Occupational Therapy (O.T.D)

Occupational Therapy (O.T.D)

OT grad student working with members of a stroke survivors group

WHY GET YOUR CLINICAL DOCTORAL DEGREE IN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY?

An entry level doctoral degree in occupational therapy will prepare students to enter the profession with strong foundational skills in occupational therapy assessment and intervention, advanced training in clinical skills, leadership, clinical research, and program development. Throughout the doctoral program, students will be challenged to learn and apply occupational therapy principles to traditional and emerging areas of practice, in hospital and community-based settings and for individual clients and population groups. Graduates gain valuable skills to become leaders in their field, advance in their careers, and position themselves as agents of change to influence policy and practice.

WHY CHOOSE UNH’S OTD PROGRAM?

UNH's OTD program is designed for students who are on an accelerated trajectory for advanced practice. The OTD program can be completed in three years (nine semesters and one January term) for students who enter with a bachelor’s degree in a related field. Students in the UNH BS/OTD program enter the OTD program with advanced standing to complete both degrees in six years (14 semesters and one January term). Our courses will be offered using a mix of face-to-face, hybrid and online delivery methods to maximize and enhance learning. Students will be mentored one-on-one by faculty who have expertise in clinical and evidence-based practice. Students tailor their educational experience to match their career goals within practice areas such as school-based practice, mental health, geriatric practice or musculoskeletal disorders.

POTENTIAL CAREER AREAS

  • Administration
  • Early intervention programs
  • Hospitals
  • In-patient rehabilitation centers
  • Mental health and substance abuse programs
  • Primary care settings
  • School settings
  • Skilled nursing facilities
  • OT clinical researcher
  • OT educator

Contact

Department of Occupational Therapy
Hewitt Hall, 4 Library Way
Durham, NH 03824

Phone: (603) 862-3221

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Curriculum & Requirements

An entry level doctoral degree in occupational therapy will prepare students to enter the profession with strong foundational skills in occupational therapy assessment and intervention, advanced training in clinical skills, leadership and advocacy, clinical research, and program development. Throughout the doctoral program, students will be challenged to learn and apply occupational therapy principles to traditional and emerging areas of practice, in hospital and community-based settings and for individual clients and population groups. Graduates gain valuable skills to become leaders in their field, advance in their careers, and position themselves as agents of change to influence policy and practice.

Students entering the OTD Program complete 3 years (9 semesters) of professional courses to prepare them for all areas of occupational therapy practice. The curriculum includes 24 weeks of full-time fieldwork experiences. Students may choose to complete a graduate certificate to focus their preparation for a specific area of practice. OTD students conclude their education with a 14-week doctoral capstone where they apply and expand their knowledge and take on leadership roles to develop a new program addressing specific client needs, conduct research, promote policy changes, or provide education.

OT 810OT Practice and Professional Roles3
OT 815Introduction to Group Process: Theory and Application2
OT 830
830L
Assistive Technology for Enhancing Occupational Performance
and Assistive Technology for Enhancing Occupational Performance Lab
4
OT 841Human Occupation4
OT 844Fieldwork and Professionalism - Level 11
OT 845Administration and Management for Occupational Therapy Practice3
OT 846Fieldwork and Professionalism-Level II1
OT 850Neuro-Occupation: The Relationship Between Occupation and the Brain3
OT 851Mind Body Systems/Neurologically-based Function and Dysfunction3
OT 852
852L
Human Movement and Environmental Effects on Everyday Occupations
and Human Movement and Environmental Effects on Everyday Occupations Lab
4
OT 854Level II Fieldwork, I8
OT 855Level II Fieldwork Discussion1
OT 856Level II Fieldwork, II8
OT 860
860L
860R
Psychosocial Evaluation and Intervention
and Psychosocial Evaluation and Intervention Lab
and Psychosocial Evaluation & Intervention Recitation
4
OT 862
862L
862R
OT Evaluation and Intervention for Children
and OT Evaluation and Intervention for Children - Lab
and OT Evaluation and Intervention for Children Recitation
4
OT 863
863L
863R
Occupational Therapy Intervention for Adults
and Occupational Therapy Evaluation and Intervention for Adults - Lab
and Adult Evaluation and Intervention Recitation
4
OT 865Occupational Therapy Practice and Professional Reasoning3
OT 871
871L
Enabling Participation in Community Groups
and Enabling Participation in Community Groups Lab
5
OT 881Introduction to Research and Evidence-Based Practice3
OT 882Research Methods and Application3
OT 892Level I Fieldwork1
OT 964Age Well: Occupational Therapy with Older Adults3
OT 998Recent Advances in Neurological Evaluation and Intervention3
OT 983Engagement in Research3
OT 965Occupational Therapy Practice and Professional Reasoning3
OT 975Leadership in OT Systems of Practice3
OT 901Introduction to Capstone2
OT 902Capstone Preparation3
OT 903Capstone: Project Implementation, Evaluation and Dissemination12
Elective or Graduate Certificate Course3-4

Occupational Therapy OTD Entry-level Program Student Outcomes at the completion of the professional entry-level OTD Program, our graduates will:

Demonstrate commitment and ability to use meaningful occupation for promoting health and well-being.

  • Our curriculum emphasizes the idea that engagement in everyday occupations will lead to fulfillment of life roles and the promotion of health and well-being of individuals, communities, and populations. Our graduates are ready and dedicated to apply occupation-based evaluation and intervention techniques, and to share and expand authentic occupational therapy practice.

Demonstrate professional attitudes and behaviors in their interactions with clients and others.

  • Our graduates will be dedicated to ethical, client-driven practice demonstrating cultural sensitivity, integrity, honesty, compassion, and fairness. They will demonstrate respect for all persons with whom they work, appreciating and considering individual identities, priorities, abilities, and life experiences. They will be able to collaborate in intraprofessional and interdisciplinary teams within various settings, understanding the roles and expertise of other occupational therapists and other professionals.

Demonstrate entry-level competencies as OT practitioners across diverse practice settings, skilled in the delivery evidence-based, occupation–centered evaluation and intervention techniques.

  • Our graduates develop critical thinking skills and the capacity for creative clinical reasoning for providing client-centered, occupation-centered services. Graduates will apply a variety of evaluation methods for understanding a person’s occupational history, abilities, challenges and goals. They will apply occupation-centered intervention approaches and innovative technologies to address the needs of individuals and populations in traditional and emerging medical, educational, and other community-based practice settings.

Demonstrate skills for translating research-to-practice and generating new knowledge grounded in occupational therapy practice.

  • Our graduates will be skilled in identifying, critiquing, and synthesizing relevant research for delivering evidence-based services. Graduates will demonstrate capacity to translate research evidence to influence practice. They will have skills for contributing to the body of knowledge that supports and advances the profession.

Demonstrate skills to become leaders and innovators as practitioners, researchers, advocates, educators, administrators, policy-makers, and entrepreneurs.

  • Our graduates will apply leadership knowledge and skills, ethical reasoning, knowledge of policy and systems to be agents of change in diverse settings. Our graduates will be life-long learners and innovative thinkers committed to ongoing professional development. Our graduates will support and promote occupational justice for individuals, communities, and populations.

Deadlines

Applications must be completed by the following deadlines in order to be reviewed for admission:

  • Fall: N/A
  • Spring: N/A
  • Summer: January 15 recommended; March 1 final deadline
  • Special: N/A

Application fee: $65

Campus: Durham

New England Regional: No

Accelerated Masters Eligible: No

New Hampshire Residents

Students claiming in-state residency must also submit a Proof of Residence Form. This form is not required to complete your application, but you will need to submit it after you are offered admission or you will not be able to register for classes.

Transcripts

If you attended UNH after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester and UNH Non-Degree work. 

If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must upload an official copy of your transcript in the application form. International transcripts must be translated into English.

If admitted, you must request an official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. We accept transcripts both electronically and in hard copy:

  • Electronic Transcripts: Please have your institution send the transcript directly to grad.school@unh.edu. Please note that we can only accept copies sent directly from the institution.
  • Paper Transcripts: Please send hard copies of transcripts to: UNH Graduate School, Thompson Hall- 105 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824. You may request transcripts be sent to us directly from the institution or you may send them yourself as long as they remain sealed in the original university envelope.

Transcripts from all previous post-secondary institutions must be submitted and applicants must disclose any previous academic or disciplinary sanctions that resulted in their temporary or permanent separation from a previous post-secondary institution. If it is found that previous academic or disciplinary separations were not disclosed, applicants may face denial and admitted students may face dismissal from their academic program.

Letters of recommendation: 3 required

Recommendation letters submitted by relatives or friends, as well as letters older than one year, will not be accepted.

Personal Statement/Essay Questions

Brief essay, stating interest in continuing into the graduate program to enter the profession.

Resume

A current resume is required with your submitted application.

Additional Department Requirements

Prerequisite Course Verification Form (required): The regular program requires that all applicants print and complete the OT Prerequisite Course Verification Form. All prerequisites must be completed at the time of application. Please email the form to the UNH Graduate School. If you have questions about using the form, please contact Barbara.White@unh.edu in the OT department. Those applying to the Advanced Standing program, or current and recently graduated UNH B.S. in Occupational Therapy students, do not have to submit the prerequisite verification form.

Students who are currently in the UNH BS Occupational Therapy Program and applying to the Occupational Therapy Advanced Standing OTD Program should talk with their academic advisor in the Occupational Therapy Department regarding any questions on the application process.

The Occupational Therapy Department at UNH has applied for accreditation for an entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program and has been granted Candidacy Status 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-AOTAand its Web address is www.acoteonline.org. The program must have a preaccreditation review, complete an on-site evaluation, and be granted Accreditation Status before its graduates will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). The UNH Program is scheduled for on-site evaluation in the fall of 2025, prior to a May 2026 graduation.

Students must complete 24 weeks of Level II fieldwork within two years of completing professional program academic coursework. They must also complete an individual 14-week doctoral capstone experience within 12 months following the completion of all required coursework and Level II fieldwork as well as completion of preparatory capstone activities.

After completing all program requirements, students are eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist, administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of the NBCOT exam, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). In addition, all states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure. 

The UNH Occupational Therapy Department will accept applications from interested students with a baccalaureate degree for entry into the OTD Program in the Fall 2022 to begin courses in the Summer 2023.

UNH students enrolled in the BS/OTD Program will begin taking professional level courses as part of their BS degree and enter the OTD Program with advanced standing in Summer of 2024.  

Important Notes

All applicants are encouraged to contact programs directly to discuss program-specific application questions.

International Applicants

Some academic departments recommend that international applicants, living outside of the United States, and planning on pursuing a research based degree, submit our extended inquiry form before submitting a full application. The extended inquiry form will be reviewed by the academic faculty and a department representative will reach out if your background and qualifications are a good fit for the program. 

Prospective international students are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examination scores. English Language Exams may be waived if English is your first language. If you wish to request a waiver, then please visit our Test Scores webpage for more information.

Explore Program Details

OTD Occupational Therapy Prerequisites

  • A completed BA or BS degree with a miniumum overall grade point average of 3.00 or better
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology I & II (2 courses, both with required labs)
  • Neuroanatomy (lab preferred)
    The Neuroanatomy course must include content related to the neural basis for movement and sensory functions. This includes an overview of the anatomical organization and function of the central nervous system, gross anatomy of both central and peripheral nervous system (including blood supply and meninges), sensory pathways, motor pathways, cranial nerves, and the spinal cord and spinal nerves. At the end of the course, students should have a basic working knowledge of the central nervous system in order to participate in the neurological examination of individuals with neurological impairments.
    *  UNH offers KIN706 Neurology as an online course during summer session that will include online lab experiences.
    *  Neurology can often be found at schools that offer medical based programs, including occupational therapy and/or physical therapy programs. Neuroscience or neuropsychology courses typically do not meet this prerequisite.
  • Clinical Kinesiology (lab preferred)
    The clinical kinesiology course must include content related to the anatomy and physiology of the skeletal and muscular systems, sensory innervation of muscles, and basic biomechanics.
    *  UNH offers KIN652 Clinical Kinesiology as an online course during summer session.
  • Statistics
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Medical Terminology
  • Human Development
    *  Coursework should include all stages of human development from birth through old age. This information may be covered in one lifespan course or multiple courses (i.e.: child development and adult development).

Do all of the prerequisites need to be completed to apply?
Students who have completed all prerequisites will be reviewed more favorably, however, students may apply while still completing prerequisite courses. All prerequisites must be completed before beginning the program in the Summer semester.

Where can I take the prerequisites?
Prerequisite courses may be completed at any accredited college or university. Prerequisite course must be taken for college credit with a letter grade of a B- or better.

What are the prerequisites for the OTD Program?

Mandatory prerequisites:

  • Human Anatomy and Physiology with labs--2 courses
  • Clinical Kinesiology (lab preferred but not required)
  • Neuroanatomy (with lab)
  • Statistics
  • Human development course(s) covering the lifespan (may be done with two courses, one covering child development and one covering adult development)
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Medical Terminology

Do all of the prerequisites need to be completed to apply?
Students who have completed all prerequisites will be reviewed more favorably, however, students may apply while still completing prerequisite courses. All prerequisites must be completed before beginning the program in the Summer semester.

What is the estimated total cost for the OTD in the OT Program?
The estimated tuition and university and course fees for the OTD Program includes six semesters plus tuition for a January-term for Level I fieldwork and three summer sessions. The estimate is subject to change annually as determined by the USNH Board of Trustees and the OT Department adjustments in course fees.

  • Estimated total cost for in-state (NH resident) for the program is: $60,170.00.
  • Estimated total cost for out-of-state for the program is: $102,424.00.
  • Students from Rhode Island or Connecticut would be eligible for the New England Regional Student Program and the estimated total cost is: $82,274.00.  

This estimate does not include expenses for fieldwork related to transportation and housing which are dependent on location.

The OT Department awards scholarships and graduate stipends, usually given to students in their 2nd or 3rd year in the program.

How can I schedule a tour?
To register for a campus tour please visit admissions

How do I apply to the OTD Program?
Please apply through the graduate school online application.

How do I register for prerequisite courses at UNH?
To register as a Non-degree student, you must go through Continuing Education.

I have been out of school for many years and don't have access to recent professors to ask for references. What should I do?
We are looking for references who can speak to your ability to handle complex and dynamic information, your work ethic, your ability to handle stress, and your communication skills. While we prefer two references from recent professors, people who have supervised you in a professional, work/volunteer capacity are also acceptable.

What is the deadline for OTD Applications?
** Application Deadline for the OTD Program: January 15 recommended, March 1 final**
However, we encourage applications to be submitted to the graduate school by the end of December to ensure that all applications are complete in time for review. We also encourage applicants to periodically review their application status on the graduate school website and to contact the graduate school if items are missing.

What is the topic for the admissions essay?
We are looking for strong writing skills and a clear presentation of your understanding of Occupational Therapy. We especially appreciate creative approaches to telling your story and describing why you believe you would be a good fit for the profession.

What should I look for in a neuroanatomy course?
The Neuroanatomy course must be rich in content related to the neural basis for movement and sensory functions. Course content must incorporate an overview of the anatomical organization and function of the central nervous system, including blood supply and meninges; sensory pathways; motor pathways; cranial nerves; and spinal cord, including spinal nerves. Typical course objectives of an appropriate course should include wording about providing students with a basic working knowledge of the central nervous system and presenting the basic functional neuroanatomy required to understand and interpret the neurological examination of individuals with neurological impairments. 

These courses can often be found at schools that offer medical professions education, including Occupational Therapy and/or Physical Therapy majors. UNH offers this course (KIN706/707) in the fall semester and in the early summer. There is one acceptable online course of which we are aware at San Jose State (Bio 109). Neuroscience courses typically do not meet this prerequisite.

Where can I take the prerequisites?
Prerequisite courses may be completed at any accredited college or university. 

Students in the professional program must meet program requirements:

  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 (overall) is required for continuation in the professional program.
  • Grades B- or above in all courses. Students earning B- or lower in 9 or more credits will be dismissed from the professional program.
  • Passing grades in all fieldwork components.
  • Acceptable professional behavior identified on the OT Department Pillars of Professional Behaviors.

Students who do not meet these standards will be dismissed from the program. 

Once students have completed all their academic and fieldwork requirements for entry-level practice, they prepare to take the NBCOT exam. This is one exam for which students cannot cram! But students certainly can prepare for it. The below links provide information about the exam's format and content and guide you through the process of using your fieldwork experience as a study guide. 

OUTLINE OF EXAM CONTENTS 
PREPARING FOR THE EXAM
NBCOT EXAM ELIGIBILITY
NBCOT WEBSITE

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