Occupational Therapy, O.T.D.


Learn more about the Clinical Doctorate in Occupational Therapy.

About the Program

The Clinical Doctorate in Occupational Therapy (O.T.D.) is a post-professional non-research-based doctorate in occupational therapy. It establishes advanced clinical expertise and leadership in the practice of occupational therapy. The objectives of the program are to create:

  • Occupational therapists who use, promote, and advance client-centered and evidenced-based practices.
  • Broad thinkers who see occupational therapy’s role as promoting a person’s participation in society in consideration of societal needs, policy, and trends.
  • Inspired scholarly thinkers who can bring clinically relevant and fresh perspectives to a situation. 
  • Innovators and leaders who can enact individual action and social reform to foster productive and meaningful living.

The O.T.D. program is offered in a flexible-distance education format with two to three on-campus sessions per year. Students are required to attend the on-campus sessions to launch and wrap up the coursework. Orientation, advisement, and introductions to faculty are also provided during on-campus sessions.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 4 years, but the average student can complete the program in 2 to 3 years

Campus Location: Online, with on-campus experiences taking place at Temple University's Main Campus

Full-Time/Part-Time Status: The degree program must be completed on a full-time basis.

Affiliation(s): Students complete field studies and capstones in various settings depending on the nature of the study, as determined by the faculty advisor and student.

Ranking: In 2020, according to U.S. News & World Report, Temple University's O.T.D. program ranks as the 23rd best occupational therapy program out of 198.

Accreditation: Temple University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, which is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

Job Prospects: As of 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 24% growth in occupational therapy until 2022, much higher than average for all jobs.

Licensure: Applicants of the O.T.D. program must be certified and licensed occupational therapists.

Non-Matriculated Student Policy: O.T.D. coursework is available only to matriculated students.

Financing Opportunities: Financial aid is available to students. For information on financial aid, please contact the Office of Student Financial Services at 215-707-2667.

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadline:

Fall: July 1

To apply for the O.T.D. program, the applicant must be a licensed Occupational Therapist.

All applicants apply via the Occupational Therapist Centralized Application Service (OTCAS). The system can be accessed at https://otcas.liaisoncas.com/. All application materials listed below are required to be sent directly to OTCAS:

  1. Official academic transcripts are required from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended.
  2. Two professional/academic letters of recommendation are required. 
  3. A statement of goals is required and must be a minimum of one page in length. This personal statement reflects your capacity to engage in rigorous graduate education and practice and should inform on your capacity for mental flexibility, creativity, teamwork, contribution to a learning environment, and service to others. Your statement must include a reflection of your alignment with Temple's Occupational Therapy mission, philosophy, and values. In addition, you must identify an area of interest you might pursue in clinical doctorate studies and describe a current OT faculty member's scholarly areas and capacity to advise in your area of interest. Submit the personal statement as part of the online application; a formatted copy may also be sent via e-mail to otadmissions@temple.edu.
  4. A professional writing sample is required, which may include either a previously published article or an academic paper from previous coursework. If you do not have a professional writing sample, you may write a brief professional paper, one to two pages in length, based on a clinical question provided to you by the O.T.D. program. 
  5. A current resume is required.
  6. A copy of your current state OT license must be submitted.
  7. Standardized test scores:
  • GRE scores are not required for admissions consideration for Fall 2021. If submitted, scores in the 50th percentile or higher are preferred on the verbal and quantitative sections and should be sent to Temple University OTCAS using code 1239. Otherwise, GRE scores are optional.
  • For applicants whose native language is not English, TOEFL or Duolingo scores must be reported. The acceptable minimum is 79 iBT for the TOEFL and 110 for Duolingo.

Questions about the application process should be directed to Occupational Therapy Admissions at otadmissions@temple.edu or 215-204-7213. International students are advised to first visit https://grad.temple.edu/admissions/international-applicants for general information about applying to Temple University.

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Occupational Therapy: Students with a Bachelor in Science in Occupational Therapy (B.S.O.T.) are eligible to apply to the O.T.D. program following successful completion of an 8-credit Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Occupational Therapy, as well as a Statistics or Biostatistics course prior to admission. Four courses are required to earn the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Occupational Therapy and are offered in a hybrid format of online and in-person classes:

OTHR 5002Theoretical Perspectives of Occupation (Year 1 Summer)2
OTHR 5019Theoretical Perspectives in Occupational Therapy (Year 1 Fall)2
OTHR 5219Occupational Therapy Practice: Community and Social Participation (Year 2 Summer)3
OTHR 5301Professional Development and Learning in OT Education (Year 1 Spring)1
Total Credit Hours8

Additional information on the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Occupational Therapy is available by contacting Occupational Therapy Admissions at otadmissions@temple.edu.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: All applicants must have earned a baccalaureate degree.

Clearances: The Occupational Therapy program requires students to complete clinical/field education experiences at facilities both on and off Temple University’s campus. These placements require criminal background checks, Act 33/34 clearances, and perhaps a drug screen. The results of these requirements may limit and potentially eliminate placement options for the student, which can, in turn, result in an inability to meet graduation requirements. Additionally, conviction of a misdemeanor, felony, or felonious or illegal act may prevent the student from becoming credentialed and/or licensed to practice occupational therapy.

Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required to Earn the Degree: 31

Required Courses:

Year 1
FallCredit Hours
HRPR 5001Current and Emerging Issues in Public Health and Health Professions10
OTHR 8513Evidence-Based Practice and Clinical Research3
OTHR 8514Occupational Based Theories and Participation3
 Term Credit Hours6
OTHR 8512Studies in Outcome Measures and Analysis3
OTHR 8902Capstone Project Inquiry1
Elective 123
 Term Credit Hours7
OTHR 8509Leadership in the Health Professions: The Art and Science of Influence3
OTHR 8903Capstone Project Proposal1
Elective 1 (if not completed) or 223
 Term Credit Hours7
Year 2
OTHR 8904Capstone Project Implementation1
OTHR 9089Field Study and Professional Portfolios3
Elective 2 (if not completed) or 32,33
 Term Credit Hours7
OTHR 8511Clinical Education and Fieldwork Supervision3
OTHR 8905Capstone Project1
 Term Credit Hours4
 Total Credit Hours: 31

Minimum Grade to be Earned for All Required Courses: B-

It is recommended that students complete the O.T.D. program by taking two courses and an elective per term. In this format, students can complete the degree program over five terms and within two years. Students develop a professional development plan at the beginning of the program to guide them through the curriculum.

Culminating Event:
Capstone Project:
Students are assigned a faculty advisor to guide the capstone experience over a series of academic termsOTHR 8902 Capstone Project Inquiry, OTHR 8903 Capstone Project Proposal, OTHR 8904 Capstone Project Implementation, and OTHR 8905 Capstone Project. Outcomes from the Capstone Project are expected to be disseminated through presentations or publications and/or to be incorporated into clinical practice. An on-campus Capstone Presentation Day is scheduled in the final Spring term.


Program Web Address:


Department Information:

Programs in Occupational Therapy

201 Mitten Hall

1913 N. Broad Street

Philadelphia, PA 19122-6004



Submission Address for Application Materials:


Department Contacts:


CPH Office of Admissions



Occupational Therapy Admissions



Cell: 267-908-1734