Advance Your Practice with a Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD)

Be part of an occupational therapy program that makes you a top priority with classes taught by scholars and leaders in the field. With a strong legacy of developing occupational therapists since 1941 and advancing their education with post-professional degrees since 1995, Mount Mary is the university to move your practice forward.

About the Post-Professional OTD Program

The post-professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate is designed for practicing occupational therapists (OT/OTR) who seek to transition from a master's degree to a doctorate and advance competencies in their chosen area of practice. As a professional in our program, you will:

  • learn to enhance your reflection about practice based on occupation, theory, and evidence
  • design a program intervention and evaluation for a targeted population and organization
  • critique and create practice alternatives for the occupational therapy profession

As a graduate you will be able to:

  • use leadership skills to design and implement program ideas that meet the needs of an organization and a population
  • collaborate using interprofessional strategies to develop and analyze program interventions
  • synthesize in-depth knowledge to design solutions for practice challenges based on professional evidence

Program Format

The Post-Professional OTD is a 30-credit program with 10 credits transferred from an occupational therapy master's degree educational program. The program is completed in 12 months on a part-time basis with all courses completed online. By remaining in a work setting while engaging in advanced education, you'll develop reflective practice skills in a manner that has ongoing real-world application. Read more about the technology requirements.


Program of Study:



OCT 800: Professional Doctorate Plan (2 credits) Leadership development for interprofessional collaboration with an organizational partner and population including networking and advocacy. 

OCT 802: Population Services (2 credits) Occupational therapy’s unique contribution to population services including population research, program development, and grant writing. 

OCT 810: Advanced Occupational Therapy Practice (2 credits) Curated readings from professional literature in practice area (children and youth, physical rehabilitation and disability, productive aging, and wellness/prevention/mental health).  



OCT 812: Specialty Practice Residency (4 credits) Needs assessment - population profile, organizational narrative, occupational injustice / occupational opportunity, program intervention plan within partner organization and population contexts.

OCT 814: Specialty Practice Competency (2 credits) Professional literature addressing population needs and supporting program intervention.

OCT 814A: Doctoral Advising (1 credit) Mentored population services development through review and reflection on professional literature



OCT 816: Specialty Practice Project (2 credits) Population services program proposal including program intervention, implementation operational details, program evaluation and stakeholder feedback. Includes networking, leadership and grant proposal. 

OCT 816A: Doctoral Advising (1 credit) Mentored population services program proposal development through reflection on proposal components and stakeholder input. 

OCT 818: Professional Doctorate Portfolio (4 credits) Population services proposal demonstrating critical reflection and synthesis of knowledge, skills and competencies for population services through a scholarly paper, scholarly report, scholarly presentation and leadership.  Includes presentation to organization and professional community.  Includes doctoral committee review of portfolio and oral defense by doctoral candidate. 

TOTAL CREDITS: 20 (10 credits transferred from a master's degree program in occupational therapy)


Don't have a master's degree? 

Mount Mary also offers a bridge program for practicing occupational therapists with a bachelor's degree who wish to earn a post-professional OTD. Bridging from a bachelor's degree to an occupational therapy doctorate requires completion of the Post-Professional Master of Science degree, a 9 month, 12 credit program. Visit our Post-Professional Master of Science page for more information.



To apply to the OTD program, please submit the following items:

  • Graduate Student Application
  • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended
  • Copy of current OT license
  • Copy of government-issued photo ID

Completed applications are reviewed on a rolling basis each year to begin the program in June. Qualified applicants will be contacted to complete an interview and writing sample. Upon notification of admission, applicants must submit a tuition deposit to confirm their intent to enroll. A maximum of 14 students are admitted each year.

Have questions about the program?  Reach out to the Post-Professional Program Director, Dr. Jane Olson, at

Get all you need for the next step in your career in occupational therapy. Start the journey at Mount Mary.

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