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Program Overview and Eligibility

photo: therapist assists stroke survivor with cutting vegetables

This program of study is directed at therapists already in practice and who wish to upgrade their knowledge and skills at a doctoral level of expertise to meet the increasing demands of complex practice issues. It is designed for those with a masters degree in occupational therapy or a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy with a master’s degree in another area.

Offered entirely online, the program focuses on specialization and professional leadership in practice, and students can complete the course work while continuing to work in the profession.

The format is a combination of synchronous (online course meetings held at specific times) and asynchronous learning (assignments and discussion board participation according to the student’s schedule).

Prior to the first class, an online session will be offered to help students learn the technology associated with the classes and the nature of an online program. At least once during the program, students attend an annual meeting on campus for people to meet in person.

Four key components of the curriculum:

  1. Evidence-Based Practice
  2. Professional Leadership
  3. Specialty Practice
  4. 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

To be considered for admission into KU's post-professional doctorate in occupational therapy, the following are required:

  1. Graduate Degree
    A completed master's degree in any academic field (not exclusively in occupational therapy) must be completed prior to entering the 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 requires all incoming students to submit for and provide to KU a background check. This one-time fee must be paid directly to the company performing the background investigation. Students will be asked to provide information and make the payment after acceptance 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.

  5. Computer
    Students in this program are required to have a laptop that meets the minimum software and hardware requirements.

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 post-professional doctoral program in occupational therapy does not provide eligibility for professional licensing for employment. Students enter the program with a current state license to practice occupational therapy or NBCOT registration as an occupational therapist.

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,, 1246 W. Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS, 66045, (785) 864-6414, 711 TTY.

Last modified: Oct 14, 2020


Applications to this program are accepted Aug. 1-Dec. 1 for the class entering the program the following summer. All application materials must be received by December 1 for an application to be complete and qualified for review.

Program overview

How to apply


Frequently asked questions