University of the Sciences offers a doctor of occupational therapy (DrOT) degree. Students are eligible for entry into the program in one of three ways: Accelerated Pathway (undergraduate entry) and Post Baccalaureate. 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 post-baccalaureate doctor of occupational therapy (PBDrOT) program is for students who hold an earned bachelor’s degree in one of the sciences, sociology, psychology, or other related fields. You attend class full-time and must complete 131 hours of coursework. If you have taken courses in equivalent material, you may be given credit for individual courses, based on review of material by the department chair. The curriculum for 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 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.
Applicants with a bachelor’s degree will be required to enter the program with some basic preparation for the professional Doctorate in Occupational Therapy (DrOT) program. This includes the following prerequisite courses:
- 2 semesters of Anatomy and Physiology
- 1 semester of Abnormal Psychology
- 1 semester of either Sociology or Cultural Anthropology
- 1 semester of Physics (with or without a lab)
- 1 semester of Human Growth and Development through the Life Span.
- 1 semester of Statistics
Students are required to maintain an overall 3.0 GPA with all grades above a B- throughout the professional phase of the program.
Students may get credit for the above courses through a CLEP process. In some rare instances, credit may be given for life experience.
Admission to the Post-Baccalaureate DrOT Program
To be considered for admission to the post-baccalaureate DrOT program, a student must:
- Have an earned baccalaureate degree from a recognized institution of higher learning.
- Have completed the following prerequisite course requirements:
- 2 semesters of anatomy and physiology
- 1 semester of abnormal psychology
- 1 semester of either sociology or cultural anthropology
- 1 semester of physics (with or without a lab)
- 1 semester of statistics
- 1 semester of human growth and development through the life span
- Obtain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 in the baccalaureate degree program.
- Be fluent in both spoken and written English.
Students may get credit for the above courses through a CLEP process. In some instances, credit may be given for life experience.
Please note that the program begins with an intensive neuroscience course, which starts in late May. Prerequisites should be completed by the end of May.
University of the Sciences recognizes that a diverse campus community is essential to enriching intellectual exchanges and enhancing cultural understanding and, as such, values equality of opportunity, mutual respect, and diversity. The University does not discriminate in admission, employment, or administration of its programs on the basis of gender, age, disability, race, religion, creed, national origin, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or in violation of federal, state, and local laws or executive orders.
Post-Baccalaureate DrOT Degree Requirements
Occupational Therapy Concentration Track
Students will choose one of the following concentration tracks:
Post-Baccalaureate DrOT Curriculum Plan