Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy


Education Model

Blended (Online and on-site) see curriculum for on-site dates

Program Dates

Priority application deadline: February 6, 2015
Final application deadline: March 23, 2015
Semester begins: May 4, 2015

Please note: Non-Utah Residents Currently, we are not accepting OTD students from Arkansas. The restrictions are related to offering courses to Arkansas residents regardless of the institution’s physical presence.

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Graduate Program Directors:

Loriann Helgeson, OTD, OTR/L & Melissa M. Sweetman, OTD, OTR/L


Concentration - General Program

The program also offers elective tracks which provide additional depth and expert guidance in the areas of Administration and Practice Management, Aging, Education, Hand Therapy, Pediatrics and Work and Health. The goal of the Occupational Therapy program at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions (RMUoHP) is to address the national need for high quality occupational therapy services by providing a new direction in professional education that promotes the scholarship of practice. The program is open to all individuals having an entry-level degree in occupational therapy. The RMUoHP Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program provides meaningful, obtainable, and affordable post-professional education to occupational therapists and facilitates the development of the occupational therapy practice-scholar who embeds research in his or her everyday practice. The program provides practicing clinicians with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to contribute to occupational therapy becoming a powerful, widely recognized, science-driven, and evidence-based profession with a globally connected and diverse workforce meeting society’s occupational needs. The University developed the curriculum based on established educational standards. Upon successful completion of the curriculum, RMUoHP confers the degree of Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) to graduates.

The mission of RMUoHP’s Post-professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program is to teach and inspire evidence-based practice, leadership and professional development for occupational therapists to be practice-scholars and leaders in health and human service. Occupational Therapy specialty courses in the program promote synthesis of reflective practice, professional trends, occupational science, and ethical implications of organizational issues in healthcare. Core courses provide students with the ability to use systematic reviews as a method to synthesize knowledge, guide practice and justify reimbursement for services. These courses teach students to make judgments about the validity, results, and application of research and to implement evidence-based decision-making in their careers. Specialty courses highlight advances in science associated with specialty areas of practice and include an individually designed capstone project that allows students to pursue a clinical subspecialty area or to develop a teaching, clinical, or administrative project related to their professional interests.


NWCCU AccreditationUNIVERSITY ACCREDITATION: Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (8060 165th Avenue NE Ste 100, Redmond, WA 98052-3981), an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Secretary of the US Department of Education.


NOTE: The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) accredits OTA and entry-level degree programs in occupational therapy. There is currently no specialized accrediting body for post-professional occupational therapy programs.

Click cover to read about our OTD students and alumni in the Winter 2014 issue of the university magazine. >

The OTD program is committed to the development of the occupational therapist who can:

1. Utilize Evidence-based Practice

  • Apply the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to make independent judgments about the validity and trustworthiness of research.
  • Integrate clinical expertise, best evidence available from systematic research and values and preferences of patients to make healthcare decisions (Sackett, Rosenberg, Gray, Haynes & Richardson, 1996).
  • Synthesize, disseminate, exchange and soundly apply knowledge to improve health, provide more effective health services and products and strengthen the healthcare system (Straus, Tetroe, & Graham, 2009).

2. Demonstrate Practice/Clinical Scholarship

  • Exercise high-level curiosity, critical thinking, continuous learning and reflection to substantiate best practice, outcomes and clinical decisions with reference to: systematic observation, current research, theoretical guidelines, contextual influences, quality improvement data and other forms of evidence.
  • Document and disseminate outcomes and improvements for best practice through mechanisms including publication, presentations, consultation, advocacy and leadership.
  • Use expertise to anticipate trends, predict needs, create effective clinical products and services, and measure and manage outcomes promoting the profession of occupational therapy (AOTA, 2009; Corcoran, 2008; Crist, 2010).

3. Demonstrate Leadership

  • Influence local, regional, national, and international policy, practice and education through advocacy, consultation, teaching and practice of occupational therapy with individuals, populations and organizations.
  • Model ways of thinking and doing to promote the art and science of occupational therapy, enable others to act, challenge the process to promote change, inspire a shared vision of the value of occupational therapy and encourage the hearts of employees, colleagues and students (Kouzes & Posner, 2007).
  • Function within an ethical decision-making framework by applying ethical theories and legal standards to decision-making regarding healthcare issues.

4.  Promote Participation in Occupation as the Practice and Outcome of Occupational Therapy

  • Educate about and advocate for the therapeutic use of occupation as a core foundation of the use of occupational therapy in rehabilitation, health promotion, and prevention.
  • Demonstrate the ability to seek, appraise and use reliable and valid evaluation and outcome measures documenting participation in occupation and roles.
  • Incorporate philosophical, theoretical and scientific traditions of occupational therapy into consultation, education, entrepreneurship, advocacy, direct care, program development and quality improvement.

American Occupational Therapy Association. (2009). Scholarship in occupational therapy. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 63, 790-796.
Corcoran, M.A. (2008). Five years in review: Clinical scholarship revisited. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 62, 263-264.
Crist, P. (2010). Adapting research instruction to support the scholarship of practice: Practice-scholar partnerships. Occupational Therapy in Health Care, 24(1), 39-55.
Kouzes, J. & Posner, B. (2007). The Leadership Challenge, 4th edition. San Fransisco, CA: Josse-Bass.
Sackett,D. L., Rosenberg,W. M., Gray,J. A., Haynes,R. B., Richardson,W. S. (1996). Evidence based medicine: What it is and what it isn’t. British Medical Journal, 312, 71 72. Straus, S. E., Tetroe, J., & Graham, I. D. (2009). Knowledge translation in health care: Moving from evidence to practice. West Sussex, UK: Blackwell Publishing, Ltd., canada cialis, cialis india