Entry Level Doctorate of Occupational Therapy

The Howard University Occupational Therapy program is proud to offer an Entry-Level Occupational Therapy program leading to a Doctor of Occupational of Therapy (OTD).

About the Program

The Howard University Department of Occupational Therapy is Proud to offer an Entry-Level Occupational Therapy Program Leading to a Doctor of Occupational of Therapy (OTD). The department is uniquely privileged to be among the few providers of and entry-level OTD in the nation’s capital. The program has a rich history of excellence in leadership, graduating highly sought-after therapists, and developing national and international health professionals. The Doctorate of Occupational Therapy program is designed to prepare students as entry-level occupational therapist and generalists. The program fosters leadership skills, and evidence-based practice with a focus on the underserved community, allowing  students to develop as top practitioners, and change agents in field of occupational therapy. The entry-level OTD program at Howard consists of three-years of research, theory, and concentrated skill-based course work; competency requirements; six-month fieldwork; 14-week doctoral capstone experience (DCE), and capstone project as requirements for graduation. 

Upon successful completion of 99 credits including all course work and fieldwork experiences, candidates can sit for the national certification examination administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). The timeframe for completion of the entry-level program is three-years, which includes all didactic coursework, competency examinations, fieldwork experiences, doctoral capstone experience, and capstone project. Students must complete 24 weeks of Level II fieldwork as well as an individual 14-week capstone experience. The doctoral capstone experience must be started after completion of all coursework and Level II fieldwork.

The OTD curriculum follows a developmental progression where the organization of the learning experiences build on knowledge gained and mastery of educational outcomes. Throughout the curriculum students are exposed to five core themes:

  • Occupation and Human Performance
  • Critical Thinking and Clinical Reasoning
  • Diversity and the Underserved
  • Research and Scholarship
  • Leadership and Professionalism 

After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an occupational therapist, registered (OTR). In addition, all states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.

Accreditation

The Howard University Occupational Therapy program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).   

6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200
North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929
(301) 652-AOTA or (301) 652-2682  

www.acoteonline.org  

The entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program has applied for accreditation and has been granted Candidacy Status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). The program must have a preaccreditation review, complete an on-site evaluation, and be granted Accreditation status before its graduates will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). The next accreditation onsite visit is scheduled in 2023.      

Board Passage Rates: program results from the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) can be found online at https://secure.nbcot.org/data/schoolstats.aspx

Employment Rate

Percentage of graduates employed as OTs within six months of passing the National Certification Exam.

100%

100%

Graduation Rates

The total number of graduates from the Howard University Master of Occupational Therapy program during the 3-year period of 2018-2020 was 87 with an overall graduation rate of 89%.

2018 (32/34 Students)
94%

94%

2018 (32/34 Students)
2019 (28/32 Students)
87%

87%

2019 (28/32 Students)
2020 (27/31 Students)
87%

87%

2020 (27/31 Students)

Board Passage/Certification Rate

The total number of exam takers from the Howard University Master of Occupational Therapy program who passed the National Certification Exam during the 3-year period of 2018-2020 was 86 with an overall passing rate of 97%.

2018 (28/29 Students)
97%

97%

2018 (28/29 Students)
2019 (30/32 Students)
94%

94%

2019 (30/32 Students)
2020 (28/28 Students)
100%

100%

2020 (28/28 Students)

FAQs

How do I apply to the Entry-level OTD Program if I already applied to the MSOT program in OTCAS?

You should complete the OTD Application in OTCAS. 

Can I apply to Howard University’s Entry-level OTD program as an undergraduate student?

The Howard entry-level OTD program is a graduate program. High school and undergraduate students wishing to enroll in the program must complete an undergraduate degree at an accredited university with required prerequisites. Students can pursue a BS degree in Health Sciences at Howard University and complete the prerequisites for entry to the entry-level OTD program. All students seeking a Doctorate degree (OTD) must apply for Graduate admissions consideration to the entry-level OTD program.

How do I get accepted to the entry-level OTD program?

Once you have applied to OTCAS your application will be reviewed and you will receive a correspondence regarding your application status. Applicants for admissions consideration will be invited to complete a personal interview prior to admissions.

How long would it take me to complete the entry-level doctor of Occupational Therapy program?

The time-frame for completion of the entry-level OTD program at Howard is 3 years, which includes all didactic coursework, examinations, capstone, fieldwork, and doctoral capstone experience. 

Is the OTD Entry-level Program Online? 

The entry-level program is not an online program. However approximately 49% of the courses are online. 

Can I transfer credits to the occupational therapy program at Howard University from another university or college?

Yes. Selected course credits can be transferred from an approved accredited university or college if approved. The process of transferring credits to Howard University from another University is called Advance Standing.

If I already have an undergraduate degree, do I have to take the prerequisite courses for acceptance to the entry-level OTD program?

Yes. You have to complete the prerequisite courses for acceptance to the entry-level OTD program. Check with an academic advisor at Howard to determine what courses from your undergraduate degree meet the prerequisite requirements.

If I still have prerequisite courses to complete, can I apply to the entry-level OTD program?

Yes. You have to complete the prerequisite courses for acceptance to the OTD program. Check with an academic advisor at Howard to determine what courses from your undergraduate degree meet the prerequisite requirements.

Can I enroll in the entry-level OTD program part-time?

No. The OT program is a full-time program. 

Do I have to do a Dissertation to complete the entry-level OTD program?

No. However students are required to complete a capstone project which is a multifaceted assignment that serves as a culminating academic and intellectual experience for students.

Can I choose where I want to complete my fieldwork experience?

Students in the OTD program can express their interests in specified sites, but the final decision rests with the faculty based on the determination of the best fit for the student. Students are place in settings, locally, nationally, and internationally, but are responsible for their own transportation, housing and maintenance (including meals).

Are there scholarships available to help fund my OT education?

Yes. Please check the Howard OT website for more information on scholarships.

Entry-Level Doctorate of Occupational Therapy | Graduate

The Howard University Department of Occupational Therapy is Proud to offer an Entry-Level Occupational Therapy Program Leading to a Doctor of Occupational of Therapy (OTD). The department is uniquely privileged to be among the few providers of and entry-level OTD in the nation’s capital. The program has a rich history of excellence in leadership, graduating highly sought-after therapists, and developing national and international health professionals. The Doctorate of Occupational Therapy program is designed to prepare students as entry-level occupational therapist and generalists. The program fosters leadership skills, and evidence-based practice with a focus on the underserved community, allowing  students to develop as top practitioners, and change agents in field of occupational therapy. The entry-level OTD program at Howard consists of three-years of research, theory, and concentrated skill-based course work; competency requirements; six-month fieldwork; 14-week doctoral capstone experience (DCE), and capstone project as requirements for graduation. 

Upon successful completion of 99 credits including all course work and fieldwork experiences, candidates can sit for the national certification examination administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). The timeframe for completion of the entry-level program is three-years, which includes all didactic coursework, competency examinations, fieldwork experiences, doctoral capstone experience, and capstone project. Students must complete 24 weeks of Level II fieldwork as well as an individual 14-week capstone experience. The doctoral capstone experience must be started after completion of all coursework and Level II fieldwork.

The OTD curriculum follows a developmental progression where the organization of the learning experiences build on knowledge gained and mastery of educational outcomes. Throughout the curriculum students are exposed to five core themes:

  • Occupation and Human Performance
  • Critical Thinking and Clinical Reasoning
  • Diversity and the Underserved
  • Research and Scholarship
  • Leadership and Professionalism 

 

After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an occupational therapist, registered (OTR). In addition, all states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.

Accreditation 

The Howard University Occupational Therapy program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).   

6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200
North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929
(301) 652-AOTA or (301) 652-2682  

www.acoteonline.org  

The entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program has applied for accreditation and has been granted Candidacy Status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). The program must have a preaccreditation review, complete an on-site evaluation, and be granted Accreditation status before its graduates will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). The next accreditation onsite visit is scheduled in 2023.      

Board Passage Rates: program results from the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) can be found online at https://secure.nbcot.org/data/schoolstats.aspx

GRADUATION RATES AND BOARD SCORE CHART

   

Program Details

  • Degree Classification: Graduate

Admission Requirements

All applicants must complete the following prerequisites prior to admission to the  Entry-Level OTDProgram:

Entry-Level Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (OTD)

Prerequisites:

 Developmental Psychology (3 Credits)

 Abnormal Psychology (3 Credits)

 Gross Anatomy (4 Credits)

 Physiology (4 Credits)

 Physics (3 Credits)

 Sociology (3 Credits)

 Statistics (3 Credits)

 Medical Terminology (2 Credits)

 CPR Certificate

 Certification

*Access to internet and computer technology is required. 

The last MSOT class was accepted in August 2020. High school and undergraduate students wishing to enroll in the OTD program must complete an undergraduate degree at an accredited university with required prerequisites and apply to the OTD program. Students can pursue a BS degree in Health Sciences at Howard University and complete the prerequisites for entry to the OTD program. All students seeking a OTD degree must apply for graduate admissions consideration to the entry-level doctorate of occupational therapy program.

Application Process and Deadline

The Howard University Occupational Therapy program subscribes to the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service, known as OTCAS. All applicants need to apply online using the OTCAS application. Our application deadline is February 15 of each year. Applications received after the deadline will be considered subject to space availability in the entering class. To learn more about the OTCAS application process and to get started, please go to the OTCAS website at www.otcas.org. Once processed, the Admissions Committee looks forward to receiving your application.

Admission consideration may be granted to applicants who satisfy all admissions criteria. Criteria for admissions to the OT entry-level master's degree program includes:

  • Undergraduate degree from an accredited university or college;
  • Cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale;
  • Completion of required prerequisite courses;
  • Verification of 40 hours of volunteer experience in an Occupational Therapy setting;
  • Completion of the OTCAS Application;
  • Participation in a personal interview
  • GRE Score (recent five years) - Waived

Degree Requirements

Department of Occupational Therapy Entry-Level Doctorate Degree

Curriculum effective Fall 2021. Course number may be subjected to change. Course scheme: Total Credits (99 credit hours)

Fall Semester

Courses Credits 

OCCG-760 Musculoskeletal Anatomy (4 Credits)

OCCG-517 Health & Wellness (2 Credits)

OCCG-521 OT Theory & Concepts (3 Credits)

OCCG-523 Occupational Science (3 Credits)

OCCG-316 Clinical Kinesiology (3 Credits)

OCCG-518 Research Method in OT (2 Credits)

Total Credit Hours 17


Spring Semester

Courses Credits 

OCCG-702 Doctoral Research Projects I (1 Credit)

OCCG-513 Clinical Neuroscience (3 Credits)

OCCG-515 Life Participation & Aging (2 Credits)

OCCG-516 Human Performance & Movement Analysis (2 Credits)

OCCG-520 Pediatrics in OT (3 Credits)

OCCG-532 Clinical Decision Making I (1 Credit)

OCCG-514 Pathophysiology (3 Credits)

OCCG-544 Fieldwork Level I (1 Credit)

Total Credit Hours 16


Summer Semester

Courses Credits 

OCCG-740 Evidence Based Research (3 Credits)

OCCG-704 Minority Health & Health Equity (3 Credits)

Total Credit Hours 

 

Fall Semester 

Courses Credits 

OCCG-530 Theories & Assessment in Mental Health (3 Credits)

OCCG-531 Theories of Occupational Performance &
Assessment in Physical Dysfunctions 
(3 Credits)

OCCG-539 Clinical Decision-making in OT II (1 Credit)

OCCG-742 Organizational Leadership (3 Credits)

OCCG-533 Analysis of Human Performance & Technology (3 Credits)

OCCG-545 Fieldwork Level (Intermediate) (1 Credit)

OCCG-540 Theories of Human Performance & Interventions
in Pediatrics 
(3 Credits)

Total Credit Hours 17


Spring Semester 

Courses Credits 

OCCG-538 Theories of Occupational Performance &
Intervention in Physical Dysfunctions 
(3 Credits)

OCCG-537 Theories of Group Dynamics & Interventions
in Mental Health 
(3 Credits)

OCCG-616 Professional Issues & Ethics in OT (2 Credits)

OCCG-534 OT Administration & Management (2 Credits)

OCCG-657 Evidence-Based Research (2 Credits)

OCCG-706 Doctoral Research Projects II (1 Credit)

OCCG-707 Program Development, Entrepr & Grant Writing (3 Credit)

OCCG-543 Clinical Decision Making In OT III (1 Credit)

OCCG-546  Fieldwork Level I (Advanced) (1 Credit)

Total Credit Hours 15 


Summer Semester

Courses Credits 

OCCG-541 Fieldwork II Experience (6 Credits)

OCCG-708Doctoral Research Projects III (1 Credit)

Total Credit Hours 7


Fall Semester

Courses Credits 

OCCG-542 Fieldwork III Experience (6 Credits)

OCCG-709Board Prep Seminar (3 Credits)

Total Credit Hours 9

 

Spring Semester

Courses Credits 

OCCG-701Doctoral Capstone Experience (6 Credits)

OCCG-711Capstone Project (3 Credits)

Total Credit Hours 9

*courses subject to change

 

Academic Policies

The academic policies in the Department of Occupational Therapy adhere to the guidelines and procedures outlined in the Division of Allied Health Sciences Admissions, Retention and Graduation Policies and the Occupational Therapy Graduate Retention and Graduation Policy*. Specifically:

  • Minimum grade in any course taken at accredited institutions to be considered for advanced standing is “C”
  • Minimum semester and cumulative GPA required for a good standing in the program is 3.0

*More information on academic policies is found in the student handbook. All enrolled students will receive a copy. Students are expected to read this document and understand the academic expectations for continuance in an academic program.