Entry-Level Occupational Therapy OTD

Degree: Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)
https://www.towson.edu/chp/departments/occutherapy/programs/elotd/

Program Director: Sonia Lawson, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Phone: 410-704-2313
Email: slawson@towson.edu

The entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program has applied for accreditation 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 and its Web address is www.acoteonline.org. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-6611 ext. 2042.

The program must have a pre-accreditation 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). After successful completion of this 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 Entry-level Doctorate in Occupational Therapy Program consists of 97 units and is designed for those students without a degree in occupational therapy. It requires 36 months (including breaks) completed over three years and includes a capstone research project and fieldwork experiences.

Application Procedure and Guidelines 

A complete application must be submitted through OTCAS by October 1, and we will only include materials verified by November 1 in our review. OTCAS indicates a 4-6 week window for transcript verification; therefore, it will be necessary to submit materials as early as possible. A Towson University graduate application will be required as part of the admission process (see below), and is completed by invitation only.

For questions about our Admissions Requirements and Deadlines contact:

Admissions Counselor
Department of Occupational Therapy & Occupational Science
Towson University
8000 York Rd, Linthicum Hall Room 235
Towson, MD 21252

410-704-2653
OTadmissions@towson.edu

Submit all application materials through the OTCAS. Selected applicants will be invited to apply to the Graduate School to complete their application. 

Admission Requirements

All of the following criteria must be met for admission.

  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university** with a minimum GPA of 3.25 is required for full admission. (All GPA calculations for admission are based upon the last 60 units of undergraduate and post-baccalaureate study.) The bachelor’s degree must be indicated on the transcript by May 31 in order to begin the program.
  • A current resume outlining work experiences.
  • Complete 10 prerequisite courses prior to entering the OTD Program. Six of the 10 prerequisites must be completed at the time of application. One must be in Anatomy and Physiology I. The remaining four prerequisites must be completed prior to beginning the program. CLEP scores may not be used for English Composition; online courses, ACE or UExcel exams may not be used for Anatomy and Physiology I and II, and Physics.
  • Complete the following prerequisite courses with a “B-” or better:
    1. English Composition
    2. Introductory Sociology
    3. Introductory Psychology
    4. Abnormal Psychology
    5. Basic Statistics
    6. Human Anatomy and Physiology I with a lab (taken within the last five years)
    7. Human Anatomy and Physiology II with lab (taken within the last five years)
    8. Human Growth and Development (covering development across the lifespan)
    9. Medical Terminology
  • Complete the following prerequisite course with a “C” or better:
    1. Physics (including mechanics and a lab)
  • Complete and verify at least 60 hours of human service activity or direct occupational therapy observation. These will serve as your observation hours in the OTCAS. Human service work or volunteer experience must have involved direct, hands-on contact with people with disabilities and/or illness and/or other disadvantages. Examples include work/volunteer experience in hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities, senior centers, drug rehabilitation programs, programs for the homeless, camps and/or attendant care. The following experiences do not satisfy this requirement: babysitting with children who do not have disabilities and administrative clerical work. All 60 hours of human service activity or direct occupational therapy observation must have been completed within two years of the application deadline. The 60 hours must have been completed in at least three different settings (e.g., hospital, rehabilitation center, school system, out-patient clinic, nursing home/assisted living facility); with a mix of children, adults and older adults; and the applicant must have been in each setting for at least 10 hours.

  • Three reference forms: human service activity or occupational therapy supervisor, a professional, and either another professional or faculty member (OTCAS reference forms are to be used)

  • Graduate occupational therapy admission essay/personal statement (follow guidelines outlined for OTCAS)

  • Complete an on-site group interview and writing sample

  • Complete Graduate Application (submitted by invitation after final admission decisions)

Please review our Admission Requirements and Deadlines for a full explanation of our most current admission procedures and deadlines.

Non-immigrant International Students

Program Enrollment: F-1 and J-1 students are required to be enrolled full-time. The majority of their classes must be in-person and on campus. See the list of programs that satisfy these requirements, and contact the International Student and Scholars Office with questions.

Admission Procedures: See additional information regarding  Graduate Admission policies and International Graduate Application online.

**See Exceptions to Policy in Graduate Admissions.

Degree Requirements

Summer 1
OCTH 600FOUNDATIONS OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY3
OCTH 600LFOUNDATIONS OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY - APPLICATIONS [LAB]1
Fall 1
BIOL 527NEUROMUSCULAR MECHANISMS OF THE UPPER BODY2
OCTH 521KINESIOLOGY OF OCCUPATION3
OCTH 614PRINCIPLES OF PSYCHOSOCIAL OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY PRACTICE5
OCTH 620PSYCHOSOCIAL LEVEL I FIELDWORK3
OSC 742ORIGINS AND EVOLUTION OF OCCUPATIONAL SCIENCE3
Spring 1
OCTH 606ADULT AND OLDER ADULT NEUROLOGICAL OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY3
OCTH 607ADULT AND OLDER ADULT MUSCULOSKELETAL OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY3
OCTH 619ADULT PHYSICAL REHABILITATION LEVEL I FIELDWORK3
OCTH 678ASSESSMENT THROUGHOUT THE LIFESPAN3
Summer 2
OCTH 603ISSUES IN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY3
OCTH 609ADVANCED RESEARCH METHODS AND DATA ANALYSIS IN OCCUPATION BASED PRACTICE3
Fall 2
OCTH 612OT HEALTH PROMOTION INITIATIVES IN THE COMMUNITY3
OCTH 624OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY PRACTICE WITH CHILDREN AND YOUTH5
OCTH 626OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY FIELDWORK FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH3
OCTH 782RESEARCH PRACTICUM3
Spring 2
OCTH 635LEVEL II FIELDWORK I9
OCTH 636LEVEL II FIELDWORK II9
Fall 3
OCTH 627ADMINISTRATION AND ORGANIZATION OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY SERVICES3
OSC 744PARTICIPATION AND QUALITY OF LIFE OF PEOPLE IN THEIR CONTEXT3
OCTH 881CAPSTONE RESEARCH PROJECT I3
Elective3
Minimester 3
Elective3
Spring 3
OCTH 882CAPSTONE RESEARCH PROJECT II3
OCTH 895DOCTORAL EXPERIENTIAL PRACTICUM9
Total Units97

Students must complete 24 weeks of Level II fieldwork as well as an individual 14-week capstone experience within 24 months following the completion of the didactic portion of the program. The doctoral capstone experience must be started after completion of all coursework and Level II fieldwork as well as completion of preparatory activities defined in 2018 ACOTE OTD Standard D.1.3. 

Students are required to complete two elective courses during the length of the program. Elective courses must be approved by the student's adviser.

NOTE: Students have the option of earning a graduate certificate from Towson University in Autism Studies or in Family-Professional Collaboration. Students who elect to earn a certificate may be required to extend the length of the Occupational Therapy program in order to complete the entire certificate program. 

Annual Health, Insurance and CPR Requirements

All students in entry-level clinical OT programs must submit and maintain the health documentation as detailed in the Department of Occupational Therapy and Occupational Science Policy for Health, Insurance and CPR Requirements to maintain good standing in the program and be eligible for fieldwork. Students who do not remain compliant with the requirements as outlined in the full policy will fall out of good standing in the program and may be prohibited from enrolling in course work and participating in fieldwork placements. The full policy is provided upon admission to an entry-level clinical OT program and available by request.

Abbreviated Departmental Health, Insurance and CPR Requirements

  • Annual PPD, Tspot, or Quantiferon Gold Blood Test required for duration of program
  • Adult Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis (Tdap) vaccination must remain current for duration of program
  • Positive Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) Titer
  • Positive Varicella Titer
  • Positive Hepatitis B Titer OR Hepatitis B Declination Waiver
  • A Physical Examination (may be requested annually)
  • Annual Seasonal Influenza Vaccine for duration of program
  • Current American Heart Association CPR Certification for Healthcare Providers for duration of program (Instructor-Led and Blended courses accepted; fully online courses are not permitted)
  • Proof of Health Insurance Coverage for duration of program

Academic Standards

In addition to the standard policies of academic standing, the following additional policies must be upheld by all students:

  • Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.00 for all courses in the major.
  • Students may receive a maximum of two “C” grades and are dismissed from the program upon receipt of a third grade of C or lower (or "unsatisfactory"), regardless of whether a grade was replaced if a course was repeated.
  • Students may repeat a maximum of one course, including Level II Fieldwork.
  • A withdrawal for academic reasons is considered a failure.

Completion of an online exit survey is required for graduation clearance in addition to successful completion of all other program requirements.

Plan of Study 

First Year
Term 1UnitsTerm 2UnitsTerm 3Units
SummerFallSpring
OCTH 6003BIOL 5272OCTH 6063
OCTH 600L1OCTH 5213OCTH 6073
 OCTH 6145OCTH 6193
 OCTH 6203OCTH 6783
 OSC 7423 
 4 16 12
Second Year
Term 1UnitsTerm 2UnitsTerm 3Units
SummerFallSpring
OCTH 6033OCTH 6123OCTH 6359
OCTH 6093OCTH 6245OCTH 6369
 OCTH 6263 
 OCTH 7823 
 6 14 18
Third Year
Term 1UnitsTerm 2UnitsTerm 3Units
FallMinimesterSpring
OCTH 6273Elective3OCTH 8823
OCTH 8813 OCTH 8959
OSC 7443  
Elective3  
 12 3 12
Total Units 97
  1. Fulfill an occupational therapist's role as a team member of a service delivery team by using knowledge of health care systems, organizations, and management principles.
  2. Analyze, adapt, and apply purposeful activities and other modalities to facilitate the ability of clients to lead their lives with a meaningful balance in the areas of human occupation.
  3. Use research theoretical models and research evidence to support and modify occupational therapy evaluation and intervention processes and occupational therapy programs.

Courses

OCTH 521 KINESIOLOGY OF OCCUPATION (3)

Analysis of human movement and pathology as it applies to occupational performance. Presents the principles of biomechanics, muscle physiology, joint structure, muscle function, and motor control emphasizing palpation of anatomical structures. Prerequisite: consent of department.

OCTH 570 SPECIAL TOPICS IN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY (1-3)

Designed to explore topics of special interest in the theory and practice of occupational therapy. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. May be repeated for a maximum of 3 units.

OCTH 600 FOUNDATIONS OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY (3)

Historical and philosophical underpinnings of occupational therapy focusing on the meaning of occupation across the lifespan. Occupational therapy process and analysis of occupational performance are emphasized. Prerequisites: consent of department. Lab/Class fee will be assessed.

OCTH 600L FOUNDATIONS OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY - APPLICATIONS [LAB] (1)

Occupational therapy process and analysis of occupational performance across the lifespan. Application of foundational skills and tools of the profession are emphasized. Prerequisite: OCTH 600 (may be taken concurrently or the semester after taking OCTH 600) or consent of department.

OCTH 601 GROUP DYNAMICS IN DIVERSE CONTEXTS (3)

A study of group process in various contexts, representing diverse cultures. Prerequisite: consent of department.

OCTH 603 ISSUES IN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY (3)

Analysis of current issues in occupational therapy. Prerequisite: Admission to Occupational Therapy master's program. Consent of department.

OCTH 604 ACADEMIC AND CLINICAL EDUCATION (3)

College/university teaching and clinical supervision strategies for the preparation of professionals in clinical disciplines. Prerequisite: consent of department.

OCTH 606 ADULT AND OLDER ADULT NEUROLOGICAL OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY (3)

Examination of the etiology, progression, and management of neurological conditions and other influences on adults and older adults' engagement in occupation. Fundamentals of developmental theories, and occupational therapy theory and practice applied to adults and older adults with neurological conditions. Corequisite: OCTH 607. Prerequisites: OCTH 600, OCTH 521; BIOL 527; consent of department.

OCTH 607 ADULT AND OLDER ADULT MUSCULOSKELETAL OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY (3)

Examines the etiology, clinical course, evaluation, and management of musculoskeletal conditions as they influence engagement of occupation for adults and older adults. Fundamentals of occupational therapy theory and practice are applied to adults and older adults with musculoskeletal conditions. Corequisite: OCTH 606. Prerequisites: OCTH 600, OCTH 521, BIOL 527; consent of department. Lab/Class fee will be assessed.

OCTH 609 ADVANCED RESEARCH METHODS AND DATA ANALYSIS IN OCCUPATION BASED PRACTICE (3)

Application of qualitative and quantitative research methods and data analysis. Prerequisite: consent of department.

OCTH 610 DATA ANALYSIS IN OCCUPATION-BASED RESEARCH AND EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE (3)

In depth examination of quantitative and qualitative data in health related literature and application of data analysis procedures in occupation-based research: Prerequisites: consent of department.

OCTH 611 ADVANCED THEORY AND PHILOSOPHY OF OCCUPATION (3)

Analysis of the theories and philosophical assumptions underlying occupation. Prerequisite: consent of department.

OCTH 612 OT HEALTH PROMOTION INITIATIVES IN THE COMMUNITY (3)

Theory and practice of occupational therapy in health promotion in the community with special emphasis on the cultural context of the community. Integrates knowledge and skills for the practice of occupational therapy services which foster healthy development; prevent health problems; maintain optimal function; and develop occupational performance skills of individuals, families, and communities. Prerequisite: consent of department.

OCTH 613 ADVANCED RESEARCH METHODS IN OCCUPATION BASED PRACTICE (3)

Application of qualitative and quantitative research methods. Prerequisite: consent of department.

OCTH 614 PRINCIPLES OF PSYCHOSOCIAL OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY PRACTICE (5)

Psychosocial aspects of human functioning and occupational implications of clinical conditions. Occupational therapy theory and practice are applied to mental health. Corequisite: OCTH 620. Prerequisites: OCTH 600 and OCTH 600L; consent of department.

OCTH 615 SEMINAR IN PROFESSIONAL AND CLINICAL REASONING (3)

Synthesis and integration of clinical reasoning, reflective practice, and professional knowledge required for clinical practice. Prerequisite: consent of department.

OCTH 619 ADULT PHYSICAL REHABILITATION LEVEL I FIELDWORK (3)

Classroom and fieldwork experiences in evaluation and intervention in adult rehabilitation and disability. Students explore assumptions related to clinical skills, identify areas in need of improvement, and apply learned concepts. Corequisites: OCTH 606 and OCTH 607. Prerequisites: OCTH 600, OCTH 521, BIOL 527; consent of department.

OCTH 620 PSYCHOSOCIAL LEVEL I FIELDWORK (3)

Occupational therapy service delivery in the mental/behavioral health practice arena. Students employ their clinical reasoning, therapeutic use of self and professional attitudes and behaviors while in the classroom and during their Level I fieldwork experience. Transformative learning theory frames learning activities and expected outcomes. Corequisite: OCTH 614. Prerequisites: OCTH 600, OCTH 600L; consent of department.

OCTH 624 OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY PRACTICE WITH CHILDREN AND YOUTH (5)

Examination of functional implications of pediatric conditions. Fundamentals of occupational therapy theory and practice applied to children, adolescents, and families. Students examine theories and principles of assessment and intervention, socio-cultural and political factors influencing occupational performance of children and families. Corequisite: OCTH 626. Prerequisites: OCTH 600, OCTH 521, BIOL 527; consent of department.

OCTH 626 OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY FIELDWORK FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH (3)

Classroom and fieldwork practice in occupational therapy evaluation and intervention with children and youth and their families. Students gain knowledge of delivery of occupational therapy services in various practice settings, legislation, and documentation. Competency and professionalism are addressed in Level I fieldwork. A transformative learning theory is used to frame the course. Corequisite: OCTH 624. Prerequisite: consent of department.

OCTH 627 ADMINISTRATION AND ORGANIZATION OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY SERVICES (3)

Administrative and organizational processes applied to occupational therapy service delivery. Includes leadership in personnel relationships, systems analysis, program planning, budgeting, marketing occupational therapy and related services, and ethical and legal issues. Topics are viewed within the perspective of the dynamics of the current health care industry. Prerequisite: consent of department.

OCTH 628 CONTEMPORARY OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY PRACTICE (3-6)

Combines classroom preparation with a directed independent study focused on expanding and developing skills in an area of occupational therapy practice of special interest to the student. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 units. Prerequisite: completion of one Level II fieldwork or consent of department.

OCTH 634 CONTEXTUAL FACTORS AND OCCUPATIONAL PERFORMANCE (3)

Study of contextual factors that influence occupational performance across the lifespan. Prerequisites: Consent of department.

OCTH 635 LEVEL II FIELDWORK I (9)

Supervised Level II Fieldwork in occupational therapy practice. Graded S/U. Prerequisites: OCTH 614, OCTH 620, OCTH 606, OCTH 607, OCTH 619, OCTH 624, OCTH 626 and consent of department.

OCTH 636 LEVEL II FIELDWORK II (9)

Supervised level II fieldwork in occupational therapy practice. Graded S/U. Prerequisites: OCTH 635 and consent of department.

OCTH 670 SPECIAL TOPICS IN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY (1-3)

Study of selected topics in occupational therapy. Prerequisites: vary with each topic; consent of department.

OCTH 678 ASSESSMENT THROUGHOUT THE LIFESPAN (3)

Examination, selection, administration, and evaluation of a variety of measurement tools used in Occupational Therapy Practice. Prerequisite: consent of department. Lab/Class fee will be assessed.

OCTH 691 DIRECTED READINGS IN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY (1-3)

Guided review of literature to explore in-depth subjects related to occupational therapy theory and practice. Prerequisite: consent of department.

OCTH 692 INDEPENDENT STUDY (1-6)

In-depth investigation specific to area of interest in occupational therapy. Prerequisite: Consent of Department.

OCTH 778 ADVANCED OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSESSMENT (3)

Analysis of current assessment practices in occupational therapy and synthesis of current evidence to advance assessment procedures for the profession within specific practice areas. Prerequisites: consent of department.

OCTH 779 ADVANCED OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY INTERVENTIONS (3)

Analysis of current intervention practices in occupational therapy and synthesis of current evidence to advance intervention procedures for the profession within focused practice areas. Prerequisite: consent of the department.

OCTH 782 RESEARCH PRACTICUM (3)

Supervised participation in a research process that is oriented toward the application of specific research techniques in occupational therapy and occupational science. Prerequisites: OCTH 609 and consent of department. Lab/Class fee will be assessed.

OCTH 881 CAPSTONE RESEARCH PROJECT I (3)

Creation of an independent research project proposal related to current occupational therapy practice areas. Prerequisites: OCTH 609, or other evidence of adequate statistical analysis preparation, and consent of department.

OCTH 882 CAPSTONE RESEARCH PROJECT II (3)

Implementation, documentation, and dissemination of an evidence-based project. Prerequisites: OCTH 881 and consent of the department.

OCTH 895 DOCTORAL EXPERIENTIAL PRACTICUM (9)

The Doctoral Experiential Practicum (DEP) is a 14-week (560 hours) in-depth experience to implement a pre-approved student plan in a specific area of focus. Corequisite: OCTH 882. Prerequisites: OCTH 635, OCTH 636, OCTH 881 and consent of department.

OCTH 899 THESIS CONTINUUM (1)

Continuation of thesis work.