Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Online Occupational Therapy Degree



The online Occupational Therapy doctorate program prepares you for entry into the range of positions associated with this specialty in as few as two years. The program is organized into three tracks so you can customize your degree and open opportunities in a diverse group of settings. To accommodate the busy working professional, the online format requires just two campus visits and combines classroom, laboratory, and supervised clinic-based instruction for a well-rounded and uniquely supportive online learning experience.

  • Learn new treatment methods that have immediate and direct application to current clinical work environments.
  • A capstone project will allow each student to explore an area of interest while being mentored by an advisor.

Admissions Requirements:

  • 3 years of experience as an occupational therapist (OTR)
  • Current license to practice as an occupational therapist (OTR)
  • Required Education: Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy or Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Therapy with Masters in a related field.
  • ESSAY –  describing your reason for obtaining a Post-Professional Doctorate in Occupational Therapy, which specialty track you are interested in, and how you will apply specialty track content to your current practice as an occupational therapist
  • Official college transcripts
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA in occupational therapy degree
  • Three letters of recommendation




Area of Study Health Services
Next Start Date January 15, 2017




Total Cost


Also offered at:
“I’m always available to answer questions, and I work very hard to give students the support they need.”
CUW Online faculty

Goals / Objectives

Graduates of the program will be able to sit for the National Certification Examination for the Occupational Therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT).

Candidates with a passing score will receive the credentials OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST REGISTERED OTR®. Most states require additional licensure/certification in order to practice. In Wisconsin, the graduate must then apply for initial certification with the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services.

Career Outlook

  • Hospitals
  • Rehabilitation Centers
  • Nursing Homes
  • Hospices
  • Community Agencies
  • Mental Health Agencies
  • Wellness Clinics

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Doctor of Occupational Therapy

34 Credits Required

Professional Writing for Occupational Therapy (OT 901) - Credits: 3

Course Description

Introduction to Sociology is an introduction to the study of social groups and social relationships. The course analyzes basic sociological concepts to acquaint the student with the fundamental laws governing human relationships. Problems of social structure, social processes and social motivations will be considered.
Advanced Evidence-Based Practice (OT 911) - Credits: 3

Course Description

This course will help students develop advanced skills in evidence-based occupational therapy practice. Students will demonstrate a working knowledge of research methodology and statistics to continue to hone their skills in critical appraisal of scientific literature. Students will search for scientific evidence, read and critically appraise the evidence, and apply this information to clinical decision making. Students will consider topics in this course that may develop into their capstone project.
Occupational Therapy Theory and Concepts in the Current Healthcare Environment (OT 910) - Credits: 3

Course Description

This course will introduce students to current policy influencing the future direction of the profession of occupational therapy. Students will investigate these changes as they relate to the theoretical underpinnings of the profession and analyze changes and trends in occupational therapy over time.
Occupational Science (OT 915) - Credits: 3

Course Description

This course will examine the relationship of occupation to health and well-being. Students will investigate how theories of occupation bring about change in their client populations through application of client-centered, occupation-based clinical practices. Occupational science will also be studied as a theoretical, foundational construct influencing the profession of occupational therapy.
Mentoring and Clinical Education (OT 916) - Credits: 3

Course Description

This course will provide students the opportunity to learn how to educate health professionals by reviewing learning theories and teaching strategies. Students will be introduced to models of mentorship while exploring the characteristics of an effective mentor. The course will develop skills in conflict resolution and communication in a community setting.

Hand and Upper Extremity Rehabilitation Track Courses

Advanced Anatomy and Kinesiology of the Upper Extremity (OT 920) - Credits: 3

Course Description

This course will analyze purposeful human movement through a combination of advanced cadaveric dissection and an in-depth look at structure and function. Biomechanical factors influencing musculoskeletal balance, efficiency, and dysfunction will be studied throughout the continuum from anatomic foundations to kinesthetic and proprioceptive movement. Peer-reviewed literature in the areas of biomechanics and foundational science will be used to complement course topics and guide advanced dissection.
Conditions and Evaluation of the Upper Extremity (OT 921) - Credits: 3

Course Description

This course will investigate comprehensive evaluative strategies of the upper extremity and relate proper subjective and objective measures to common clinical diagnoses. With the intent of data driven interventions and outcomes measurements, students will use current literature to establish a repertoire of evaluative tools which will guide their clinical decision making.
Surgical Procedures informing Clinical Decision-Making (OT 922) - Credits: 3

Course Description

This course will analyze common surgical procedures as a means to facilitate client-centered clinical decision making post-operatively. Attention will be paid to a comprehensive understanding of the indications, precautions, and contraindications associated with surgical procedures so that the therapist not only can rationalize chosen interventions, but provide in-depth education to their clients. Current literature and surgical demonstrations will be included as learning tools in this course.
Evidence-based Upper Extremity Rehabilitation (OT 923) - Credits: 3

Course Description

This course will employ previous learning, including anatomy, kinesiology, diagnoses, evaluations, and surgical procedures to establish evidence-based intervention planning for clients with multiple diagnoses. Students will be expected to identify diagnoses of personal interest and come prepared with current peer-reviewed literature which will facilitate the creation of comprehensive evaluation, intervention, education, and outcome planning. Specific attention will be paid to modalities and orthotic fabrication and the evidence which supports these adjunctive methods.

Teaching in Higher Education Track Courses

Educating the Adult Learner (OT 930) - Credits: 3

Course Description

This course will focus on adult development and learning theories. Students will identify the stages of adult development and examine the concept of andragogy versus pedagogy. Major theories of adult learning and how they relate to instructional practices will be explored. Physical and cognitive changes will be discussed in the context of teaching adult learners. This course will focus on teaching practices in both a traditional and online environment.
Clinical Practice to Higher Education (OT 931) - Credits: 3

Course Description

This course is designed to prepare the student for employment in high education. Accreditation bodies, policies and issues related to higher education will be explored. General expectations of entry level faculty at public and private institutions will be identified. This course will review curriculum development, strategic planning, and program evaluation.
Assessment in Higher Education Allied Health Professions (OT 932) - Credits: 3

Course Description

This course is designed to focus on research, policy, and best practices in course and program assessment in higher education specifically related to allied health professions. This will include an exploration of assessment to curriculum planning and in program evaluation. Students will identify, define, and interpret the types of valid and reliable education assessment methods and explore uses for formative, summative and authentic assessment. Informal and formal assessment methods will be explored and legal and ethical practices will also be addressed.
Instructional Design for Higher Education Allied Health Professions (OT 933) - Credits: 3

Course Description

This course will focus on the instructional design process and applying adult learning theory, communication media, and technology to develop interactive, collaborative educational experiences for higher education allied health professions. Established and upcoming instructional design models will be used to assist future higher education faculty develop effective courses in face-to-face, online, and/or blended formats.

Pediatric Track Courses

Theory and Evidence in Pediatric Occupational Therapy (OT 940) - Credits: 3

Course Description

This course will challenge students to consider theoretical mechanisms explaining effectiveness of pediatric occupational therapy interventions. Students will also explore available scientific evidence on selected interventions. Topics explored can be based on student practice areas.
Implementing Evidence-Based Treatment in Pediatric Occupational Therapy (OT 941) - Credits: 3

Course Description

This course will provide students the opportunity to translate knowledge gained from theory and evidence on OT interventions to their clinical practice. Students will select at least one intervention and develop a plan to implement it in their own practice. Faculty and expert clinicians will provide support through the process of implementing the treatment.
The Impact of Governmental Policy on Pediatric Practice (OT 942) - Credits: 3

Course Description

This course will explore federal and state policies and ways they affect early intervention/school-based practice areas. Students will consider trends in early intervention/school-based practice and how government policies impact service provision.
Motor Control and Motor Learning in Pediatrics (OT 943) - Credits: 3

Course Description

This course will examine current theories of motor control and motor learning as they relate to pediatric rehabilitation. Students will integrate clinical experience with theory and evidence for interventions based on current motor control and motor learning techniques. The course will primarily focus on reaching, grasping, and prehension in typically developing children and those with neuromuscular conditions.

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