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Occupational Therapy (OTD)

Program Director: Wendy Krupnick, Ph.D., M.B.A., B.S., OTR/L
Campus Location: Main Campus; this is primarily a distance-learning program with two on-campus sessions: one at orientation, and one during the capstone presentation at the end of the program.

 

Vision and Mission

Our vision is to offer innovative and flexible education that prepares graduates to be leaders capable of advancing the health-sustaining power of occupation.

Our mission is to prepare artful practitioners who have the skills, knowledge and vision to advance occupational therapy services in contemporary and emerging practice settings.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the OTD program will be able to:

  • Apply research and integrate evidence-based methods to build knowledge and support OT practice
  • Become effective leaders in practice and professional settings
  • Cultivate inter-professional partnerships and work collaboratively to develop and deliver innovative programs
  • Contribute to the OT profession by disseminating knowledge
  • Expand thinking and integrate new knowledge to achieve professional goals

Program Description

The post-professional clinical doctoral program is designed for occupational therapists who are ready to advance their knowledge, practice and careers. Students will apply best-practice evidence, build innovative programs, design services, work effectively on inter-professional teams, and strengthen leadership roles. The OTD program is comprised of three major components: core courses, capstone project, and a 3-course minor to support student capstone and clinical and academic career goals.

The clinical doctorate program is offered through two tracks. Students with an earned master’s degree enroll in the 30-credit program that can be completed in 16 months to 3 years, depending on the course load taken by the student. Occupational therapists who do not have an earned master’s degree complete an additional 9 credits to earn their OTD degrees. The program follows a 12-month calendar with courses offered over 3 academic semesters per year. Each course is delivered in distance-learning format though a variety of teaching modalities such as online PowerPoint© lectures with audio, asynchronous discussion boards, synchronous chat rooms, reading assignments, research papers, and online journals.

All candidate applications will be reviewed; following evaluation, students may be admitted directly into the MS-to-OTD program with advanced standing, or be required to complete some or all courses listed in the BS-to-OTD track.

Unique Program Requirements

Successful students in this degree program are self-motivated and disciplined. The majority of the program is offered online and requires extensive reading and online learning activities. Students must have an ability to express themselves well in written format, and a desire to increase their abilities to think and write critically.

E-Learning at Philadelphia University

The program is offered in a flexible online environment. The vast majority of online work is asynchronous, and can be completed on the student’s own schedule provided the student meets the required assignment deadlines. There may be occasional synchronous sessions, depending on the course faculty, content, and student cohort interest.

Program Hardware and Software Requirements

  • Daily access to a computer with camera or webcam, and the capacity to hear audio (sound card). Also, a USB microphone is required for assigned synchronous sessions (headset recommended).
  • Internet access with high speed connection (DSL, Broadband or cable).
  • Microsoft Office software (Word and PowerPoint).

Our computer environment is intuitive and easy to use. However, students must have basic computer skills, including familiarity with Windows-based applications, word processing and Internet use. During orientation students learn how they will use the computer during their program of study and how they will communicate with both their faculty and classmates. Students with minimal computer skills are encouraged to enroll in a computer course prior to orientation.

Admission to the Program

Applications to the program should be submitted to the Philadelphia University Office of Graduate Admissions. Prospective students will be required to submit official transcripts of their occupational therapy and/or graduate degree(s), a resume or curriculum vitae, two letters of recommendation, and complete an application for admission that includes a personal statement explaining their interest in the program as well as noting any relevant history of experience. The GRE is not required.

Admission to the program will be based on:

  • graduate GPA (cumulative of > 3.00);
  • two letters of reference;
  • personal statement (500-1000 words); and
  • prerequisite completion (with 3.0 GPA or higher):
    • BS-to-OTD Track: Statistics
    • MS-to-OTD Track: Statistics and Research Methods or Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) (or equivalent). Note: master’s students without EBP or research course may be required to take a comparable course at PhilaU, prior to beginning their OTD track.

Curriculum

MS-to-OTD Track

Core Courses
Credits
OTD 804 Advanced Professional Studies 1
OTD 805 Doctoral Seminar 2
OTD 806 Advanced Evidence-based Practice 3
OTD 807 Interprofessional Partnerships 3
OTD 808 Applied Leadership 3

Capstone Courses
Credits
OTD 910 Capstone I: Design & Outcomes 3
OTD 920 Capstone II: Implementation 3
OTD 930 Capstone III: Analysis & Presentation 3

*Electives (select 3): 

OTD 811 Educational Therapy & Practice  3
OTD 812 Technology & Educational Methods 3
OTD 813 Accessible Living 3
OTD 814 Funding & Grantsmanship  3
0TD 815 Emerging Practice & EntrepreneurshiP 3
OTD 816 Directed Inquiry Seminar 3

* Students choose electives that inform their capstone experience and can choose from offerings within the OTD program, University, and/or transfer up to 6 credits from outside the University (upon program approval).

TOTAL CREDIT HOURS: 30 Credits


BS-to-OTD Track
 

Core Courses

Credits
OTD 732 Contemporary Practice Concepts 3
OTD 733 Research Methods for Clinical Practice 3
OTD 743 Evidence-based Practice 3
OTD 804  Advanced Professional Studies  1
OTD 805  Doctoral Seminar  2
OTD 806  Advanced Evidence-based Practice 3
OTD 807 Interprofessional Partnerships 3
OTD 808 Applied Leadership 3

Capstone Courses
Credits
OTD 910 Capstone I: Design & Outcomes 3
OTD 920 Capstone II: Implementation 3
OTD 930 Capstone III: Analysis & Presentation 3


*Electives (select 3): 

OTD 811 Educational Therapy & Practice  3
OTD 812 Technology & Educational Methods 3
OTD 813 Accessible Living 3
OTD 814 Funding & Grantsmanship  3
0TD 815 Emerging Practice & EntrepreneurshiP 3
OTD 816 Directed Inquiry Seminar 3

TOTAL CREDIT HOURS: 39 Credits


Retention and Completion of Degree Requirements

Students will be required to remain in good academic standing to be retained in the program. Students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 each semester. Students falling below will be placed on academic probation. Failure to increase the cumulative GPA to the required 3.00 within one semester (two semesters under exceptional circumstances) will result in dismissal. Further discussion on retention is included in the “Academic Standing” section in the University’s graduate catalog.

Certification for graduation will require:

  • Successful completion of the required program credits;
  • A minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average in the program’s curriculum;
  • Earning no more than one grade below “B-”;
  • Earning no grade below “C”


The OTD may be completed in five semesters. The maximum candidacy period will be four years from the initial date of enrollment.