Degree Description

The Occupational Therapy Program offers a curriculum leading to the Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) degree for qualified students. The full-time, continuous, entry-level doctoral curriculum is designed to deliver the academic and clinical education required to prepare students for their professional role as key members of the healthcare team, and as integral practitioners in the healthcare delivery system. The curriculum for the Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree is a continuous, full-time program, extending 33 months from matriculation to graduation. The maximum allotted time for completion of this program is 49.5 months. It is also required that all Level II fieldwork and doctoral experiential internship requirements must be fulfilled within 16.5 months of completion of the didactic portion of the program.

The Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program offers a balanced combination of foundational, clinical, research and experiential coursework designed to foster therapists who are self-directed, thoughtful, and caring professionals. Approximately two thirds of the 160 curriculum credits are devoted to courses that are centered on the processes and practice of occupational therapy, including fieldwork experiences and the doctoral capstone and internship courses. The remaining one third of the credits include content focused on research, leadership and professional development, and program development. Fieldwork Level I experiences are simultaneous with the occupational therapy practice courses to emphasize psychosocial contributions to occupational engagement. This strong curricular framework succeeds in preparing graduates who are practice leaders in occupational therapy.

The Occupational Therapy Program is open on a competitive admission basis to applicants who have received a bachelor's degree in any field, but who have not completed an accredited occupational therapy program. The Program does not accept students who transfer from another Occupational Therapy Program. The curriculum is designed to prepare entry-level practitioners to provide occupational therapy services in the home, community, and clinical practice settings that require independent judgment, leadership, and self-directed practice. The educational experiences provide the foundation for graduates to identify and contribute to effecting solutions to the major emergent health issues of society and to contribute to the academic and clinical education of future occupational therapy practitioners. The curriculum is designed to prepare graduates for varied roles within occupational therapy, such as practitioner, manager, educator of consumers and peers, and foster leadership roles as faculty, consultant, or entrepreneur. The graduate will be well-prepared to make meaningful, ongoing contributions to individuals, groups, communities, and the profession through collaborative efforts with others in occupational therapy and interdisciplinary education, practice, and research.

Program Objectives 

Upon completion of the Occupational Therapy Doctorate program, graduates are expected to: 

  1. Deliver evidence-informed, occupation-based and occupation-focused services to individuals and groups to promote health, well-being and quality of life
  2. Meet the occupational needs of culturally and socially diverse individuals and communities through advocacy and leadership
  3. Develop and implement innovative programs for occupational therapy services in traditional and emerging areas of practice
  4. Engage in clinical research to facilitate promotion and dissemination of knowledge
  5. Uphold the ethical standards, values and attitudes of the occupational therapy profession in one's work, service, and ongoing professional development

These outcomes are accomplished through: 

  1. A curriculum model based on intentionally sequenced courses that serve as vital links between application, synthesis, and evaluation of knowledge, skills, and attitudes.
  2. Intentional dynamic integration of authentic clinical experiences across the curriculum.
  3. Critical application of current research and available evidence to improve occupational therapy practice and contribute to the knowledge base of the profession.
  4. Occupation-focused coursework and fieldwork experiences designed to embrace critical and ethical reasoning across the lifespan.
  5. Collaboration to facilitate individual and group work to develop leadership, team building, and professional skills, behaviors and attitudes.