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University of Pittsburgh    
2023-2024 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  Jul 22, 2024
2023-2024 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Doctor of Clinical Science (CScD) in Occupational Therapy

Program Requirements

The Doctor of Clinical Science (CScD) program in Occupational Therapy is offered 100% online on a part-time basis and requires completion of 72 credits. Students with an entry-level master’s degree in occupational therapy or a baccalaureate degree in occupational therapy and an advanced level master’s degree in occupational therapy or another field may be eligible to transfer up to 30 credits from their master’s degree, leaving a remaining 42 credits. With a transfer of 30 credits, students will be able to complete the program in as little as 7 terms or 28 months.

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.

Curriculum and Course Descriptions

The program requires the completion of 72 credits (up to 30 credits may be transferred from a master’s degree, potentially leaving a remaining 42 credits in the CScD in Occupational Therapy program). Each student will be paired with a faculty mentor who will oversee the development, implementation and grading of Preliminary and Comprehensive Examinations necessary to complete the program. Required courses are held in the fall, spring and summer terms.

Preliminary Examination

The preliminary examination is a requirement for doctoral studies at the University of Pittsburgh and is intended to assess the breadth of the student’s knowledge of the discipline, the student’s achievement following the first year of graduate study, and the potential to apply knowledge appropriately. In the CScD in Occupational Therapy program, the preliminary examination is a writing assignment in response to a writing prompt created by a preliminary examination committee composed of occupational therapy graduate faculty. Questions may address assessment concepts, intervention/education concepts, and/or implementation of evidence. The preliminary examination is typically administered following the student’s first year of study and is graded by the preliminary examination committee. Students must successfully pass the preliminary examination at least six months before they graduate.

Capstone Doctoral Committee 

Each student will be supervised by a doctoral committee that will be formed before or at the successful completion of the preliminary examination. The doctoral committee will be comprised of two to three members with the chair of this committee being the student’s faculty mentor and at least one of the other members being faculty appointed in the Department of Occupational Therapy. Additional members will be determined collaboratively by the student and mentor and can include external stakeholders. This committee will oversee the development, implementation and grading of the capstone project.

Comprehensive Examination

The capstone project serves as the basis of the comprehensive examination and will be developed and implemented in collaboration with the doctoral committee. The comprehensive examination includes a written paper and a presentation of the capstone project, both of which are graded by the student’s doctoral committee. Students must successfully pass both the written and oral components of the comprehensive examination to complete the CScD in Occupational Therapy program. Students must be registered for at least one course credit during the semester in which they will graduate from the CScD in Occupational Therapy program.

Plan of Study

CScD in Occupational Therapy Degree Courses

All students will take the following courses: 

Academic Standards

In addition to following University-wide academic rules and regulations as detailed in the General Academic Regulations section of this Catalog, the CScD in Occupational Therapy program is regulated by the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Academic Standards, as well as the policies and procedures in the SHRS Graduate Student Handbook and the CScD in Occupational Therapy Student Manual.

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