll in the Nashville State Occupational Therapy Assistant Program. 


  • Independently move from room to room and maneuver in small spaces. 
  • Participate in transfers of patients (children to adults) from a variety of heights and surfaces.
  • Guard and assist patients with functional mobility.
  • Be able to physically manage self so as not to be a danger to others.
  • Trunk control adequate for independent balance and function.
  • No muscle spasms that consistently affect movement or stability.
  • Manipulation skills adequate to make notations, participate in clinic maintenance, adjust equipment, assist in patient/client movement, etc.
  • Perform CPR.
  • Travel to and from academic and clinical sites.
  • Physically participate in active, 8-10 hour school/work days, consistently. 

Communication Skills 

  • Use verbal, non-verbal, and written communication to effectively explain and/or demonstrate tasks and techniques to others.
  • Communicate effectively in English with patients, families, and other healthcare providers, both verbally and in written form.
  • Effectively adapt communication for the intended audience.
  • Speak with enough volume to be reasonably heard by the intended audience.
  • Perceive, understand, and appropriately act on non-verbal communication, such as changes in mood, activity, facial expressions, and postures.
  • Assume the role of an effective member of a healthcare team.
  • Function effectively under supervision, including collaboration as well as effectively receiving and providing feedback.
  • Interact and establish rapport with individuals and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds. 

Problem Solving/Critical Thinking 

  • Function effectively under stress 
  • Respond appropriately to emergencies.
  • Use sound judgment to adhere to infection control and safety procedures.
  • Demonstrate problem-solving skills that reflect consideration of multiple forms of information: written, verbal, observation, etc. Must be able to reason, measure, calculate, prioritize, and synthesize information.
  • Address problems or questions to the appropriate person at the appropriate time.
  • Consistently follow policies and procedures required by clinical and academic settings, governmental regulations, and requirements of reimbursement sources.
  • Demonstrate the capacity to consistently, effectively, and efficiently plan, organize, and perform job duties within limited time frames according to the current industry standards. 

Academic Ability 

  • Read and understand information from textbooks, online resources, and other materials. 
  • Synthesize information effectively to be able to demonstrate knowledge and skills through written work, tests, and demonstrated performance. Students should be able to synthesize information from a variety of formats. These formats include but are not limited to text, lecture, video/computer, and demonstration. 
  • Data collection from a variety of sources and interpretation of materials that include, but are not limited to text, notes, online resources, observation, and clinical records. 
  • Pay attention, without prompting, to teachers, guest speakers, and other classmates during verbal presentations.
  • Effectively use a computer and computer programs. These include, but are not limited to email, PowerPoint, search engines, up/downloading of documents, youtube, and other online resource sites. 

Sensory Capability 

  • Visually observe with enough acuity (in a variety of lighting conditions) to participate in lab activities, lectures, and clinical experiences. 
  • Read small print information—such as that can be found on medical equipment. 
  • Hear sufficiently to perceive the normal tone of voice to follow directions, participate in conversations, answer phones and intercoms.
  • Assess and treat all assigned clients, including palpation of the client.
  • Monitor vital signs.
  • Auditory, visual, and tactile abilities are sufficient to assess patient status and perform treatments.
  • Perform responsibilities while in close proximity or in physical contact with others. 

Professional Behaviors 

  • Emotional health and stability sufficient to complete complex patient care responsibilities within an allotted time. 
  • Flexibility to function and remain calm under stressful conditions, including emergency situations, taxing academic, and clinical workloads. 
  • Consistently demonstrate compassion, empathy, tact, honesty, responsibility, integrity, and strong work ethic. 
  • Follow safety precautions. 
  • Perform tasks and interventions within competency level and seek assistance and training when additional knowledge or competency skills are required.
  • Actively seek and participate in continuing professional education opportunities in order to maintain and improve knowledge and competence.
  • Utilize evidence and OT theories, models, and frames of reference to provide the most effective interventions for clients and patients.
  • Independently track and complete multiple tasks, meeting deadlines and priorities as set by self and others.
  • Effectively interact with diverse populations and personalities.
  • Document and report activities accurately according to the requirements of the setting as well as external regulations, policies or procedures, and professional ethics.

Admission and Selection Process Changes Effective for Incoming Class of Fall 2024