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Degree Offered

Doctor of Occupational Therapy, OTD

Program Length and Locations

The program is three years in length, starting in August and ending three years later in May. The program will be offered at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) campus and on the University of Nebraska Kearney (UNK) campus.

Description of the Occupational Therapy (OT) Program

The College of Allied Health Professions at UNMC offers a program leading to the Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree (OTD). The program requires a bachelor's degree prior to admission to the three-year professional program at UNMC. The Division of Occupational Therapy Education has applied for accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its Web address is www.acoteonline.org. UNMC has full accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Colleges.
The OTD program has been granted Candidacy Status by ACOTE, and must have a pre-accreditation 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, 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.

Degree Requirements and Professional Standards

Students must receive a passing grade of “C” or better or “Pass” in all courses and maintain an overall quality grade point average of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale) or above. Grades of less than “C” are considered failing in the occupational therapy program. Students need a variety of skills and attributes to be successful to enter the occupational therapy profession. The program will support the development of critical thinking, professional behaviors, scientific knowledge of the discipline, psychomotor skills, knowledge translation, and health and wellness. Students must successfully meet all of the program’s performance standards by passing all didactic work, laboratory practica, fieldwork education, and doctoral experiential capstone. Course instructors assess the standing of a student in any course by examination, laboratory and clinical performance, class participation, written assignment, personal observation, and other methods of evaluation.

Occupational Therapy Website

Admission Requirements

The mission of admissions in the College of Allied Health Professions is to advance evidence-based recruitment and admissions practices that are inclusive, equitable and balanced with respect to experiences, attributes and metrics to recruit and admit applicants for the purpose of preparing highly competent, collaborative and compassionate professionals dedicated to improving the health and healthcare of all individuals and communities. 

For specific OT admissions, application, and timelines, visit: Occupational Therapy Admissions.

The professional program is three years in length. Learning opportunities include lecture-laboratory courses, seminars, independent study, laboratory practical examinations, supervised fieldwork, and doctoral experiential capstone. Patient simulations using various levels of technology are included throughout the curriculum. The Division reserves the right to modify the curriculum as necessary to comply with accreditation standards and to reflect advancements in the health sciences.

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. Fieldwork and doctoral experiences are scheduled in advance and are subject to change at the discretion of the site or OT program faculty. Some sites may require assigned students to undergo a criminal background check and/or drug screening prior to participation in a practical education experience. Please anticipate travel and living expenses for fieldwork and doctoral experiential capstone.

Students in the Occupational Therapy program will complete coursework using a cohort approach.  The plan of study presented below is an example.  See the Curriculum Overview - PDF Curricular Layout for more details.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallCredit Hours
OCCT 500 OCCUPATIONAL FOUNDATIONS 3
OCCT 501 STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION FOR OCCUPATION 4
PHYT 502 HUMAN MOVEMENT 1 4
OCCT 520 INTEGRATIVE PRACTICE 1 3
 Credit Hours14
Spring
OCCT 530 OCCUPATION-BASED PRACTICE 1 7
OCCT 540 EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE 1: STUDY DESIGN AND ANALYTIC APPROACHES 3
OCCT 521 INTEGRATIVE PRACTICE 2 3
OCCT 550 FIELDWORK 1A 1
 Credit Hours14
Summer
OCCT 531 OCCUPATION-BASED PRACTICE 2 7
OCCT 541 EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE 2: RESEARCH PROPOSAL DEVELOPMENT 3
OCCT 522 INTEGRATIVE PRACTICE 3 3
OCCT 551 FIELDWORK 1B 1
 Credit Hours14
Second Year
Fall
OCCT 510 PHYSICAL AGENTS FOR OCCUPATION 3
OCCT 532 OCCUPATION-BASED PRACTICE 3 7
OCCT 642 EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE 3: SYSTEMATIC REVIEWS FOR OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY 3
OCCT 623 INTEGRATIVE PRACTICE 4 3
OCCT 552 FIELDWORK 1C 1
 Credit Hours17
Spring
OCCT 710 DOCTORAL CAPSTONE 1: DESIGN 1
OCCT 650 FIELDWORK 2A 12
 Credit Hours13
Summer
OCCT 711 DOCTORAL CAPSTONE 2: DEVELOP 1
OCCT 651 FIELDWORK 2B 12
 Credit Hours13
Third Year
Fall
OCCT 712 DOCTORAL CAPSTONE 3: COLLABORATE 1
OCCT 700 MANAGEMENT, ADMIN & POLICY 4
OCCT 701 PRACTITIONER AS EDUCATOR EMERGING 4
OCCT 702 EMERGING PRACTICE & ADVOCACY 4
 Credit Hours13
Spring
OCCT 713 DOCTORAL CAPSTONE 4: IMPLEMENT 14
OCCT 714 DOCTORAL CAPSTONE 5: DISSEMINATE 1
 Credit Hours15
 Total Credit Hours113

Fieldwork Education
The fieldwork education component of the curriculum provides students the opportunity to directly apply the occupational therapy theories and techniques acquired during classroom instruction, as well as the opportunity to acquire knowledge, skills, and attitudes best learned in practice environments. The intent of fieldwork education is to provide the student with broad exposure to practice in a variety of settings and geographic locations. The fieldwork education component is under the direction of the Fieldwork Education Coordinator and the Capstone Coordinator.

Level I fieldwork occurs in conjunction with didactic coursework. Level II fieldwork requires a minimum of 24 weeks full time experience. Level II is an in-depth experience in delivering occupational therapy services to clients, focusing on the application of purposeful and meaningful occupation and research, administration, and management of occupational therapy services. Students will experience a variety of clients across the lifespan and to a variety of settings.

Doctoral Experiential Capstone
The student will complete an individual 14-week (560 hours) capstone experience 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. Each student will concurrently complete an individual capstone project to demonstrate synthesis and application of knowledge gained. The goal of the doctoral experiential capstone is to provide an in-depth exposure to one or more of the following: clinical practice skills, research skills, administration, leadership, program and policy development, advocacy, education, and theory development.

Curriculum subject to change without notice.

Occupational Therapy Website