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 Master in Occupational Therapy program in the summer of 2020 and/or the Occupational Therapy Doctorate program in the summer of 2021.

• 3+3 Option:

MU Bachelor’s of Health Science (BHS) students have the option to apply and enter the OTD program after their junior year (90 credits of undergraduate coursework) and meet the requirements for completion of the BHS degree through the first year of coursework in the OTD. This program will allow students to complete both degrees in six years.

  • Students considering this option will apply during the Summer/Fall after their sophomore year (after 60 credit hours completed); selected students begin coursework the summer after completion of their junior year.
  • Students must have evidence of a minimum of three semesters of college coursework after high school graduation.
  • First year of OTD professional coursework also counts toward the BHS degree. Students must have at least 90 credits, all OT prerequisites, and all BHS degree requirements except the capstone requirement completed before beginning the OTD program. Students will then graduate with their BHS in May after successfully completing the 1st year of OTD coursework. The first year of OTD coursework includes a fieldwork experience and a practicum experience which combined will meet the capstone requirement for the BHS degree.
  • Professional tuition begins at the start of the OTD coursework; students enrolled in professional coursework are no longer eligible for Pell Grants. See https://cashiers.missouri.edu/cost/ for current professional tuition rates for the occupational therapy program.
  • MU Health Sciences students applying for the 3+3 option must work very closely with their undergraduate School of Health Professions advisors before, during, and after application to ensure that they have completed all Health Science degree program requirements AND all OT prerequisites before beginning the OTD program.
• Early-Entry Option:

Prospective students from outside the University of Missouri with a minimum of 90 undergraduate credit hours completed prior to starting the OTD program. Completion of their undergraduate degree will be contingent on their undergraduate institution allowing the courses in the first year of the OTD program to count toward the completion of their undergraduate degree.

  • While a bachelor’s degree is not required to complete the OTD, we strongly encourage applicants who want to pursue early-entry to also obtain a bachelor’s degree if at all possible.
2. Prerequisite coursework

The following prerequisite courses must be completed with a B- or better prior to starting MUOT’s program.  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.  Prerequisites are subject to minor changes with each application cycle.

  • General Biology – 3 credit hour course with a lab or 4 credit hours combined lecture/lab minimum
  • 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.
  • Sociology – 3 credit hour course minimum
  • 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)

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.

3. Prerequisite and cumulative GPA
  • Each prerequisite course must have a B- (2.7) or better.  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 Packet 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

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.

 

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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 is structured for two completion types, students entering with a previous Bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy and students entering with a previous Master’s degree in occupational therapy.

  • 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 will be able to complete the 51-credit degree program in as little as 2 years if taking up to 15 credits per semester, and are expected to complete the degree in no more than 6 years if taking fewer credits per semester (average of 12-13 credit hours per year).
  • 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. These masters-prepared OTs may enroll in 3 to 15 credits per semester enabling completion in as little as 1.5 years or as many as 5 years (average of 9 credit hours per year).

 

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 will begin accepting applications for the Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctoral program on August 1, 2020. The inaugural class will begin coursework starting in the Fall semester of 2021. Please check back for more application details. 

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.

Request more information

Start your application

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