Occupational Therapy

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The entry-level Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) program, offered through the School of Health Sciences within the College of Health and Human Sciences, has applied for accreditation and has been granted Candidacy Status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD  20852-4929. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its web address is www.acoteonline.org.

Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) in Occupational Therapy


The Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) program accepts students to begin the course sequence each fall semester. Applicants admitted to the program will be granted admittance into SIUC as a graduate student. The minimum admission guidelines for the clinical Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) Degree program mirror those of the Graduate School at SIUC, with additional guidelines set specific to the OTD program, provided below: 

  • Applicants will possess a minimum of a baccalaureate degree, in any major, from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Possess a minimum overall grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Submit, along with their application, official transcripts for all attended institutions
  • Provide three satisfactory professional recommendation letters from:
    • A supervisor of employment, volunteer service or observation experience
    • A professor or teacher, a healthcare provider, or an academic advisor
    • A person of your choosing who can address your potential for academic success in graduate school
  • Completion and submission of an application for enrollment into the Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) program
    • Demonstration of college level writing abilities (written essay) as prompted within the personal statement portion of the application
    • Professional resume included within the application
  • GRE scores are not required to apply.
  • Complete prerequisite courses with a grade of C or better, prior to the start of the program, to include:
    • General course in social/behavioral science. Example: General Psychology, Cultural Anthropology, Sociology, or Social Psychology
    • Abnormal Psychology or Psychopathology
    • Human Growth and Development. Example: Developmental Psychology, Child Development, Adolescent Development, Adult Development, Aging or Lifespan Development
    • Anatomy - If a two-part series, both courses must be completed to fulfill the Anatomy requirement
    • Physiology 200 Level or above
    • Social Science or Business Statistics
  • Prerequisite course grades and/or an overall GPA lower than the minimum criteria will be considered, however; priority will be given to applications that meet minimum criteria.
  • If your native language is not English, Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score requirements will follow the requirements set forth by the SIUC Graduate School.

Enrollment in the Occupational Therapy Doctorate program is limited and based on a competitive process. Applicants will be evaluated on the overall submitted application package and rank order of applications that meet minimum criteria for admission.

Degree Requirements

The 3-year, full-time program requires a total of 103 credit hours to complete. Courses are presented in a hybrid format, of online and on-campus lecture, and laboratory courses, in conjunction with assigned, off-site 12-week full-time (40 hours per week) supervised clinical fieldwork placements, taking place in summer year one, and spring year two of the program; followed by a 14-week off-site (40 hours per week) doctoral capstone experience and culminating project in spring, year three of the curriculum. (Students may be required to purchase and develop an account within a clinical management system for clinical placement). Successful completion of all coursework with a grade of B or better, and minimum GPA of 3.0, is required for degree completion.

For students to be eligible to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) Certification Examination, the program must have a pre-accreditation review, complete an on-site evaluation, and be granted accreditation. After successful completion of the exam, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). In addition, all states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination.

Fall Year 1 (A)

  • OTD 500: Foundations of Occupational Therapy
  • OTD 501: Analyzing Occupation
  • OTD 502: Art and Science of Teaching and Learning
  • OTD 503: Introduction to Research and Scholarly Practice
  • OTD 504: Health of Communities and Populations I

Fall Year 1 (B)

  • OTD 505: Applied Neuroscience for the Occupational Therapist
  • OTD 506: Human Movement and Occupational Performance
  • OTD 507: Leadership Development
  • OTD 508: Quantitative Research

Spring Year 1 (A)

  • OTD 510: Exploring Theories and Practice Evidence I - Adult and Older Adults
  • OTD 511: Evaluation and Intervention Planning I – Adult and Older Adults
  • OTD 512: Intervention, Discharge Planning and Outcomes I - Adult and Older Adults
  • OTD 513: Fieldwork Seminar IA – Adult and Older Adults

Spring Year 1 (B)

  • OTD 514: Qualitative Research
  • OTD 515: Health of Communities and Populations II   
  • OTD 516: Leadership and Management of Delivery Systems
  • OTD 517: Advocating for the Occupational Therapy Profession

Summer Year 1

  • OTD 520: Fieldwork Level IIA 12 weeks (May-August)
  • OTD 521: Research Proposal Development I

Fall Year 2 (A)

  • OTD 530: Exploring theories and Evidence II Children and Youth
  • OTD 531: Evaluation and Intervention Planning II - Children and Youth  
  • OTD 532: Intervention, Discharge Planning and Outcomes II - Children and Youth   
  • OTD 533: Fieldwork Seminar IB – Children and Youth  

Fall Year 2 (B)

  • OTD 534: Exploring Theories and Practice Evidence III – Mental Health and Community Practice
  • OTD 535: Evaluation and Intervention Planning III - Mental Health and Community Practice
  • OTD 536: Intervention, Discharge Planning and Outcomes III – Mental Health and Community Practice
  • OTD 537: Fieldwork Seminar IC  - Mental Health and Community Practice

Spring Year 2

  • OTD 540: Level IIB Fieldwork - 12 weeks
  • OTD 541: Research Proposal Development  II
  • OTD 542: Doctoral Capstone Experience Planning I

Summer Year 2

  • OTD 550: Implementing Research
  • OTD 551: Doctoral Capstone Experience Planning II

Fall Year 3

  • OTD 560: Program Synthesis I
  • OTD 561: Advanced Studies Seminar
  • OTD 562: Doctoral Capstone Experience and  Project Development
  • OTD 563: Doctoral Capstone Experience and Project Defense

Spring Year 3

  • OTD 570: Doctoral Capstone Experience
  • OTD 571: Doctoral Capstone Project
  • OTD 572: Program Synthesis II