Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University
Jefferson College of Rehabilitation Sciences
Department of Occupational Therapy


The curriculum for a Post-Professional Doctorate in Occupational Therapy (PPOTD) provides an individualized plan of study with electives that match your interests and goals, a fellowship program and a capstone project. Electives include experience-based courses in clinical and academic teaching. General areas of advanced practice that can serve as a focal point for the PPOTD are:

  • Children and Their Families in Context (includes early intervention & school age practice, consultation & collaboration and sensory integration treatment & clinical research)
  • Teaching in the Digital Age (includes college teaching, clinical teaching, bringing evidence based practice into classroom and clinic)
  • 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*)

Within the broad areas, elective coursework in the areas of Autism, Hand Rehabilitation, Neuroscience, and Teaching, as well as Health Literacy and Cultural Competence and Humility can be applied. Please see the courses listed in each of the Advanced Practice Certificates, which serve as electives for the PPOTD program.

Total Number of Credits to Earn an OTD

Level of Study Minimum Credits
Bachelor's or post-baccalaureate certificate in OT to PP-OTD 46
Master's to PP-OTD 33

Required Courses for Students Entering without an MS (13 credits)

Students entering our program with a BS or post-baccalaureate certificate in OT must take the following courses before beginning their doctorate-level core courses.

Course Title Semester Offered Credits
UNC Evidence Based Practice Tutorial  All semesters 0
Research Methods and Mentorship All except Summer II 4
Leading Edge Occupational Therapy Practice Fall, Spring 3
Advanced Occupational Therapy Practicum *
All except Summer II 6

* A total of 6 credits can be earned for documented clinical practice experience since graduation. Waiver is contingent on completion of appropriate clinical practice forms and requires that students register for the Advanced Occupational Therapy Practicum course. Students also must be members of the America Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).

Core Courses (minimum 15 credits)

Students entering with an MS begin with these courses. Those entering with BS may take these courses after completing the above requirements.

Course Title Semester Offered Credits
Advanced Level Evidence-Based Practice (Adv. EBP) Fall 3
Leadership: Moving Beyond Traditional Roles Spring 3
Visionary Practice Development and Evaluation *
Fall, Spring 3
OTD Seminars A, B, and C ** All 3
Seminar in Clinical Research All 3

* Prerequisites: Adv. EBP and Leadership

** 1 credit each, offered each semester. B and C are taken later in student's course of study, after choosing a topic for the Fellowship and Capstone.

Course Descriptions

  • Visionary Practice Development and Evaluation  enables you to create and evaluate innovative programs designed to meet identified needs of patients/clients.
  • Advanced Level Evidence Based Practice (EBP) focuses on skills to conduct EBP research and program evaluation within clinic and community settings.
  • Leadership: Moving Beyond Traditional Roles is designed to advance your skills in leadership, entrepreneurship, teaching, health policy, and public health.
  • PP-OTD Seminar (offered sequentially throughout the program) provides opportunities to develop skills needed for advanced practice, including development of supporting evidence, theory, and a timeline for the final doctoral project (Fellowship and Capstone). These seminars are offered as PP-OTD Seminar A (introduction) and P-POTD Seminars B and C, which culminate in a Fellowship proposal that forms the basis for the final doctoral project.

Advanced Practice Courses (minimum 9 credits)

OT 797 Seminar in Advanced Practice. Course topics include: Autism, Health & Wellness, College Teaching in the Digital Age, Research and Practice in Gerontology, Disability Studies and Cultural Competence. Two advanced practice clusters are offered each semester.

Students can choose from more than one advanced practice cluster to meet the 9-12 credit requirement. In addition to the OT 797 Seminar in Advanced Practice courses, students may take other Thomas Jefferson University graduate electives or courses transferred in from other accredited schools.

Areas of Study
Children and Their Families in Context
Health and Community Participation 
Rehabilitation and Disability Studies
Teaching in the Digital Age

Clinical Fellowship & Capstone (6-9 credits)

Course Title Semester Offered Credits
Clinical Fellowship * All 3-6
Capstone Project  All 3

* Students with less than three years of experience in Occupational Therapy take six fellowship credits. Students with more than three need only take three.