The occupational therapy program resides in the Department of Kinesiology and offers two graduate programs options in the OTD: an entry-level doctor of occupational therapy (Entry-Level) and a post-professional doctor of occupational therapy (Post-Professional). Occupational therapists interested in pursuing advanced research training may also apply to the M.S./Ph.D. in Kinesiology with a specialization in Occupational Science. The purpose of the graduate program is to prepare clinicians, researchers, and teachers who possess a solid foundation in both the theoretical and applied aspects of the disciplines of occupational therapy and science.

Students apply to the Occupational Therapy Doctorate through the Entry-Level named option:

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and restrictions related to funding.

Program Information

Students enrolled in this program are not eligible to receive tuition remission from graduate assistantship appointments at this institution.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Major Requirements


Face to Face Evening/Weekend Online Hybrid Accelerated
No No Yes No No

Mode of Instruction Definitions

Accelerated: Accelerated programs are offered at a fast pace that condenses the time to completion. Students typically take enough credits aimed at completing the program in a year or two.

Evening/Weekend: ​Courses meet on the UW–Madison campus only in evenings and/or on weekends to accommodate typical business schedules.  Students have the advantages of face-to-face courses with the flexibility to keep work and other life commitments.

Face-to-Face: Courses typically meet during weekdays on the UW-Madison Campus.

Hybrid: These programs combine face-to-face and online learning formats.  Contact the program for more specific information.

Online: These programs are offered 100% online.  Some programs may require an on-campus orientation or residency experience, but the courses will be facilitated in an online format.


Minimum Credit Requirement See Named Option for policy information.
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement See Named Option for policy information.
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement See Named Option for policy information.
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
This program follows the Graduate School's policy:
Other Grade Requirements n/a
Assessments and Examinations Capstone project proposal and final product must be reviewed and approved by a dissertation committee of graduate faculty per Graduate School policy.
Language Requirements No language requirements.
Graduate School Breadth Requirements Breadth is provided via interdisciplinary training (requirement waived).

Required COURSES

Select a Named Option for courses required.

Named Options

A named option is a formally documented sub-major within an academic major program. Named options appear on the transcript with degree conferral. Students pursuing the Occupational Therapy Doctorate must select the following named option:

Students should refer to the named option for policy information:

Graduate School Resources

Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career. 

  1. Articulate and apply underlying occupation-based theories, concepts and techniques of occupational therapy intervention for a variety of contexts.
  2. Formulate systems to gather, analyze and interpret data and present to a professional audience.
  3. Demonstrate active involvement in professional development, leadership, and advocacy for the benefit of constituents and the profession.
  4. Synthesize current knowledge, available evidence and responses to interventions to inform new approaches to practice problems.
  5. Demonstrate commitment to healthy long-term professional growth through the creation, implementation, and monitoring of a career development plan including application of wellness and prevention strategies.



Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE)

Accreditation Status: Pre-accredited (April 2023), site visit (September 2023) for full accreditation.

In March 2020, the Occupational Therapy Doctoral (OTD) program was granted Candidacy Status with the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) and advanced to the Preaccreditation Review step with the self-study submitted in 2022. With Candidacy Status, the program is eligible to admit students.

Doctoral-Degree-Level Occupational Therapy Program (Program with Candidacy Status)

The UW-Madison entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program has applied for accreditation and has been granted Candidacy Status 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 The program must have a preaccreditation review, complete an on-site evaluation, and be granted Accreditation Status before its graduates will be 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 in order 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.


National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy

To look up NBCOT pass rates for Occupational Therapy Programs:

Licenses are awarded at the state level.  Students in the entry-level named option will become eligible for the licensure exam.

Professional Certification/Licensure Disclosure (NC-SARA)

The United States Department of Education requires institutions that provide distance education to disclose information for programs leading to professional certification or licensure about whether each program meets state educational requirements for initial licensure or certification. Following is this disclosure information for this program:

The requirements of this program meet Certification/Licensure in the following states:

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, District of Columbia; American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands

The requirements of this program do not meet Certification/Licensure in the following states:

Not applicable

The requirements of this program have not been determined if they meet Certification/Licensure in the following states:

Not applicable