Javascript is currently not supported, or is disabled by this browser. Please enable Javascript for full functionality.

Skip to Main Content
University of Pittsburgh    
2023-2024 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
    
 
  Jun 22, 2024
 
2023-2024 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog

Department of Occupational Therapy


Return to School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Return to: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences


Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) 

The Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program is an entry-level educational program, which prepares students for careers as occupational therapists.

The (OTD) program is a 32 month (8 term) professional course of study requiring 99 credits, including fieldwork education and a Doctoral Capstone that includes a capstone experience (Experiential Preceptorship) and capstone project.

Admission to the OTD program is only available on a full-time basis. The OTD program begins at the end of August (fall term).

The entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is 301-652-AOTA and its Web address is www.acoteonline.org. Graduates of the OTD program are eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). In addition, all states require licensure to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure. Additionally, certification and licensure requirements include inquiries as to whether the applicant has been convicted of a misdemeanor, a felony, or a felonious or illegal act, including those associated with alcohol and/or substance abuse.

PLEASE NOTE: The OTD program requires students to complete fieldwork education and a doctoral capstone experience at facilities external to the University of Pittsburgh. All OTD students are responsible for securing required resources and completing required documents to participate in fieldwork and the doctoral capstone experience including but not limited to transportation, physical examinations and associated testing (i.e., drug screen, vaccinations), health insurance, liability insurance, background clearances, CPR/AED training, first aid training, education modules, parking, housing, food, and clothing.  

Admission Requirements

We welcome applicants of all abilities/disabilities, religions, marital statuses, familial statuses, sexes, ages, sexual orientations, veteran statuses, national origins, ancestries, races, colors, genetic information, and gender identities and expressions.

Prerequisite Courses

Completion of the following prerequisite courses within the past 5 years with a minimum grade of B and a minimum GPA in these prerequisites of 3.00 (based on a 4.00 scale).

  • Human Anatomy & Physiology (with a laboratory component), 8 credits

  • Lifespan Human Development, 3 credits 

  • Psychopathology/Abnormal Psychology, 3 credits     

  • Statistics, 3 credits   

    Note: AP credits are not accepted as fulfillment of prerequisite courses. S grades are not accepted as fulfillment of prerequisite courses (with the exception of prerequisite courses taken during Spring 2020).

Additional Requirements 
  • Completion of a baccalaureate degree: Students are admitted into the Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program after successful completion of a baccalaureate degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (based on 4.0 scale). 

  • Experience in occupational therapy: Complete a minimum of 12 hours of volunteer, paid work and/or telehealth experience. Experiences can occur in one or more occupational therapy practice areas (e.g., children and youth/pediatrics, health and wellness, productive aging/geriatrics, rehabilitation, mental health, work/industry, home care). NOTE: Applicants having difficulty obtaining volunteer, paid work or telehealth experience hours may view approved videos to obtain up to 12 experience hours. See OT Video Attestation  for the list of approved videos. After viewing the videos, upload the signed attestation in the OTCAS application.

  • Letters of recommendation: Submission of three letters of recommendation (evaluations) attesting to the applicant’s academic and professional abilities. Letters of recommendation are submitted through the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS).

    • Letter #1 - from an occupational therapist (OTR) who was involved in the applicant’s occupational therapy experience hours.

    • Letter #2 - from a college-level instructor who instructed the applicant in one or more classes.

    • Letter #3 - from an individual who can attest to the skills, abilities, and professionalism of the applicant.​ 

  • Evidence of graduate level writing skills. Applicants will submit a personal statement using life experiences to discuss their strengths and skills, and how they will contribute to professional goals and success in the OTD program. The personal statement is submitted through the OTCAS application. 

  • Attest to satisfactory performance of the technical standards/essential skills required for successful completion of the OTD curriculum. Students admitted to the OTD program must review the Technical Standards and submit a signed form at the time of matriculation. ​ View more on Technical Standards/Essential Skills .   

Application Procedures

Application Deadline: Applications must be e-submitted in OTCAS no later than April 1 to be considered for admission. Applicants are encouraged to apply by November 1 as the Admissions Committee begins reviewing and offering admission in November/December. The OTCAS application cycle opens in mid-July. Prerequisite courses must be completed by June 1. 

All applicants must: 

  • Apply online using the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS). To learn more about the application process and to create your account, please visit the OTCAS portal.   

  • See below for additional requirements for internationally educated students.

Additional Information 

Admission to the OTD program is only available on a full-time basis. The OTD program begins in August (Fall Term) of each year. Official transcripts must be sent directly to OTCAS. OTCAS does not accept paper recommendations. Letters of recommendation are submitted electronically through the OTCAS system. Applications are reviewed when all materials, including transcripts and letters of recommendation, have been received and verified by OTCAS. OTCAS uses a verification process that can take several weeks. OTCAS will verify your documents before releasing them to the University of Pittsburgh. Applicants should confirm their status as verified with OTCAS. The Department of Occupational Therapy begins reviewing complete and verified applications and offering admission in November for the program starting the following August.  

For questions about the receipt, processing, and verification of your application, please contact OTCAS Customer Service at 617-612-2860, otcasinfo@otcas.org

International Students

In addition to the above, internationally educated students will be required to provide:

Academic Credential Evaluation:
  • Applicants who have completed the equivalent of a baccalaureate degree or higher at an institution outside of the United States are required to provide an official third-party course-by-course evaluation of those academic credentials verifying Grade Point Average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale. The evaluation is an application requirement.

  • Upon admission official transcripts of all original language academic records for all post-secondary educational endeavors are required. If original documents are issued in a language other than English, certified English translations must also be submitted. A final transcript or diploma showing completion of the undergraduate degree must be submitted prior to starting all SHRS graduate programs.

  • The School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (SHRS) requires credential evaluations from one of the companies listed below. Electronic submission is preferred.

  • International applicants are not required to submit an evaluation for degrees earned in the United States. Applicants who have attended an English Canadian institution should contact the SHRS Admissions Office.

Verification of English Language Proficiency:
  • International graduate applicants must possess proficiency in English at a level that enables them to succeed in graduate-level studies. Applications will not be processed until the required test results are submitted, or eligibility for an exemption has been verified. Only original official test scores received directly from test administration agencies are accepted. Electronic submission is preferred. Copies of test results are not acceptable.

  • Request official English Language Proficiency test scores be sent to the University of Pittsburgh from one of the following options. Minimum scores accepted and instructions for sending official test scores follow:

Verification is required unless the following apply:

  • The applicant is a citizen of a country whose official language is English.

  • The applicant has completed a degree program at a regionally accredited institution in the U.S.

  • The applicant is not a citizen of a country whose official language is English but has completed a degree program at an institution outside of the U.S. where the language of instruction is English and where the official national language of the country in which the institution is located is English.

PLEASE NOTE: Applicants who already have a baccalaureate degree in occupational therapy and are interested in obtaining a master’s degree should apply to the Master of Science (MS) program in Occupational Therapy  . 

Master of Science (MS) in Occupational Therapy 

The Master of Science (MS) in Occupational Therapy program is a one-year graduate program housed within the Department of Occupational Therapy. This advanced practice program is designed for those with a baccalaureate degree in occupational therapy. Students begin the MS in Occupational Therapy program in the fall term (August). The MS in Occupational Therapy program requires the completion of 12 core credits of advanced evidence-based rehabilitation coursework. The MS in Occupational Therapy program offers exposure to a wide variety of occupational therapy practice and research. A Comprehensive Examination is required prior to graduation at the end of the last term. 

Admission Requirements and Application Process

We welcome applicants of all abilities/disabilities, religions, marital statuses, familial statuses, sexes, ages, sexual orientations, veteran statuses, national origins, ancestries, races, colors, genetic information, and gender identities and expressions.

Qualified applicants for the Master of Science (MS) Program in Occupational Therapy must meet the following admission requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy. For international students, a bachelor’s degree or diploma must be from a school/university approved by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) in the year that the applicant graduated and/or national governmental institutions that approve/accredit occupational therapy programs to grant a degree in occupational therapy (e.g., Ministry of Health).

  • Minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00 (based on a 4.00 scale).

  • Evidence of graduate level writing skills in a self-evaluation essay that discusses goals, strengths, skills, and experiences that will contribute to success in the program and in the profession. The essay should also include a brief statement discussing interest in the field of study and reasons for applying to the University of Pittsburgh.

  • Documented evidence of knowledge of rehabilitation through previous paid work experiences, internships or field experiences, or volunteer work experiences.

  • Three letters of recommendation, preferably from individuals who have taught the applicant in an academic setting and/or supervised clinical activities. Letters of recommendation should address academic, professional and personal attributes, and potential for successful graduate education.

  • Unofficial transcripts from all U.S. institutions attended.

  • A course by course evaluation with GPA conversation for all higher level institutions attended outside the US. The evaluation may be from World Education Services (WES), Inc. or Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. (ECE).

  • Verification of English Language Proficiency is required unless the following apply:

    • the applicant is a citizen of a country whose official language is English

    • the applicant has completed a degree program at a regionally accredited institution in the U.S., or

    • the applicant is not a citizen of a country whose official language is English but has completed a degree program at an institution outside of the U.S. where the language of instruction is English and where the official national language of the country in which the institution is located is English.

  • Interview (personal or virtual) with the MS Program Director and at least one other faculty member from the Department of Occupational Therapy. 

  • All admitted students will be required to provide official transcripts to the SHRS Admissions Office prior to enrolling in classes.

If applicable:

  •  Request official English Language Proficiency test scores be sent to the University of Pittsburgh from one of the following options. Minimum scores accepted and instructions for sending official test scores follow:

Your application will be reviewed once it is complete.

Admitted students who are citizens of a country whose official language is not English, and who score below 120 on the Duolingo English Test, below 100 on the TOEFL ibt, or overall band 7.0 or lower on the IELTS, will be required to take an English Language Proficiency Test to better assess their English Language skills when they arrive at the University of Pittsburgh. The results of this exam may be used to recommend (not require) additional English language instruction that may supplement your education. If you have additional questions about the test, please click here.

Application Information

All applicants must:

  • Complete the online GradCAS application 
  • Submit the GradCAS application fee of $50 (U.S)
  • Submit required documents (Admission Requirements) through the GradCAS application portal
Application Deadlines

Applications are accepted for enrollment beginning in the Fall term only (August). The GradCAS cycle will open for applications beginning in September and the deadline for submitting the application and all materials is May 1.

For information about our program, please contact the Department of Occupational Therapy at OTpitt@shrs.pitt.edu.

Doctor of Clinical Science (CScD) in Occupational Therapy

The Doctor of Clinical Science (CScD) program in Occupational Therapy, delivered 100% online, provides post-professional, doctoral-level training to eligible or already credentialed or licensed occupational therapists to practice clinically with competencies above and beyond those expected of entry-level professionals. The highly personalized curriculum focuses on implementation of evidence, assessment, intervention, evidence-based protocols and guidelines and data-based decision making. Degree-seeking students culminate their matriculation through the program with an eight-credit capstone project. With the support of a faculty mentor, students will individually design and complete a capstone project that demonstrates their advanced knowledge for implementing evidence into practice.

This program also offers an Advanced Practice Certificate in Implementation of Evidence in Clinical Practice , which is earned upon completion of the CScD in Occupational Therapy degree or can be earned on a standalone basis.

Admission Requirements and Application Process

We welcome applicants of all abilities/disabilities, religions, marital statuses, familial statuses, sexes, ages, sexual orientations, veteran statuses, national origins, ancestries, races, colors, genetic information, and gender identities and expressions.

  • Applicants who received their occupational therapy training within the United States must have an entry-level master’s degree in occupational therapy (e.g., MOT) from an Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE)-accredited program, or a baccalaureate degree in occupational therapy from an ACOTE-accredited program and a master’s degree in occupational therapy or another field of study. 

  • Applicants who received their occupational therapy training outside of the United States must have an entry-level master’s degree in occupational therapy or a baccalaureate degree in occupational therapy from an ACOTE-accredited program and a master’s degree in occupational therapy or another field of study   from a World Federation of Occupational Therapy (WFOT)-approved program and meet all necessary requirements for admission to the University of Pittsburgh. 

  • U.S. applicants are required to have initial NBCOT certification (or eligibility). International applicants must provide equivalent certification documentation from country of residence. 

  • Interview* 

    • Qualified applicants will be invited to a virtual interview with the CScD in Occupational Therapy program director.  

  • Verification of English Language Proficiency. Verification is required unless the following apply: 

    • the applicant is a citizen of a country whose official language is English 

    • the applicant has completed a degree program at a regionally accredited institution in the U.S., or  

    • the applicant is not a citizen of a country whose official language is English but has completed a degree program at an institution outside of the U.S. where the language of instruction is English and where the official national language of the country in which the institution is located is English. 

 Please note that the GRE is not required for admission to the program.

Occupational Therapists with Baccalaureate Degrees

Occupational therapists with a baccalaureate degree in occupational therapy, and no additional graduate degrees, should apply to the Master of Science (MS) in Occupational Therapy program. 

Occupational Therapists with Master’s Degrees

Occupational therapists with 1) an entry-level master’s degree in occupational therapy, or 2) a baccalaureate degree in occupational therapy and an advanced master’s degree in occupational therapy (or another field) may be able to transfer up to 30 credits from their master’s degree, providing that these credits meet requirements in the CScD in Occupational Therapy curriculum.

Application Information

All Applicants

To apply to the online CScD in Occupational Therapy program, you must complete and submit the following:

  • Complete the GradCAS application.

  • $50 application fee (U.S.)

  • ​Two (2) Professional Letters of Recommendation: Letters of recommendation should attest to your professional abilities and conduct, collegiality, oral and written communication skills and leadership.*

  • ​Essay*

    • ​​Evidence of graduate-level writing skills in an essay that outlines:

      • why you are interested in pursuing the Doctor of Clinical Science in Occupational Therapy degree or Certificate in Implementation,

      • why you are interested in advancing your education through the University of Pittsburgh,

      • what makes you a good fit for an advanced training education program that is delivered online and,

      • the future professional goals that you hope to achieve as a result of this advanced training.

  • Resume: A professional resume indicating knowledge of rehabilitation through previous paid work experiences, internships or field experiences, or volunteer work experiences.

  • Upload unofficial transcripts from all U.S. institutions attended in the Academic History section of CAS. 

  • Upload a course-by-course evaluation with GPA conversion for all higher institutions you have attended outside the U.S. in the Academic History section of CAS. The evaluation may be from World Education Services (WES), Inc. or Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc.

  • All admitted students will be required to provide official transcripts and, if applicable, credential evaluations to the SHRS Admissions Office prior to enrolling in classes.

  • If applicable, self-report unofficial English Language Proficiency (TOEFL or IELTS) test scores tin the Academic History section of CAS (for Duolingo, upload an unofficial score report under Documents in Program Materials) and request official test scores be sent to the University of Pittsburgh. Minimum scores accepted and instructions for sending official test scores follow: 

*Note: the personal essay, professional letters of recommendation and virtual interview are NOT required for Advanced Practice Certificate ONLY applicants.

Application Deadlines

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis for students intending to start the program in August of the same calendar year or January of the following calendar year.

For More Information

Contact the Department of Occupational Therapy at OTpitt@shrs.pitt.edu.

 

 

 

Programs

    DoctoralGraduate CertificateMaster’s

    Return to School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Return to: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences



    Catalog Navigation