University of the Sciences offers a doctor of occupational therapy (DrOT) degree. Students are eligible to begin coursework in the program at one of three entry points: Accelerated Pathway (undergraduate entry; BSHS/DrOT)) and Post Baccalaureate (PBDrOT). There is also an online DrOT program available for current occupational therapists who hold a Master’s degree in occupational therapy.
The on campus DrOT programs (Accelerated Pathway and Post Baccalaureate) each allow students to concentrate in one of two tracks: community-based practice or leadership.
The curriculum for the first and second 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.”
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. There are two three-month clinical education components to the curriculum that may be scheduled throughout the United States. In addition, doctoral students complete a four-month experiential field experience, which may also be scheduled throughout the United States. Please note that prior fieldwork or work experience may not be substituted for the experiential field experience. In the event that a current work setting is used to satisfy the 16-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.
Effective 2014, 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 for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) examination. In order to be eligible to take the certification exam, you must complete all MOT or DrOT program requirements and all fieldwork must be satisfied within eighteen months of completion of the academic work. Currently, a master’s degree in occupational therapy is the minimum degree level required of those entering the field. Please note that a felony conviction may delay or prohibit certification through NBCOT and could prevent state licensure.
Students who are applying to take the NBCOT exam are required to pass a NBCOT practice exam and present evidence of passing to the Occupational Therapy Department chairperson with the exam application. Applications will not be processed and submitted to NBCOT without this evidence.
The doctor of occupational therapy (DrOT) program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE), a specialized accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. If you have questions or comments, please contact ACOTE, c/o Accreditation Dept., AOTA, 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449, www.acoteonline.org, or 301.652.6611 ext. 2914.