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Doctorate of Occupational Therapy

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Doctorate of Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists work with individuals who may be recovering from illnesses or injuries, contending with developmental disabilities, or coping with changes resulting from the aging process. Occupational therapists advance the person's well-being by promoting adaptation and independence through meaningful activities of everyday living to enhance and restore health. By preventing, reducing, or overcoming physical, social, and emotional impairments in people, occupational therapists help to restore and sustain the highest quality of productive life to persons of all ages.

Doctorate of Occupational Therapy

The standards for the doctoral programs are different than the standards for a master’s program, reflecting the different roles graduates are prepared to assume.  Like the entry-level master’s programs, entry-level doctoral programs prepare graduates to enter the profession as new practitioners.  The doctoral degree offers additional courses and an experiential component focusing on advanced clinical practice, administration, leadership, program development, research, advocacy and education.  These courses and experiences prepare the graduate for roles outside of the traditional healthcare system.  

OUHSC is in the process of transitioning from a Master to a Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (OTD). Our progress and pending steps to full accreditation for the Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program:

  1. The University of Oklahoma has approved the new curriculum for the OTD program.
  2. ACOTE granted OUHSC application status. 
  3. OUHSC submitted the application for Candidacy Status April 2021.
  4. Candidacy Status granted by ACOTE at its meeting August 6-8, 2021. 
  5. OUHSC accepting applications for the OTD program beginning in fall, 2021.  
  6. The ACOTE® accreditation process takes up to 2 years and will co-occur with the inaugural OTD class. ACOTE® accreditation is required before graduates are eligible to sit for the exam administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy. OUHSC anticipates completing the accreditation process six months before any students have completed the university’s requirements to take the exam. 

After successful completion of the NBCOT exam, a graduate will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered.  In addition to national registration, all states require occupational therapists to be licensed. State licensure is usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Each state sets its own licensure fee. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.

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