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Occupational Therapy Doctorate Program


The clinical Doctorate in Occupational Therapy (OTD) is a post-professional degree that provides you with advanced skills and knowledge to enhance your current practice and prepares you to be an innovator in traditional and emerging areas of occupational therapy. You will also have the opportunity to develop or refine your academic and clinical teaching skills.

Program Length

If you have a BS in another field and specific prerequisite credits Apply to EMOT and complete a master’s degree, then continue on to the OTD program
  • EMOT: 2 years of entry-level and graduate coursework and 2 full-time Level II Fieldwork rotations (12 weeks each)
  • OTD: Minimum of 33 credits depending on experience and whether it is completed full- or part-time**
  • EMOT: 2 years full-time
  • OTD: 12 months and one semester full-time (varies if part-time)
  • Total: 3 years and one semester
    (varies if part-time)

…for Master’s Prepared Students

If you have a master’s in OT (or a bachelor’s
in OT and a master’s in another field) and have completed an advanced OT certificate
at Jefferson
Apply to the OTD program (The 10-12 credits completed in the certificate program will be applied to the degree)
If you have a master’s in OT
(or a bachelor’s in OT and a master’s
in another field)
Apply to the OTD program
OTD Requirements Length of OTD Program
  • Minimum of 33 credits depending on experience and whether it is completed full- or part-time**
12 months and one semester full-time
(varies if part-time)

* Coursework is focused on clinical reasoning, evidence-based practice and use of theory and occupation in achieving therapeutic outcomes.

** Total number of credits varies because students with less than 3 years of experience take a 6-credit fellowship; all others take a 3-credit fellowship. Students take an OTD seminar each semester of enrollment.


Review tuition costs here.

Jefferson alumni receive a 25% tuition discount. Employers may have funds budgeted to pay for tuition, either as tuition reimbursement programs or continuing education funds. For information about how to pay tuition and a monthly payment program click here.

The OTD courses are taught by nationally and internationally recognized faculty at Jefferson as well as additional clinical faculty who will serve as mentors in the Clinical Fellowship.


The OTD is an online program and it is available to international students as long as they are abroad and have earned their entry-level degree in occupational therapy at a WFOT-approved school The OTD is not available to international students who are in the U.S. in F or J status, due to federal regulations, as follows:

  • International students who are in the U.S. in F or J status are restricted to taking one online course per term per federal regulations.
  • International students in F or J status may not enroll as part-time students.

These federal regulations preclude admission to the OTD by international students who are residing in the U.S. on F or J status.

For international student admissions information, please go to the Office of Admissions website.

Other resources for international students can be found on the Office of International Affairs website.


3.0 cumulative average in your completed BS, MS or MA program.
*If bachelor's or master’s degree GPA is below 3.0, take the GRE or MAT.

Applicants who graduated from a foreign OT program that is a member of WFOT may be considered for admission without a bachelor’s degree if they have established equivalency as determined by the admission coordinator. In addition to meeting academic standards and submitting all appropriate documentation (including course-by-course evaluation of foreign transcripts), the following supplemental criteria are required:

  • Proof of NBCOT Certification
  • Work History - at least 3 years of documented work as a practicing occupational therapist in the United States
  • Evidence of Continuing Education - at least 36  Professional Development Units (PDU's) within the past three years

Taking Courses as a Non-matriculated Student

Complete the non-matriculated student form and fax to (215) 503-2950 for faculty signature.


Core Courses, including an OTD seminar each semester to facilitate and integrate overall learning while enhancing clinical reasoning and practice skills. 15-21 credits
Visionary Practice Development and Evaluation 3
Advanced Level Evidence-Based Practice 3
Leadership:  Moving Beyond Traditional Roles 3
OTD Seminar (taken each Fall and Spring semester except during the Fellowship) 1
Advanced Practice Courses*/td> 9-12 credits
Children and Their Families in Context
(includes early intervention and school age practice, consultation and collaboration, and sensory integration treatment and clinical research).
9-12 credits

Students typically use courses from
the Certificate programs to fulfill
elective requirements for the OTD
(1 certificate = 10-12 credits) .
Health and Community Participation
(includes healthy aging, public health, community mental health, community participation with chronic conditions).
Rehabilitation and Disability Studies
(includes neuroscience, hand therapy**).
Teaching in the Digital Age (designed to provide a foundation for the development of further knowledge and skill for academic and/or clinical teaching roles
Clinical Research Ind. Study
(students develop additional background knowledge in research or
Other [TJU or transfer] - includes but is not limited to: Other Jefferson graduate courses in addition to courses transferred in from other schools
* Students can choose from more than 1 advanced practice cluster to meet the 9-12 credit requirement.

**Students frequently transfer in credits from the Drexel Hand and Upper Quarter Certificate to meet elective requirements for advanced practice in hand rehabilitation
Clinical Fellowship and Capstone in which students have the opportunity to work with leaders in their selected specialty area. The capstone project integrates knowledge and skills with an in-depth practice experience. 6-9 credits
Clinical Fellowship (The number of credits required for the clinical fellowship is determined based on the student’s experience.) 3-6
Capstone Project 3

You can check currently offered classes through the Banner schedule. Search for Occupational Therapy, and this will give you a list of classes. Also, you can check the OTD course descriptions for general information as to when classes are typically offered.

Online Learning

We have designed our OTD program so that it is online, to meet the needs of busy professionals. The way this works is as follows: we have on campus and virtual sessions once at the beginning of each semester on a Saturday and once near the end of each semester (also on a weekend day). Students may attend these sessions virtually, on-campus, or complete an alternate assignment.

All the classes thus can be completed entirely online. The format is primarily asynchronous (assignments done at your own pace at a time convenient for you), with some discussions or meetings with faculty mentors using synchronous learning (online at the same time). There will be an orientation session prior to your first class (held online), so that you can learn exactly how the online learning activities work and practice so that you are comfortable working online. Of course, additional support is available after this orientation.

Susan Toth-Cohen, PhD, OTR/L

Susan Toth-Cohen,

Director, OT Doctoral Program Professor

Department of Occupational Therapy
901 Walnut Street
6th floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 503-9610

For more information about the program or to discuss your personal plan for the OTD, contact: Susan Toth-Cohen, PhD, OTR/L at, or (215) 503-9610 to talk by telephone or to set up a meeting (in-person or via web chat).

Donald Sharples
Admissions Counselor (215) 503-1044 donald.sharples

Students enrolling in this certificate program are not eligible for financial aid.

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