Doctor of Occupational Therapy (Entry-Level)
In fall 2021, KU's entry-level occupational therapy doctoral program applied for accreditation and was granted Preaccreditation Status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). This program has been designed to provide students with skills necessary to work as an occupational therapist in a range of health care, educational and community-based settings. The OTD is a three-year full time on-site commitment. Lectures and labs occur on the KU Medical Center campus. Upon completion of didactic course work, students complete required fieldwork and doctoral capstone experiences throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area, the state of Kansas, and/or across the country.
The program has completed an on-site evaluation and must 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). 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.
Applications for this program are accepted online and requires two parts to be completed separately. Like many entry-level programs across the country, KU uses the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS) as the first part of the application process. In the second part, supplemental materials are submitted to KU using an online application portal.
Detailed instructions on how to apply are posted on the Department of Occupational Therapy Education website. Application materials are accepted August 1-December 1 for the class entering the program in August of the following fall. All application materials must be received by December 1 for an application to be complete and qualified for review.
- A bachelor's degree in any field from a regionally accredited institution is required and must be documented by submission of official transcript indicating the degree has been conferred before entering the program. Official transcripts from all course work taken at any institution also are required. Although an application may be submitted while course work still is in progress, the student's plan for completion prior to entering the program must be articulated as part of the application. Students with degrees from institutions outside the U.S. may be subject to transcript evaluation to verify the degree is equivalent to a U.S. degree and the student meets the minimum cumulative grade-point average requirement.
- Applicants must possess a cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of at least a 3.2 on a 4.0 scale for his or her bachelor's degree program and specifically a 3.2 GPA on the specific prerequisite courses. Information documented on student transcripts will be used to calculate all grade point averages. Consistent with University of Kansas policy, the admissions committee will replace grades of classes that have been repeated.
- The following prerequisite courses are required: abnormal psychology, lifespan development, statistics, ethics, human physiology, human anatomy with a lab, a social science course, and medical terminology.
Specific requirements for prerequisite courses are as follows:
- Each course (except labs and medical terminology) must be a minimum of three credit hours. Medical terminology may be one credit hour.
- Students must complete prerequisite coursework before beginning the program.
- A passing grade of "C" or higher is required in all prerequisite courses. A grade of “D” is not considered a passing grade.
- It's suggested human anatomy and physiology courses are completed prior to applying; however, this requirement is evaluated on an individual basis and alternatives may be taken into consideration.
- Applicants who are not native speakers of English, whether domestic or international, must demonstrate they meet the minimum English proficiency requirement.
- As part of the online application, applicants will submit a personal statement describing why occupational therapy is his or her chosen career, and how a degree in OT will support the applicant's personal and professional goals. This statement should include an explanation of how personal, professional, and educational background and experience has prepared the applicant for this career decision and a future in occupational therapy.
- Applicants will also submit a 500-word (or less) statement of interest in which he or she provides information about the reasons why the program at the University of Kansas is of interest. Unlike the personal/professional statement submitted to OTCAS about occupational therapy as a profession, this Interest statement should be specifically about the KU's occupational therapy program.
- Three separate references are required and should be written by a professional, advisor, instructor, supervisor, coach, or other adult contact who can attest to the applicant’s potential success in the program and future contributions to the occupational therapy profession. At least one letter of recommendation must be from an academic reference.
- A background check is required during the admission process; it may affect the student's eligibility to enter the program. This one-time fee must be paid directly to the company performing the background investigation. A drug screening may also be required. More information: School of Health Professions background check and drug screening policy.
- Applicants who have been convicted of a felony should be aware of the fact that application for licensure, certification, or registration will be subject to review and additional information may be requested. Based on the review process, denial of licensure, certification, and/or registration may occur and subsequent opportunities for employment may be compromised.
- All accepted students must submit copies of current, valid CPR and First Aid certifications prior to the program start date. CPR certification must be from the American Heart Association and confirm the Healthcare Provider designation covering the entire lifespan (infant, child, and adult).
Applicants will be assessed based on these requirements. Admission requirements are subject to change.
Entry-level Professional OTD curriculum - This subplan allows students who possess the appropriate prerequisite course work and an undergraduate degree to pursue a 3-year clinical doctorate degree that includes academic, practicum, and fieldwork preparation for professional practice in a variety of OT settings. Capstone and fieldwork experiences are offered throughout the Kansas City community, the state of Kansas and, in some cases, in states other than Kansas. Upon completion, students are eligible for the OT certification examination administered by NBCOT. Only students who have successfully completed the entire three-year program are eligible for this certification exam, which is required for legal employment as a practicing OT.
- All students are enrolled as full-time students, and degree requirements are normally completed within 3 years of admission to the program. All academic preparation, fieldwork, and capstone in the professional program must be completed within 4.5 years of the first date of matriculation into the program.
- Cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of at least a 3.0 for all graduate coursework.
- Successful completion of all courses with the grade of “C” or higher.
- Successful completion of required Level II fieldwork experiences with the grade of “B” or higher. A part-time optional Level II fieldwork experience will not count toward satisfying this requirement.
- Successful completion of a minimum of 112 credit hours, including academic course work and fieldwork experiences.
- Enrollment in a minimum of one (1) credit hour the semester the student will graduate.
- Successful completion of the following courses:
|OTDE 700||Foundations in Occupational Therapy||2|
|OTDE 705||Functional Anatomy and Kinesiology to Support Occupational Performance||3|
|OTDE 710||Professionalism in Context - I: Interpersonal and Interprofessional||2|
|OTDE 711||Professionalism in Context II||3|
|OTDE 715||Occupational Therapy Scholarship - I||2|
|OTDE 716||Occupational Therapy Scholarship - II||3|
|OTDE 720||Theory to Practice in Occupational Therapy||2|
|OTDE 725||Analysis & Adaptation I||3|
|OTDE 726||Analysis & Adaptation II||4|
|OTDE 730||Population Health & Wellness||3|
|OTDE 740||Neuroscience Foundations to Support Occupational Performance||3|
|OTDE 754||Occupational Performance and Participation Across the Lifespan - I||3|
|OTDE 755||Occupational Performance and Participation Across the Lifespan - II||3|
|OTDE 756||Occupational Performance and Participation Across the Lifespan - III||5|
|OTDE 760||Policy and Advocacy for Occupational Therapy - I||2|
|OTDE 761||Policy and Advocacy for Occupational Therapy - II||3|
|OTDE 795||Research Discovery for Occupational Therapy||2|
|OTDE 815||Supporting Occupational Performance Across the Mental Health Continuum||3|
|OTDE 845||Research Implementation and Dissemination in Occupational Therapy||4|
|OTDE 850||Professionalism in Education||2|
|OTDE 860||Professionalism in Practice I||3|
|OTDE 861||Professionalism in Practice II||3|
|OTDE 870||Contemporary Community Engagement||2|
|OTDE 900||Occupational Therapy Level II Fieldwork - Part I||12|
|OTDE 901||Occupational Therapy Level II Fieldwork - Part II||12|
|OTDE 915||Professionalism in Leadership and Administration||3|
|OTDE 950||Capstone Project Planning||3|
|OTDE 980||Capstone Dissemination||3|
|OTDE 990||Capstone Experience||14|
Specific elective courses may be selected to complement the student's program in consultation with the student's academic advisor.
Degree requirements and course descriptions are subject to change. Any courses taken as an equivalent must be approved by the Graduate Director and the Office of Graduate Studies. In most cases, use the catalog of the year student entered the program. Other years’ catalogs».
The Doctorate of Occupational Therapy degree program at KU Medical Center is a full-time, three-year course of study at the graduate level and includes academic, fieldwork and doctoral capstone preparation.
|OTDE 700||2||OTDE 711||3||OTDE 716||3|
|OTDE 705||3||OTDE 726||4||OTDE 755||3|
|OTDE 710||2||OTDE 740||3|
|OTDE 715||2||OTDE 754||3|
|OTDE 720||2||OTDE 760||2|
|OTDE 725||3||OTDE 795||2|
|OTDE 756||5||OTDE 860||3||OTDE 870||2|
|OTDE 761||3||OTDE 900||12||OTDE 915||3|
|OTDE 815||3||OTDE 950||3|
|OTDE 861||3||OTDE 980||3|
|OTDE 901||12||OTDE 990||14|
|Total Hours 112|
Entry-Level Occupational Therapy Doctoral Degree Program
Because an entry level Occupational Therapy Degree signifies that the holder is eligible to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy exam and signifies that the holder is prepared for entry into the profession of occupational therapy, it follows that graduates must have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical, community or school based situations and to render a wide spectrum of occupational therapy services. Therefore, all students admitted to the Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program at the University of Kansas Medical Center must have the following abilities and expectations with or without accommodations.
Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply to the program, and reasonable accommodation will be made for qualified applicants or students who disclose a disability. Candidates who indicate upon application or after acceptance to the program that they cannot meet an expectation listed will be reviewed further by the OTD Admissions Team in collaboration with the KUMC Office of Academic Accommodations to determine if reasonable accommodations are likely to lead to successful completion of the OTD academic program.
Essential Motor Skills: The occupational therapy student must:
- have gross motor skills to move freely and safely about the Medical Center and fieldwork sites.
- be able to perform moderately taxing physical work, often requiring prolonged sitting.
- have balance and equilibrium necessary to do such things as move clients from bed to wheelchair or to manipulate parts of, or whole bodies of, simulated and real people of all ages.
- have fine motor skills essential to perform such tasks as anatomical dissection, splint making, material development or maneuvering equipment.
Essential Sensory Skills: The occupational therapy student must:
- accurately perceive objects in the environment
- accurately observe human performance. For example, the student must be able to discriminate between a safe and an unsafe environment and between therapeutic and non-therapeutic behavior and contexts.
Essential Communication skills: The occupational therapy student must:
- assimilate information from written sources (texts, journals, medical or school records, etc).
- attain, comprehend, retain and use new information presented in written formats.
- independently complete assignments, tests, and professional documentation appropriately, in a timely manner, and in appropriate format.
- impart information so that it can be understood by others.
- elicit information from instructors, peers, persons receiving services, family members, and supervisors.
- follow verbal or written instruction in order to complete assignments.
- note and respond to factual information provided by others as well as to the more subtle cues of mood, temperament, and social responses.
- communicate with others accurately, sensitively, effectively and succinctly.
- communicate in a timely manner and in a way that is appropriate to the situation.
Essential Cognitive Skills: the occupational therapy student must:
A). Clinical Reasoning:
- make correct observations and have the skills of comprehension, measurement, calculation, reasoning, integration, analysis, and synthesis. For example, the student must have the skills to conduct assessments accurately, compute test scores, analyze results and determine the impact of this information on intervention, while synthesizing a variety of input.
- recognize, label, and categorize information to draw conclusions. Then the student must be able to question, analyze, and judge the results of their conclusion.
- demonstrate judgment in classroom; laboratory; and fieldwork settings which shows an ability to make mature, sensitive, and effective decisions in appropriate situations
- relate appropriately to instructors, peers, supervisors and persons being served. For example, when provided with constructive feedback from an instructor or supervisor, the student will adapt behavior accordingly.
- demonstrate professional behaviors, such as timeliness and regular attendance.
Essential Behavioral/Social Skills: occupational therapy students must:
- exhibit professional behaviors and attitudes during their participation in the classroom and in clinical situations. This includes, but is not limited to, appropriate language, flexibility toward change and acceptance of responsibility for one’s own conduct.
- exhibit a positive attitude toward persons being served, family members, peers, and supervisors.
- be flexible and creative to adapt to professional and technical change.
- demonstrate professional attitudes and behaviors while experiencing heavy workloads (e.g., large number of tasks to complete in a limited amount of time), task related uncertainty (e.g. changes of schedule on short notice), and/or a distracting environment.
- support and promote the activities of peers and health care professionals by sharing knowledge, eliciting input, and acting with empathy toward others.
- be honest, compassionate, ethical, and responsible.
- be forthright about errors or uncertainty.
- critically evaluate his or her own performance, accept constructive criticism, and look for ways to improve.
- evaluate the performance of fellow students, instructors, and clients and to offer constructive comments tactfully.