Doctor of Occupational Therapy, OTD
Program Length and Locations
The program is eight semesters in length, (33 months) starting in August and ending three years later in May. The program is a hybrid format. We admit a single cohort per year which is offered via a combination of innovative technology, online learning, and face-to-face delivery at UNMC in Omaha and UNMC Health Science Education Complex (HSEC) in Kearney.
Degree Requirements (Academic 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 as failing within 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 bypassing all didactic work, laboratory practica, fieldwork education, and doctoral experiential capstone. Course instructors assess the standing of a student in any course as assessed by examination, laboratory and clinical performance, class participation, written assignment, personal observation, and other methods of evaluation.
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.
Curriculum Overview - PDF Curricular Layout
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 (see the virtual tour of the Clinical Skills Center in the Michael Sorrell Center at their website). 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. 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.
Fieldwork and doctoral experiences are scheduled in advance and are subject to change at the discretion of the site or the office OT program faculty. Some sites may require an assigned student to undergo a criminal background check and/or drug screening prior to participation in a clinical education experience. Please anticipate travel and living expenses for fieldwork and doctoral experiential capstone.
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 a 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 that must be started after completion of all coursework and Level II fieldwork. 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.
The US Department of Education requires UNMC to make the following disclosures to applicants who are interested in or enrolled in degree programs that lead to state licensure or certification.
Certification and licensure requirements differ from state to state. We are required to notify you if the program you are interested in or enrolled in will meet educational requirements to apply for certification or licensure in your home state. The official categories are: Meets; Does Not Meet; and Have Not Made a Determination if it Does or Does Not Meet.
A Does Not Meet or Have Not Made a Determination status does not indicate that you will be unable to obtain certification or licensure in your home state. Please check with your advisor, department chair, or certification officer for further details. Contact information for each program is found in the program sections below.
Common causes for a Does Not Meet or Have Not Made a Determination include the following:
- Your home state certification agency requires a transcript review prior to application for certification.
- Your home state does not have an equivalent for an endorsement completed in Nebraska.
- Your home state requires you to take an additional course or exam specific to that state’s history or laws.
These courses and exams are not offered in Nebraska.
Doctor of Occupational Therapy, OTD Program
All candidates for licensure as an occupational therapist in the state of Nebraska must have graduated from a program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). Students graduating from an ACOTE® accredited occupational therapy program are eligible to take the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) certification exam and apply for licensure in all states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure. For more information regarding state qualifications and licensure requirements, please refer to the AOTA State Licensure webpage.
States other than Nebraska may have additional requirements for licensure. Requirements such as fingerprinting, background checks, and other requirements may vary between states.
This information is current as of November 12, 2020. It is the responsibility of the student to confirm licensure eligibility.
For further information, contact:
Nancy Krusen 402.559.7428
Additional information and resources regarding licensure is available from the American Occupational Therapy Association webpage.