Susan McDonald, Program Contact
(423) 425-5759 or email at
Accreditation: The entry-level Occupational Therapy Doctoral Program has applied for accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) and has been granted Candidacy Status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at ACOTE c/o Accreditation Department American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200 Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. ACOTE’s telephone number is (301) 652-AOTA.
The degree is an entry-level clinical doctorate which will provide the students with the skills and knowledge to successfully be credentialed as an occupational therapist through the successful completion of the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam. The Occupational Therapy Doctorate is a full-time degree program consisting of five semesters of didactic study, two semesters of clinical fieldwork and one 16-week (640 hours) OTD Apprenticeship Experience. The student will pursue the OTD degree in a mentored and highly individualized program of study. All students will receive a broad education in occupational therapy to provide them with essential OT practice skills. They will also have the opportunity to focus in one particular area of interest such as aging or pediatrics The UTC OTD curriculum is based on the Accreditation Standards for a Doctoral-Degree-Level Education Program for the Occupational Therapist (AOTA, 2006).
General information pertaining to the OTD program is located under Graduate Program Degree Requirements. A listing of the courses is located under Detailed Listing of Courses.
General Description of the Degree
The degree is an entry-level clinical doctorate which will provide the students with the skills and knowledge to successfully be credentialed as an occupational therapist through the successful completion of the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam. The Occupational Therapy Doctorate is a full-time degree program consisting of five semesters of didactic study, two semester of clinical fieldwork and one 16-week (640 hours) OTD experiential internship. The student will pursue the OTD degree in a mentored and highly individualized program of study. All students will receive a board education in occupational therapy to provide them with essential OT practice skills. They will also have the opportunity to focus in one particular area of interest such as aging or pediatrics.
The Occupational Therapy Department will be recognized as a premiere department that attracts and grows leaders of occupational therapy in the state, nation and world through exemplary integrated programs of education, research, community service and advocacy that meet real work occupational needs.
The Occupational Therapy Department’s mission is three-fold:
1. To provide doctoral-level education enabling students to integrate occupational therapy theory, research and practice;
2. To foster faculty and student research on therapeutic occupation; and
3. To optimize human performance and participation in everyday occupations and contexts across the lifespan.
Admission to the Occupational Therapy Doctorate Program
Applicants are required to apply for admission through the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS). Applications forms and information are available on-line at www.otcas.org Applicants are responsible for assuring the completion of the packet prior to the deadline. Following review of application materials the decision of the admissions committee is emailed to each applicant. Students are asked to verify their acceptance to the program in writing. Classes begin Fall Semester.
The admissions committee considers the following requirements essential in determining a candidate’s potential for success in the program. To be considered for acceptance into the OTD program, a candidate must:
- Hold a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum 3.0 undergraduate grade point average (GPA). Degrees in progress will be considered. Official college transcripts are required. Degrees from foreign institutions must be independently evaluated for equivalence to the U.S. baccalaureate, including, determination of a U.S. converted.
- Applicants must complete a UTC Graduate School Application after notification of acceptance.
- Submit the official results of the GRE revised General Test, which demonstrates a minimum mean percentile of 50% on the verbal and quantitative reasoning sections (or a combined score of 300). A minimum of 3.5 is required on the analytical writing measure. All three areas must be completed. GRE results are valid for five years from the date of the test. Applications in OTCAS must include unofficial GRE scores to be considered complete. It is essential that the applicant determine the appropriate time to take the GRE so that the official results are received in a timely manner. Students may register for the GRE at the GRE website. The UTC school code for the GRE is 1831.
- Show completion of, or a plan for completing, the following prerequisites at the College level with a grade of C or better. Four of the six science prerequisites (marked with an *) must be completed at the time of application. (Grades/credit must be reflected or transcripts sent to OTCAS). The remaining prerequisite courses must be completed prior to starting the program NOT prior to application.
- General Biology I (4 semester hours)*
- General Biology II (4semester hours)*
- General Chemistry (4 semester hours)*
- Physics (4 semester hours)*
- Human Anatomy (4 semester hours)*
- Human Physiology (4 semester hours)*
- Introduction to Psychology (3 semester hours)
- Lifespan Human Development or Developmental Psychology (3 semester hours)
- Abnormal Psychology (3 semester hours)
- Statistics (3 semester hours)
- Sociology or Anthropology (3 semester hours)
- Medical Terminology Course (1 hour or more)
*- These courses must have been completed within the last 7 years and must include a lab. A minimum 3.0 combined GPA for all prerequisites as well as for the science prerequisites (marked with an *) is required. Please note that all science courses must be appropriate for majors in that discipline. While a course may transfer as an equivalent for the purposes of an undergraduate degree, undergraduate science courses that are designated as courses for non-majors are not accepted as prerequisites for entry into the OTD program. Equivalency Charts are available on the UTC Records page. Please contact the department with questions regarding the appropriateness of courses if you have questions. You may also contact the department for equivalency information for specific four-year schools. Online coursework for science prerequisites is strongly discouraged. Labs must be in-person. A combined Anatomy & Physiology I and II labs (8 hours total) is acceptable.
- Proof of first aid and CPR certification Admitted students must show proof of having previously completed a First Aid course. Current certification is not necessary. Entering students must be currently certified in CPR (either for the Professional Rescuer or Health Care Providers-not Heartsaver) with certification lasting until May of their first year in the program. Students will be re-certified at that time. Proof of certification is not required at the time of applications.)
- Official transcripts showing prerequisite completion will be required prior to program matriculation
Expenses and Transportation
Each student admitted to the program is required to purchase professional liability insurance annually. Additional expenses include laboratory/clinical attire. Classes are required during the summer semester of both the first and second years of the program. Occupational therapy clinical experiences scheduled throughout the academic year required students to provide their own transportation to the clinical sites. Full time clinical experiences are scheduled during the summer semester of their second year and fall and spring semesters of their third year. Students must be financially prepared to meet costs incurred for travel and living expenses in other cities throughout the United States during clinical education courses.
Grades of S/NC
Students in the OTD program may be allowed to earn up to 29 hours of clinical education and experiential internship hours OCTH 7601 (9hours); OCTH 7701 (9hours); and OCTH 7801 (11 hours) that will be graded on a Satisfactory/No Credit basis. This is a Graduate Council approved exception to the 13 hours credit hour policy for doctoral program students.
Continuation and Graduation Requirements
- Students must successfully complete each course, with a grade of C or better, in the current semester to advance in the program to the next semester. The current semester courses are considered prerequisite to the courses offered the next semester. Students must comply with the UTC Graduate School policy of maintaining a 3.0 GPA for continued enrollment.
- Maintain an active liability insurance policy for clinical courses.
- Maintain current CPR certification
- Maintain full clearance of Level 2 Criminal Background Check
- Students must successfully complete a minimum of 24 weeks of Level II Fieldwork.
- Students must successfully complete a 16 week (640 hours) OTD experiential internship.
- Students must successfully prepare and defend a publishable paper that synthesizes the OTD experiential internship.
- Statement of Ethical and Professional Standards: A student, regardless of academic performance, may be dismissed should he or she fail to demonstrate mastery of essential professional behaviors, which include those skills essential for work in the profession. A majority vote of the program faculty will serve as basis for dismissal if the student fails to demonstrate proficiency of professional achievement.
Completion of Program
All doctoral students shall complete all degree requirements for the OTD within a ten-year limit.
All doctoral course work, clinical fieldwork, and the OTD experiential internship must be completed within ten years.
OTD Experiential Internship
Each student is required to complete an OTD experiential internship as part of the experiential component of the OTD program. The experiential internship is the OTD program offers students the opportunity to extend and refine knowledge acquired in the curriculum and utilize it meaningfully as a means of critically analyzing occupational therapy practice. Students may choose to focus on one or more of the following areas for the internship: clinical practice skills, research skills, administration, leadership, program and policy development, advocacy, education/academia, or theory development. The OTD Experiential Internship is a minimum of 16 weeks (640 hours).