Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate, Online


  • College of Rehabilitation Sciences

Degree Earned

  • Doctorate

Program Length


Program Type

  • Online


Director's Message

Marie-Christine Potvin, PhD, OTR/L | Director, PP-OTD Program

Thank you for your interest in the Jefferson Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate (PPOTD) program. Our mission is to create opportunities for advanced practitioners to take leadership roles across diverse areas of practice. After completing the Program, you will have the skills and knowledge to work in many different arenas to promote participation using occupational science in combination with knowledge from diverse fields such as business, management, leadership, epidemiology, rehabilitation, public health and neuroscience.

As a graduate of the Jefferson University PPOTD program, you will be poised to serve as a leader in the clinical community, assume leadership positions in health care and education, and conduct clinical research that translates basic science into evidence-based, exemplary patient care.

I ask you to consider our PP-OTD, because:

  • We offer highly individualized planning and will help you create a career trajectory that is right for you.
  • We are seated within a nationally and internationally known Department with an excellent reputation, known for the rigor and innovativeness of its programs.
  • Our Program is designed for the busy professional, with online classes and opportunities to learn from experts on our faculty and in our clinical community according to a schedule that can work for you. We also offer credit for leadership and clinical experience.

If you think our Program may be right for you, email me with further questions or contact me to set up a meeting. Meeting formats are flexible and can take place in person, by telephone, videoconference or web chat. We hope you will consider joining us and helping us to create a new vision of our profession!

Program Requirements & Length


Minimum of 24 months and one semester full-time * 


Students with a BS in another field (and specific prerequisite credits) should apply to our Entry-Level MS Program in Occupational Therapy (EMOT) and complete a Master’s degree, then continue on to the PP-OTD program.

EMOT requires two years of entry-level and graduate coursework and two full-time Level II Fieldwork rotations (12 weeks each).

The PPOTD requires a minimum of 46 credits for students with a Bachelor’s degree, depending on experience and whether the student enrolls full- or part-time. **

The PPOTD requires development of a substantive Doctoral Fellowship and Capstone that must be presented and approved prior to implementation.


Minimum of 24 months and one semester full-time * 


Students with an MS in OT (or a BS in OT and MS in another field) and have completed an Advanced Practice Certificate at Thomas Jefferson University may apply to the PPOTD program. (The 10-12 credits completed in the certificate program will be applied to the PPOTD degree.)

The PPOTD requires development of a substantive Doctoral Fellowship and Capstone that must be presented and approved prior to implementation.

* Length of program depends on pace through the program and requires successful completion of the doctoral Fellowship proposal, followed by Fellowship and Capstone courses. Must be completed within seven (7) years.

** Total number of credits varies because students with less than three (3) years of experience at the time they begin their fellowship will take a 6-credit fellowship. All others take a 3-credit fellowship. Students take a series of PP-OTD seminars (A, B, and C) to advance their progress toward the final doctoral project.  

Online Learning

We designed our online PPOTD program to meet the needs of busy professionals. We have online sessions for our learning community once at the beginning of each semester and once near the end of each semester (on a Saturday). Students also may attend the learning community session in-person at the beginning of Fall semester and the end of Spring semester if desired. No on-campus participation is required. Students complete a brief assignment for each session. Students unable to attend the sessions synchronously may arrange alternate assignments as necessary.

All classes can be completed entirely online, except courses for the Hand and Upper Limb Certificate. 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 is an orientation session prior to your first class (held online), so that you can learn exactly how the online learning activities work. Additional support is available throughout the program.

International Students

The PPOTD program 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 PPOTD program is not available to international students who are in the U.S. in F or J status, due to federal regulations:

  • 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

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.


Tuition is assessed per credit at the graduate level. Please visit the University's tuition page to view the current fees. Use the drop down menu to choose Jefferson College of Health Professions and Occupational Therapy Doctoral Program to view current per credit tuition rate. University technology and library fees are assessed each semester.

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. More information about how to pay tuition and a monthly payment program.

We have also have an Advanced Education Grants Program to assist those with very limited or no financial assistance from employers who show strong potential as leaders and change agents for occupational therapy.