Occupational Therapy Doctorate Program

Occupational Therapy as a Career

As society moves forward in the 21st Century, so does the need to develop and provide advanced ways to promote health and inclusion for all people. Occupational Therapists work with clients across the lifespan in healthcare, education, and community settings to support their engagement in everyday activities (called “occupations”). They identify and reduce barriers to participation in occupations including physical, cognitive, psychological, social, and environmental factors. They believe that engaging in occupations promotes self-identity, health, and wellness.

Occupational Therapy practitioners work with people at every age and stage of life to maintain their functional daily living. 
You will find them in:

  • Early intervention working with babies and toddlers to thrive in their homes
  • Schools (preschool through graduation) supporting students in special education
  • Hospitals and clinics promoting recovery from injuries and diseases
  • Residential facilities and nursing homes engaging people in meaningful lives
  • Industry helping injured workers return to their jobs
  • Health promotion helping people establish healthy habits
  • Mental health maintaining wellness through purposeful tasks

                   Money Symbol


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of OTs is projected to grow 14% over the next decade.  This is much faster than the 5% average for all other jobs.

In 2021 the median wages were:

  • $85,570 for Occupational Therapists (with most making $60,680-$123,840)
  • $61,730 for Occupational Therapy Assistants (with most making $46,810-$80,210)


Colleges and Universities are required to ensure that their occupational therapy education programs meet specific standards.

Occupational Therapist (OT) Master's or Doctoral Degree

  • Practice independently
  • Conduct the whole therapy process
  • Supervise and collaborate with OTAs

Occupational Therapy Assistant

  • Provide and document therapy under an OT's supervision
  • Collaborate with the OT to gather data and plan services.

After After graduation, OTs and OTAs take a registry exam. OTs who pass use the credentials OTR and OTAs who pass use the credentials COTA. In all U.S. states and territories, OTs and OTAs need a professional license to practice.

Applying to an occupational therapy education program

Occupational Therapist

  • OT education programs are graduate degree programs at four-year colleges and universities.
  • Earn a bachelor’s degree in a field that interests you
  • Include common prerequisites in your plan of study
  • Research OT schools for one that appeals to you based on location, class size, ranking, and degree level (master’s or doctoral)

Occupational Therapy Assistant

  • OTA education programs are undergraduate degree programs at two-year community colleges and four-year colleges and universities.
  • Include common prerequisites in your plan of study
  • Research OTA schools for one that appeals to you based on location, class size, ranking, and degree level (associate’s or bachelor’s)

You apply to OT and OTA education programs through the Centralized Application Services (OTCAS or OTACAS). Learn more at the American Occupational Therapy Association's webpage.

The occupational therapy doctorate program at utoledo

A doctoral degree in occupational therapy provides:

  • Independent decision-making skills
  • Increased practice skills
  • Enhanced research skills
  • Supervisory skills
  • Faster career advancement

Highlights of our program:

  • Lower-cost tuition
  • Small class size
  • Dedicated classrooms
  • Hands-on learning
  • Interprofessional education
  • Ranked by US News & World Report
  • 100% employment rate

Our Curriculum:

  • 3 years (8 semesters)
  • 95 credits
  • Fieldwork every semester
  • Research project
  • Individualized capstone


  • Bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Prerequisites with a grade of B- or better:
    • Introductory Biology
    • Anatomy & Physiology (6 credits)
    • Psychology and Abnormal Psychology
    • Sociology OR Anthropology
    • Medical terminology
    • Lifespan Human Development
    • Statistics


  • OTCAS Application and fee
  • UToledo writing sample
  • 3 letters of recommendation

For more information contact:

Alexia Metz, Ph.D., OTR/L, Program Director
Email: alexia.metz@utoledo.edu
Phone: 419.530.6692


Follow UToledo’s OT students on Instagram!

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Last Updated: 12/16/22