What are the advantages of earning a doctorate (OTD) as opposed to a master’s (MS) degree?

The OTD clinical doctoral degree is designed to prepare you as a direct-care provider, consultant, educator, manager, leader, researcher, and advocate for the profession and the consumer. The OTD degree not only develops the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for a generalist (MS degree) but also an area of advanced practice from an in-depth experience in a clinical practice area; research; administration; leadership; program and policy development; advocacy; education; and/or theory development (OTD). Career opportunities following the experiential component have enabled students to gain and master leadership and professional connections in an area of personal and professional interest.

The Council on Education at the 2013 AOTA Annual Conference made the recommendation that all entry-level occupational therapy programs be at the doctoral level by 2017. This is only a recommendation at this time but reflects the AOTA Vision 2017 that says, "We envision that occupational therapy is a powerful, widely recognized, science-driven, and evidence-based profession with a globally connected and diverse workforce meeting society's occupational needs." 

Do I have a better chance of getting into the OTD program if I attend HU as an undergrad? 

Applicants who have earned a bachelor's degree from Huntington University within the past 10 years with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher are eligible for automatic admission into the doctorate of occupational therapy program provided they meet all other admission prerequisites. Additional review will be required for Huntington University graduates who earned their bachelor's degrees 10 years or more prior to applying to the program.

How long will it take to complete the OTD program?

The OTD degree is a 3-year, full-time, eight-term program.

What is the normal course load for a doctoral student?

The curriculum is very rigorous with 18 to 19 credit hours per semester. Students should be prepared to designate evenings and weekends to extensive study, reading, and writing.

Will classes be offered during the day?

Classes and fieldwork experiences typically will be held Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Can I enroll as a part-time student?

The OTD program is designed as a cohort group where students complete a series of courses full time. Year 3 allows for part-time at 50% minimum for fieldwork II and the experiential component. Going part-time would delay graduation accordingly.

Where are classes offered?

Classes are located in the Huntington University building (1819 Carew Street, Fort Wayne, IN) on the Parkview Hospital Randallia campus.

Is a bachelor's degree required to start the OTD program?

Yes. This OTD program is designed for students who currently hold a baccalaureate (undergraduate) degree, or are in the process of earning one prior to the start of the OTD classes.

What types of bachelor's degrees are acceptable for entry into the program?

Students holding bachelor’s degrees from any discipline are welcome to apply as long as they complete the specified occupational therapy prerequisites.

What is the timeline for admission decisions? 

Students can apply at any time on OTCAS, with a final application deadline of February 1. To be considered for first-round decisions and interviews, we recommend completing your application by September 1. Eligible candidates will be invited to interview with a faculty member. First-round decisions will be made in October, and final decisions will be made shortly after the February 1 application deadline.

What prerequisites are required to start the OTD program?

Huntington University undergraduates with a 3.5 GPA or higher who meet all prerequisites are guaranteed acceptance into the OTD Program.

View descriptions of these prerequisites.

Can I apply while I am in the process of completing my prerequisites?

Yes. It is common to be finishing up prerequisite courses when you apply. You will just need to submit your final transcripts to Huntington University prior to starting the OTD program in order to demonstrate successful completion (B- or better) of prerequisites.

Will my prerequisite courses transfer to Huntington University?

Yes. Prerequisite courses, if successfully completed at a regionally accredited university, will transfer. A review of your prerequisite courses may be obtained by emailing course information to graduate@huntington.edu. All prerequisite courses are currently offered at Huntington University if you still need to complete prerequisites.

How many students are accepted into the program each year?

We annually admit up to 56 students (Spring Cohort: 22 students, Fall Cohort: 34 students). New cohort classes begin each spring and fall semester in late January and late August.

Is Huntington University’s OTD program accredited?

Yes! Please click here for the latest accreditation information. 

Resources from AOTA that address general questions about OT

Why should I consider becoming an occupational therapist? (PDF)

Why should I choose a career in occupational therapy? (PDF)

What is day-to-day life like as an occupational therapist? (PDF)

What does the job market look like for occupational therapists? (PDF)

What types of salaries and opportunities can I anticipate as an occupational therapist? (PDF)

Source for PDFs: The American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.