Sep 21, 2021  
2018-19 ATSU University Catalog 
2018-19 ATSU University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Occupational Therapy (Online), OTD (TEACH OUT)

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[Post Professional] Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program - online

The Doctorate in Occupational Therapy (OTD) Program is an online, post-professional degree program for occupational therapists wishing to develop and enhance skills in program development and evaluation, leadership, advocacy, and health promotion and wellness. The mission of the online OTD Program is to enable occupational therapists to develop roles and skills beyond that of the therapist-clinician, to educate them to become practitioner-scholars who can translate knowledge (including cross-disciplinary theories and research) into practice and who are capable of serving as agents of change in new and expanded arenas. The primary focus of the curriculum is on program development and evaluation and the role of occupational therapy in prevention and in the promotion of health and wellness. In addition to coursework, program requirements include completion of a doctoral project and submission of a professional portfolio representing the attainment of core competencies.

Program Mission

To enable occupational therapists to develop roles and skills beyond that of the therapist-clinician, to educate them to become practitioner-scholars who can translate knowledge (including cross-disciplinary theories and research) into practice and who are capable of serving as agents of change in new and expanded arenas.

Length of Program

The program requires a minimum of 48 quarter credit hours beyond the Master’s degree.  Developed for the practicing occupational therapist, the program is designed to be completed in two continuous years based upon a part-time plan of study and includes the following coursework requirements:

  1. Occupational Therapy Doctoral Seminars (24 credits required)
  2. Electives (8 credits required)
  3. Doctoral Project (16 credits)


Distance programs’ tuition is due the first day of class. For programs with payment per credit or course, the tuition covers the payment for the coming quarter.  Delinquent tuition penalties accrue at 1.5% per month, which is 18% per year.

$541 per credit hour


Application Process

Application for the Occupational Therapy program is through the Occupational Therapist Centralized Application Service (OTCAS). For further details, please see the OTCAS website at

Admission Requirements

Applicants for admission to the online OTD program must meet the following requirements prior to matriculation.

  1. Applicants are required to meet all ATSU and ASHS general admission requirements
  2. Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 for all prior undergraduate and graduate level coursework and degrees completed; minimum Occupational Therapy Program GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale.
  3. A master’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or university. Applicants who have graduated from a non-S. college or university must submit acceptable evidence of U.S. degree/course equivalency and must have foreign transcripts evaluated by an evaluation service specializing in foreign transcript evaluation. The evaluation must state that the transcript(s) reflects equivalency of a U.S. degree.
    1. For applicants graduating from master’s degree programs other than the ATSU-ASHS OT Program or AMOT Program, completion of the following graduate level courses (or the equivalent) with a grade of B (3.00) or better on a 4.00 scale are required:
      1. Evidence Based Practice (minimum of 3 quarter credit hours; e.g. OT 811)
      2. Research Designs & Methods (minimum of 3 quarter credit hours; e.g. OT 807 or HS 522)
      3. Statistics (minimum of 3 quarter credit hours; e.g. OT 808 or HS 532]
  4. Official sealed transcripts from all institutions attended.
  5. Initial certification as an occupational therapist from NBCOT. International applicants are eligible to apply but must show proof of certification or eligibility to practice as an occupational therapist that is equivalent to OT certification and licensure in the United States and have earned an OT degree from an OT program recognized by WFOT.
  6. An up-to-date resume or curriculum vitae.
  7. A letter of intent providing a description of why the ATSU-ASHS Occupational Therapy doctorate program was chosen by the applicant and how the program aligns with the applicant’s intended career goals. The letter of intent should be a minimum of two pages and maximum of four pages in length and preferably will include a one-paragraph description of a prevention/health promotion program the applicant might be interested in developing for a particular population.
  8. Two letters of reference – one from someone who can attest to the applicant’s ability to be successful in doctoral level academic work (i.e. a former faculty member, academic adviser, or employer) and a second one from a reference who can attest to the quality of applicant’s professional work as an occupational therapist.
  9. All students are required to demonstrate proficiency in English when applying to the Arizona School of Health Sciences, A.T Still University. See the ASHS English Proficiency section for more details.
    1. OTD minimum TOEFL score requirements:TOEFL Paper based total score = 550
      1. Minimum of 56 on Reading Skills section
      2. Minimum of 61 – 62 on Writing Skills section
    2. Computer based total score = 213
      1. Minimum of 22 on Reading Skills section
      2. Minimum of 26 on Writing Skills section
    3. Internet based total score = 80
      1. Minimum of 21 on Reading Skills section
      2. Minimum of 24 on Writing Skills section
  10. Meet the Minimum Technology Specifications  under the General Admission Requirements section.

Applicants who are considered potential candidates will be required to participate in a telephone interview to identify the goodness of fit of the program for the applicant.

Graduation Requirements

To earn the online Doctor in Occupational Therapy degree, all students must:

  1. Pass all courses with a minimum grade of “C”, and an overall cumulative GPA of 3.00 on a 4.0 scale
  2. Complete a doctoral project and a professional portfolio representing attainment of core competencies associated with the program
  3. Discharge all financial obligations to ATSU
  4. Submit an RSVP for the appropriate Commencement ceremony (found on the graduation website)
  5. Ensure that the mailing address in the CampusNexus Student Portal is current. This is the address where the diploma will be mailed.
  6. Attending commencement is not required but highly recommended.
  7. Complete all prescribed courses and electives as well as all other program requirements within seven years of matriculation into the program.



Descriptions and Credit Values

A typical course schedule consists of the following. Additional course options may be available and listed below under Other Courses.

Occupational Therapy Doctoral Seminars

The doctoral level seminars in occupational therapy are core courses designed to provide the OTD student with a firm foundation in the role of occupational therapy in the area of prevention and health promotion and wellness and aim to develop skills in needs assessment, program planning, design, development and evaluation of occupation based programs, leadership and advocacy, and writing for publication. The following six, 4 quarter credit hour courses are all required and are designed to be taken successively with a cohort group that enters once each year:

Doctoral Project Courses

The OTD Program requires the completion of a Doctoral Project which entails an integral and interwoven set of learning experiences designed to promote students’ development and refinement of skills in program design, development, implementation, evaluation, and dissemination of this work. The required course sequence includes eight, two-credit courses that are taken over the duration of the student’s progression through the OTD Program.* The student must complete all the assigned tasks of each course to enroll in each subsequent course in the series.**  Optimally, a student will proceed through the Doctoral Project  sequence of eight courses with the peer cohort group the student started the OTD Program with so as to benefit from the peer support and review process that will be built into the design of each of the courses in this sequence.

**Should a student in the OTD Program be unable to complete the requirements for OTDP 9940 or OTDP 9980 by the end of the quarter in which it is taken, the student will be given an incomplete for the course, will have one additional quarter to complete the associated tasks required, and will also be required to register for the following coursework. (Note: the specific number of additional credits required will be determined on a case-by-case basis, upon the recommendation of the student’s doctoral project advisor and/or committee.)


Students will be required to take 8 credits of electives in subject areas of interest to them and related to the overall intent and design of the OTD Program. Students will be able to select from the following course offerings, at least one of which will be scheduled for each summer. In addition, students may elect to pursue selected course offerings from ATSU School of Health Management Programs and/or the ATSU-ASHS Doctor of Health Sciences Program subject to respective program director permission as well as OTD Program advisor approval. Should the electives available at ATSU not match a students’ needs and interests, a student may elect to take and transfer up to 8 credits of graduate level coursework from another regionally accredited institution, but is required to consult with their OTD Program advisor and obtain approval prior to pursuing this option.

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