Occupational Therapy (OTD)

Department of Occupational Therapy
School of Health Professions
801B Clark Hall, Columbia, MO 65211
(573) 882-3988; FAX (573) 884-2610
https://healthprofessions.missouri.edu/occupational-therapy/

Entry-Level Doctoral Degree

The Department of Occupational Therapy is in the process of transitioning to  a 3.5-year entry-level occupational therapy doctoral (OTD) degree, with first cohort selected during the 2020 application cycle, beginning coursework in Summer 2021, and graduating in August 2024. The application cycle for this cohort will be open July 2020 – January 2021. Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis and the program may be full prior to the application deadline.

Accreditation and Certification

Entry-Level Doctoral Degree

The Department of Occupational Therapy 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), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its Web address is www.acoteonline.org. 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), located at One Bank Street, Suite 300, Gaithersburg, MD 20878. NBCOT’s telephone number is (301) 990-7979 and its Web address is www.nbcot.org.. 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.

Students must complete 24 weeks of Level II fieldwork as well as an individual 14-week capstone experience within 24 months following the completion of the didactic portion of the program. The doctoral capstone experience must be started after completion of all coursework and Level II fieldwork as well as completion of preparatory activities defined in 2018 ACOTE OTD Standard D.1.3. 

Admission Criteria

Application window for entry-level occupational therapy doctoral (OTD) degree program beginning coursework in Summer 2021 opens July 2020, with an application deadline of January 15, 2021. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and admission offers may be made at any point during or after the application window. The Department of Occupational Therapy admits a cohort of 44 students each year. 

  • Minimum TOEFL or IELTS scores: (must have been completed in the last two years)

Minimum English Proficiency Requirements

Internet-based test (iBT) Area iBT Score Paper-based test (PBT) Area PBT Score
Total Score: 100, Reading: 20, Listening: 21, Speaking: 26, Writing: 17 Total Score: 600, Reading: 55, Listening: 55, Speaking: N/A, Writing: 55

IELTS Academic

Item Score
Total Score 7
Reading 6.5
Listening 6.5
Speaking 8
Writing 6
  • Minimum GPA: Cumulative 3.0 or higher (4.0=A). This includes ALL undergraduate completed coursework. Official transcripts from each institution must be sent to OTCAS.
  • Completion of all prerequisites at a grade of B- or better
  • 20 hours of observation with a licensed Occupational Therapist in at least 2 different practice settings. Observation forms uploaded to OTCAS.
  • 3 letters of recommendation, uploaded to OTCAS
  • Personal statement and essay, uploaded to OTCAS
  • Resume, including minimum of 20 hours of volunteer experience, uploaded to OTCAS

Prerequisite Courses

The following prerequisite courses must be completed with a B- or better prior to starting MUOT’s program. Prerequisites are subject to minor changes with each application cycle.

  • General Biology – 3 credit hour course with a lab or 4 credit hours combined lecture/lab minimum
  • Human Anatomy* – 3 credit hour course with a lab or 4 credit hours combined lecture/lab minimum
  • Human Physiology* – 3 credit hour course with a lab or 4 credit hours combined lecture/lab minimum
  • Human Movement Science* – 3 credit hour combined lecture and lab minimum. Strong preference for Kinesiology or Biomechanics. Physics is a third option if the first two are not available.
  • Sociology – 3 credit hour course minimum
  • Abnormal Psychology – 3 credit hour course minimum
  • Human Development – Must address development across the lifespan. 3 credit hour course minimum
  • Introduction to Statistics – 3 credit hour course minimum. Any introductory statistics course in any discipline is acceptable.
  • Medical Terminology – 1 credit hour minimum. Can take for credit or noncredit. Will accept a passing grade if taken as a pass/fail course.

*Courses must have been completed within 4 years of application.  Human Anatomy and Human Physiology can be substituted with Human Anatomy & Physiology I and Human Anatomy & Physiology II (both with lab)

Advanced placement, dual credit, and transfer credits for prerequisite coursework are acceptable if they were recognized by your undergraduate institution and appear on official transcripts at the time of application. Transfer credits may not be applied toward the OTD degree. The Department of Occupational Therapy does not allow credit for experiential learning or work experience to count toward any of the OTD degree requirements.

Required Application Materials

For more information, contact:

Bethany Kendrick, Student Support Specialist II
801B Clark Hall; Columbia, MO 65211
573-884-6365

Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate (PPOTD)

A Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate (PPOTD) program, for individuals with a previous bachelor's or master's degree in occupational therapy and already licensed to practice as an occupational therapist, is in the process of development. The PPOTD program is designed to provide occupational therapists with the opportunity to advance their formal education. Students earning the OTD degree on a post-professional basis will have the ability to customize their educational plans to meet their unique academic and professional goals, which may include, but are not limited to, advanced clinical practice, leadership and management, research, and occupational therapy education. They will have the opportunity to select unique combinations of elective coursework and doctoral capstone experiences. Furthermore, because all post-professional coursework will be offered online, nearly all postprofessional students are expected to complete their OTD degrees on a part-time enrollment basis while maintaining employment as OT practitioners. Students applying to the post-professional OTD program must previously have completed an entry-level OT degree at the bachelor’s or master’s level and be licensed to practice as an OT in their state of residence. 

Admissions Criteria

  • Proof of state OT licensure (any state)
  • Official transcripts for all previous coursework
  • Professional statement/goals
  • One professional reference 

Additional information regarding application and admission will be made available in Fall 2020, with admitted students beginning coursework in Fall 2021.

Financial Aid

Check the School of Health Professions website at https://healthprofessions.missouri.edu/student-services/scholarships/ for scholarship information.

Degree Requirements

Entry-Level OTD

This includes students with no previous OT degree to practice as licensed occupational therapists.  Students must complete a baccalaureate degree in any field, including several specific prerequisite courses, prior to beginning the entry-level OTD program.  Students will complete 116 credit hours over 3.5 years in a full-time on-site cohort model curriculum.  Students will also be required to pass a national certification exam administered by the National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) in order to gain entry into the profession and obtain licensure.  Students will have the ability to customize their educational plans through unique combinations of elective coursework, fieldwork, and doctoral capstone experiences.

Required Coursework

Entry-Level OTD Required Coursework
OC_THR 5010Professional Development3
OC_THR 5020Foundations and Theory in Occupational Therapy3
OC_THR 5030Human Development and Occupation3
OC_THR 5110Introduction to Evidence-Based Practice3
OC_THR 5120Principles of Assessment3
OC_THR 5130Conditions in Occupational Therapy1
OC_THR 5140Human Motion and Occupation4
OC_THR 5150Concepts of Neuroscience2
OC_THR 5160Psychosocial Aspects of Occupational Therapy3
OC_THR 5210Adult Practice4
OC_THR 5220Pediatric Practice4
OC_THR 5230Application of Evidence Based Practice3
OC_THR 5240Clinical Reasoning and Documentation2
OC_THR 5250Emerging Trends in Occupational Therapy1
OC_THR 5260Occupational Therapy Practicum I2
OC_THR 5310Advanced Practice Strategies4
OC_THR 5320Performance, Participation, and Well-Being2
OC_THR 5330Functional Cognition2
OC_THR 5350Proposal Development2
OC_THR 5410Case Based Learning4
OC_THR 5420Populations and Communities4
OC_THR 5430Leadership, Management, and Policy3
OC_THR 5440Contemporary Issues in Occupational Therapy2
OC_THR 5450Occupational Therapy Practicum II2
OC_THR 5470EBP Seminar3
OC_THR 5471Evidence Based Practice Mentor Hour1
OC_THR 5510Fieldwork Level II-A6
OC_THR 5520Fieldwork Level II-B6
OC_THR 6010Advanced Occupation Based Practice3
OC_THR 6020Population Health3
OC_THR 6030OT Practicum III2
OC_THR 6040Advanced EBP3
OC_THR 6041Capstone I - Mentor Hour1
OC_THR 6110Practice Analysis3
OC_THR 6120Instructional Design & App3
OC_THR 6130Capstone I - Project3
OC_THR 6140Capstone II - Project Planning B2
OC_THR 6141Capstone II - Mentor Hour1
OC_THR 6210Capstone II - Experience6
HTH_PR 5100Intro to Interprofessional Practice1
Electives in 3rd Year (3 required, 4th optional)
OC_THR 6190
Health Professions Educator
OC_THR 6191
Community Engagement in HP
OC_THR 6192
Research in OT
OC_THR 6193
Complex Adaptive Leadership

Coursework is subject to minor changes as the program makes occasional curricular revisions to meet accreditation requirements and to reflect contemporary occupational therapy practice.

Early-Entry Options for the Entry-Level OTD

The University of Missouri OTD program offers two early-entry options for students who are interested in OT and want to begin OT coursework prior to the completion of a bachelor’s degree. While a bachelor’s degree is not required to complete the OTD, we strongly encourage applicants who want to pursue early-entry to also obtain a bachelor’s degree if at all possible.

3+3 BHS / OTD Option for MU Health Sciences Students

MU Health Sciences students have the option to apply for early consideration for admission to the MU OT program. Selected students will complete a 3+3 option, with 3 years of undergraduate coursework + 3 years of professional OT coursework to earn both a Bachelor in Health Science (BHS) and an Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) degree.

  • Students considering this option will apply during the Summer/Fall after their sophomore year (after 60 credit hours completed); selected students begin coursework the summer after completion of their junior year
  • Students must have evidence of a minimum of three semesters of college coursework after high school graduation.
  • First year of OTD professional coursework also counts toward the BHS degree. Students must have at least 90 credits, all OT prerequisites, and all BHS degree requirements except the capstone requirement completed before beginning the OTD program. Students will then graduate with their BHS in May after successfully completing the 1st year of OTD coursework. The first year of OTD coursework includes a fieldwork experience and a practicum experience which combined will meet the capstone requirement for the BHS degree.
  • Students applying for the 3+3 option will be considered in the same pool as all other applicants. There are no reserved spots for 3+3 applicants, nor is there a limit on the number of 3+3 applicants we will accept.
  • The more prerequisites you have completed at the time of application, the more strongly your application will be considered. (Same is true for all applicants.)
  • Professional tuition begins at the start of OTD coursework; students enrolled in professional coursework are no longer eligible for Pell Grants. See https://cashiers.missouri.edu/cost/ for current professional tuition rates for the occupational therapy program.

MU Health Sciences students applying for the 3+3 option must work very closely with their undergraduate School of Health Professions advisors before, during, and after application to ensure that they have completed all Health Science degree program requirements AND all OT prerequisites before beginning the OTD program.

Sample Pre-OT Plan with Electives: https://healthprofessions.missouri.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/7/2020/04/Sample-Pre-OT-Academic-Plan-with-Electives.pdf 

Sample Pre-OT Plan without Electives: https://healthprofessions.missouri.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/7/2020/04/Sample-Pre-OT-Academic-Plan-without-Electives.pdf 

Please note that the Health and Wellness emphasis is not required for application to the OTD program, but that particular emphasis area may offer the most flexibility in completing both the OT prerequisites and the BHS degree requirements in 3 years.

These academic plans are intended to be a guide for students preparing to apply to the 3+3 entry-level OTD program, but they do not replace advising. Students must seek advising from a School of Health Professions advisor before and after application to ensure that they are on track to complete all requirements for their declared emphasis area for the Health Science degree.

Students must have approval from their School of Health Professions advisor in order to apply for the 3+3 option. Additional information regarding documentation of this approval will be available during each application cycle.

The first opportunity to apply for the 3+3 option will be during the application cycle running July 2020 - January 2021, with accepted students for the 3+3 program beginning professional coursework in Summer 2021, graduating with a BHS in Spring 2022, and graduating with an OTD in Summer 2024. Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis and the program may be full prior to the application deadline.

Early-Entry Option for Students Outside the University of Missouri

There will be an early-entry option available to prospective students from outside the University of Missouri who are interested in the OTD program. Students must complete a minimum of 90 credits of undergraduate coursework, all of the prerequisite course requirements and all other admission requirements before starting the OTD program. Completion of their undergraduate degree will be contingent on their undergraduate institution allowing the courses in the first year of the OTD program to count toward completion of their undergraduate degree.

Post-Professional OTD with Master's in OT

This includes students entering with a master's degree in Occupational Therapy, and licensed to practice as occupational therapists.  Students entering at this level will complete 36 credits which will be offered entirely online.  Students will have the ability to customize their educational plans to meet their unique academic and professional goals.  Since they are already practicing occupational therapists, they will not be required to complete fieldwork experiences.  However, they will have the opportunity to select unique combinations of elective coursework and doctoral capstone experiences.  Furthermore, because all post-professional coursework will be offered online, students may choose to complete their degree on a part-time enrollment basis.

Post-Professional OTD with Master's in OT Required Coursework
OC_THR 6010Occupation Based Practice3
OC_THR 6020Population Health3
OC_THR 6030Professional Leadership & Development3
OC_THR 6040Advanced EBP3
OC_THR 6110Practice Analysis3
OC_THR 6120Instructional Design & App3
OC_THR 6130Capstone I - Project3
OC_THR 6210Capstone II - Experience6
Elective #13
Elective #23
Elective #33

Coursework is subject to minor changes as the program makes occasional curricular revisions to meet accreditation requirements and to reflect contemporary occupational therapy practice.

Post-Professional OTD with Bachelor's in OT

This includes students entering with a bachelor's degree in Occupational Therapy, and licensed to practice as occupational therapists.  Students entering at this level will complete 15 hours of foundational coursework, followed by 36 credits of PPOTD coursework, for a total of 51 credits, which will be offered entirely online.  Students will have the ability to customize their educational plans to meet their unique academic and professional goals.  Since they are already practicing occupational therapists, they will not be required to complete fieldwork experiences.  However, they will have the opportunity to select unique combinations of elective coursework and doctoral capstone experiences.  Furthermore, because all post-professional coursework will be offered online, students may choose to complete their degree on a part-time enrollment basis.

Post-Professional OTD with Bachelor's in OT Required Coursework
OC_THR 5610Theoretical Concepts of OT3
OC_THR 5620Evidence Based Practice in OT3
OC_THR 5630Community-Based OT Practice3
OC_THR 5640Overview of Current OT Practice3
OC_THR 5650Self-Directed OT Practicum3
OC_THR 6010Occupation Based Practice3
OC_THR 6020Population Health3
OC_THR 6030Professional Leadership & Development3
OC_THR 6040Advanced EBP3
OC_THR 6110Practice Analysis3
OC_THR 6120Instructional Design & App3
OC_THR 6130Capstone I - Project3
OC_THR 6210Capstone II - Experience6
Elective #13
Elective #23
Elective #33

Coursework is subject to minor changes as the program makes occasional curricular revisions to reflect contemporary occupational therapy practice.