Occupational Therapy

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OTD Admission

Looking for undergraduate admission and Pre-Occupational Therapy? Visit our Pre-OT admission page.


The entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 7501 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 510E Bethesda, MD 20814. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is 301-652-6611 and its Web address is www.acoteonline.org. Graduates of the program 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, all 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. Students must complete Level II fieldwork and experiential requirements within 24 months following completion of the didactic portion of the program.

Students who are currently enrolled in pre-occupational therapy at Drake should refer to the Drake Direct OTD requirements for more information.

International students: for more information about requirements for international applicants, visit our international student admission page.

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.

No GRE 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.  

  • Submit an application through the Centralized Application Service for Occupational Therapy (OTCAS).
  • Complete at least 3 years of undergraduate coursework (92 credit hours).
  • Earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher (as calculated in OTCAS).
  • Complete the Drake Curriculum Areas of Inquiry (AOI) requirements by the end of the summer term prior to entering the OTD program.  Students who have earned one of the following degrees will be waived from the Drake Curriculum AOI requirements:
    • Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree from a community college in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, or Missouri
    • Associate of Science (A.S.) degree from a community college in Iowa
    • Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Complete (or be in the process of completing) the prerequisite coursework outlined in the table below.  All required courses must be completed by the end of the summer term prior to entering the OTD program.
Subject Credit Hours Drake 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.

2 courses/8 credit hours (including labs) HSCI 125/L and 141/L (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.

1 course/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.

1 course/3 credit hours HSCI 146 or PSY 042 or 044

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

1 course/3 credit hours PSY 076

Social Sciences Elective
A one-semester social science elective course is required.  Courses may be taken in economics, sociology, psychology or other approved social science areas.

1 course/3 credit hours Approved courses in ECON, PSY, SCS and other social science departments

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

1 course/3 credit hours STAT 060, 071 or HSCI 060

Medical Terminology
A one-semester course in medical terminology is required.

1 course/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.

2 courses/6 credit hours FYS and Written Communication AOI

Public Speaking
A one-semester course focused on public speaking is required.  Students may submit non-public speaking courses for syllabus review if the course contains a robust classroom presentation component.  Interpersonal communication courses will NOT be accepted.

1 course/3 credit hours SCSR 073 or ENG 037

General Electives
59 semester credit hours in general electives are required; Drake requires students to complete a minimum of 3 years of undergraduate coursework (at least 92 credit hours).

59 credit hours Drake Curriculum Areas of Inquiry

Students must earn a grade of C or higher in order to fulfill prerequisite courses.  Students who wish to fulfill prerequisites using Advanced Placement (AP) scores must earn a 4 or higher on the AP exam.  Students may transfer in a cumulative maximum of 66 credit hours from all 2-year institutions they have attended.  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.  

Drake University's Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) program operates on a rolling admission process.  We will interview and admit students until the O1 class is full and a sufficient number of applicants have been identified for the wait list.  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 required virtual or on-campus interview.

Tuition and Fees

Official tuition and fees are set on an annual basis by the Drake University Office of Finance and Administration, approved by the Board of Trustees and administered through the Office of Student Accounts.  Information regarding tuition and fees for the current academic year in the Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) program can be found on the Financial Aid Office website.  Here, you will also find additional resources and other opportunities for financial assistance.

Technical Standards for the OTD Program

Please view our Technical Standards for the OTD Program.