Jul 13, 2024  
2021 Graduate Catalog 1.2 (SUMMER-FALL) 
2021 Graduate Catalog 1.2 (SUMMER-FALL) [ARCHIVED CATALOG - Consult with Your Academic Advisor for Your Catalog Year]

Post Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate (O.T.D.)

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Utica College’s post-professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) offers practicing licensed occupational therapists the post-professional degree they need to advance their careers. The program is offered in a hybrid manner with courses offered in both online and on-ground format. The OT courses within the core competencies require weekend mini-residencies that typically meet 1-2 times each semester. Electives are provided either on-ground or online. Students may study either full-time or parttime.

Designed specifically for licensed occupational therapy professionals, students are provided with course options allowing them to plan their program of study to focus on individual career goals. Centered on the view of an occupational therapist as change agent, requiring knowledge and skills in a variety of roles, successful graduates complete coursework in advanced practice, education, advocacy, theory development and leadership. A capstone project provides an opportunity to demonstrate achievement of program goals.

As part of the program students will be expected to work with specific populations to complete certain assignments. These assignments can be completed in an employment setting. In cases where a student is not employed in the field, students will need to find for themselves a community practice experience on a pro-bono basis. The College can provide a letter of verification for students who need it attesting to the prospective site that the student is in good standing, licensed, and engaging in a required educational activity.

All capstone projects will be published through ProQuest ETD, the electronic full-text database. The ProQuest database can be searched through most academic and research libraries. Students retain copyright to the material. Further details are available on the Office of Graduate Studies web site at https://www.utica.edu/ogs/etdsubmit.cfm


Students admitted into the PP-OTD program must: (a) hold a current unencumbered license in occupational therapy, (b) either be currently employed in, or have 2 years of experience in, Occupational Therapy, (c) have a masters’ degree in occupational therapy or related field with a GPA of 3.0 or above, (d) have earned at least 42 credit hours of graduate level work (e) provide recommendations from 2 graduate faculty members, and (f) submit with their admission application a copy of their master’s thesis/capstone project or a portfolio including 3 substantive written documents.


Students must meet the College’s criteria for graduate academic progress and professional behavior. Students must achieve a score indicative of adequate to excellent professional behaviors in each category of the summative assessment to enroll in OCT775 -Capstone Project. Students who do not score at this level will be dismissed. Students will receive a formative assessment after the completion of 12 credits of course work and a summative assessment after the completion of 24 credits of course work. Students must achieve a score of 6 or better in each category of the summative assessment to enroll in OCT775 - Capstone Project. Students who do not score at this level will be dismissed.

Program Goals

Successful graduates from this program will become change-agents demonstrating the knowledge and skills to competently perform as:

  • Advanced Best-Practice Occupational Therapists. Graduates will be able to analyze and evaluate best practices, synthesizing information from a variety of sources in order to apply those practices to individuals, populations and communities in multiple contexts and across systems.
  • Educators. Graduates will be able to analyze and evaluate educational theory, applying that understanding, as well as instructional design, to the creation of educational experiences.
  • Advocates. Graduates will be able to apply an understanding of systems analysis to identify when such systems either impede or facilitate occupational justice and health equity. Students will select and appraise strategies for their ability to advocate for systems change.
  • Theory Developers. Graduates will be able to apply the process of theory development to an identified area that would benefit from an alternative perspective or model of practice to ensure occupational justice for individuals, populations and communities.
  • Leaders. Graduates will be able to analyze and evaluate current models of leadership in order to adopt a model appropriate to a specific context, enabling them as leaders to enact beneficial changes.

Academic Requirements (30 Credit Hours)

Core Courses (15 credit hours)

Elective Courses (9 credit hours)

Students must complete 9 credit hours of electives. The faculty have identified several advising specializations, groups of courses within the elective offerings, that provide students with a focused path of study. Elective specializations are not formal parts of the curriculum but options within the elective section of the program. Students do not have to focus on a specialization but can with the consent of their advisor, simply elect to take appropriate courses that meet their needs or interests. The specializations identified by the faculty are:

• Healthcare Leadership

• Education K-12

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