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.
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
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:
- 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.
Curriculum and Requirements
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.
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.
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.
- Students must complete all the required didactic coursework and be in good academic standing prior to starting Level II Fieldwork.
- All Level II Fieldwork experiences must be completed within 12 months following completion of the didactic portion of the program.
- 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.
- 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.
1. Bachelor’s degree prior to matriculation into the OTD program.
2. A minimum GPA of 3.0. The most competitive applicants will possess a cumulative GPA of 3.25.
3. A minimum grade of B- or better in all the prerequisites, completed within 8 years of application from a regionally accredited institution.
4. A minimum of 40 verifiable observation hours in the past 3 years. These hours may be a combination of traditional/clinical and nontraditional/nonclinical settings and populations.
5. Three letters of recommendation, with at least one from an academic reference, and at least one from a supervisor in an employee or volunteer capacity.
6. A letter of intent outlining reasons for pursuing an entry-level professional OTD and how Quinnipiac may assist them in pursuit of their career goals.
7. Successful in-person interview with the OTD Admissions Committee.
The GRE is not required. However, students may submit scores if they believe it can enhance the strength of their application.
At the time of application, prerequisites may be in progress or pending, but must be completed in May before starting the OTD program. Qualified candidates whose prerequisites are in progress or pending may be granted conditional acceptance until all prerequisites are satisfactorily met. All prerequisites must have a grade of B- or better. The OTD prerequisites are as follows:
- 2 semesters of Anatomy and Physiology with Lab (8 credits)
- 1 semester of Physics with Lab (4 credits)
- 1-2 semesters of Lifespan Development including Child Development and Adult Development (3-6 credits)
- 1 semester of Abnormal Psychology (3 credits)
- 1 semester of Biostatistics or Statistics for Social and Behavioral Sciences (3 credits)
The following courses are not required but strongly recommended:
- Coursework on the disease process (e.g., Pathophysiology, Human Health and Disease, Biology of Aging, etc.)
- Coursework on health systems, health policy, or leadership
- Humanities: Philosophy, Ethics and courses on Western thought and ideas
- Social Sciences: Sociology, Anthropology and courses relevant to the study of various cultures and society
Applications are accepted to the Entry-Level Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy program on a rolling basis. As the program begins in the Summer I session, applications are accepted until January 15 of the same year the applicant plans to matriculate. Interviews are required and offered to the most qualified candidates. Applicants are notified of their acceptance by March 1.
All prospective OTD students, internal or external to Quinnipiac, must apply through the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application System (OTCAS).
All application materials, including official transcripts from all undergraduate, graduate and professional schools, letters of recommendation, letter of intent, etc. should be submitted directly to OTCAS.
The deadline for a complete application to OTCAS is January 15. Quinnipiac does not require a supplemental application.
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.
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
Mail: Quinnipiac University
Office of Graduate Admissions, NH-GRD
275 Mount Carmel Avenue
Hamden, CT 06518-1940