OTD is a 37 month, 116-credit graduate-level professional program


The OTD is a 37 month, 116-credit graduate-level professional program completed over the course of nine semesters. Graduates receive a professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree.

Hybrid Approach

Since 2007, our program has used a hybrid educational approach that blends online (asynchronous) and face-to-face (synchronous) instruction. Students come to campus with varying amounts of time each semester for face-to-face interaction with other students and faculty. Check out the course sequence at the bottom of the Sample OT Program Plan page for specifics about face-to-face times on campus.

Our lengthy history delivering curriculum in a hybrid learning format – both in-class and online – has contributed to outstanding academic outcomes, and a seamless transition to off-site learning during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Students must complete 24 weeks of Level II fieldwork as well as an individual 14-week capstone experience within [24] months following the completion of the didactic portion of the program. The doctoral capstone experience must be started after completion of all coursework and Level II fieldwork as well as completion of preparatory activities.  

Learning Objectives of the Program

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Evaluate Models, Policies and Systems

The student will:

Evaluate models, policies and systems in settings where occupational therapy services are emerging or delivered.

With the goal of learning to:

  • Appraise current and future directions for health care, education, and social service systems that guide practice and service.
  • Critique health, education, employment, academic and community models that structure emerging OT services.
  • Create innovative practice in emerging OT settings.
  • Analyze policies and develop, formulate procedures for effective OT services.

Evaluate Evidence

The student will:

Evaluate evidence to drive innovative practice for individuals, communities, and populations.

With the goal of learning to:

  • Apply ethical guidelines to complex practice situations. Identify a problem for a population-, community- or individual- level practice related problem or question.
  • Appraise evidence relevant to the question or problem and reframe their questions accordingly.
  • Formulate a research proposal around their practice-related problem or question.

Achieve Proficiency

The student will:

Achieve proficiency in one of the following areas of advanced practice: clinical practice, research, administration, leadership, program and policy development, advocacy, education, or theory development.

With the goal of learning to:

  • Evaluate outcome(s) of their proposed approach.
  • Compare and contrast 3-4 potential specialty practice areas.
  • Investigate knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to possess emerging expertise in specialty area.
  • Select specialty [advanced] practice area.
  • Develop capstone project in selected specialty area.
  • Formulate specific individualized capstone objectives and plan.
  • Develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to possess emerging expertise in specialty [advanced] practice area.

Inspire, Empower and Lead Others

The student will:

Inspire, empower and lead others to be agents of beneficial change.

With the goal of learning to:

  • Demonstrate emerging expertise through the application of knowledge, skills, and attitudes in specialty area.
  • Understand leadership practices and how they impact behavior of individuals and groups in organizations. examples across multiple contexts.

Academic Benchmarks for Graduation

Students must complete the following benchmarks to graduate with a Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree:

  • 116 credits of required OT courses including Level II Fieldwork and Capstone experience
  • Maintaining satisfactory academic progress
  • Satisfactory completion of the Capstone project
  • Satisfactory professional behaviors

See details about Academic Progress in the current handbook.

The commencement ceremony for the Center for Allied Health Programs is held in December, after students have completed coursework, but before completion of Level II Fieldwork and the Capstone project. Formal graduation and the award of the Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree generally occurs following completion of Capstone project.