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Doctorate

Occupational Therapists work with people across the entire lifespan to help them participate in their everyday life activities, routines, and responsibilities. They utilize best available scientific evidence to identify ways to help their clients remediate or compensate for an impairment(s) and/or ways to modify the task and environment to optimize their performance.

At the University of Missouri, we have developed two degree options to help you toward your Occupational Therapist goals.


Occupational Therapy Doctorate 

The continued high demand for OT’s and increasing accreditation requirements prompted the American Occupational Therapy Association to vote in support of entry-level education for OT’s at the doctoral level, in addition to the traditional master’s degree. We are confident in the high quality of education within our OTD degree to prepare our graduates for a long and successful career in occupational therapy.

Curriculum

Admission requirements

Applicants to MU’s Occupational Therapy programs are reviewed holistically. We take the time to get to know you as an individual through your application, not just a number on a score sheet. We are searching for applicants that possess personal attributes of respect, responsibility, discovery and excellence, as well as the ability to perform essential functions fit for a career in occupational therapy. The admission committee reviews applications that contain the following:

1. Undergraduate Education Requirements

• Traditional Option:

A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college/university to be completed prior to starting the Occupational Therapy Doctorate program.

• Early-Entry Option:

This early-entry option is available to prospective students interested in completing the entry-level OTD before completion of a bachelor’s degree. Accepted students start in the OTD program after completing a minimum of 90 credits of undergraduate coursework, all of the prerequisite course requirements, and all other admission requirements. Completion of their undergraduate degree will be contingent on their undergraduate institution allowing courses in the first year of the OTD program to count toward completion of their undergraduate degree. While not required, it is highly recommended students complete a bachelor’s degree either before, during, or after completion of OTD coursework.

For University of Missouri Bachelor of Health Science in Health Science (BHS) students, the first year of the OTD program may count toward some of the BHS degree requirements. This program will allow students to potentially complete both degrees in six years. BHS students must work very closely with their undergraduate advisors before, during, and after application to ensure that they have completed most, if not all, Health Science requirements, including specific degree and University requirements including University general education, as well as all completion of the OTD. Students are not required to complete the BHS degree in order to complete the OTD program. 

2. Prerequisite coursework

The following prerequisite courses must be completed prior to starting the OTD program.

  • Biological Science – 3 credit hour course with a lab or 4 credit hours combined lecture/lab minimum. Suggested courses include, but are not limited to, Biology, Genetics, Neuroscience, and Zoology.
  • Human Anatomy* – 3 credit hour course with a lab or 4 credit hours combined lecture/lab minimum.
  • Human Physiology* – 3 credit hour course with a lab or 4 credit hours combined lecture/lab minimum.
  • Human Movement Science* – 3 credit hour combined lecture and lab minimum. Strong preference for Kinesiology or Biomechanics. Physics is a third option if the first two are not available.
  • Social Science – 3 credit hour course minimum. Suggested courses include, but are not limited to, Sociology, Anthropology, Public Health, Epidemiology, and Gerontology.
  • Abnormal Psychology – 3 credit hour course minimum.
  • Human Development – Must address development across the lifespan. 3 credit hour course minimum.
  • Introduction to Statistics – 3 credit hour course minimum. Any introductory statistics course in any discipline is acceptable.
  • Medical Terminology – 1 credit hour minimum. Can take for credit or noncredit. Will accept a passing grade if taken as a pass/fail course.

*Courses must have been completed within 4 years of application.  Human Anatomy and Human Physiology can be substituted with Human Anatomy & Physiology I and Human Anatomy & Physiology II (both with lab)

Grade Requirements: Students must have earned a B‐minus (2.7) or better in Human Anatomy and Human Physiology coursework. Preferred grade of B-minus (2.7) or better in all PREREQUISITE courses. A minimum GPA of all PREREQUISITE coursework combined must be 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. For prerequisite courses completed in Spring and Summer 2020 semesters when grading scales may have been modified to satisfactory/unsatisfactory or pass/fail, we will accept satisfactory or pass grades.
 
Advanced Placement, dual credit, and transfer credits for prerequisite coursework are acceptable if they were recognized by your undergraduate institution and appear on official transcripts at the time of application. Transfer credits may not be applied toward the OTD degree. The Department of Occupational Therapy does not allow credit for experiential learning or work experience to count toward any of the OTD degree requirements. Prerequisites are subject to minor changes with each application cycle.  
 
3. Prerequisite and cumulative GPA
  • Preferred grade of B-minus (2.7) or better for each prerequisite course. REQUIRED grade of B-minus (2.7) or better in Human Anatomy with lab and Human Physiology with lab.REQUIRED GPA for all prerequisite coursework combined must be 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.For prerequisite courses completed in Spring and Summer 2020 semesters when grading scales may have been modified to satisfactory/unsatisfactory or pass/fail, we will accept satisfactory or pass grades.
  • Cumulative GPA that includes ALL undergraduate completed coursework must be a minimum of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
4. Observation of a Licensed Occupational Therapist
  • Applicants are required to have a minimum of twenty (20) total hours of documented clinical observation in Occupational Therapy in a minimum of two (2) different practice settings. Applicants need to submit observation forms with submission of all other application materials to OTCAS.
  • ** In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we understand obtaining these observation hours may be challenging. We will be accepting in person and virtual observation hours. If unable to obtain the 20 hours required, we have partnered with our friends at Quinnipiac University to provide an online resource to assist you. Log in to the occupational therapy online shadowing experience (case-sensitive password: LucasQU) and complete the Assignment and Reflection Documentation Program included. Upload your completed documentation into OTCAS as observation forms. We would like to thank our colleagues at Quinnipiac University for developing this online module.

Access the occupational therapy online shadowing experience

5. Recommendations
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation are required.
6. Personal statement and essay
7. Resume
  • Including a minimum of 20 hours of volunteer experience

Admission cycle

The Department of Occupational Therapy will begin accepting application for the entry level Occupational Therapy Doctorate program in July each year. Each cohort of 44 accepted students will begin their OTD program in the Summer semester following the application cycle.  The admission cycle closes annually on January 15th but due to the rolling admissions process used by the admissions committee, the program could potentially fill the 44 spots prior to the end of the cycle. Rolling admissions allows for early determination for exceptional applicants.

  • New completed applications will be reviewed each month beginning with the start of the admissions cycle.
  • Candidates may be considered from time of application until the end of the application cycle on January 15th.
  • Applicants may be invited for interview at any time during the cycle.
  • Applicants will be notified of the initial status of their application within 45 days of their completed submission.

A non-refundable deposit in the amount of $500 will be required for all accepted applicants to hold their position in the program. This deposit will be credited to the student account in the Fall semester of their first year in the program once enrolled in MU OT. Applicants have 14 days from time of notification of acceptance to confirm their acceptance and submit their deposit.

Prospective students are encouraged to read the MU OT Student Handbook thoroughly before enrolling to ensure that they can meet the requirements of an MUOT Student. All University of Missouri Occupational Therapy students are required to read, acknowledge, and abide by the policies set forth in the Handbook. These include policies on essential functions, academic standards, professional behavior, background checks, drug screens, immunizations, BLS training, and insurance, among others. If you have questions about your ability to meet any of these requirements, please email us at muot@health.missouri.edu.

 

Accreditation

The entry-level occupational therapy doctoral 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)

6116 Executive Boulevard
Suite 200
North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929
Phone: (301) 652-AOTA
Web address: 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 the examination, 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 24 weeks of Level II fieldwork as well as an individual 14-week capstone experience within 24 months following the completion of the didactic portion of the program. The doctoral capstone experience must be started after completion of all coursework and Level II fieldwork as well as completion of preparatory activities defined in 2018 ACOTE OTD Standard D.1.3.

 
 

 

Program fees

OTD program fees and tuition breakdown

The Occupational Therapy department follows the University of Missouri’s Professional tuition and fees for the Occupational Therapy Doctorate program. Up to date information can be found at MU Cashiers Office: Tuition and Fees. Tuition and fees are subject to change at any time. The total cost of the degree may fluctuate based on changes to tuition before starting and while you are in the program.

Out of state tuition waiver

  • Out-of-state students accepted into the University of Missouri Occupational Therapy Doctorate program can apply for a waiver for the out-of-state tuition fee to qualify for in-state tuition for the first year of the program. OTD students would need to establish Missouri residency during their first year in the program to qualify for in-state tuition for the remainder of their time in the program.

There are a limited number of waivers available and the application to receive the waiver is competitive.

To be eligible to apply, applicants must be:

  • Accepted into University of Missouri Occupational Therapy Doctorate Program.
  • Not eligible for Missouri residency and in-state tuition.

Applications must:

  • Include an essay discussing your commitment to completing your graduate education at University of Missouri in 500 words or less.
  • Include your contact info and be submitted via email to muot@health.missouri.edu no later than January 15.

 

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Post-professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Our post-professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate degree is designed exclusively for licensed OTs who hold a bachelor or master’s degree. Individuals will have the ability to customize their educational plans to meet their unique academic and professional goals, which may include, but are not limited to, advanced clinical practice, leadership and management, research, and occupational therapy education. This 100% online and self-paced program allows for maximum flexibility in completion of your terminal degree in occupational therapy while continuing to work as an Occupational Therapy practitioner. 

Curriculum

ppOTD Curriculum

The post-professional Occupational Therapy Doctoral program utilizes flexible scheduling of coursework in order for students to complete their degree in timeframes that meet their professional and personal needs. A minimum of 2 years for completion of coursework is anticipated.

  • Students entering the post-professional OTD program with an entry-level bachelor’s degree in OT will complete 15 hours online before advancing to the 36 hours of online OTD coursework.
  • Students entering the post-professional OTD program with an entry-level master’s degree in OT will complete the 36-credit degree program online with flexibility in sequencing and credit hours per semester.

 

Admission requirements

Applicants to MU’s Occupational Therapy programs are reviewed holistically. We take the time to get to know you as an individual through your application, not just a number on a score sheet. We are searching for applicants that possess personal attributes of respect, responsibility, discovery and excellence in occupational therapy. The admission committee reviews applications that contain the following:

1. Must be an Occupational Therapist

     • Occupational Therapy Assistants are not eligible. 

2. Graduate of a World Federation of Occupational Therapists Approved Education Program

     • Program must be World Federation of Occupational Therapists recognized at time of graduation. 

3. Transcripts of all previous coursework

     • Completion of a Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) or higher required. 

4. Professional Statement of Goals
5. Professional References (minimum of one)

 

Admission cycle

The Department of Occupational Therapy has rolling admissions and matriculates students three times per year.  

To start classes in  Apply by  Classes begin
Fall June 1  August
Spring Nov. 1  January
Summer April 1 June 

Accreditation

The University of Missouri is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. 

Program fees

The Occupational Therapy department follows the University of Missouri’s Distance/Online tuition and fees for the Occupational Therapy Doctorate program. Up to date information can be found at MU Cashiers Office: Tuition and Fees. Be sure to reference the specific Occupational Therapy Program rates. Tuition and fees are subject to change at any time. The total cost of the degree may fluctuate based on changes to tuition before starting and while you are in the program.

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