OTD student in lab
College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)

Transforming Health and Well-being

Coming Soon! We are thrilled to announce the launch of a new online OTD Distance Pathway. Click through our web pages for more information. We expect to be able to accept applications soon and no later than March 1, 2024.

As one of few OTD programs in the country with an eight-semester curriculum model, WNE will help you complete your degree faster and more affordably, in less than 3 years! Learn about our available scholarships!

In the entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy program, you can become a practitioner scholar and a transformative leader. Occupational therapy is a growing and evolving healthcare profession whose practitioners assist individuals and communities to perform everyday activities (occupations), adapt environments to improve function in home, work, or leisure settings, and provide client-centered support for participation in life. As a professional leader equipped with research evidence and global health policy perspectives, you will be broadly positioned to: impact populations with or without disabilities; advance community health outcomes; and influence the development of future occupational therapists as members of collaborative interprofessional practice teams in current healthcare settings and emerging practice areas such as telehealth remote therapy, assistive technologies, or research-based innovations developed by collaborative interprofessional practice teams.

Why Choose Doctor of Occupational Therapy?

As the first occupational therapy program in western Massachusetts to offer an entry-level doctorate we welcome our role as visionaries and embrace our responsibility to establish innovative benchmarks in graduate professional education that others will follow.

What to Expect

Our Doctor of Occupational Therapy prepares students to become healthcare leaders and collaborate with peers in other professional programs. Think a professional degree is right for you? See how we do it at WNE.

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What Will You Learn?

Rapidly changing healthcare systems are demanding more of entry-level occupational therapy practitioners. The OTD curriculum is meeting this call by providing academic preparation beyond the generalist level, including advanced graduate knowledge, skills and fieldwork/experiential opportunities. The 109 credit, OTD curriculum is completed over 8 consecutive semesters.

The program combines opportunities for classroom learning, the development of performance laboratory skills, and on-site practice experience (i.e. Level I & Level II Fieldwork). The program integrates sequential course content with a series of 5 Level I Fieldwork experiences (Year One and Two), providing a strong foundation for Level II Fieldwork (Semester 6 & 7), and the Doctoral Experiential Project (Semester 8).

Top Five Reasons to Choose The Doctor of Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy
OTD student

Save Time and Tuition

Entry-level doctoral programs in occupational therapy eliminate the need for a master's degree and are on the cutting edge of professional graduate education.

OTD student

Doctoral Degree Prepares Students to be Leaders and Scholars of the Profession

With an OTD degree, you will be equipped with the research evidence and the policy perspectives necessary to lead the movement toward a global healthcare workforce.

OTD professor and students

Small Class Sizes Mean Individualized Attention and Support

With a maximum cohort of 35 and a typical faculty-to-student radio of 1:8 in clinical labs, you'll receive individualized attention.

OTD professor

Numerous Hands-on Experiential Opportunities That Are Intentionally Integrated

The expanded doctoral curriculum includes coursework with integrated Level I Fieldwork, 24 weeks of Level II Fieldwork, and a 14-week doctoral experiential residency.

OTD student

Four Performance Laboratory Settings to Mirror "Real-world" Experience

Our three clinical laboratories and off-campus Health and Wellness house are specifically designed to provide applied learning opportunities in realistic environments.

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Bear Paw Center

The B.E.A.R P.A.W Center stands for Bringing Equity, Accessibility, and Rehabilitation to People Achieving Wellness. The Bear Paw Center (BPC) is one of the first student-run occupational therapy pro bono clinics in the country and serves as a model for other institutions.

Bear Paw Center

Students in OTD lab

Doctoral Experiential (DEx)

The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapists (ACOTE) requires entry-level Occupational Therapy programs culminate in a Doctoral Capstone. At WNE, the Doctoral Capstone is referred to as the Doctoral Experiential (DEx).

DEx Projects

Students doing fieldwork


Learn more about fieldwork experiences at over 1,000 sites, and the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) Fieldwork Education Standards for entry-level OTD programs and the Doctoral Experiential.