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    University of the Sciences in Philadelphia
   
 
  Nov 22, 2017
 
 
    
2017-2018 University Catalog

Occupational Therapy – Accelerated Pathway Doctor of Occupational Therapy (DrOT)


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University of the Sciences offers a doctor of occupational therapy (DrOT) degree.  Students are eligible to begin coursework in the program at one of three entry points: Accelerated Pathway (undergraduate entry; BSHS/DrOT)) and Post Baccalaureate (PBDrOT). There is also an online DrOT program available for current occupational therapists who hold a Master’s degree in occupational therapy.

The on campus DrOT programs (Accelerated Pathway and Post Baccalaureate) each allow students to concentrate in one of two tracks: community-based practice or leadership.  

The curriculum for the first and second years of the Accelerated Pathway to the DrOT program (BSHS/DrOT) provides a broad foundation of natural science, social science, and humanities upon which the professional courses are structured. The professional component of the curriculum is based on the theories of occupation and occupational therapy, which emphasize the importance of meaning and purpose in goal-directed activities or occupations. The courses will actively engage the student in experiential learning so that knowledge, skills, and attitudes are integrated by “doing.”

In addition to instruction provided by occupational therapy and other University faculty, the resources of clinical affiliates in community centers, community outreach programs, long-term care facilities, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and schools in the Greater Philadelphia area and neighboring states will be used for many clinical experiences. There are two three-month clinical education components to the curriculum that may be scheduled throughout the United States. In addition, doctoral students complete a four-month experiential field experience, which may also be scheduled throughout the United States. Please note that prior fieldwork or work experience may not be substituted for the experiential field experience. In the event that a current work setting is used to satisfy the 16-week requirement, the student must develop a plan in collaboration with the fieldwork coordinator to ensure that additional experiential activities are conducted at the work site to meet the requirements of the in-depth doctoral experiential component.

Effective 2014, all states in the United States require a license to practice occupational therapy. Each state also has specific legislation describing the process for obtaining a license to practice and specific licensure application requirements. The primary criterion for obtaining a license in any state is passing the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) examination. In order to be eligible to take the certification exam, you must complete all MOT or DrOT program requirements and all fieldwork must be satisfied within eighteen months of completion of the academic work. Currently, a master’s degree in occupational therapy is the minimum degree level required of those entering the field.  Please note that a felony conviction may delay or prohibit certification through NBCOT and could prevent state licensure.

Students who are applying to take the NBCOT exam are required to pass a NBCOT practice exam and present evidence of passing to the Occupational Therapy Department chairperson with the exam application. Applications will not be processed and submitted to NBCOT without this evidence.

The doctor of occupational therapy (DrOT) program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE), a specialized accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. If you have questions or comments, please contact ACOTE, c/o Accreditation Dept., AOTA, 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449, www.acoteonline.org, or 301.652.6611 ext. 2914.

Accelerated Pathway DrOT Program


Program Admission Criteria


Qualified students admitted to the freshman year will be able to identify occupational therapy as their major field of study. Students in the Accelerated BSHS/DrOT program who achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 AND a cumulative GPA of 3.00 in all courses with an OT prefix and prerequisites for the DrOT program (identified below) by the end of the spring semester of their second year are guaranteed a place in the professional phase of the occupational therapy curriculum.

Applicants from other undergraduate majors and transfer students are also welcome. The grade level to which transfer students are assigned will depend on the prerequisites they have completed, but the minimum residency requirement is four years. All conditions regarding guaranteed admission into the professional curriculum also apply to transfer students admitted to the first or second year.

In addition to the academic and personal qualifications required of students applying for the program, transfer applicants will also be expected to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of occupational therapy gained from observation, reading, and personal or family experiences with occupational therapy practice. Applicants are encouraged to have volunteer/observation experience in occupational therapy.

Students who follow the accelerated pathway to the DrOT curriculum will earn their BSHS in 3 1/2 years. In order to progress in the DrOT program following the fall semester of the second professional year (P2), students in the accelerated pathway must:

  • Earn the BSHS degree at University of the Sciences.
  • Obtain a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher in University of the Sciences’ BSHS program.
  • Obtain a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher in courses in the BSHS program that have OT prefixes or that serve as prerequisites for the DrOT program.

Program Retention Policy


Students must achieve a minimum grade of “C” (or “P” in pass/fail courses) in all courses with the prefix OT in order to progress in the occupational therapy curriculum. If the student earns a “C-” or “D” grade (“D+,” “D,” “D-”) in a course with the prefix OT, the student must repeat the course, earning a grade of “C” or better. The student will be unable to progress to any course for which that course is a prerequisite until the grade of “C” or better is earned. This may impact full-time status and progression in fieldwork and delay the student’s overall progress in the curriculum.

If a student in the pre-professional phase of the curriculum (U1 or U2) earns a grade of “C-” or lower in a course with an OT prefix, that student will be required to meet with the program director for the doctoral program, or designee, to develop a plan for satisfactorily completing the course prior to progressing into the professional phase of the curriculum.

A student may attempt an OT course a maximum of two times to achieve a grade of “C” or higher. An attempt is defined as registered for the course at the end of the drop/add period. If the student does not achieve the required “C” or better grade in the OT course after attempting the course a second time, the student will be dropped from the program. Students may reattempt no more than two courses with an OT prefix.

If a student receives a grade of “F” in any course with an OT prefix during the professional phase of the curriculum, the student will be dropped from the OT program. Further, if a student in the professional phase of the curriculum receives two “C-” or “D” grades (“D-,” “D,” “D+”) in one semester, he/she will be dropped from the OT program. Students who are dropped from the program prior to completion of the BSHS degree have the option to change their major to BSHS in health science or another undergraduate option; please refer to the procedures for Changing Majors as outlined in the USciences Student Handbook and University Catalog. Students who have completed the BSHS degree are not eligible for this retention policy and will be administratively withdrawn from the University.

Students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 in courses with an OT prefix and program prerequisite courses (defined above) during P1–P4. Students who fail to achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 will be placed on program probation at the end of the semester. This includes summer semesters in which the student is enrolled in coursework specified in the BSHS/DrOT accelerated program curriculum plan. A student who receives a third program probation will be dropped from the program.

A student cannot participate in Level II fieldwork while on probation. Program probation that delays Level II fieldwork will result in a revised schedule and a delay in graduation.

Dropped from Program


Any student who is dropped from the program may petition the faculty to be readmitted to the BSHS/DrOT accelerated program after a period of one year. The student must demonstrate a clear rationale as to why he/she should be readmitted to the program. There is no obligation for the faculty to readmit a student who has been dropped from the program.

Fieldwork Completion Time


Level IIa and Level IIb fieldwork experiences must be completed within 18 months of the completion of prerequisite coursework.

OT 697 - Doctoral Experiential Component must be completed within 18 months of the completion of didactic coursework.

Maximum Period of Candidacy to Pursue the DrOT


The accelerated pathway to the DrOT program is designed to be completed in 2½ years (including one summer session) after completion of the BSHS in health science degree (3½ years) at USciences. While it is anticipated that most students will graduate within the expected 2½ years, periodically unforeseen circumstances occur. Therefore, students in the accelerated pathway will be given a period of 4½ years to complete the program.

BSHS/DrOT Accelerated Program Degree Requirements


Students entering in Catalog Years 2017 and beyond —with general education.

Occupational Therapy Courses


Occupational Therapy Concentration Track


Students will choose one of the following concentration tracks:

BSHS/DrOT Accelerated Program Curriculum Plan


Students entering in Catalog Years 2017 and beyond —with general education.

First Year (U1)


Second Year (U2)


Fall Semester


  • General Education Humanities or Free Elective Credits: 3
  • Multidisciplinary Inquiry Requirement Credits: 3

Credits/Semester: 17


Spring Semester


  • General Education Humanities or Free Elective Credits: 3
  • Multidisciplinary Inquire Requirement Credits: 3

Credits/Semester: 17


Third Year (P1)


Summer Semester


Credits/Semester: 4–6


Credits/Semester: 16


Credits/Semester: 17


Fourth Year (P2)


Credits/Semester: 4


Credits/Semester: 16


Total credits to receive a BSHS degree: 123


Credits/Semester: 12


Fifth Year (P3)


Concentration Tracks:


Students will choose one of the following:

Credits/Semester: 12


Credits/Semester: 12


Sixth Year (P4)


Summer Semester


Credits/Semester: 6


Concentration Tracks:


Students will choose one of the following:

Credits/Semester: 14


Credits/Semester: 12


Total credits to receive a DrOT: 195


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