Program Overview and Eligibility

KU occupational therapy student leads group at clinic

This program of study is directed at therapists already in practice who have either a bachelor's or master's in occupational therapy degree and who wish to upgrade their knowledge and skills to the doctoral level to meet the increasing demands of complex practice issues. This program focuses on specialization and professional leadership in practice. Offered entirely online, therapists can obtain this education while continuing to work in the profession.

The four key components of the curriculum include Evidence Based Practice, Professional Leadership, Specialty Practice and Teaching. This innovative curriculum is designed to be responsive to professional demands and to meet the highest academic standards. Core work and specialization opportunities have been integrated across the curriculum to create a base of both advanced knowledge and specialty knowledge that will prepare graduates for leadership in their chosen areas of concentration.


Eligibility and Requirements for the OTD Degree Program

To be considered for admission into KU's Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree program, the following are required:

  1. Degree in Occupational Therapy
    An entry-level master's degree in occupational therapy must be completed prior to entering the OTD program.

  2. Registration or Licensure
    Applicants must provide documentation of current state license to practice occupational therapy or NBCOT registration as an occupational therapist.

  3. Background Check
    The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations requires all incoming students to pay for a background check. This one-time fee must be paid directly to the company performing the background investigation. You will be asked to provide information and make the payment once you have been officially accepted into the program. For more information, please see the School of Health Professions Background Check Instructions.

  4. Technical Standards and Accommodations
    Please read the program technical standards carefully. Signed verification will be required of students after they have been accepted. Reasonable accommodations will be made for any accepted student who has a documented disability and can meet program expectations. Applicants with documented disabilities can request reasonable accommodations if needed during the admissions process.

Students with bachelor's degree
Students with a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy may apply to the program. If accepted, admission will be considered provisional based on successful completion of 24 credits of prerequisite master’s level course work. Prerequisite courses and required credit hours are described on the OTD curriculum page. An academic adviser will assist in the selection of appropriate course work.

International Students:
An applicant is considered an international student if he or she requires a visa, or currently resides in the U.S. with non-immigrant status, or currently resides in the U.S. while applying for permanent residency. Additional requirements and documentation, such as proof of English language proficiency, are required for international students to become eligible for KU programs. Please review the information for international students before applying.


The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression and genetic information in the University's programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access, IOA@ku.edu, 1246 W. Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS, 66045, (785) 864-6414, 711 TTY.

Last modified: Jan 15, 2014
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