OTD Experiential Learning

fieldworkLevel I Fieldwork

Level I fieldwork experiences are attached to several courses during semesters one, two, four, and five. Level I experiences provide the opportunity to apply course learning in a practice context under the supervision of faculty. Faculty led Level I Fieldwork experiences - according to the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) - is to introduce the fieldwork experience and allow application of knowledge to practice while developing understanding of client needs.

Level II Fieldwork

Level II fieldwork courses occur toward the end of the didactic curriculum and takes place during in semesters six, seven, or eight. Each student is required to register fot two Level II Fieldwork courses. Level II fieldwork supports development of a generalist occupational therapist. Students participate in a variety of settings and with a variety of populations. Fieldwork aligns with the curriculum design and consist of a minimum of 24 weeks full time equivalent experience. This is typically arranged into two-twelve week experiences with an option of three-eight week experiences. It is the policy of the University of MN that all level II fieldwork must be completed within 24 months of finishing the didactic semesters. 

Demand for fieldwork sites is at an all-time high. More students are competing for fewer fieldwork placements; a result of high demand for occupational therapists and changing productivity standards for fieldwork educators. Level II fieldwork planning begins before matriculation and continues up to and beyond notice of your placements. 

Level II fieldwork is an integral part of entry-level occupational therapy education, requiring careful placement of students into experiences. Placement decisions align with the University of Minnesota, University Health Sciences, Occupational Therapy, and OT curriculum design. In addition, all sites require an Affiliation Agreement, which is a legal document negotiated between the University of Minnesota and the fieldwork site.


The Doctoral Experiential Component and Capstone Project are the culmination of doctoral preparation for occupational therapy students. These individualized experiences provide the student an opportunity to further develop their professional skills in an area of advanced practice; carry out a scholarly capstone project and to disseminate the results; and to promote the profession. Areas of advanced practice include: clinical practice skills, research skills, administration, leadership, program and policy development, advocacy, education, and theory development. Each student works in collaboration with a Capstone faculty advisor to plan and implement their experience and project. 

Capstone experiences require 560 hours (14 week full-time equivalent) within a setting that aligns with a selected advanced practice area to be started after completion of all coursework and Level II fieldwork.

The Capstone project is an independently mentored project that partially fulfills the requirements for a clinical doctoral education and is completed within the Capstone experience. Students implement a data-driven scholarly project designed to benefit the site of the experience.  Learners will disseminate results of their project to site stakeholders and to faculty in a presentation format at the end of the experience.