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Frequently Asked Questions

Many of the questions asked by prospective students are similar. The program has summarized common questions and their answers below, in the hope that this will aid students with their decision-making!

Is this program right for me?
This program is designed to 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. The program actively encourages 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. Students seeking advanced post-professional training in the practice of occupational therapy should consider the doctoral program in occupational therapy (OTD). Please review both programs and feel free to contact the program for guidance.

Students enrolled in this program come from many different training backgrounds and with different levels of experience in conducting reseasrch. KU believes strongly that good applied research is informed by hands-on experience and insight, and that the best practices are — in turn — informed by outcomes of evidence-based research. Many of KU's doctoral students also continue to pursue their chosen professions while enrolled. KU supports these different appraoches to learning by offering classes in the evening and online, and by encouraging students to participate in content-specific course work offered in other departments.

Am I right for this program?
Curiosity, a drive to learn, and a willingness to step beyond the bounds of the student's professional training are valued by 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.

Is there a central place where I can go to find information about KU Medical Center?
Yes, the Office of Student Affairs provides resources intended to introduce you to life as a student at the University of Kansas Medical Center. We also encourage you to visit the section for current students to see the variety of resources that are available.

Is financial aid available to graduate students?
If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you may be eligible for federal aid or scholarships that are administered through the Office of Student Financial Aid. The department may have teaching assistantships or stipends available for in-coming students, though the availability varies from year to year. If you are interested in the possibility of obtaining an assistantship, please request an application form from the department. Domestic or international students are also eligible for employment on campus to help offset the cost of education.

What types of housing are available?
KU does not have student housing at the medical center campus. Students live in apartments or rooms in the surrounding neighborhoods and are responsible for arranging their own accommodations.

What sorts of Student Services are available?
Student service departments include: the Office of the Registrar, Student Health Services, Student Counseling and Educational Support Services, Student Financial Aid, Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Kirmayer Fitness Center, and more.

What are the costs of attending graduate school?
The most current tuition and fee information is available from the Office of the Registrar and 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.

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

International studentsare required to show evidence of available financial resources in order to support the costs of study here (tuition, fees, housing, living expenses) as part of the application process for a student visa. See the Office of International Programs for details.

Where can I get general information about your department and the School of Health Professions?

How can I obtain a copy of KU's graduate catalog?
Paper copies of the catalog are no longer available. A .pdf version is available at the University Relations publications site on the KU Lawrence campus.

What courses are required in the therapeutic science doctoral program?
Please note that the following course requirements assume the student already has at least 24 graduate credit hours accumulated toward a master's degree.

  • A core curriculum that includes foundation theory knowledge and a series of core courses taught by faculty in the department (9 hrs).
  • Interdisciplinary content course work chosen to match the student's content emphasis (15 hrs).
  • Advanced study cours ework (6 hrs).
  • Research design and statistics course work (6 hrs minimum), and analysis course work (6 hrs).
  • Dissertation (typically 18 hrs).
  • See the detailed description of this program's curriculum.

How long does it take to complete the program?
The time required to complete this program varies, depending on the student's background, prior experience, and previous academic work. The minimum is three years and the maximum is eight 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 that are necessary in order 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 (in 2006, this was $37,000 US plus $4,600 for each dependent who may accompany them) 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 the more information for international students.

What are the English language requirements for graduate study?
In order to be considered for admission to KU graduate programs, students who are not native English speakers must take the TOEFL or IELTS exams and meet the scoring criteria for each subsection of the test. This requirement is waived for non-native English speakers who have earned at least a bachelor's degree from an institution in the U.S.

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Last modified: Jun 25, 2020