Occupational Therapy Doctorate Program

what is Occupational Therapy?

What is Occupation?
Human beings have an occupational nature. When a person does things (when a person engages in occupations), the person fulfills one's unique potential and exercises sensorimotor, cognitive, and psychosocial abilities. Occupations promote and shape development and they reflect the person's deepest meanings and purposes.

What is Occupational Therapy?
Given the power of occupation in human development, it is not surprising that a profession is specifically devoted to the use of occupation as a therapeutic method. The profession of occupational therapy is based on the use of occupation for health promotion and remediation of disorders. Therefore, the mission of the Occupational Therapy Program at The University of Toledo is the study and application of therapeutic occupation.

What is unique about Occupational Therapy (OT) education at UT?
OT education at UT is grounded in the belief that a true graduate program builds knowledge as well as imparts knowledge. The Program has a specific approach to therapeutic occupation and a strong commitment to the development of new knowledge. The Program faculty are committed to the preparation of occupational therapists who are highly competent practitioners, contributors to research, potential leaders, future educators, and advocates for the profession. To this end, students in this program will be challenged to critically analyze therapeutic occupation and to move the profession forward through state-of-the-art practice and scholarly inquiry.

Why an Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD)?
The purpose of the OTD is to prepare occupational therapists for independent practice in a wide variety of settings including specialty areas of choice. The OTD is for those who wish to enter the field of OT and have completed a bachelor's degree in another discipline. The increased classroom and clinical experiences contained in the OTD Program promote development of a broader array of contemporary practice skills, increased autonomy in decision-making, and enhanced leadership skills.

UT is a great value
UT is a public institution and therefore, tuition is relatively reasonable by today’s standards especially when compared with private institutions. Even with lower tuition, excellent packages of financial aid and scholarships are available to qualified students.  Visit The UT Treasurer's web page and download the most recent Finance Brochure for current tuition information.

The UT program is nationally ranked
There are 162 schools that offer OT programs in the U.S.  US News and World Report currently ranks The University of Toledo among the top 25% of occupational therapy programs.

Enjoy a small class size
Twenty graduate students are admitted each Fall.  The small class size permits easy access to professors.  Students get individual attention and really get to know the faculty and their classmates.  In turn, the faculty get to know students too.  Click here to see the students’ web pages and learn more about UT's students. 

Enjoy Advanced Technology
A thorough re-design, including advanced technology, of all clinical labs, research spaces, and classrooms was completed in  2010.

Study with an excellent faculty
All of the full-time faculty are doctorally prepared and nationally recognized for scholarship, teaching, and service.  The faculty have contributed to the body of knowledge in occupational therapy through research and publication.  They have also won awards for teaching.  In addition, a stellar group of community occupational therapists serve as adjunct faculty, fieldwork supervisors, and capstone site mentors.  See Program Faculty for a list of faculty and their research interests.

Hands on learning with clients and patients
We have excellent fieldwork and capstone opportunities in all aspects of occupational therapy, including structured clinical learning opportunities in every semester of the program starting with the first semester.

Individualize your education
An individually planned capstone experience in an area of practice of particular interest to the student permits the development of enhanced contemporary practice skills.

Do important research
As a student, you will have an opportunity to do an individual research project, designed with a faculty mentor, to answer an important question in occupational therapy.  Many of our students and alumni have published their results in professional journals and presented results at  professional conferences.

Excellent preparation to pass the national certification examination
The total number of graduates who passed the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) certification examination within 12 months of graduation from the program over the 3 most recent calendar years from 2016-2019, 76 out of 76 (100%) of graduates passed the exam within a year of graduating. Graduates must pass this examination to be eligible for licenses in their respective states. See Accreditation Status and Licensing Information.

Attend a graduate program in occupational therapy
The OT program was designed from its inception as a graduate program.  We were the first graduate-level occupational therapy program in the state of Ohio and have over two decades of experience with graduate-level programming.  Beginning in 2005, we offered the first Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) in Ohio and the first OTD program in the nation at a public institution.  We believe that the OTD is the wave of the future.  The American Occupational Therapy Association Board of Directors has issued a Position Statement advocating doctoral preparation for entry-level practice in the future. 

For more information
Call to arrange a visit to campus or to speak with a professor. Contact the Department secretary at 419-530-6670 for more information or email us at marilyn.palazzolo@utoledo.edu

Last Updated: 1/13/21