This is a named option within the Occupational Therapy, OTD.
The Entry-Level Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) is a three-year, full time program. Our cohort is an intimate 32 students who receive the individualized advising and support they need to develop into successful clinicians and leaders. The program includes the fundamentals of occupational therapy best practice with values emphasizing the importance of occupation, cultural responsiveness, ethical practice, interprofessional collaboration, and social justice. Our courses are organized into four main threads:
- Practice - Occupation-centered and evidence-based
- Research - Critical application and participation in clinically relevant research
- Leadership - Respectful advocacy, influence and transformation
- Wellness - Promoting health in self and others
Please consult the table below for key information about this degree program’s admissions requirements. The program may have more detailed admissions requirements, which can be found below the table or on the program’s website.
Graduate admissions is a two-step process between academic programs and the Graduate School. Applicants must meet the minimum requirements of the Graduate School as well as the program(s). Once you have researched the graduate program(s) you are interested in, apply online.
|The program does not admit in the fall.
|The program does not admit in the spring.
|GRE (Graduate Record Examinations)
|English Proficiency Test
|Every applicant whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English must provide an English proficiency test score and meet the Graduate School minimum requirements (https://grad.wisc.edu/apply/requirements/#english-proficiency).
|Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT)
|Letters of Recommendation Required
Admission to the entry-level professional program in occupational therapy requires:
- Bachelor's degree (or equivalent) from a regionally accredited school of higher education by the start of the program
- Transcripts from each college, university, or technical college attended showing work completed and in progress
- Documentation of paid or volunteer experience in at least two different settings serving persons across the lifespan with physical, behavioral or mental health disabilities
- Direct observation of Registered Occupational Therapists, or Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants, providing services is highly recommended
- Personal statement responding to prompts provided on the graduate application
- At least a "C" or better in the following prerequisite courses or their equivalent:
- Lifespan Development (6 credits)
- Abnormal Psychology (3 credits)
- Statistics (3 credits)
- Human Physiology (3-5 credits WITH LAB)
- Human Anatomy (3-5 credits)
- Human Anatomy Lab (1-3 credits)
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.
Students enrolled in this program are not eligible to receive tuition remission from graduate assistantship appointments at this institution.
Our 75 years of generous alumni have provided a number of private scholarships for our students which support tuition, research, travel and other opportunities. Please explore our website for the most current scholarship options available. https://kinesiology.education.wisc.edu/elotd/
Minimum Graduate School Requirements
Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.
Named Option Requirements
mode of instruction
|Face to Face
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
|Minimum Residence Credit Requirement
|Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement
|All credits must be graduate-level coursework. Details can be found in the Graduate School’s Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) policy (https://policy.wisc.edu/library/UW-1244).
|Overall Graduate GPA Requirement
|3.00 GPA required.
This program follows the Graduate School's policy: https://policy.wisc.edu/library/UW-1203.
|Other Grade Requirements
|Students must earn a grade of C or better in ANATOMY 622 to continue in the program.
|Assessments and Examinations
|Capstone project proposal and final product must be reviewed and approved by a capstone committee per Graduate School policy.
|No language requirements.
|Graduate School Breadth Requirement
|Breadth is provided via interprofessional training (doctoral minor or graduate/professional certificate waived).
The Entry Level OTD has a prescribed curriculum of 97 credits total.
|Summer 1 (9 credits)
|Human Anatomy for Physical and Occupational Therapy Students
|OCC THER 650
|Enabling Occupations: Introduction
|OCC THER 731
|Living Well: Wellness Promotion for Graduate Students
|Fall 1 (15 credits)
|OCC THER 640
|Applied Neuroanatomy for Allied Health Professionals
|OCC THER 651
|Clinical Conditions I
|OCC THER 710
|Professional and Leadership Skills 1: Foundations
|OCC THER 722
|Enabling Occupations 1: Adult Focus
|OCC THER 770
|Evidence Based Practice Lab Practicum
|OCC THER 771
|Evidence Based Practice 1: Basics
|Spring 1 (14 credits)
|OCC THER 711
|Professional and Leadership Skills 2: Effective Interprofessional Relationships
|OCC THER 723
|Enabling Occupations 2: Adult Focus
|OCC THER 726
|Level 1 Fieldwork A: Adult Physical Disabilities
|OCC THER 732
|Living Well: Designing Occupation-based Wellness Promotion
|OCC THER 770
|Evidence Based Practice Lab Practicum
|OCC THER 772
|Evidence Based Practice 2: Research Design, Methods, and Analysis
|Summer 2 (10 credits)
|OCC THER 652
|Clinical Conditions II
|OCC THER 724
|Enabling Occupations 3: Mental Health Across the Life Span
|OCC THER 727
|Level 1 Fieldwork B: Community-Based Mental Health
|OCC THER 733
|Promoting Health and Wellness for Populations
|OCC THER 814
|Communicating OT to Interprofessional Audiences
|Fall 2 (15 credits)
|OCC THER 725
|Enabling Occupations 4: Pediatrics
|OCC THER 728
|Level 1 Fieldwork C: Pediatrics
|OCC THER 770
|Evidence Based Practice Lab Practicum
|OCC THER 773
|Evidence Based Practice 3: Research Translation
|OCC THER 811
|Applied Leadership and Management in OT
|OCC THER 821
|Case Synthesis 1
|Spring 2 (7 credits)
|OCC THER 662
|Level II Fieldwork A
|OCC THER 880
|Introduction to Capstone
|Summer 3 (6 credits + 2 optional elective credits)
|OCC THER 664
|Level II Fieldwork B
|Fall 3 (12 credits)
|OCC THER 734
|Living Well: Occupation-Based Interventions Promoting Health and Wellness
|or KINES 785
|Human Occupation and Health
|OCC THER 712
|Professional and Leadership Skills 3: Management
|OCC THER 812
|Current Trends Shaping Occupational Therapy Practice
|OCC THER 822
|Case Synthesis 2
|OCC THER 881
|Capstone Project 1
|Spring 3 (9 credits)
|OCC THER 882
|Capstone Project II
|OCC THER 883
|Doctoral Experiential Component
Students in this program may not take courses outside the prescribed curriculum without faculty advisor and program director approval. Students in this program cannot enroll concurrently in other undergraduate or graduate degree programs.
Graduate School Policies
The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.
Named option-specific policies
Graduate Work from Other Institutions
With program approval, students are allowed to count up to 12 credits of graduate coursework from other institutions. Coursework should be less than five years old to be considered, additional justification and/or documentation are needed for work taken between five and ten years. Work more than ten years old will not be considered.
No undergraduate coursework will be allowed to count toward OTD requirements.
UW–Madison University Special
With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 9 credits of coursework numbered 300 or above taken as a UW–Madison University Special student. These credits are considered part of the total allowable credits available for a student to transfer. Coursework should be less than five years old to be considered; additional justification and/or documentation is needed for work taken between five and ten years. Work more than ten years old will not be considered.
This program follows the Graduate School's Probation policy.
ADVISOR / COMMITTEE
Every graduate student is required to have an advisor to meet UW information management needs, and accordingly, and of its own volition, the department assigns an advisor to each student. The advisor is a graduate or clinical faculty member.
To ensure that students are making satisfactory progress toward a degree, the Graduate School expects them to meet with their advisor on a regular basis. The OTD Program Coordinator will advise students in the early stages of their studies until a permanent advisor is assigned. The advisor may also serve on the student's capstone project committee.
CREDITS PER TERM ALLOWED
This program follows the Graduate School's Time Limits policy.
Grievances and Appeals
These resources may be helpful in addressing your concerns:
- Bias or Hate Reporting
- Graduate Assistantship Policies and Procedures
- Hostile and Intimidating Behavior Policies and Procedures
- Dean of Students Office (for all students to seek grievance assistance and support)
- Employee Assistance (for personal counseling and workplace consultation around communication and conflict involving graduate assistants and other employees, post-doctoral students, faculty and staff)
- Employee Disability Resource Office (for qualified employees or applicants with disabilities to have equal employment opportunities)
- Graduate School (for informal advice at any level of review and for official appeals of program/departmental or school/college grievance decisions)
- Office of Compliance (for class harassment and discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual violence)
- Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards (for conflicts involving students)
- Ombuds Office for Faculty and Staff (for employed graduate students and post-docs, as well as faculty and staff)
- Title IX (for concerns about discrimination)
School of Education Grievance Policy and Procedures
The following School of Education Student Grievance Policy and associated procedures are designed for use in response to individual student grievances regarding faculty or staff in the School of Education.
Any individual student who feels they have been treated unfairly by a School of Education faculty or staff member has the right to file a grievance about the treatment and receive a timely response addressing their concerns. Any student, undergraduate or graduate, may use these grievance procedures, except employees whose complaints are covered under other campus policies. The grievance may concern classroom treatment, mentoring or advising, program admission or continuation, course grades (study abroad grade complaints are handled through International Academic Programs), or issues not covered by other campus policies or grievance procedures.
For grievances regarding discrimination based on protected bases (i.e., race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, etc.), contact the Office of Compliance (https://compliance.wisc.edu/eo-complaint/).
For grievances or concerns regarding sexual harassment or sexual violence (including sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, stalking and sexual exploitation), contact the Sexual Misconduct Resource and Response Program within the Office of Compliance.
For grievances that involve the behavior of a student, contact the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards in the Dean of Students Office at https://conduct.students.wisc.edu/).
For grievances about, or directed at, faculty or staff in a School of Education department, unit, or program, students should follow these steps:
- Students are strongly encouraged to first talk with the person against whom the concern is directed. Many issues can be settled informally at this level. If students are unable to resolve concerns directly or without additional support, step 2 or 3 should be pursued.
- If unresolved after taking or considering step 1:
- If the concern is directed against a teaching assistant (TA), and the student is not satisfied, the student should contact the TA's supervisor, who is usually the course professor. The course professor will attempt to resolve the concern informally.
- If the concern involves a non-TA instructor, staff member, professor, academic department, or School of Education office or unit, the student should contact the chair of the department or the director of the office or unit, or their designee. The chair or director, or their designee, will attempt to resolve the concern informally. If the concern is about the department chair or office/unit director, the student should consult the School of Education Senior Associate Dean for guidance.
- If the concern remains unresolved after step 2, the student may submit a formal grievance to the chair or director in writing within 30 business days1 of the alleged unfair treatment. To the fullest extent possible, a formal written grievance shall contain a clear and concise statement of the issue(s) involved and the relief sought.
- On receipt of a written grievance, the chair or director will notify the person at whom the grievance is directed with a copy of the written grievance. The person at whom the complaint is directed may submit a written response, which would be shared with the student.
- On receipt of a written grievance, the chair or director will refer the matter to a department, office, or unit committee comprised of at least two members. The committee may be an existing committee or one constituted for this purpose. The committee, or delegates from the committee, may meet with the parties involved and/or review any material either party shares with the committee.
- The committee will provide a written description of the facts of the grievance and communicate recommendations to the department chair or office/unit head regarding how the grievance should be handled.
- The chair or director will offer to meet with the student who made the grievance and also will provide a written decision to the student, including a description of any related action taken by the committee, within 30 business days of receiving the formal grievance.
For the purpose of this policy, business days refers to those days when the University Offices are open and shall not include weekends, university holidays, spring recess, or the period from the last day of exams of fall semester instruction to the first day of spring semester instruction. All time limits may be modified by mutual consent of the parties involved.
If the grievance concerns an undergraduate course grade, the decision of the department chair after reviewing the committee’s recommendations is final.
Other types of grievances may be appealed using the following procedures:
- Both the student who filed the grievance or the person at whom the grievance was directed, if unsatisfied with the decision of the department, office or unit, have five (5) business days from receipt of the decision to contact the Senior Associate Dean, indicating the intention to appeal.
- A written appeal must be filed with the Senior Associate Dean within 10 business days of the time the appealing party was notified of the initial resolution of the complaint.
- On receipt of a written appeal, the Senior Associate Dean will convene a sub-committee of the School of Education’s Academic Planning Council. This subcommittee may ask for additional information from the parties involved and/or may hold a meeting at which both parties will be asked to speak separately (i.e., not in the room at the same time).
- The subcommittee will then make a written recommendation to the Dean of the School of Education, or their designee, who will render a decision. The dean or designee’s written decision shall be made within 30 business days from the date when the written appeal was filed with the Senior Associate Dean. For undergraduate students, the dean or designee’s decision is final.
Further appealing a School of Education decision – graduate students only
Graduate students have the option to appeal decisions by the School of Education dean or designee by using the process detailed on the Graduate School’s website.
Questions about these procedures can be directed to the School of Education Dean's Office, 377 Education Building, 1000 Bascom Mall, 608-262-1763.
- Office of Compliance (for discrimination based on protected classes, including misconduct) 179A Bascom Hall, 608-262-2378
- Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards (for conflicts between students, or academic integrity violations) 70 Bascom Hall, 608-263-5700
- Bias or Hate Reporting (for students who experience or observe bias or hate incidents) 70 Bascom Hall, 608-263-5700
- Graduate School (for graduate students who need informal advice at any level of review; for official appeals of program/departmental or school/college grievance decisions, see Graduate Assistant Policies and Procedures) 217 Bascom Hall, 608-262-2433
- Ombuds Office for Faculty and Staff (for UW-Madison employees, including graduate students) 523-524 Lowell Center, 608-265-9992
- Employee Assistance (for conflicts involving graduate assistants and other employees) 256 Lowell Hall, 608-263-2987
- Dean of Students Office (for any students needing advice or support) 70 Bascom Hall, 608-263-5700
- Office of Human Resources for policies and procedures to address workplace conflict) 21 N Park Street Suite 5101, 608-265-2257
- School of Education, Office of Student Services (for students, particularly undergraduates, in the School of Education) 139 Education Building, 608-262-1651
- School of Education, Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (OEDI) 145 Education Building, 608-262-8427
Graduate School Resources
Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career.