Jul 13, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Doctor of Occupational Therapy

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Graduate Programs

Program Director:

Dr. Terrance Anderson




The Entry Level Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) curriculum integrates foundational knowledge, basic theoretical constructs and perspectives, and technical skills development for implementing the Occupational Therapy Process with a focus on systems and settings that represent contemporary and emerging occupational therapy practice. The curriculum is designed to prepare students to become evidence-based practitioners in the Evaluation, Intervention, and Outcomes stages of the occupational therapy process for individuals, families, organizations, and communities across geographic locations and cultural settings.  The location of services can include schools, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, outpatient clinics, homes, communities, and workplaces.

Aligned with the College of Health and Human Services emphasis on inter-professional education students in the Occupational Therapy program will participate in collaborative interactions and simulation experiences that allow them to support and encourage the contributions of other team member in optimizing client outcomes. The integration of basic foundational knowledge with inter-professional simulated client experiences allows for deeper integration of knowledge and better preparation for clinical experiences.

The Entry Level Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program’s Mission: Consistent with the mission and values of Northern Kentucky University and the College of Health Professions, the faculty and staff of the Department of Occupational Therapy promote an innovative environment to facilitate student excellence in academics, scholarship, practice, leadership, and lifelong learning to promote health through occupational engagement.  


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), 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). 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.

Occupational Therapy Core

All of the following Occupational Therapy courses are required for the Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree.

Non-Occupational Therapy Core

All of the following courses are required for the Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree.

Admission Standards

Minimum Requirements for Admission to the NKU Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program

  • A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education with a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Completion of 20 hours of observing occupational therapists in a variety of settings. 
  • Submission of an application through the Occupational Therapy Centralized Admission System.
  • An interview with NKU OTD faculty.
  • Completion of the following prerequisite courses with a minimum grade of C and no more than two attempts in each prerequisite course. 
    • Human Anatomy and Physiology with Labs
    • Advanced College Writing
    • General Physics with Lab
    • Introduction to Psychology 
    • Introduction to Sociology
    • Lifespan Development Psychology
    • Abnormal Psychology
    • Introduction to Statistics Methods
    • Medical Terminology

Retention Requirements  

Students enrolled will need to maintain the following in order to continue in the program:

  • Maintain an overall 3.0 GPA
  • Completion of all coursework with a B- or higher
  • No more than one repeated OTD course
  • Comply with AOTA Code of Ethics and NKU Policies and Procedures

Graduation Requirements

Students enrolled will need to complete the following in order to graduate from the program: 

  • Completion of all coursework with a GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Completion of all coursework with a B- or higher
  • Completion of the OTD capstone experience and project

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Graduate Programs