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.

Fall Deadline The program does not admit in the fall.
Spring Deadline The program does not admit in the spring.
Summer Deadline November 1
GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Not required.
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 (
Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT) n/a
Letters of Recommendation Required 3

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.

Program Information

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.

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 Evening/Weekend Online Hybrid Accelerated
Yes No Yes Yes 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.

Curricular Requirements

Minimum Credit Requirement 97 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 85 credits
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 (
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
This program follows the Graduate School's policy:
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.
Language Requirements No language requirements.
Graduate School Breadth Requirement Breadth is provided via interprofessional training (doctoral minor or graduate/professional certificate waived).

Required Courses

The Entry Level OTD has a prescribed curriculum of 97 credits total.  

Summer 1 (9 credits)
ANATOMY 622 Human Anatomy for Physical and Occupational Therapy Students6
OCC THER 650 Enabling Occupations: Introduction2
OCC THER 731 Living Well: Wellness Promotion for Graduate Students1
Fall 1 (15 credits)
OCC THER 640 Applied Neuroanatomy for Allied Health Professionals3
OCC THER 651 Clinical Conditions I1
OCC THER 710 Professional and Leadership Skills 1: Foundations2
OCC THER 722 Enabling Occupations 1: Adult Focus4
OCC THER 770 Evidence Based Practice Lab Practicum2
OCC THER 771 Evidence Based Practice 1: Basics3
Spring 1 (14 credits)
OCC THER 711 Professional and Leadership Skills 2: Effective Interprofessional Relationships2
OCC THER 723 Enabling Occupations 2: Adult Focus4
OCC THER 726 Level 1 Fieldwork A: Adult Physical Disabilities1
OCC THER 732 Living Well: Designing Occupation-based Wellness Promotion2
OCC THER 770 Evidence Based Practice Lab Practicum2
OCC THER 772 Evidence Based Practice 2: Research Design, Methods, and Analysis3
Summer 2 (10 credits)
OCC THER 652 Clinical Conditions II1
OCC THER 724 Enabling Occupations 3: Mental Health Across the Life Span3
OCC THER 727 Level 1 Fieldwork B: Community-Based Mental Health1
OCC THER 733 Promoting Health and Wellness for Populations2
OCC THER 814 Communicating OT to Interprofessional Audiences3
Fall 2 (15 credits)
OCC THER 725 Enabling Occupations 4: Pediatrics5
OCC THER 728 Level 1 Fieldwork C: Pediatrics1
OCC THER 770 Evidence Based Practice Lab Practicum2
OCC THER 773 Evidence Based Practice 3: Research Translation3
OCC THER 811 Applied Leadership and Management in OT3
OCC THER 821 Case Synthesis 11
Spring 2 (7 credits)
OCC THER 662 Level II Fieldwork A6
OCC THER 880 Introduction to Capstone1
Summer 3 (6 credits + 2 optional elective credits)
OCC THER 664 Level II Fieldwork B6
Fall 3 (12 credits)
OCC THER 734 Living Well: Occupation-Based Interventions Promoting Health and Wellness2
or KINES 785 Human Occupation and Health
OCC THER 712 Professional and Leadership Skills 3: Management2
OCC THER 812 Current Trends Shaping Occupational Therapy Practice3
OCC THER 822 Case Synthesis 22
OCC THER 881 Capstone Project 13
Spring 3 (9 credits)
OCC THER 882 Capstone Project II3
OCC THER 883 Doctoral Experiential Component6
Total Credits97

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

Prior Coursework

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.

UW–Madison Undergraduate

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.


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.


15 credits

Time Limits

This program follows the Graduate School's Time Limits policy.

Grievances and Appeals

These resources may be helpful in addressing your concerns:

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 (

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

For grievances about, or directed at, faculty or staff in a School of Education department, unit, or program, students should follow these steps:

  1. 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.
  2. If unresolved after taking or considering step 1:
    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.
    2. 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.
  3. 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.  
  4. 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.
  5. 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.  
  6. 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.
  7. 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:

  1. 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.   
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.




Graduate School Resources

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