Occupational Therapy

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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. 

Occupational therapists focus on increasing independence, participation and engagement in daily living activities for individuals, groups and populations. Occupational therapists enable individuals of all ages to live their lives to the fullest by promoting health and well-being. Occupational therapists 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 21 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for most professions (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017). 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.

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 experiences at the State Capitol or doctoral fieldwork 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.

Doctoral-Degree-Level Occupational Therapy Program

(Accreditation Status: Program with Pre-Accreditation Status) The entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program has applied for accreditation and has been granted Pre-Accreditation 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 www.acoteonline.org. 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. Program results from NBCOT can be found online at https://secure.nbcot.org/data/schoolstats.aspx.