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 2020 will remain in the 4-year completion cycle. In order to align with the DrOT Accelerated Pathway, starting in Fall 2021, the Post-Baccalaureate Pathway will transition to this new curriculum. Please see the curriculum within this section for more information.
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 122 hours of coursework dependent on entry year. 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 worksite 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), 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. ACOTE is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.