Learn more about the Clinical Doctorate in Occupational Therapy Transitional Program.

About the Program

The post-professional transitional Clinical Doctorate in Occupational Therapy (OTD) is designed to attract recent Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) program graduates, as well as licensed occupational therapists already working in the field and seeking to enhance their careers and advance to leadership positions in clinical and academic environments. This 21-credit doctoral program is offered fully online and designed to meet the needs of the working student.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 3 years

Campus Location: Online

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

Ranking: In 2020, according to U.S. News & World Report, Temple University's OT 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 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 17% growth in occupational therapy until 2030, much higher than average for all jobs.

Licensure/Certification: Applicants to the OTD program must be certified and licensed occupational therapists.

Non-Matriculated Student Policy: OTD 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: August 1

To apply for the tOTD 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 All application materials listed below are required and should be sent directly to OTCAS:

  1. Official academic transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended.
  2. Three letters of recommendation from individuals who can speak to your potential for graduate study. Recommenders can be faculty members or immediate work supervisors.
  3. Statement of goals that is a minimum of one page reflecting on your aptitude for rigorous graduate study and practice in occupational therapy, including the mental flexibility, teamwork and service to others required for success. It should include a description of an area of interest you want to pursue through doctoral studies, explaining connections between this topic and the expertise of the department’s faculty members. This is key since you will be working closely with a professor on your capstone research experience.
  4. Professional writing sample. You may submit either a previously published article or an academic paper from previous coursework.
  5. Current resume.
  6. Copy of your current state OT license.
  7. Standardized test scores:
  • GRE scores are only required if your master’s GPA is lower than 3.0. If needed, your score should be in the top 50th percentile on both the verbal and quantitative sections.
  • 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 or 215-204-7213. International students are advised to first visit for general information about applying to Temple University.

Master's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: A master's degree in Occupational Therapy is required. Graduates of Temple's 80-credit MOT, in particular, are prepared for the research rigor of the tOTD.

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

Laptop: All incoming students in the College of Public Health are required to have a laptop. Academic programs in the college are technology intensive. They incorporate statistical and database analyses; utilize specialized tools for athletic training, kinesiology and physical therapy; stream audio and video for communication sciences; facilitate online interactive counseling for social work; and foster clinical experiences and online assessments. The laptop requirement enables the College of Public Health to improve opportunities for active learning and provide greater access to specialized software and required tools in and out of the classroom, better preparing students for the workforce. Learn more about device specifications and suggested vendors. Students can use excess financial aid (i.e., funds that are reimbursed after all tuition and fees are paid) to meet student needs, including the purchase of a laptop. Scholarships may also provide funding.

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: 21

Required Courses:

HRPR 5001Current and Emerging Issues in Public Health and Health Professions0
OTHR 8509Leadership in the Health Professions: The Art and Science of Influence3
OTHR 8511Clinical Education and Fieldwork Supervision3
OTHR 8512Studies in Outcome Measures and Analysis3
OTHR 8513Evidence-Based Practice and Clinical Research3
OTHR 8514Occupational Based Theories and Participation3
OTHR 8902Capstone Project Inquiry1
OTHR 8904Capstone Project Proposal and Implementation1
OTHR 8905Capstone Project1
OTHR 9089Field Study and Professional Portfolios3
Total Credit Hours21

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

Culminating Event:
Capstone Project:
OTHR 9089 Field Study and Professional Portfolios is a field study experience that offers students an ideal opportunity to collect data for their capstone research projects; gain hands-on experience with data collection, management and analysis; and participate in mentored clinical experiences that support the central commitment of their doctoral capstone project. The course is offered in the Spring term to allow students the time needed to complete data analysis from the experience and incorporate the findings into their terminal capstone project, which is finalized during the Summer semester.

Students are assigned a faculty advisor to guide the capstone experience over a series of coursework: OTHR 8902 Capstone Project Inquiry, OTHR 8904 Capstone Project Proposal and 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.


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