Help clients live life to the fullest.
Occupational therapists (OTs) focus on increasing individuals’ independence, participation, and engagement in daily living activities. They help people live their lives to the fullest by promoting health and well-being. With a passion for improving the lives of others and a belief in the power of holistic health care, OTs make a difference.
As a student in Drake's Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) program you’ll gain knowledge and experience needed for a successful career within OT, including community practice, hospital-based practice, school-based practice, early intervention, home health care, and many other opportunities.
Our program places a distinct emphasis on developing entrepreneurial leaders committed to advancing the OT profession. Through a curriculum rich with high-impact teaching practices, you will become a capable communicator, problem solver, and decision maker with competence in professional, team-based, patient-centered care; practice management; and advocacy.
You can enter Drake’s OTD program via the pre-OT program, called the Drake OTD Connection. As a pre-OT student, you’ll complete your Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences degree, along with the necessary math, science, and liberal arts coursework for successful admission into the professional OTD program. Once you begin the professional program, you’ll spend three years completing doctorate level courses in occupational therapy. You may enter the pre-OT program directly from high school or as a transfer student. You can also enter directly into the professional OTD program through a separate admission process, outlined on the OTD website.
You’ll begin your experiential education with job shadowing and career exploration in the pre-OT program as you complete your bachelor’s degree. Once admitted to the professional program, you’ll complete fieldwork in a variety of settings including adulthood, pediatrics, psychosocial health, and many other areas of OT.
Of course, you’ll benefit from the experiences that all Drake Bulldogs enjoy—mentorship from professors at the top of their field; résumé-worthy internships, research experiences, and other professional preparation; opportunities to learn while serving the community; and January Term experiences that immerse you into the fascinating topics—and locations—you choose.
As a student, you’ll choose from a wide range of curricular options that allow you great latitude in directing your professional career. Career opportunities for occupational therapists are growing more quickly than the average for most professions. The job outlook for occupational therapy is projected to grow 21 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for most professions (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017). As a Drake graduate, you will be recognized for your commitment to advancing your practice, supporting your community, and advocating for your patients and profession.