Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)

Occupational therapist supervising client using medicine ball

Become a visionary leader and prepare yourself for an expanded role in a rapidly growing health care field by earning the Doctor of Occupational Therapy with UW–Madison’s part-time, online program.


Is this program right for you?

The University of Wisconsin–Madison Doctor of Occupational Therapy online degree program is designed as a post-professional clinical doctorate that prepares you for advanced-level practice, leadership, and the application of research in occupational therapy. As an enrolled therapist, you acquire the knowledge and skills to transform our nation’s health and education systems, and address the needs of an aging society.

Our mission is to educate advanced occupational therapists to become visionary leaders in interprofessional practice. You create a personalized professional development plan, and translate and apply current evidence to achieve your goals.

The Doctor of Occupational Therapy fills a niche between the entry-level skills acquired through the MS in Occupational Therapy (MS-OT) degree and the advanced research skills learned in the PhD in Kinesiology: Occupational Science degree program. Our faculty help you build the skills and practical training to become a manager, advanced practitioner, entrepreneur, policy advisor, or faculty in a teaching college.

Is this program right for you?

The University of Wisconsin–Madison Doctor of Occupational Therapy online degree program is designed as a post-professional clinical doctorate that prepares you for advanced-level practice, leadership, and the application of research in occupational therapy. As an enrolled therapist, you acquire the knowledge and skills to transform our nation’s health and education systems, and address the needs of an aging society.

Our mission is to educate advanced occupational therapists to become visionary leaders in interprofessional practice. You create a personalized professional development plan, and translate and apply current evidence to achieve your goals.

The Doctor of Occupational Therapy fills a niche between the entry-level skills acquired through the MS in Occupational Therapy (MS-OT) degree and the advanced research skills learned in the PhD in Kinesiology: Occupational Science degree program. Our faculty help you build the skills and practical training to become a manager, advanced practitioner, entrepreneur, policy advisor, or faculty in a teaching college.

Admissions Requirements

All applicants must:

  • Have a current state OT license in the U.S.
  • Hold a master’s degree in occupational therapy or equivalent. Individuals with a bachelor’s degree in OT may apply, but will be required to take graduate credits to meet any deficiencies.

To apply:

  • Online application.
  • CV/Resume.
  • Personal statement.
  • Official transcripts.
  • Two letters of recommendation.

Program Highlights

  • Our occupational therapy doctorate program is part-time and online, so you can complete your degree on your own time.
  • UW–Madison’s OTD program was ranked 14th best occupational therapy program by U.S. News & World Report.
  • The OTD program fills a niche between entry-level skills you gained in your MS-OT degree and the advanced research skills learned in the PhD in Kinesiology program. You gain the knowledge to move into a managerial position, an advanced practitioner, or faculty in a teaching college.

How You'll Learn

  • Online curriculum, with two visits to UW–Madison campus for three to five days each, once at the beginning of program and once at the end.
  • Work individually and in workplace-based teams to deploy your knowledge of leadership skills and advanced practice.
  • Demonstrate your new skills through a capstone project.

Sample Curriculum

Year 1

Summer 1

  • Professional Literacy Courses
  • Independent Study OR Inter-professional Seminar

Fall 1

  • Applied Inter-professional Leadership and Management
  • Human Occupation and Health

Spring 1

  • Current Trends Shaping OT Practice
  • Capstone Project I: Need Identification

Year 2

Summer 2

  • Advanced Practice in Inter-professional Contexts
  • Professional Literacy Courses
  • Independent Study OR Inter-professional Seminar

Fall 2

  • Application of OT Evidence in the Practice Environment
  • Capstone Project II: Gathering Evidence
  • Professional Literacy Courses
  • Independent Study OR Inter-professional Seminar

Spring 2

  • Using Information to Optimize Practice
  • Capstone Project III: Project Design & Proposal

Year 3

Summer 3

  • Communicating OT to Inter-professional Audiences
  • Professional Literacy Courses
  • Independent Study OR Inter-professional Seminar

Fall 3

  • Advanced Outcome Measurement in Occupational Therapy
  • Capstone Project IV: Project Implementation

Spring 3

  • Capstone Project V: Project Completion, Presentation, and Dissemination
  • Professional Literacy Courses
  • Independent Study OR Inter-professional Seminar

Job Outlook

Market Salary
$90K in 2018

Projected Job Growth
23.8% for Occupational Therapists (2016-2026)

Job Postings
3,769 in 2018

Source: Burning Glass Technologies: Labor Insight. 2019.
Burning Glass Technologies’ Market Salary is an estimated expected salary. Market Salary uses machine learning algorithms to account for experience, skill, and education among other factors that may impact individual salaries.

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Our friendly, knowledgeable enrollment coaches are here to answer your questions. Contact an enrollment coach to:

  • Learn how to make this program work with your life/schedule
  • Verify credit transfers
  • Get help with your application
  • Determine if financial aid is available

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