University of the Sciences offers a doctor of occupational therapy (DrOT) degree. Students are eligible to begin coursework in the program at one of two entry points: Accelerated Pathway (undergraduate entry; BSHS/DrOT) and Post Baccalaureate (PBDrOT).
NOTE: Beginning Fall of 2019 the DrOT Accelerated Pathway has transitioned to a new format (3 undergraduate years/3 professional years). Post-Baccalaureate Pathway entry in Fall of 2019 will remain in the 4 year completion cycle. Please see curriculum within this section.
The curriculum for the ﬁrst 3 years of the Accelerated Pathway to the DrOT program (BSHS/DrOT) provides a broad foundation of natural science, social science, and humanities upon which the professional courses are structured. The professional component of the curriculum is based on the theories of occupation and occupational therapy, which emphasize the importance of meaning and purpose in goal-directed activities or occupations. The courses will actively engage the student in experiential learning so that knowledge, skills, and attitudes are integrated by “doing.”
The post-baccalaureate doctor of occupational therapy (PBDrOT) program is for students who hold an earned bachelor’s degree in one of the sciences, sociology, psychology, or other related ﬁelds. Students attend class full-time and must complete 123 or 131 hours of coursework dependent on entry year. If students have taken courses in equivalent material, they may be given credit for individual courses, based on review of material by the department chair. The curriculum for the professional component of the curriculum is based on the theories of occupation and occupational therapy, which emphasize the importance of meaning and purpose in goal-directed activities or occupations. The courses will actively engage the student in experiential learning so that knowledge, skills, and attitudes are integrated by “doing.”
In addition to instruction provided by occupational therapy and other University faculty, the resources of clinical afﬁliates in community centers, community outreach programs, long-term care facilities, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and schools in the Greater Philadelphia area and neighboring states will be used for many clinical experiences. Students are required to complete a minimum of 24 weeks of full-time level II ﬁeldwork that may be scheduled throughout the United States. In addition, doctoral students complete a 14-week mentored experience, which may also be scheduled throughout the United States. The student must successfully complete all coursework and level II ﬁeldwork, and pass a competency requirement prior to the commencement of the doctoral component. Please note that prior ﬁeldwork or work experience may not be substituted for the doctoral experiential component. In the event that a current work setting is used to satisfy the 14-week requirement, the student must develop a plan in collaboration with the ﬁeldwork coordinator to ensure that additional experiential activities are conducted at the work site to meet the requirements of the in-depth doctoral experiential component.
All states in the United States require a license to practice occupational therapy. Each state also has specific legislation describing the process for obtaining a license to practice and specific licensure application requirements. The primary criterion for obtaining a license in any state is passing the National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy Examination (NBCOT). In order to be eligible to take the certiﬁcation exam, students must complete DrOT program requirements and all ﬁeldwork must be satisﬁed within eighteen months of completion of didactic coursework. Part-time completion of the doctoral capstone experience will be considered under extenuating circumstances only and shall delay graduation.
Please note that a felony conviction may delay or prohibit fieldwork placement, certiﬁcation through NBCOT and could prevent state licensure.
The doctor of occupational therapy (DrOT) program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). ACOTE is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. ACOTE can be contacted at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449; 301.652.6611, ext. 2042. Their website is www.acoteonline.org.