College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Occupational Therapy Doctorate

The Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) program is a three-year, year-round professional program that prepares students for community or clinical practice, post-doctorate educational experiences, and many other occupational therapy practice opportunities. Students may be admitted to the pre-occupational therapy bachelors degree program directly from high school and upon successful completion of established criteria, may be considered for admittance to the three-year professional program.

Experiential Educational Goals and Objectives



Occupational Therapy Department web site

OTD Experiential Educational Goals and Objectives

The Drake University Occupational Therapy Doctorate Program will prepare students with the flexible, clinical, analytical and practice skills necessary to succeed in occupational therapy through an interdisciplinary blend of professional, science, and liberal arts education. The purpose of the program is to provide graduates with an advanced entry-level knowledge base, skills, attitudes, ethics and values to succeed in occupational therapy careers. The curriculum is designed to provide the graduate with competence in these areas:

Drake OTD Program Outcomes

  1. Graduates will demonstrate the ability to utilize and analyze evidence for occupation-based practice and develop habits of life-long learning
  2. Graduates will value and engage in service opportunities to promote health and well-being for diverse and underserved populations.
  3. Graduates will demonstrate competent clinical reasoning and care using occupation to enable clients across the lifespan within varied groups, and populations to live life to the fullest.
  4. Graduates will display professionalism, ethical behavior, and advocacy skills to influence positive change with clients, communities, and the profession.

Drake OTD Curricular Themes

  1. Professional responsibility and scholarship
  2. Collaborative community engagement
  3. Occupation across the life span
  4. Professional identity


Course Credits
OTD 201 - Theoretical Foundations of Occupational Therapy 3
OTD 203 - Intro to the Occupational Therapy Process 3
OTD 207 - Health, Wellness and Well-Being 3
OTD 209 - Neuroscience 3
OTD 210 - Clinical Conditions Across the Lifespan 3
OTD 211 - Human Movement and Occupational Therapy 3
OTD 219 - Neuro-Rehabilitation 3
OTD 220 - Health Care Policy and Advocacy 3
OTD 227 - Psychosocial Application to Occupational Therapy 3
OTD 228 - Research I 3
OTD 229 - Occupational Therapy Skills and Adaptations 3
OTD 230 - Pediatrics I 3
OTD 236 - Clinical Reasoning in Occupational Therapy 3
OTD 238 - Evidence Based Practice 3
OTD 239 - Physical Rehabilitation and Orthopedic Care in OT 3
OTD 240 - Pediatrics II 3
OTD 247 - Teaching and Learning in Occupational Therapy 3
OTD 248 - Research II 3
OTD 249 - Universal Design and Technology in OT 
OTD 252 - Leadership and Management in Occupational Therapy 
OTD 253 - Special Topics (take fall or spring only - 1 CR)
OTD 253 - Special Topics (take fall or spring only - 1 CR) 
OTD 256 - Advanced Clinical Reasoning and Ethics
OTD 257 - Population Health Promotion 
OTD 258 - Research III 2
OTD 259 - Aging Adults and Community 3
OTD 261 - Level IA Fieldwork 1
OTD 262 - Level IB Fieldwork 1
OTD 263 - Level IC Fieldwork 1
OTD 265 - Level IIA Fieldwork 12
OTD 266 - Level IIB Fieldwork 12
OTD 270 - Doctoral Capstone Preparation 3
OTD 271 - Doctoral Capstone 14



Admission to the Drake University OTD program is based on academic and personal qualifications that are necessary for successful, competent practice as an occupational therapist. Candidates are evaluated on the basis of the fit between their personal goals and the mission and goals of the OTD program.  Prior education, work experience, honors, awards, service to others and leadership activities are also considered in the admission process. Prior shadowing in an OT environment is helpful, but not required.

Students can apply to our OTD program by meeting the following requirements.  Please note that these are the requirements applicants must meet in order for their applications to be considered complete.  Meeting these requirements does not guarantee admission to the OTD program.  

  • Submit an application through the Centralized Application Service for Occupational Therapy (OTCAS).
  • Complete the required Drake-specific questions within the OTCAS application.
  • Complete at least 3 years of undergraduate coursework (92 credit hours).
  • Earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher (as calculated in OTCAS).
  • Complete the Drake Curriculum Areas of Inquiry (AOI)requirements by the end of the summer term prior to entering the OTD program.  Students who have earned an associate's degree from an Iowa community college, or a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university, will be waived from Drake Curriculum AOI requirements.
  • Complete (or be in the process of completing) the prerequisite coursework outlined in the table below.  All required courses must be completed by the end of the summer term prior to entering the OTD program.

Subject Credit Hours Drake Courses

Anatomy and Physiology

A complete year course sequence in anatomy (one semester) and physiology (one semester) is required.  Students may take a combined anatomy/physiology sequence, but they must take both semesters in order to fulfill the requirement.  Labs are required.

8 credit hours (including labs) HSCI 125/L and 141 (PHAR 125 may replace HSCI 125); or BIO 018/L and 129

General Psychology

A one-semester introductory course in psychology is required.  This course must fulfill the prerequisite to allow students to take courses in developmental and abnormal psychology.  A lab is not required.

3 credit hours PSY 001 (4 credit hours)

Developmental Psychology

Students may take a one-semester course in child and adolecent development, adult development and aging, or lifespan development.  A lab is not required.

3 credit hours PSY 042 or 044

Abnormal Psychology

A one-semester course in abnormal psychology is required.  A lab is not required.

3 credit hours PSY 076


A one-semester course in general statistics is required.  Business, psychology or biological science statistics courses are accepted.

3 credit hours STAT 060 or 071

Medical Terminology

A one-semester course in medical terminology is required.

1 credit hour HSCI 095

English Composition

A complete year course sequence in college-level English writing or composition is required.  The sequence can be made up of a one-semester college-level composition course and a one-semester intensive writing course.

6 credit hours FYS and Written Communication AOI

Public Speaking

A one-semester course focused on public speaking is required.  Common course titles include Fundamentals of Speaking or Public Speaking.  Interpersonal speaking and communication courses will NOT be accepted.

3 credit hours SCSR 073

General Electives

59 semester credit hours in general electives are required; Drake requires students to complete a minimum of 3 years of undergraduate coursework (at least 92 credit hours)


54 credit hours Drake Curriculum Areas of Inquiry

Students must earn a grade of C or higher in order to fulfill prerequisite courses.  Please see Drake University's Transfer Credit Information page or contact the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at (515) 271-3018 for more information.  Students who wish to fulfill prerequisites using Advanced Placement (AP) scores must earn a 4 or higher on the AP exam.  Please contact the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences for more information. 

Drake University's Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) program operates on a rolling admission process.  We will interview and admit students until the O1 class is full and a sufficient number of applicants have been identified for the wait list.  We recommend submitting application materials early in order to ensure your application is processed and considered in a timely manner.  Students with strong applications and academic credentials will be invited to complete the second phase of the admission process, which includes a required virtual or on-campus interview.

Accredited Doctoral-Degree-Level Occupational Therapy Program

The entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program is accredited 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 Graduates of the program 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.

The information in this catalog does not constitute a contract between the university and the student. The university reserves the right to make changes in curricula, admission policies and processes, tuition and financial aid, academic standards and guidelines, student services and any other regulations or policies set forth in this catalog without giving prior notice.