How long will it take to earn my OTD?
This very much depends on whether you have a Bachelor’s degree or a Master’s degree in OT. It also depends on how many courses you can take each semester. Plans of study are set up based on a student’s level of education upon entering the OTD program, what term the student enters the program, when core OTD courses are offered and how long it takes the student to complete the capstone project. The course plan may extend beyond the presumed completion term based on these factors. Here are two example scenarios:
Beth graduated with a Master’s degree in OT five years ago. While she is raising her family, she is only working part-time. Beth would like to take two courses per semester for each of the three semesters per year (Summer, Fall, and Spring). Since she has to complete 36 credits to earn the OTD, taking two courses per term, she can plan on being done within two years or six semesters.
Louis graduated from an OT program 15 years ago, earning a Bachelor’s degree in OT. He has taken a couple of graduate courses along the way, but has not made substantial progress towards a higher degree. He needs to complete 24 credits (8 courses) before he starts taking doctoral level courses, depending on his transcript evaluation. Louis plans on taking three classes per semester, and since he works for a school system, he is off in the summer. He would like to take three classes in the summer. Given this scenario, it would take him a year to complete 24 credits, and then start doctoral level coursework. So it would take Louis approximately three years to go from a Bachelor’s in OT to earning an OTD.
|Take Classes In:|
36 credits with a Master’s degree
|Complete Capstone Project:|
|The capstone is an individually mentored project in an area of interest that will contribute to the knowledge base for the profession. This may be, but is not limited to, a research project, program development and evaluation, curricular development, or a leadership project. The project must be related to an interest area of the faculty in the Division of Occupational Therapy:|
|optimal aging, health and wellness||occupational justice with marginalized populations|
|families and caregiving||strategy develpment for people with executive dysfunction|
|Autism and developmental disabilities||contemporary trends in practice with children and youth|
|excellence in teaching||self management of people with chronic conditions|
Suggested OTD Course Plan
*For students wishing to attend year round and take 6 credit hours per semester. Each list course is 3 credit hours.
|Master's to OTD||Bachelor's to OTD||Summer||Fall||Spring|
|Year 1||PSY 6250 Applied Statistics|
|WRTG 7080 Writing in Health Sciences|
|Year 2||OCTH 6002 Introduction to Research||Elective||Elective|
|Elective||OCTH 6712 Management Concepts in OT||Elective|
|Year 1||Year 3||OCTH 6062 Contemporary Theories & Models in OT Practice||OCTH 7152 Culture & Occupation||OCTH 7022 Critical Analysis of Occupational Science|
|OCTH 7302 Evidence-Based Practice & Research I||OCTH 7352 Evidence-Based Practice & Research II||OCTH 7972 Capstone Project|
|Year 2||Year 4||OCTH 7272 Program Development/Grant||OCTH 7132 Academic & Clinical Teaching in OT||OCTH 7242 Doctoral Level Leadership|
|Elective||OCTH 7972 Capstone Project||Elective|
|Master's to OTD Credit Hours||Core = 30||Electives = 6|
|Total = 36|
|Bachelor's to OTD Credit Hours||Prerequisites = 24||Core = 30|
|Electives = 6||Total = 60|
Students may transfer up to 6 credit hours if taken within the last 7 years of admission and not applied toward a previous degree.
Plans of study are set up based on a student’s level of education upon entering the OTD program, what term the student enters the program, when core OTD courses are offered and how long it takes the student to complete the capstone project. The course plan may extend beyond the presumed completion term based on these factors.
Requirements for Program Completion
Students admitted to the OTD program will have worked for at least two years and enter with a bachelors or master's degree. Those who have a master's degree will need to successfully complete the 36-credit curriculum that includes core courses, electives, and an individualized capstone project. Core course content includes occupational therapy theory, evidence-based practice, research design and methods, leadership, education, occupational justice, and advocacy. Each student will submit a plan of study that describes how their chosen electives and capstone project will meet his or her professional goals and desired outcomes. The capstone project will have a written and oral defense process.
Students admitted to the OTD program with a bachelor's degree will be required to complete 24 credits hours of study that will prepare them for the doctoral curriculum. The prerequisite curriculum includes courses related to statistics, foundational occupational therapy theory, basic research concepts, scientific writing, and other electives in preparation for doctoral work.
The focus of the OTD is to provide clinicians with a stronger, more up-to-date theoretical base; advance their leadership skills; provide knowledge and skills in evidence-based research related to their practice area(s); and enhance scholarly writing skills. In order to successfully complete the program and capstone, students are expected to pass a writing competency during coursework. This is accomplished by earning a grade of B- or better on 2 papers in the following classes:
- OC TH 7302 EBP – Final Paper
- OC TH 7352 EBP II – Final Proposal Assignment
- OC TH 7022 Critical Analysis of OS – OS Scholarly Paper
- OC TH 7152 Culture and Occupation – Final Integrating Paper
- OC TH 7272 Program Development and Grant Writing