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Occupational Therapy Doctorate

The Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) program is a three-year, year-round professional program that prepares students for community or clinical practice, post-doctorate educational experiences, and many other occupational therapy practice opportunities. Students may be admitted to the pre-occupational therapy bachelors degree program directly from high school and upon successful completion of established criteria, may be considered for admittance to the three-year professional program.

Experiential Educational Goals and Objectives



Occupational Therapy Department web site

OTD Experiential Educational Goals and Objectives

The Drake University Occupational Therapy Doctorate Program will prepare students with the flexible, clinical, analytical and practice skills necessary to succeed in occupational therapy through an interdisciplinary blend of professional, science, and liberal arts education. The purpose of the program is to provide graduates with an advanced entry-level knowledge base, skills, attitudes, ethics and values to succeed in occupational therapy careers. The curriculum is designed to provide the graduate with competence in these areas:

Drake OTD Program Outcomes

  1. Graduates will demonstrate the ability to utilize and analyze evidence for occupation-based practice and develop habits of life-long learning
  2. Graduates will value and engage in service opportunities to promote health and well-being for diverse and underserved populations.
  3. Graduates will demonstrate competent clinical reasoning and care using occupation to enable clients across the lifespan within varied groups, and populations to live life to the fullest.
  4. Graduates will display professionalism, ethical behavior, and advocacy skills to influence positive change with clients, communities, and the profession.

Drake OTD Curricular Themes

  1. Professional responsibility and scholarship
  2. Collaborative community engagement
  3. Occupation across the life span
  4. Professional identity


OTD Summer 1 
OTD  101 History of OT in Context of the Sociology of Profe 3 CR
OTD 121 Occupation Based Practice I: Occl Therapy Process 4 CR
OTD 102 Psychosocial Development and Application to OT 4 CR
OTD 110 The Human Condition: Pathology and Impairments 3 CR
OTD 131 Occ Therapy Practice Skills 1: Basics of OT 4 CR

Semester Total Credit Hours

OTD Year 1
OTD 161 Level IA Fieldwork & Doctoal Exp. Forum: Adulthood 1 CR
OTD 105 Applied Neuroscience 1 4 CR
OTD 122 Occ Based Practice 2: Assess informing evaluation 4 CR
OTD 141 Research in OT 1: Role of Theory in OT 3 CR
OTD 111 Application of Kinesiology to OT 4 CR

Semester Total Credit Hours

OTD 142 Research in OT 2: Observational & Descriptive Rese 3 CR
OTD 123 Occ Based Practice 3: Pediatrics 4 CR
OTD 132 OT Practice Skills 2: Orthotics and Positioning 4 CR
OTD 151 Health Care Policy & Impact on Delivery 3 CR
OTD 162 Level IB Fieldwork & Doc. Exper. Forum: Pediatrics 1 CR

Semester Total Credit Hours

OTD Summer 2
OTD 133 OT Practice Skills 3: Uni Design, Adaptive Equip 4 CR
OTD 106 Applied Neuroscience 2: Neuro-occupations 4 CR
OTD 124 Occupation Based Practice 4: Aging Adults 4 CR
OTD 143 Research in OT 3: Experimental Research 3 CR
OTD 163 Level IC Fieldwork & Doc. Exp. Forum: Psych Health 1 CR

Semester Total Credit Hours

OTD Year 2
OTD 144 Research in OT 4: Critical Analysis 3 CR
OTD 164 Level ID Fieldwork & Doc Exp Forum: Self-designed 1 CR
OTD 152 Management & Administration 3 CR
OTD 134 OT Practice Skills 4: Ergonomics, PAM & Adv Tech 4 CR
OTD 153 Independent Study 1 3 CR
OTD 125 Occ Based Practice 5: Health, Wellness & Well-Bein 4 CR

Semester Total Credit Hours

OTD 154 Advocacy & Leadership 3 CR
OTD 126 Occ Based Practice 6: Population Health 4 CR
OTD 135 OT Practice Skills 5: Explor Specialty Areas 4 CR
OTD 145 Research in OT 5: Scholarship of Application 3 CR
OTD 155 Professional Practice Seminar 3 CR
OTD 156 Independent Study 2 3 CR

Semester Total Credit Hours

OTD Summer 3
OTD 165 Level IIA Fieldwork 12 CR

Semester Total Credit Hours

OTD Year 3
OTD 166 Level IIB Fieldwork 12 CR
OTD 167 Doctoral Preparation 0.5 CR

Semester Total Credit Hours

OTD 168 Doctoral Experience (16 Weeks) 16 CR
OTD 146 Occupational Therapy Capstone 2 CR

Semester Total Credit Hours

Total Program Hours: 145.5

*Independent Study during the OTD Year 2 may be worth up to 4 credits each. This will bring the OTD Track Credit total up to 147.5


The entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program has applied for accreditation and has been granted Candidacy Status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its Web address is The program must have a preaccreditation review, complete an on-site evaluation, and be granted Accreditation Status before its graduates will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). In addition, most states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.

Admission to the Drake University OTD program is based on academic and personal qualifications that are necessary for successful, competent practice as an occupational therapist. Candidates are evaluated on the basis of the fit between their personal goals and the mission and goals of the OTD program.  Prior education, work experience, honors, awards, service to others and leadership activities are also considered in the admission process. Prior shadowing in an OT environment is helpful, but not required.

Students can apply to our OTD program by meeting the following requirements.  Please note that these are the requirements applicants must meet in order for their applications to be considered complete.  Meeting these requirements does not guarantee admission to the OTD program.  

SubjectCredit HoursDrake Courses

Anatomy and Physiology

A complete year course sequence in anatomy (one semester) and physiology (one semester) is required.  Students may take a combined anatomy/physiology sequence, but they must take both semesters in order to fulfill the requirement.  Labs are required.

8 credit hours (including labs) HSCI 125/L and 141 (PHAR 125 may replace HSCI 125); or BIO 018/L and 129

General Psychology

A one-semester introductory course in psychology is required.  This course must fulfill the prerequisite to allow students to take courses in developmental and abnormal psychology.  A lab is not required.

3 credit hours PSY 001 (4 credit hours)

Developmental Psychology

Students may take a one-semester course in child and adolecent development, adult development and aging, or lifespan development.  A lab is not required.

3 credit hours PSY 042 or 044

Abnormal Psychology

A one-semester course in abnormal psychology is required.  A lab is not required.

3 credit hours PSY 076


A one-semester course in general physics is required.  This may be a course designed for physics, life science or health science majors.  A lab is not required.

3 credit hours PHY 011 or 132


A one-semester course in general statistics is required.  Business, psychology or biological science statistics courses are accepted.

3 credit hours STAT 060 or 071

Medical Terminology

A one-semester course in medical terminology is required.

1 credit hour HSCI 095

English Composition

A complete year course sequence in college-level English writing or composition is required.  The sequence can be made up of a one-semester college-level composition course and a one-semester intensive writing course.

6 credit hours FYS and Written Communication AOI

Public Speaking

A one-semester course focused on public speaking is required.  Common course titles include Fundamentals of Speaking or Public Speaking.  Interpersonal speaking and communication courses will NOT be accepted.

3 credit hours SCSR 073

Students must earn a grade of C or higher in order to receive transfer credit and fulfill prerequisite courses.  Please see Drake University's Transfer Credit Information page or contact the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at (515) 271-3018 for more information.  Students who wish to fulfill prerequisites using Advanced Placement (AP) scores must earn a 4 or higher on the AP exam.  Please see Drake University's AP, IB and CLEP Credit policy or contact the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences for more information. 

Drake University's Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) program operates on a rolling admission process.  We recommend submitting application materials early in order to ensure your application is processed and considered in a timely manner.  Students with strong applications and academic credentials will be invited to complete the second phase of the admission process, which includes a scored on-campus interview and a scored writing assessment.

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