A 4-year-old boy jumps up in the air from a ball pit while an occupational therapy student stands ready to catch him

Entry-Level Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy

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Introduction

Doing things we want to do, need to do, and love to do allows us to live life to the fullest. As health professionals, occupational therapists work with individuals and populations to enhance, support and help restore meaningful engagement in valued activities that may otherwise be compromised by health, age, injury, illness or circumstances. Through doing, occupational therapists promote health and participation for people across the lifespan. Examples include engaging in play and developing social skills among children; building resilience and learning life skills as adolescents; returning to productive work and leisure pursuits after an illness as adults; and driving and maintaining safety and independence in one’s home as older adults.

Program Overview

Our Entry-Level Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program prepares students with a breadth and depth of knowledge and skills to practice autonomously or collaboratively, within various health care, educational and social systems. Our curriculum consists of three distinct elements:

Integrative Didactics: Dynamic lectures and seminars integrated with laboratory and immersive clinical experiences.

Fieldwork or Clinicals: Two 12-week, full-time fieldwork experiences designed to prepare students for entry-level practice.

Doctoral Capstone: A 14-week doctoral capstone experience combined with a scholarly project that represents in-depth knowledge in occupational therapy.

The Entry-Level Professional OTD program is a full-time, intensive program designed to be completed in 10 terms or 3 years (Fall, Spring, Summer). Didactic coursework is delivered using a combination of face-to-face and online/hybrid learning.  

By the Numbers

1st


Breaking New Ground

This is the first entry-level professional doctorate program in Connecticut, built on 50 years of tradition and excellence in OT education.

24%


In Demand

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook growth rate for OT professionals from 2016 to 2026 is 24%. The average rate for all occupations is 7%.

5


AOTA Fellows

Being an American Occupational Therapy Association fellow provides these faculty with a vast network of information and resources toward keeping pace with an evolving profession.

Mission and Learning Outcomes

The Mission of the Department of Occupational Therapy at Quinnipiac University is to provide high quality education to develop occupational therapy practitioner-scholars at both entry and advanced practice levels, who possess broad-based knowledge and skills to influence meaningful change in the health and functioning of individuals, populations, and communities.

We envision to be recognized for our programs that are models for innovative occupational therapy practice; faculty who are role models in practice, service leadership, teaching and clinical scholarship; and graduates who are forward thinkers, compassionate, and competent occupational therapists. We do so by striving for excellence in educating students to meet and exceed our program learning outcomes.

Upon completion of the Entry-Level Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy program, students will demonstrate the following competencies:

An occupational therapy student is propelled upwards in a blue sling in a model bathroom assisted by a student and professor

First-rate facilities

Occupational therapy students, from left, Anna Kohli ‘19, and Mackenzie Ormiston ‘19, with Clinical Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy Valerie Strange, right, in the School of Health Sciences’ model apartment on the North Haven Campus.

  • Advocacy: Advocate for inclusion and the distinct value of occupational therapy.
  • OT Process: Apply occupation-centered principles and effective professional/clinical reasoning in the occupational therapy process.
  • Systems: Demonstrate leadership and competent performance of occupational therapy roles across traditional and emerging settings and systems.
  • Evidence-Based Practice: Evaluate and synthesize evidence to inform practice.
  • Leadership and Professionalism: Commit to the ongoing development of leadership skills with an OT professional identity within the context of interprofessional practice.
  • Synthesis of Core Knowledge: Synthesize and articulate the integral relationship among occupation, health and participation.

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A girl missing an arm smiles as she plays on a basketball court during Camp No Limits, an annual camp that supports children affected by limb loss

No limits

Our occupational therapy and physical therapy programs host Camp No Limits, an annual camp that supports children affected by limb loss and their families.

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Curriculum and Requirements

Curriculum

The Entry-Level Professional OTD curriculum is reviewed regularly and subject to modification in both content and credit as deemed necessary to maintain a high-quality educational experience and to keep current with best practices in the profession.

Fieldwork Expectations

All students are responsible for transportation to all fieldwork experiences. All students are required to maintain a viable health insurance, malpractice insurance, CPR certification and current immunization record according to their fieldwork placements. A fieldwork site may have additional requirements as part of its affiliation agreement such as background checks and site-specific mandatory in-services. Failure to comply with fieldwork requirements may negatively impact a student's ability to participate in fieldwork. The department also requires current membership with the American Occupational Therapy Association.

Capstone Expectations

All students are required to complete a capstone experience and a capstone project.

  • CAPSTONE EXPERIENCE: The capstone experience is a mentored process by an individual with demonstrated expertise in the student's area of interest. The capstone experience may occur in a traditional/clinical site or non-traditional/non-clinical site and is intended for the implementation of the capstone project and the integration of learning. Students are responsible for transportation to all capstone experiences. All students are required to maintain a viable health insurance, malpractice insurance, CPR certification and current immunization record according to their capstone placements. A capstone site may have additional requirements as part of its affiliation agreement or memorandum of understanding such as background checks and site-specific mandatory in-services. Failure to comply with capstone experiential requirements may negatively impact a student's ability to participate. 
  • CAPSTONE PROJECT: The doctoral capstone project is an opportunity for students to demonstrate in-depth knowledge in occupational therapy and the attainment of all program learning outcomes. The project concludes in a scholarly manuscript and oral presentation to the occupational therapy practice community.

Progression, Retention and Graduation Requirements

All policies and procedures regarding progression, retention and graduation are found in the OTD Student Handbook. These policies and procedures are routinely reviewed with the students at the beginning of each semester and/or during advising.

Grade and Course Sequence Requirements

To progress through the program, students must meet the minimum semester GPA of 3.2 and must earn a grade of B- or above in all lecture courses and B+ or above in all fieldwork level I and laboratory courses. In addition, all students must acquire a “Pass” in their fieldwork level II. Failing to meet the aforementioned requirements will result in a referral to the Academic Progression and Retention Committee (PRC). The outcome of such referral may be: program probation with course remediation; a program probation with a course repeat (and repay); or a program dismissal.

All courses must be taken sequentially as indicated in the program of study. Students may request in writing to the department chairperson (or designee), any deviations from the course sequence, waivers from occupational therapy courses, and/or transfer credits from other occupational therapy programs. All requests must be approved by the APRC and the department chairperson.

Fieldwork Requirements
  1. Students must complete all the required didactic coursework and be in good academic standing prior to starting Level II Fieldwork.
  2. All Level II Fieldwork experiences must be completed within 12 months following completion of the didactic portion of the program.
Capstone Requirements
  1. Students must complete all preparatory coursework and Level II Fieldwork, be in good academic standing, and pass a comprehensive exam prior to starting the Doctoral Capstone Experience and Project.
  2. The Doctoral Capstone Experience and Project must be completed within 12 months following the successful passing of the comprehensive exam.

Successful completion of the Doctoral Capstone Experience and Project is necessary for graduation with the degree of Doctor of Occupational Therapy.

Additional course details
Explore descriptions, schedule and instructor information using the Course Finder tool.

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An occupational therapy student works with a patient sitting in a wheel chair and wearing a hospital gown

A helping hand

Occupational therapy student Sarah Lawrence works with patient Keith Watson at Gaylord Hospital in Wallingford, Connecticut, during a clinical rotation.

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Accreditation

The Entry-Level Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program at Quinnipiac University has applied for accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is 301-652-AOTA and its web address is acoteonline.org.

The program must be granted Candidacy Status, 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 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.

Contact Us

If you are considering one of Quinnipiac‘s outstanding graduate programs, you‘re on your way to joining a graduate community committed to academic excellence and professional preparation at the highest level.

Please reach out to us with questions about the application process.

Phone: 203-582-8672 or 800-462-1944
Email: graduate@qu.edu
Fax: 203-582-3443

Mail: Quinnipiac University
Office of Graduate Admissions, NH-GRD
275 Mount Carmel Avenue
Hamden, CT 06518-1940