Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate: Curriculum, Goals, Admission Criteria

Curriculum and Program Delivery

The OTD curriculum is composed of 24 credits of core courses that address the competencies required of leaders and advocates in the profession. These courses address advanced theory, advanced research, program development and evaluation, occupational science, and public policy and advocacy. Capstone course work requires the integration of these content areas into a clinical project, which is formally evaluated and presented through professional presentation and/or publication. Each student also completes 9 credits in either a pediatric or geriatric specialization, for a total of 33 credits for the doctoral course work. A combination delivery model of face-to-face and distance learning is used. Classes meet on campus one weekend day at the beginning and end of each semester. The program is designed to be completed part-time (2 classes per semester) over a two year tri-semester period.

Program Goals

The OTD program goals are focused in areas of research, advanced practice, leadership and administration. Graduates will:

1. be proficient in critically appraising, applying and contributing to evidence that supports occupation-based practice.

2. synthesize and apply advanced theoretical concepts and clinical skills in selected areas of practice.

3. enhance their leadership and advocacy skills to promote occupational participation in light of human dynamics and private and public policy influences.

4. design and administer effective, fiscally responsible client-centered programs.

Admission Criteria:

A Master's Degree in Occupational Therapy or related field. Students with Master's degree in a related field must have an undergraduate statistics course and a graduate level research course.

Licensed OT

Completed application including official transcripts, three references, statement of professional goals

Minimum GPA of 3.0 in graduate studies


Accepted students begin the OTD program during in the fall semester. Specialization credits may be taken prior to formal matriculation into the OTD program. Refer to the Misericordia University web site for application and interview dates.

To apply for admission, students must submit the following:

Online application form

$60 application fee

Application statement of purpose and practice goals

Current Resume

Official transcripts for occupational therapy education

Copy of NBCOT certification

Copy of current state license/certification in a US jurisdiction

Official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score with a minimum of 550 (213 if computer generated).

Three letters of recommendation (one recommendation must be from a licensed occupational therapist).

Applicants must apply online.

Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate Course Sequence

First Semester Fall

Total Credits 6

OTD 620

Advanced Theory



OTD 641

Evidence Based Practice


Second Semester Spring

Total Credits 6

OTD 640

Designing, Implementing and Evaluating Quality Programs



Specialization Class


Third Semester Summer

Total Credits 6

OTD 625

Supporting Practice through Public Policy and Advocacy



Specialization Class



Fourth Semester Fall

Total Credits 6

OTD 641

Advanced Research



Specialization Class


Fifth Semester Spring

Total Credits 6

OTD 643

Education, Presentation and Publication


OTD 644

Occupational Science


Sixth Semester Summer

Total Credits 3

OTD 650