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post-professional doctorate in occupational therapy

**This program will not accept applications for enrollment beyond the Fall 2020 semster.** 

The Department of Occupational and Recreational Therapies is pleased to offer a professional doctorate in Occupational Therapy (OTD) to individuals with a degree in occupational therapy from an entry-level educational program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). We offer this program completely online, making it a great choice for working professionals all over the world. Applicants to this program must be certified by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) or equivalent in their country of residence/practice and have at least two years of practice as an OT. Our OTD program accommodates students holding either a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree level with specific paths for both. The focus of the OTD is to provide clinicians with a stronger, more up-to-date theoretical base; advance their leadership skills; and provide them with knowledge and skills in evidence-based research related to their chosen area of emphasis.


At the University of Utah our courses combine traditional online learning – where you study individually at home at your own pace – with interactive learning. Interactive learning increases your engagement with classmates and instructor, as well as with the materials covered. In this manner it improves learning outcomes. Our courses combine the flexibility of online teaching with the advantages and direct engagement of traditional teaching.

Interactive learning comes in a variety of ways:

  • Through group assignments, where you collaborate via email or a discussion forum to answer a problem set.
  • Through contributions to a discussion forum, where you directly respond to previous posts.
  • Through “peer reviews,” where you review and comment upon assignments from other students.

Our classes also offer multiple routes to stay connected and get help:

  • Converse directly with the instructor via email.
  • Participate in and guide online discussions.
  • Attend online office hours in discussion threads or on the phone.
  • Instructors are available in “real” office hours for students on or near campus; and (for some courses) we offer (voluntary) Q&A sessions in a classroom.

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.

For more information visit the OTD Program Page.

To view all OC TH courses available online in the Spring 2017 term view the Class Schedule.

To calculate an estimate of tuition costs please use the University of Utah Tuition Calculator.  Tuition for online courses is based on residency and is the same whether you take an online or on campus course. Online students do pay an additional $60 fee, per course, to cover the costs of operating online courses.

Please visit University of Utah’s tuition rate schedule for more information about tuition at the University of Utah.

For more information on Tuition visit the OTD program website.

Professional doctorate in Occupational Therapy (OTD).

All of the courses at the University, whether online or on campus, are taught by the same high-quality faculty members. There’s no distinction on your diploma that you completed courses online.

Occupational Therapists have a wide range of career options and earn an average salary of $75,400 per year according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Growth in the field of Occupational Therapy is also happening at a rapid pace.  It is expected that available positions will increase over 30% by the year 2020.

For more information on the career and earnings potential of an economics degree you can visit the website for the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.


The mission of the OTD Program at the University of Utah is to provide a professional doctorate curriculum to practicing occupational therapists who want to expand and refine their knowledge, skills and experience to become strong leaders in the profession and to fulfill their professional potential. The curriculum is designed to enable occupational therapists to become clinical scholars who will continue to autonomously function as occupational therapists within their scope of practice, collaborate effectively with others to develop innovative programs, and contribute to the evidence-based literature that drives practice.

Admissions Process

Applicants for admission must apply through Apply Yourself.  Please review the information found on the Graduate School admissions page prior to submitting your application. Under the Program Information section on the AY application, choose your program of interest, Occupational Therapy DOT. Applicants will need to upload copies of official transcripts from all universities attended to verify graduation from an accredited occupational therapy program.

Under the Academic Interests and Background section you will need to upload the following:

  1. Current curriculum vitae or resume.
  2. Statement of purpose addressing the applicant’s objectives for his/her doctoral education, including area of clinical expertise, and potential areas of research focus. Statement should be 2-3 pages in length.
  3. Copy of initial certification from the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) or, if international student, other national certification agency. Upload to the section titled “Post Submission.”
  4. Copy of current occupational therapy license within a jurisdiction in the United States (if applicable). Upload to the section titled “Post Submission.”
  5. English Proficiency if English is not the first language.
    • TOEFL - Students must achieve a score of at least 90-91 (Internet based)
    • IELTS - Students must achieve a score of at least 7.0
    • Applicants who have received a US Degree and have not left the country for more than two years since receiving the degree may use the degree as proof of English proficiency
  6. Three letters of recommendation attesting to your ability to successfully engage in and complete doctoral level work, capacity to be a leader in the profession, and ability to work collaboratively to achieve professional outcomes. The letters must be signed and dated, and letterhead should be used when available. References may be from a supervisor, a colleague, or professor. This can NOT be done through the AY application website. However, applicants will be required to list the recommender names along with the program you are applying to (Occupational Therapy DOT). The other information is not necessary, except you will need to indicate whether or not you waive your right to examine the letters of recommendation. The AY system will then ask you if the provider will be submitting the letter online – here you need to indicate NO. Please note that these must be LETTERS and should not be done on any type of recommendation form.
    Recommendation letters can be sent via email directly to Kelly Brown ( or via regular US Mail to:Kelly Brown, Administrative Assistant
    University of Utah
    Division of Occupational Therapy
    520 Wakara Way
    Salt Lake City, UT 84108
International applicants must have a minimum TOEFL score of 100 iBT (600 pBT). (Minimum score requirements are subject to change). Students who have previously completed the TOEFL, but have been outside of the United States for two or more years since taking the examination will be required to complete a new TOEFL exam and meet the minimum requirements.

The OTD Program at the University of Utah has been approved by the Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP) of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE)! For more information, please visit:

*This program is an agreement between states and is not an indication of our authorization status in each state. Students who reside in Oregon, Washington, or New Mexico are not currently authorized to participate in University of Utah online programs.

This program makes high-quality, distinctive graduate programs and healthcare-related programs available to students of the West at the resident tuition rate.

As part of the Student Exchange Program of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, WRGP helps place students in a wide range of graduate programs, all designed around the educational, social, and economic needs of the West.

Through WRGP, residents of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming are eligible to enroll in available programs outside of their home state at resident tuition rates.

Students need not demonstrate financial need.



University and Graduate Program Application Deadlines

Spring - November 1

Summer - March 15

Fall - April 1

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Degree Type

Professional doctorate in Occupational Therapy (OTD).

Time to Completion

Students can expect to complete the major specific OTD coursework in six to ten semesters, at six credits per semester.


For more information, please contact OTD academic advisor, Kelly Brown.


Last Updated: 10/30/23