OTD Degree for Licensed Occupational Therapists

The OTD degree at Washington University prepares experienced occupational therapists for important leadership roles in health care, academia and the community. Our graduates teach future occupational therapy professionals, generate evidence for practice, develop community-based programming and measure the outcomes of occupational therapy services.

A learning plan is developed for each student that reflects the student’s professional objectives and meets the degree requirements. Core OTD coursework is complemented by learning experiences addressing the student’s interests and learning needs. Students explore contemporary topics, investigate factors affecting participation, translate evidence into practice, and develop skills to innovate change. In-depth investigation of factors affecting participation culminates in development of a practice model for a target population of interest to the student. Students design and complete a doctoral project under the close mentorship of experienced faculty and may be in partnership with a local expert clinician, scientist, administrator or community leader if the student is not on campus. A doctoral capstone is completed in a setting of their choice.


Our OTD curriculum prepares seasoned occupational therapists for leadership roles in academia, clinical research, clinical practice and the community.

An individualized learning plan is developed that meets the doctoral degree requirements and reflects the student’s professional goals.

Educational experiences in the core OTD courses are tailored to meet the student’s learning objectives and allow for in-depth investigation of factors affecting the student’s target population of interest. Students develop a practice model, explore contemporary topics, translate evidence into practice, and build skills to innovate change. A doctoral project spanning several semesters is performed under the close mentorship of experienced faculty and may be in partnership with local expert clinician, scientist, administrator or community leader. Coursework culminates in the doctoral capstone that allows students to operationalize their coursework in a setting of their choice.

Applicants should discuss their preferences for participation in doctoral studies with Vicki Kaskutas, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA, assistant director of education evaluation and quality, at 314-286-1672 or kaskutasv@wustl.edu.

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Application Process and Requirements

If you already have a degree in occupational therapy and wish to pursue additional education in the field, you may qualify for admission to our Clinical Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (OTD) degree program.

Students may enter the OTD degree program with either a bachelor's or master's degree in occupational therapy. The length of the OTD degree program for students varies based on prior academic and professional experience.

  1. Occupational therapy licensure in a U.S. state or has applied for NBCOT certification.
  2. Completed application form submitted along with a $55 application fee.
  3. A letter of intent describing specific academic objectives, career goals, and reasons why Washington University is a good fit for you.
  4. Three letters of recommendation.
  5. Official, original copies of transcripts for all degrees received must be submitted with the application. You must submit official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions in which you have been enrolled.
  6. Submit official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions in which you have been enrolled.
  7. Transcripts from institutions outside the United States must be evaluated by a credentialing agency. Contact the Program in Occupational Therapy admissions office for more information or refer to the website section on international students.
  8. Additional information such as course descriptions or syllabus may be requested for advance placement.
  9. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 is required.
  10. Curriculum vitae describing qualifications, employment, scholarly accomplishments, professional activities and community service.
  11. International students: If English is not your native language, the TOEFL and TWE must be taken within 12 months prior to application.
    • Minimum TOEFL composite score of 600 paper-based, 250 computerized, or 100 internet exam; and minimum TWE composite score of 4.5 required.
    • You may sit for the NBCOT examination if you plan to practice in the United States or you may be required to successfully complete the NBCOT examination if certification is required by apprenticeship site.
    • Click here for more information.
  12. Must interview with the assistant director either virtually or in person.

Washington University encourages and gives full consideration to all applicants for admission, financial aid and employment.

Washington University - Non-Discrimination Statement

The School of Medicine is committed to recruiting, enrolling and educating a diverse student body.

The Program in Occupational Therapy is accredited 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-AOTA and its web address is www.acoteonline.org.

A felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.

Ranked as the Number Three OT Program in the Nation

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We welcome inquiries from prospective students, potential collaborators, community partners, alumni and others who want to connect with us. Please complete the form below to begin the conversation.

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Schedule a Virtual Visit

Current, future and accepted applicants are encouraged to virtual visit. We also welcome people who are exploring career options and considering occupational therapy. Dr. Kathy Kniepmann, one of our faculty members, opens our virtual visit sessions with an informal presentation and discussion,  followed by a chat with a current student.

Upcoming VIRTUAL visit sessions*:

*At least two to three visit sessions are scheduled every month. All times are Central Standard Time (CST). Click here for more info.

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Call Dr. Kniepmann at (314) 286-1610
or Robin Hattori at (314) 286-1653