Occupational Therapy Doctorate

In this new degree program offered by the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, you can earn an Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) degree in just three years after completing a bachelor's degree.  The first class in the OTD program is planned to begin in Summer 2016. 

Occupational therapists (OTs) focus on increasing independence, participation and engagement in daily living activities for individuals, groups and populations.  OTs enable individuals of all ages to live their lives to the fullest by promoting health and well-being.  OTs help people develop, recover, adapt, enhance, learn and improve the skills needed for accomplishing their goals and dreams. 

Employment of occupational therapists is projected to grow 29 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for most professions. Occupational therapy will continue to be an important part of treatment for people with various illnesses and disabilities.  Occupational therapists work with people of all ages who are facing life challenges due to illness, diseases, trauma, phychological distress, injuries, and other difficulties.  They promote the health and well being for a variety of populations. (Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2015).

Why Drake?

Practical Experiences

You will be in the field working with patients beginning in the first year, allowing you to enhance your knowledge base through hands-on involvement.  There are also service-learning opportunities built into the curriculum to allow you to apply the knowledge you are gaining throughout the semester.

Year-Round Coursework

The doctorate level course work is completed on a year-round basis.  You will graduate in three years with successful completion of each course.

Personalized Experience

At Drake, you will receive individual attention from faculty and staff to build lifelong mentors and connections within the occupational therapy profession.

Connections in the Capitol

Drake is located in Iowa’s capital city, Des Moines, which allows you numerous opportunities for involvement in professional advocacy.  Become a member of the Iowa Occupational Therapy Association and participate in policy making through co-curricular events.  Students with career interests in policy and advocacy may pursue legislative internships at the state house or doctoral field work in this area.

Professional Preparation

The proximity and availability of numerous clinics, hospitals, special care facilities, schools and private practices in Des Moines will allow you to get involved in any number of specialties within the occupational therapy profession. Drake’s extensive local and national practitioner network may offer chances for job shadowing, mentoring and professional experiences. Additionally, Drake’s CPHS has a dedicated career development staff who will work with you to achieve your career goals.