10 Exceptional OTCAS Letter of Recommendation Examples to Help You Stand Out

Understanding OTCAS Letters of Recommendation

OTCAS Letter of Recommendation

As a pre-professional health student, you will be required to submit letters of recommendation when applying to graduate programs such as Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Physician Assistant. One common application system amongst these programs is the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS). OTCAS is an online system that allows students to apply to multiple programs using one application. In this article, we will discuss the details of OTCAS letters of recommendation.

Letters of recommendation are an essential component of your graduate school application. They provide admissions committees with an objective assessment of your qualifications and accomplishments. As healthcare professionals are often required to interact with people in their line of work, a letter of recommendation written by someone in the healthcare industry holds a more significant weight than someone else. These letters can make or break your application, so it’s important to choose the right people to write them.

So who should you ask for letters of recommendation? Typically, healthcare and science professors, healthcare professionals, and employers are good candidates. It’s essential to select individuals who can assess and vouch for your clinical abilities, communication skills, and overall potential as a healthcare professional. It’s crucial to ask for letters of recommendation well in advance so you can give your recommender’s ample time to write an excellent letter that fully supports your candidacy.

When submitting your letters of recommendation through OTCAS, you may consider submitting one to three letters for each program unless noted otherwise. If you’re submitting multiple letters for a single program, OTCAS will forward all letters to designated programs. It’s important to keep in mind that each program may have specific guidelines regarding the number of letters they require and their preferences when it comes to selecting recommenders. Therefore, it’s essential to visit each program’s website and read through their information carefully.

The length and format of OTCAS letters of recommendation vary from program to program. Most programs require letters to be submitted electronically to the OTCAS portal. When a recommender agrees to write a letter for you, you can enter their contact information in your OTCAS application, and OTCAS will provide an email invitation with instructions for writing and submitting an electronic letter. Some programs may also require a physical copy to be mailed directly to them. It’s important to monitor the status of your letters of recommendation in your OTCAS application, and follow up with your recommenders to ensure your letters are submitted before the application deadline.

In conclusion, OTCAS letters of recommendation carry with them a significant weight in the admissions process, and it’s essential to take them seriously. Choose your recommenders carefully, and request letters well in advance. Keep track of the number of letters required for each program and follow up with your recommenders regularly until your letters are submitted.

Guidelines for Requesting Letters of Recommendation

Letters of Recommendation

When applying for a graduate program or a job, Letters of Recommendation can play an important role in determining your chances of being accepted. These letters give insight into your character, abilities, and achievements from the perspective of someone who knows you well. Requesting letters of recommendation can be a daunting task, but with the following guidelines, you can make the process smoother:

1. Choose the right people to ask

It is important to choose individuals who have worked with you closely and have a good understanding of your abilities. Ask people who you believe can write a strong and positive letter for you. Furthermore, individuals who you may have taken a class with but have never worked closely are not the best choice.

2. Give enough time

One of the most important aspects of requesting a letter of recommendation is giving the writer ample time to complete it. It is essential to let them know about the deadline and a reasonable time to draft a letter. Additionally, you should provide them with any necessary information to emphasize your academic and other accomplishments and abilities.

Keep in mind that not all letter writers may take your request as a top priority. Therefore, it is essential to give them enough time to complete their writing process and remind them after a week or two if they have not completed it yet. Providing them with a list of programs or jobs that require letters of recommendation in advance can also be helpful in managing expectations.

3. Provide Clear Instructions

It is essential to indicate to the person requested to provide a recommendation letter about its purpose, the organization or program it is submitted to, and any specifications or guidelines mentioned in the application. Furthermore, you should give the writer instructions on how to submit the letter (by email, mail, or online), and if they have any queries or doubts, they should feel empowered to ask.

4. Express Gratitude

After the recommendation letter is complete, it is polite and professional to thank the writer for the effort in finding the time to write it. You can write a note of appreciation, a heartfelt email, or even a small gift. Moreover, you can keep them updated on your progress and the outcomes of the programs for which they wrote a recommendation letter.

When requesting a letter of recommendation, you should not forget to ask the person’s interest and willingness. It is not ideal to coerce someone to write a letter or for them to decline your request because they are busy or do not have the time. Therefore, it is always helpful to ask politely if they are interested and available.

In conclusion, asking for letters of recommendation may feel overwhelming, but it is worth taking the time to choose the right individuals and providing them with clear instructions and adequate time to express your ability and character. Additionally, express gratitude level of significance attached to this gesture as the recommenders’ efforts can be instrumental in pushing your application over the top.

Examples of Strong OTCAS Letters of Recommendation

otcas letters of recommendation

If you are applying to a graduate program in occupational therapy, you will need to submit a strong OTCAS letter of recommendation along with your application. This article will provide examples of strong OTCAS letters of recommendation to help you understand what makes a letter stand out.

First, a strong OTCAS letter of recommendation should come from someone who has worked with you in a professional or academic setting. This could include a professor, clinical supervisor, or employer. The person writing the letter should be able to speak to your skills, knowledge, and potential as an occupational therapist.

Second, a strong OTCAS letter of recommendation should be detailed and specific. The writer should provide examples of your strengths and abilities, rather than simply listing general qualities like “hardworking” or “dedicated.” The most effective letters will include specific anecdotes or experiences that demonstrate your abilities in action.

Finally, a strong OTCAS letter of recommendation should be positive and enthusiastic. The writer should express their genuine belief in your potential as an occupational therapist and their confidence in your ability to succeed in a graduate program.

Example 1:

otcas letter of recommendation example

Dear Admissions Committee,

I am writing to enthusiastically recommend Jane Doe for admission to your occupational therapy program. Jane was a standout student in my Anatomy and Physiology class, where she consistently demonstrated a strong understanding of the human body and its functions. She excelled in our labs, where she applied her knowledge to real-world scenarios and demonstrated excellent problem-solving skills.

In addition to her academic abilities, Jane is also a compassionate and empathetic individual. As part of her clinical experience, she worked with a child with developmental delays, and impressed her supervisor with her ability to work collaboratively with the family and other healthcare professionals to develop an effective treatment plan. She was always respectful and patient with the child and his family, even in difficult situations.

I am confident that Jane would be an asset to your program and to the field of occupational therapy. She has demonstrated the skills, knowledge, and compassion necessary to be an excellent practitioner, and I have no doubt that she will succeed in your program.


Professor X

Example 2:

otcas letter of recommendation sample

Dear Admissions Committee,

I am writing to wholeheartedly endorse John Smith’s application to your occupational therapy program. John worked as an aide in my clinic for two years, and during that time he consistently demonstrated a strong work ethic, excellent critical thinking skills, and a deep commitment to providing quality care to our patients.

One experience that stands out in my mind is when John worked with a patient who had suffered a stroke and was having difficulty with basic self-care tasks. John took it upon himself to research the latest strategies for rehabilitating stroke patients, and worked tirelessly with the patient to develop a treatment plan that improved their independence and quality of life. His dedication and compassion were evident in every interaction he had with the patient and their family.

Overall, I believe John has all the qualities of an outstanding occupational therapist: he is empathetic, hardworking, and always willing to go above and beyond to help his patients. I am confident that he will be an asset to your program and the occupational therapy profession as a whole.

Best regards,

Clinical Supervisor Y

Example 3:

otcas letter of recommendation template

Dear Admissions Committee,

I am writing to strongly recommend Sally Williams for acceptance into your occupational therapy program. I have had the pleasure of working with Sally for the past three years, and have been consistently impressed by her dedication, professionalism, and clinical skills.

As Sally’s supervisor in a pediatric occupational therapy clinic, I had the opportunity to see her work with children with a wide range of diagnoses, including sensory processing disorder and autism spectrum disorder. She always took a holistic approach to treatment, considering the child’s physical, emotional, and social needs. Her treatment plans were always creative, evidence-based, and tailored to the individual needs of the child and their family.

One thing that sets Sally apart from other occupational therapists is her ability to build strong relationships with her patients and their families. She is compassionate, patient, and always willing to go the extra mile to ensure the best possible outcome for her patients. She truly cares about the work she does and the people she serves.

I strongly believe that Sally has the skills, knowledge, and dedication necessary to succeed in your program and to make a significant contribution to the field of occupational therapy. I wholeheartedly endorse her application.

Best regards,

Clinical Supervisor Z

Common Mistakes to Avoid in OTCAS Letters of Recommendation

OTCAS letter of recommendation

Letters of recommendation are an essential part of the OTCAS application process. They allow admissions officers to gain insight into your character, motivation, and academic abilities. However, there are common mistakes that applicants and their recommenders make when it comes to these letters. Here are some things to avoid when requesting letters of recommendation for your OTCAS application:

1. Not giving your recommender enough time: Recommenders are often busy and may not have the time to write a letter of recommendation at the last minute. It is important to ask for a letter of recommendation well in advance to ensure that your recommender has enough time to write a thoughtful and meaningful letter. Ideally, you should give your recommender at least a month’s notice before your application is due.

2. Choosing the wrong recommender: It is important to choose a recommender who knows you well and can speak to your academic abilities and character. Typically, the best recommenders are current or former professors or supervisors. Avoid asking friends, family members, or high school teachers that you have not been in contact with for several years.

3. Not providing enough information: Your recommender will need information about your academic and personal achievements in order to write a strong letter of recommendation. Be sure to provide them with a copy of your transcript, a list of your extracurricular activities, and any other relevant information that will help them write an effective letter. It may also be helpful to provide them with a brief summary of your goals and why you are applying to OTCAS.

4. Failing to personalize the letter: One of the most common mistakes that recommenders make is writing a generic letter that could be used for any student. This can hurt your chances of being accepted into a program. Instead, your recommender should speak to your specific strengths, accomplishments, and goals. Encourage your recommender to include personal anecdotes that highlight your character and abilities.

5. Not proofreading: Your recommender’s letter of recommendation is a reflection of both themselves and you. Poor grammar, spelling mistakes, and formatting errors can be distracting and reflect negatively on you. Encourage your recommender to proofread the letter carefully and to have a second person review it before submitting it.

By avoiding these common mistakes when requesting and submitting letters of recommendation, you can help ensure that your application stands out to admissions officers. Remember to give your recommenders plenty of time, choose carefully, provide them with enough information, encourage them to personalize the letter, and make sure they proofread it carefully. With these tips, you can help ensure that your letters of recommendation help you achieve your academic goals.

Tips for Writing Your Own Effective OTCAS Letter of Recommendation

Writing a Letter of Recommendation

As an applicant to a graduate program, you know that a letter of recommendation can be the key to securing acceptance. While it is vital to select reputable recommenders, provide them with your personal application information, and follow up with them throughout the process, there are also tips to develop an effective letter of recommendation.

1. Establish Connection


When asking someone to write a letter of recommendation, it is essential to establish a connection with them. Find someone who has worked directly with you, knows your work ethic, and can speak positively about your abilities and potential for success. If you have a strong rapport with them, it will be easier for them to provide genuine and compelling support.

2. Provide Clear Instructions


To ensure that your letter of recommendation is effective, provide clear instructions to your recommenders. Take the time to discuss your professional goals, the program to which you are applying, and your accomplishments and experiences. Provide specific points that you’d like them to address in their letter. By doing so, you increase the chances that they will incorporate important details that will be helpful to the admission committee.

3. Incorporate Experiences

Student Experiences

When writing your own letter of recommendation, highlight your experiences that speak to your strengths. Utilize examples from past work, school, personal life, or extracurricular activities to highlight your qualities as a student. Share impactful events that demonstrate a kind-hearted nature, excellent communication skills, or leadership potential.

4. Format and Style

Letter of Recommendation Format

It is essential to consider the format and style of your letter of recommendation. Follow the graduate program’s instructions for formatting and submission. Create a professional and organized letter that conveys your personality effectively. Use active language, keep sentences concise and to the point, and maintain a focus on the applicant’s positive qualities.

5. Stick to the Facts


When writing a letter of recommendation, it is crucial to stick to factual details. Do not exaggerate or overstate achievements. At the same time, avoid underselling the applicant’s abilities. Keep the focus on highlighting specific accomplishments, strengths, and character traits that make the applicant an outstanding fit for their desired graduate program.

After completing your letter, edit and polish it to make it as compelling as possible. Finally, make sure all letters are submitted before the application deadline. With these tips in mind, you will create an effective letter of recommendation that enhances your chances of admission to your desired graduate program.

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