Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Our classes are offered in a specific sequence and each only once a year.  We enroll one group of about 20 students in the fall only. 

Applications may be submitted after July for admission the following academic year.  College juniors at participating institutions may submit their application a year ahead of time for early decision. 

If you have questions, please contact us at occtherapydoctorate@utoledo.edu or 419.530.6670.

The following are required for admission:

  • Bachelor’s degree in any field of study with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 at graduation. The bachelor’s degree must be completed prior to starting the program, NOT prior to application.
  • Prerequisite courses: Applicants must receive a B- or better in all prerequisite courses. Prerequisite courses must be completed prior to starting the program, NOT prior to application:
    • Introductory Biology (3 semester or 4 quarter credits), Lab required
    • Human Anatomy and Physiology (6 semester or 8 quarter credits). Lab required, however, if Anatomy and Physiology are taken as separate courses, we require a lab for Anatomy but not Physiology
    • Introduction to Psychology (3 semester or 4 quarter credits)
    • Abnormal Psychology (3 semester or 4 quarter credits)
    • Introduction to Sociology or Anthropology (3 semester or 4 quarter credits)
    • Medical Terminology (course or proficiency test)
    • Statistics (3 semester or 4 quarter credits)
    • Lifespan Human Development: You may meet this requirement by EITHER:
      • obtaining a B- or better in a Lifespan Human Development course (3 semester or 4 quarter credits) that covers human development from birth to death OR
      • obtaining a B- or better in both a Child Development (3 semester or 4 quarter credits) course AND a Gerontology/Psychology of Aging course (3 semester or 4 quarter credits)

Applying to the program:

  • Applications are only accepted through the OT Centralized Application Service (OTCAS at https://otcas.liaisoncas.com/applicant-ux/#/login). The application includes:
    • An application fee to OTCAS
    • All academic transcripts
    • A personal statement
    • Three letters of recommendation
  • Applicants to the UToledo OTD Program must also
    • Submit an additional writing sample (the essay prompt and submission are within OTCAS).
    • Complete a Prerequisite Completion Plan form (within OTCAS)
    • Pay the UToledo graduate application fee.

Transfer credits and work experience

To earn the UToledo’s OTD degree, students must complete all the occupational therapy course work here.  Courses taken in other occupational therapy education programs cannot be transferred. Undergraduate students seeking to transfer to UToledo to complete their bachelor's degree should visit the UToledo Adult and Transfer page to learn more. We do not award course credit for work experience.

Enrolled students will need to have a personal computing device with internet access. Information technology has provided recommended specifications on this website.

Technical Standards.  The purpose of these standards is to clearly state the expected capabilities of students in the OTD program. The demands of the occupational therapy doctoral program require students to be skillful in multiple domains, including cognition, emotional regulation, communication, and gross and fine motor coordination. 

Across the curriculum, the following are required to successfully complete the program:

  • Communicate orally and in writing to complete individual and group assignments at the graduate level including papers, exams, presentations, projects, and demonstrations;
  • Maintain interpersonal relationships with instructors, faculty, advisors, mentors, fieldwork educators, classmates, peers, and clients;
  • Commit time and effort to complete independent and group work according to timelines and due dates;
  • Manage and prioritize multiple concurrent demands;
  • Maintain access to and use current technologies to engage with learning materials, submit work, and engage in clinical practices;
  • Be punctual and attend class, practicum experiences, and fieldwork at both on- and off-campus locations, including necessary transportation and on-site mobility;
  • Demonstrate a realistic understanding of the field of occupational therapy including the scope and diversity of the profession and the requirements of therapists in their day to day work;
  • Demonstrate the willingness and ability to assume responsibilities for the full spectrum of occupational therapy services;
  • Meet health requirements including specific vaccinations and screenings. (A detailed list of these requirements can be obtained from the program. It is the applicant's responsibility to inquire as to inquire as to the implications of any individual health related circumstances.);
  • Respond adequately to the health and safety needs of clients/patients, including
  • Complete training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation,
  • Have knowledge of Center for Disease Control standards for infectious control, and
  • Respond appropriately to emergency situations in classrooms, practicum sites, and fieldwork placements;
  • Submit to criminal background checks.  Results may be required for fieldwork placement. Applicants/students with a criminal history may want to consult with respective licensing boards regarding their ability to obtain professional licensure.
  • Maintain personal/professional records. 

Potential applicants should, and enrolled students will, self-assess that their abilities align with these expectations.  The faculty encourage applications from all qualified individuals regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age or status as a veteran of any conflict, and disability status.  We urge applicants to ask questions about the program's technical standards for clarification and to determine whether they can meet the requirements with or without reasonable accommodations. We expect that any student who requires accommodation to attain the course objectives will work with the Student Disability Services to notify the course instructor at the first opportunity.  Revealing a disability is voluntary; however, such disclosure is necessary before any accommodations may be made in the learning environment or in the program's procedures. We handle disability-related information in a confidential manner. Reasonable accommodations will comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and require program and institutional approvals.

Requirements and Criteria for Retention and Graduation.  A student admitted into the OTD program must comply with rules and regulations for conduct and academic performance as stipulated by the College of Graduate Studies Health Science Campus and the College of Health and Human Services. This information can be found in the Health Science Campus Graduate Student Handbook (on the web http://www.utoledo.edu/graduate/currentstudents/references/) and the College of Health and Human Services OT Student Handbook provided at orientation.

  • Graduation requires all courses of the OTD curriculum be completed to the academic standards outlined below.  This includes all didactic courses, completion of the research course sequence and an individually advised scholarly project, 12 credits of full-time fieldwork arranged by the academic fieldwork coordinator, 12 credits in the capstone experience overseen by the doctoral capstone coordinator. With the capstone mentor’s approval, a student may substitute an alternate graduate-level course for OCCT 8910 Capstone Mentored Studies. 
  • A student will be placed on academic probation if her/his cumulative GPA falls below a 3.0 during any semester. If the student remains on academic probation for two consecutive semesters, the student will be dismissed.
  • A student admitted under provisional status whose cumulative GPA falls below 3.0 following completion of the first 15 credits will be dismissed from the program and from the Health Science Campus College of Graduate Studies.
  • A grade of C or better or a grade of S must be earned in all courses. No grade lower than a C, is allowed in the total of 95 credits required for graduation. A student who receives a grade of C minus or lower or a grade of U may repeat the course one time, realizing that the sequence of study will be disrupted and that additional time and expense will be required to complete the program. A student wishing to repeat a course will be required to apply for an academic leave until the course is re-offered in its regular sequence.
  • A maximum of 2 courses of C plus or lower grades may be part of the student’s Plan of Study. A student who exceeds the maximum will be subject to dismissal.
  • A student who receives two or more grades of D, F or U in any one semester forfeits the opportunity to repeat and will be dismissed from the program.
  • Continuous enrollment in the OTD program is required because of the sequential nature of the course work. Withdrawal from one course may require complete withdrawal from the semester and will be considered a stop-out. If a student elects to stop-out for any reason, s/he will be required to apply for an approved academic leave or withdraw from the program altogether. Academic leave may be effective from one to three semesters, after which time, readmission will be required.
  • A student who has been dismissed from the program or who has been on academic leave for longer than one year, must apply for readmission into the OTD program. Readmission will be determined on an individual basis dependent on the reason for dismissal or the conditions requiring academic leave.
  • Students are expected to comply with the requirements of fieldwork and capstone sites and the academic program in completing Level I and Level II fieldwork experiences, and the Capstone experience. Level I fieldwork will be completed during the academic portion of the program while Level II fieldwork and the Capstone experience will be completed after the academic portion of the program is completed. The student will need to complete a minimum of 940 hours of Level II fieldwork to meet the 6-month Level II fieldwork requirement. The student will need to complete a minimum of 640 hours on the Capstone experience courses including the Capstone Practicum, Dissemination, and Mentored Studies.
  • Student must complete all level II FW in 24 months following the didactic portion of the program. The capstone experience must be completed within 12 months following completion of level II FW.
  • Completion of all program requirements within 6 calendar years.
  • All professional occupational therapy coursework must be completed at The University of Toledo
  • It is ultimately the responsibility of the student to assure that all administrative and academic requirements have been met.
  • Professional and ethical behavior is expected from each student throughout the occupational therapy program. Behaviors align with the American Occupational Therapy Association’s ethical standards for practice.

Unique features of the program include fieldwork or experiential opportunities in every semester, and the opportunity to complete an individualized capstone to develop specialized skills in a practice area of choice, and an individual research project.

Plan of Study Grid
First TermHours
OCCT 7000 Foundations of Occupational Therapy 3
OCCT 7010 OT Models of Practice I 5
OCCT 7110 Research in OT I 4
OCCT 7210 OT Advocacy I 2
OCCT 7310 FW and Professional Dev I 1
Second Term
OCCT 7020 OT Models of Practice II 5
OCCT 7030 OT Models of Practice III 4
OCCT 7320 FW and Professional Dev II 1
OCCT 7400 Conditions in OT 2
OCCT 8120 Research in OT II 3
Third Term
OCCT 7040 OT Models of Practice IV 5
OCCT 7220 OT Advocacy II 2
OCCT 7330 FW and Professional Dev III 1
Fourth Term
OCCT 8060 OT Models of Practice VI 4
OCCT 8080 OT Models of Practive VIII 3
OCCT 8800 Independent Study OT 0-12
OCCT 8130 Research in Occ Therapy III 3
OCCT 8230 OT Advocacy III 2
OCCT 8340 FW and Professional Dev IV 1
Fifth Term
OCCT 8050 OT Models of Practice V 5
OCCT 8070 OT Models of Practice VII 4
OCCT 8240 OT Advocacy IV 3
OCCT 8350 FW and Professional Dev V 3
Sixth Term
OCCT 8360 Fieldwork Level II 3
OCCT 8400 Phys Agent Mod and Non Occ Met 2
Seventh Term
OCCT 8360 Fieldwork Level II (continued) 3
OCCT 8370 Fieldwork Level II 6
Eighth Term
OCCT 8140 Research in OT IV 3
OCCT 8380 Capstone Practicum 6
OCCT 8900 Mentored Capstone Dissemination 3
OCCT 8910 Mentored Studies:Capstone Area (or Elective in Capstone Area) 3
 Total Hours95-107

Note. Student must complete all Level II fieldwork within 24 months following didactic portion of the program. The capstone experience must be completed with 12 months following completion of Level II fieldwork. 

  • PLO 1. Compare, contrast and evaluate models of practice and integrate them with the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework.
  • PLO 2.Examine the interactions between occupations, client factors, performance skills, performance patterns, and contexts and environments.
  • PLO 3. Describe the relationship between human development and occupation from a life span perspective.
  • PLO 4. Distinguish the relationships between wellness and occupation, identify at risk populations and implement occupation-based interventions to enhance wellness and prevent disease.
  • PLO 5. Investigate and grade the demands of an occupation, reflecting the specific body structures, body functions, performance skills, and performance patterns that are required to successfully engage in occupation.
  • PLO 6. Interpret screening, assessment, and occupational profile data to evaluate clients occupational performance.
  • PLO 7. Interpret evaluation results to diagnose problems related to occupational performance and participation.
  • PLO 8. Illustrate collaboration with clients to develop individualized goals for occupational performance and implement interventions to achieve them.
  • PLO 9. Practice occupational therapy services consistent with clients needs and context, including reassessment and discharge.
  • PLO 10. Show how to effectively communicate and educate via written, oral, and nonverbal means, with clients, family members, significant others, team members, and the community at large.
  • PLO 11. Demonstrate therapeutic use of self, including personality, insights, perceptions, and judgments, as part of the therapeutic process.
  • PLO 12. Show how to effectively and professionally document all aspects of the occupational therapy process.
  • PLO 13. Recognize and apply codes, guidelines, polices, and standards of practice put forth by AOTA and regulatory bodies.
  • PLO 14. Apply accepted Practice Standards regarding supervision of and collaboration with occupational therapy assistants.
  • PLO 15. Evaluate and judge the relevance of current socio-political, legal, economic, international, geographic, demographic, and health disparity issues and trends, including as they affect occupational therapy practice.
  • PLO 16. Justify, design, and engage in initiatives that meet society s occupational needs within existing organizations and through new, entrepreneurial services and programs (e.g., private practice) to move the profession of occupational therapy forward as an integral discipline in health care, human services, and education.
  • PLO 17. Apply principles of management, administration, and supervision (e.g., COTAs, students, other rehabilitation personnel, volunteers) into a personal framework for directing and developing occupational therapy services, personnel, and programs.
  • PLO 18. Choose, design, and implement teaching/learning experiences for a variety of audiences.
  • PLO 19. Practice in collaborative interprofessional practice to improve service delivery in complex systems and organizations.
  • PLO 20. Demonstrate advocacy efforts for clients and the profession to influence practice, legislation, policies, and reimbursement funding.
  • PLO 21. Use principles of research design to describe, analyze, critique, and interpret research protocols and articles relevant to the field of occupational therapy.
  • PLO 22. Interpret research findings to enhance their practice and promote research in the profession at multiple levels including collaboration with independent researchers.
  • PLO 23. Produce and disseminate guided, individualized, scholarly projects.
  • PLO 24. Identify specific ways that occupational therapists can contribute to occupational therapy research, including initiation of research, collaboration in research, participation in advanced studies, application for grants, and support of research as a member of the profession of occupational therapy.
  • PLO 25. Explain, apply, and demonstrate professional ethics as they are pertinent to laws and institutional policies that govern client confidentiality and rights of research participants.
  • PLO 26. Recognize and accept personal responsibility for life-long learning, professional behavior, and demeanor through reflective practice.
  • PLO 27. Develop skill in seeking out information (e.g., library resources, electronic media, internet searches) to compile evidence in support of practice, advocacy, and research.
  • PLO 28. Show leadership skills and guide the profession by disseminating research, conducting presentations, and assuming leadership and mentorship roles, including fieldwork education.