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Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about KU's doctoral program in therapeutic science? Here are a few topics we hear about the most.

Is this program right for me?
This program is designed for interdisciplinary scholars who will advance knowledge toward understanding and improving outcomes for individuals with disabilities. Applicants do not need to possess a degree in occupational therapy—we actively encourage potential students with other backgrounds and perspectives to consider applying.

This is, however, a research-based doctoral program having a clinically applied emphasis, culminating with an original research project, dissertation and defense. If you are seeking advanced post-professional training in the practice of Occupational Therapy, the doctoral program in occupational therapy (OTD) may be a more suitable option. Please review both programs - and feel free to contact us for guidance!

We strongly believe that good, applied research is informed by hands-on experience and insight, which then is informed by outcomes of evidence-based research.

Am I right for this program?
Curiosity, a drive to learn and a willingness to step beyond the bounds of your professional training are valued by our faculty. Ask yourself this: when you look up a topic in a reference book, how many other interesting topics do you read about before you get to that topic you initially were seeking? Are you the person everyone approaches with thorny questions they are unable to answer? Does it frustrate you to not have an answer—and do you then set out to find that answer?

The therapeutic science doctoral program does require that applicants possess a master's degree or have equivalent post-graduate training. Recognizing that not all applicants may meet this requirement, we have developed a series of strategies to help interested students transition toward meeting this criterion. If you fall into this category, please feel free to contact us to discuss possible options.

What is it like at KU Medical Center and what resources are there for students?
Learn about the University of Kansas Medical Center and resources for students, including the Office of the Registrar, Student Health Services, Student Counseling and Educational Support Services, Office of Student Financial Aid, diversity and inclusion efforts, and the Kirmayer Fitness Center.

How much does the program cost and is financial aid available to graduate students?
Tuition is determined by the university and Kansas Board of Regents and is subject to change at any time without notice. Tuition payment is due at the beginning of each semester. Visit our tuition and aid page for an overview and helpful links to offices and resources.

What courses are required in the therapeutic science program?

Explore our curriculum page for an overview, and visit the academic catalog for additional details.

How long does it take to complete the program?
The minimum is 3 years and the maximum is 8 years. Most students will require 4-5 years to complete the program.

International students often have questions unique to their situation!
This page will help answer many of these questions. Please contact the program if we can help answer any other questions you may have related to being an international student in Kansas City.

What are the requirements for international students to obtain a visa?
There are a series of forms and approvals necessary to obtain an F-1 student visa. When the student is accepted into the program, the student must provide documentation that they have sufficient financial resources to support their living and education expenses.

Once this documentation is received, the department submits a Request for I-20 form through the approval channels here. Once that request is approved, it is sent to the student in their home country. The student takes that form to the U.S. consulate and obtains an F-1 (student) visa which permits them to study in the U.S. See more information for international students.

What is Kansas City like, anyway?

Centrally located in the heart of the country, Kansas City is a wonderful place to live, study, and grow. We are proud of our community and all the ways we continue to grow.

Learn about Kansas City

KU School of Health Professions

Occupational Therapy Education
KU Medical Center
3901 Rainbow Blvd  MS2003
Kansas City, KS 66160
913-588-7195 • 711 TTY