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 15
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 are able to complete a program with minimal disruptions to careers and other commitments.

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.
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 + 2 optional elective credits)
OCC THER 662 Level II Fieldwork A6
OCC THER 880 Introduction to Capstone1
Summer 3 (9 credits)
OCC THER 664 Level II Fieldwork B6
OCC THER 812 Current Trends Shaping Occupational Therapy Practice3
Fall 3 (9 credits)
OCC THER 712 Professional and Leadership Skills 3: Management2
KINES 785 Human Occupation and Health2
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, graduate or certificate 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:

Any student who feels that they have been treated unfairly by a faculty or staff member has the right to complain about the treatment and to receive a prompt hearing of the grievance, following these grievance procedures. The complaint may concern course grades, classroom treatment, program admission, or other issues. To insure a prompt and fair hearing of any complaint, and to protect both the rights of the student and the person at whom the complaint is addressed, the procedures below are used in the School of Education.

The person whom the complaint is directed against must be an employee of the School of Education. Any student or potential student may use these procedures unless the complaint is covered by other campus rules or contracts. The following steps are available within the School of Education when a student has a grievance:

  1. The student should first talk with the person against whom the grievance is directed. Most issues can be settled at this level. If the complaint is directed against a teaching assistant, and the student is not satisfied, the next step would be to talk to the TA's supervisor, who is usually the course professor. If the complaint is not resolved satisfactorily, the student may continue to step 2.
  2. If the complaint does not involve an academic department, the procedure outlined in Step 4 below should be followed. If the complaint involves an academic department, the student should contact the chair of the department. The chair will attempt to resolve the problem informally. If this cannot be done to the student's satisfaction, the student may submit the grievance to the chair in writing. This must be done within 60 calendar days of the alleged unfair treatment.
  3. On receipt of a written complaint, the chair will refer the matter to a departmental committee, which will obtain a written response from the person at whom the complaint is directed. This response shall be shared with the person filing the grievance. The chair will provide a timely written decision to the student on the action taken by the committee.
  4. If either party is not satisfied with the decision of the department, they have five working days from receipt of the decision to contact the dean's office (at the number below), indicating the intention to appeal. If the complaint does not involve an academic department in the school, the student must contact the dean's office within 60 calendar days of the alleged unfair treatment.
  5. In either case, there will be an attempt to resolve the issue informally by the associate dean. If this cannot be done, the complaint can be filed in writing with the dean's office. This must be done within 10 working days of the time the appealing party was notified that informal resolution was unsuccessful.
  6. On receipt of such a written complaint, the associate dean will convene a subcommittee of the school's Equity & Diversity Committee. This subcommittee may ask for additional information from the parties involved and may hold a hearing at which both parties will be asked to speak separately. The subcommittee will then make a written recommendation to the dean of the School of Education who will render a decision. Unless a longer time is negotiated, this written decision shall be made within 20 working days from the date when the grievance was filed with the dean's office.

Questions about these procedures can be directed to the School of Education Dean's Office, 377 Education Building, 1000 Bascom Mall, 608-262-1763.

State law contains additional provisions regarding discrimination and harassment. Wisconsin Statutes 36.12 reads, in part: "No student may be denied admission to, participation in or the benefits of, or be discriminated against in any service, program, course or facility of the system or its institutions or center because of the student's race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, disability, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital status or parental status." In addition, UW–System prohibits discrimination based on gender identity or gender expression. Students have the right to file discrimination and harassment complaints with the Office of Compliance, 361 Bascom Hall, 608-265-6018,



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