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Doctor of Occupational Therapy

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Doctor of Occupational Therapy program

The Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) degree program at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions is a 15-month primarily online post-professional program designed to enable students to continue meeting personal and professional obligations while pursuing their degree. In addition to the Advanced Practice track, the program offers:

  • Pediatrics
  • Hand Therapy
  • Education
  • Aging
  • Administration & Practice Management

Focusing on evidence-based practice and professional development, the OTD program is for practicing occupational therapists who strive to become leaders in the delivery of health and human services.

Academic Model

Priority Application Deadline: December 8, 2017
Final Application Deadline: February 23, 2018
Semester begins: May 7, 2018
Semester begins – Aging Track: September 4, 2018
First on-site dates: TBA

Education Model

Limited Residency Program mostly online with a few on-site visits (see curriculum for on-site dates)

Program Tracks

There are six elective tracks within the RMUoHP Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program.
Details and curriculums for each track can be viewed by clicking track titles in the tabs below.

  • Advanced Practice Track
  • Administration & Practice Management Elective Track
  • Aging Elective Track
  • Education Elective Track
  • Hand Therapy Elective Track
  • Pediatrics Elective Track

Doctor of Occupational Therapy Advanced Practice Track

32 credits

Start Date

May 7, 2018

On-site Dates

June 6-9, 2018
October 15-17, 2018

Advanced Practice Track

For the Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) candidate who seeks a well-rounded basis for furthering her or his career opportunities, the advanced practice track of study will focus on research, clinical reasoning and best practices, program evaluation and business-related aspects of practice. Students will master the concepts of applying empirical evidence at the point of care and in the everyday aspects of occupational therapy practice. Whether the prospective student aspires to teach, advocate, lead or practice in an entrepreneurial role, the Doctor of Occupational Therapy Advanced Practice track will provide the theoretical knowledge and practical skills required for success in this rewarding career field.

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Doctor of Occupational Therapy Admin and Practice Management Track

35 credits

Start Date

May 7, 2018

On-site Dates

June 6-9, 2018
October 15-17, 2018

Administration & Practice Management Elective Track

The OTD Administrative and Practice Management elective track is designed for those advanced occupational therapy practitioners who seek to influence the profession from a leadership and practice management perspective. The program explores leadership theories, organizational development and financial management strategies, emphasizing an evidence-based philosophy with a reflection on key professional trends.

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Doctor of Occupational Therapy Aging Track

35 credits

Start Date

September 4, 2018

On-site Dates

October 11-14, 2018

Aging Elective Track

The OTD Aging track offers an elective course of study for the post-professional occupational therapist that addresses the complex needs of senior populations. Doctoral candidates will consider evidence-based practices and principles with an added focus on the physical and psychosocial dimensions of aging, neuropathology and degenerative disease. Graduates will be poised to enter one of the many advanced occupational therapy disciplines that serve the growing needs of the aging.

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Doctor of Occupational Education Track

35 credits

Start Date

May 7, 2018

On-site Dates

June 6-9, 2018
October 15-17, 2018

Education Elective Track

This post-professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) leads the student to a focus on education and learning in an academic setting. Doctoral candidates will explore the dimensions of adult learning, instructional design principles and pedagogical methodology. Graduates in this elective track will be prepared to enter a variety of academic fields and contribute to the occupational therapy profession’s growing need for doctoral educators.

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Doctor of Occupational Therapy Hand Therapy Track

36 credits

Start Date

May 7, 2018

On-site Dates

June 6-9, 2018
October 15-17, 2018

Hand Therapy Elective Track

The OTD elective Hand Therapy track prepares graduates for an advanced level of evidence-based practice specific to the upper extremities. Occupational hand therapy focuses on the treatment of orthopedic conditions to optimize arm and hand use. Doctoral candidates will prepare to provide an advanced level of client-centered, occupation-based therapy designed to restore function and well-being.

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Doctor of Occupational Therapy Peds Track

35 credits

Start Date

May 7, 2018

On-site Dates

June 6-9, 2018
October 15-17, 2018

Pediatrics Elective Track

The youth-focused Pediatric elective track prepares OTD students for a future in neonatal, early intervention or school-based practice. Doctoral candidates will consider the unique occupational needs of infants, children and youths, as well as the principles of physical, sensory and cognitive impairment. This post-professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy focus will prepare graduates for success in a variety of settings, including clinics, schools and private practices.

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Tuition Information
Admissions Requirements

Why Choose RMU?

“RMUoHP was a great experience. I gained a vast amount of knowledge, professionalism, and leadership that has truly helped me grow as a practitioner and as a person. Could not be happier with the gains I have made.”
Jenna Thacker, OTR/L, ProRehab, P.C. Evansville, IN
“The caliber of the OTD faculty at RMUoHP is remarkable. They provided a supportive, coordinated, collaborative learning experience that exceeded all of my expectations. I would never have imagined that I could develop such a strong network of colleagues and friends in a mostly online program.”
Kimberly Masker, MSOT, CHT
“The OTD program of RMUoHP is well-designed for working occupational therapists seeking advancement in their respective practice setting.”
Francis Cuyugan, OTR/L
“My post-professional education at RMUoHP has increased my clinical knowledge and leadership skills to influence others for greater outcomes.”
Claudia Cirrincione, OTR/L, School-based therapist District 303
“Although this program is demanding, I have learned so much about evidence-based practice and scholarly application in practice. This has made the rigor of 15 months worth every bit of my hard work.”
Deborah A. Chilelli-Boru, OTR/L, Bergen Hand Therapy, Englewood, NJ

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UNIVERSITY 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.

Doctor of Occupational Therapy Scholarships

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MORE OTD NEWS

“Getting a Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree in the hand therapy track at RMUoHP has been the best move for my career both personally and professionally.”

Lori Algar, OTD, OTR/L, CHT
“The caliber of the OTD faculty at RMUoHP is remarkable. They provided a supportive, coordinated, collaborative learning experience that exceeded all of my expectations. I would never have imagined that I could develop such a strong network of colleagues and friends in a mostly online program.”
Kimberly Masker, MSOT, CHT
“The OTD program of RMUoHP is well-designed for working occupational therapists seeking advancement in their respective practice setting.”
Francis Cuyugan, OTR/L
“My post-professional education at RMUoHP has increased my clinical knowledge and leadership skills to influence others for greater outcomes.”
Claudia Cirrincione, OTR/L, School-based therapist District 303
“Although this program is demanding, I have learned so much about evidence-based practice and scholarly application in practice. This has made the rigor of 15 months worth every bit of my hard work.”
Deborah A. Chilelli-Boru, OTR/L, Bergen Hand Therapy, Englewood, NJ

Be a part of influencing our profession

Do you aspire to influence our profession in these or other ways? If so, applying to become a part of our industry-leading program is the first step to becoming the scholar you need to be to reach the pinnacle of professional success.

We invite you to explore our program, talk with our enrollment advisor, and attend an informative virtual information session. We want you to make an educated decision when choosing a program that meets your professional needs and goals for becoming a Doctor of Occupational Therapy. We wish you continued success as you make this life-changing decision.

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Learn more about our OTD program

We invite you to learn more about this and the other RMUoHP accreditations that distinguish us from other post-graduate programs. The successful completion of the RMUoHP Doctor of Occupational Therapy program has enabled many of our recent graduates to make significant contributions in the OT field, and has propelled their careers to a higher level of success.

Our graduates have established impactful community-based programs, proposed and advocated for legislation at the national level and secured influential seats on boards of local and state government-run programs. They have founded now-thriving private practices, established programs linking clinics to entry-level academic programs to foster collaboration, and served in positions of leadership for AOTA, state associations, and licensure boards. Others are teaching and leading in entry-level or post-professional occupational therapy settings and publishing in peer-reviewed journals.

View Admissions Requirements

We are committed to the development
of a professional who can:

otd-chart

Demonstrate Practice/Clinical Scholarship

Use expertise to anticipate trends, predict needs, create effective clinical products and services, and measure and promote the profession of occupational therapy

 
otd-scope

Utilize evidence-based practice

Apply the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to make independent judgments about the validity and trustworthiness of research.

 
otd-facility

Promote Participation in Occupation as the Outcome

Demonstrate the ability to seek, appraise and use reliable and valid evaluation and outcome measures documenting participation in occupation and roles.

 
otd-leader

Demonstrate Leadership

Influence local, regional, national, and international policy, practice and education through advocacy, consultation, teaching and practice of occupational therapy

 

Doctor of Occupational Therapy Faculty

Testimonials

Participation in the Post-professional OTD program at RMUoHP not only helped me learn and evolve as a clinician, but also helped me rediscover the beauty of occupational therapy. It renewed my passion for my discipline. My participation in the Work and Health track opened my eyes to new and exciting applications for my training, and has opened up professional possibilities that I had never realized or considered.

Ellenmarie Brady, OTR/L, RN

I am grateful for the opportunity to attend Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions. The program provided enough rigor to develop my clinical skills to become an evidence-based practitioner as I continued to work full-time.

Beverly Motin, MS, OTR/L

I have been so impressed by the students in my cohort in the occupational therapy clinical doctorate program at RMUoHP. I have made friends that will last for a lifetime. This experience has expanded my professional network and horizons and I am thankful for this experience! Thank you!

Amy Vaughan, OTR/L, BCP
Lead Occupational Therapist, Burrell Behavioral Health
Springfield, Missouri

My post-professional education at RMUoHP has increased my clinical knowledge and leadership skills to influence others for greater outcomes.

Claudia Cirrincione OTR/L
School-based therapist
District 303

RMU provides an doctoral education in occupational therapy that is both challenging and rewarding. Although this program is demanding, I have learned so much about evidence-based practice and scholarly application in practice. This has made the rigor of 15 months worth every bit of my hard work. I couldn’t be happier with the program and my achievements.

Deborah A. Chilelli-Boru, OTR/L
Bergen Hand Therapy, LLC 60 Grand Avenue,
Englewood, NJ 07631

The OTD program was rigorous and stressful at times, but also invigorating and inspiring. I have a renewed passion for occupational therapy and feel prepared to be a leader in my field thanks to my continued education at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions.

Nicole Miller, OTD, MOTR/L,
Centennial BOCES,
Greeley, CO

This was a wonderful place to continue my professional education

Barbara Johnson, LOTR

RMUoHP was a great experience. I gained a vast amount of knowledge, professionalism, and leadership that has truly helped me grow as a practitioner and as a person. Could not be happier with the gains I have made.

Jenna Thacker, OTR/L ProRehab, P.C. Evansville, IN

The OTD program of RMUoHP is well-designed for working occupational therapists seeking advancement in their respective practice setting.

Francis Cuyugan, OTR/L

The caliber of the OTD faculty at RMUoHP is remarkable. They provided a supportive, coordinated, collaborative learning experience that exceeded all of my expectations. I would never have imagined that I could develop such a strong network of colleagues and friends in a mostly online program.

Kimberly Masker, MSOT, CHT
(OTD August 2015)

I have been an Occupational Therapist for over 20 years. Much of my career has been spent working for a world renowned academic medical organization in both clinical and leadership roles. Seeking a doctoral degree at the Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions has enabled me to further pursue professional avenues both within and outside my organization as well represent and advocate for the OT profession in various ways in academic, clinical, community and leadership environments.
Best decision I made for personal and professional development. Thank you RMU!

Tina Sauber
Scottsdale, AZ

“Getting a Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree in the hand therapy track at RMUoHP has been the best move for my career both personally and professionally. My practice, my clients and my energy to contribute to the profession have benefited from my education.”

Lori Algar, OTD, OTR/L, CHT

“Over the past 24 years I have enjoyed a very fulfilling career as an occupational therapist. To keep up with current graduates, I really wanted to get my OTD, but did not think it would be possible. I had one year left before my own kids would start heading to college. I looked into the RMUoHP program and was hooked on the pediatric science specialty that could be completed in 3 semesters, 11 months. As it turns out it’s one of the best decisions I have every made! The RMUoHP OTD program has provided me with an education and practical integration of evidence-based methods and leadership skills. Through the web-based learning and onsite coursework, I have developed a network of colleagues from across the country and transformed my clinical skills to a level that I never realized existed!”

Yvonne Cosentino, OTR, OTR/L
OT for Kids
Springfield, IL

“I graduated from the OTD program in 2011 following the elective track of Practice Management and Administration. The experience has been one of the best educational experiences I have had. With the assistance of our Graduate Program Director, Dr. Elysa Roberts and the highly experienced faculty, I have achieved a wonderfully didactic education. The curriculum was challenging and fulfilling. It allowed me the opportunity for independent study while requiring a great deal of accountability. The courses challenged my thinking and honed my writing skills. For me the greatest challenge was the understanding of Evidence-Based Practice; how to ask the right questions and how to find the answers that would allow me provide the best treatment possible for my patients, and how to implement them. The elective track of Practice Management and Administration had greatly influenced my managerial skills. Approximately 6 months following my graduation, I received a promotion to the Director of Clinical Services at my place of employment. I feel that the education and skills training received from RMUoHP greatly influenced my employers in selecting me for the position. I speak with many Physical and Occupational Therapists regarding my choice of institutions and recommend RMUoHP at every chance. I am truly grateful for this fine institution, administrators and faculty for their fine work and pray that they continue to educate and challenge all health professionals.”

William Russell Blaylock, OTR, OTR
Mesquite Rehabilitation Institute
Mesquite, TX

“I have always been interested in teaching and hope to one day be a professor of occupational therapy. After one year of working in brain injury rehabilitation, I felt ready for a new challenge. I had started to feel like I was following a routine and did not always have evidence to support my interventions. I pulled out information that I had collected from conferences as a student and started doing research on the OTD degree. I pursued the post-professional doctorate after I heard positive feedback from graduates and found out RMUoHP was accredited. I have completed this program knowing that the OTD is a crucial step towards my goals in academia. Being a fairly new graduate/novice clinician gave me a unique perspective on the courses. Clinical experience was critical in helping me understand concepts that I was not prepared for as a graduate student. I have gained skills in evidence-based practice that will help me continue to be a skillful practitioner. I was very pleased with the education I received at RMUoHP and feel that it will enhance my practice and propel me into leadership in occupational therapy.”

Dianna Medina, OTD, OTR
Transitional Learning Center
Galveston, TX

“The reason I pursued the OTD was to better myself as a Rehab Manger and to set up the possibility for teaching at the university level once I retired. Rocky Mountain was the perfect fit for me as all of the classes were pertinent to my job as a manager as well as a way to encourage and challenge my staff. I have no doubt that my vision and plan for my department has changed and is stronger as a result of my experience and classes at RMUoHP. In the end, I hope that my patients and families will benefit – and isn’t that what it is all about? I found that through my time as a student, I was constantly applying my knowledge – I did not have to wait until I graduated. Although the path was difficult, the constant application within our Rehab Center was an encouragement to me and made me want to learn more – and even try harder. I find it interesting that I also seemed to receive a respect from persons throughout my organization as well as included on projects I may have never seen before. I seemed to have also gained a certain level of confidence and critical thinking that I have not experienced before – and this has positively impacted my performance as a manager. Lastly, upon submitting my final assignment I was contacted to teach at a prestigious university. I recently completed my first semester of teaching and have been asked to return. In the end, I met all of my goals that I desired – and then some!”

Sue Harlow, OTD, OTR/L
TriHealth – Good Samaritan Hospital
Cincinnati, OH

“Getting my OTD at RMUoHP was the greatest thing I ever did (besides becoming an OT).I loved the classes, the professors, the staff, and the location. The scheduling of assignments was done brilliantly, staggering them so that I could work steadily and not be overwhelmed throughout the sessions. I am amazed at all that I learned during my education at RMUoHP. Since completing my degree, I refer back to lessons constantly, and have gained confidence in myself beyond my imagination. I would recommend this program to anyone who is seriously ready to propel themselves to a new level.”

Jennifer Wells, OTD, OTR
Therapy Management Corporation (West Palm Beach, FL)
Juno Beach, FL

“My experience completing the pediatric elective track in the occupational therapy doctoral program has been a truly wonderful professional and personal experience. The time spent on campus meeting fellow students from around the US was really fun. It has been a privilege to learn with such an awesome group of professionals. The camaraderie and support from students around me in addition to the faculty at RMUoHP made even the most difficult assignments manageable. I can honestly say that all assignments were in some way directly applicable to the patient care I was providing, making for a very meaningful learning experience.”

Abby Fry, OTD, OTR/L
St. Luke’s – Elks Children’s Rehab
Boise, ID

“Obtaining my OTD from RMUoHP was such a positive experience. I met and was mentored by amazing faculty who challenged me and encouraged me both personally and professionally. The mentor for the CHT track, Sue Michlovitz is a true inspiration and educator who has the unique gift for empowering her students. Not only did I gain a new appreciation for evidence- based practice, but I was also challenged to continue on the journey to participate in improving the evidence and treatment for those individuals we serve.”

Nancy Wesolowski, OTD, OTR/L, CHT
Mackarey & Mackarey Physical Therapy
Clarks Summit, PA

“RMU’s curriculum is ideal for practicing clinicians. I utilized current clients and clinical scenarios for my case studies and research assignments. The knowledge I obtained directly and immediately increased my effectiveness as an occupational therapist.”

Robyn Wu, MS, OTD, OTR/L
St. Alphonsus Rehabilitation Services
Meridian, Idaho

“I am pleased and honored to be the first OT graduate of Rocky Mountain University. I chose RMU because of the innovative approach to learning. Long distance independent study, plus on-campus studies made it possible for me to complete my education according to my personal learning needs and abilities. I found the administrative staff to be easily approachable, concerned about my success and always open to feedback. My professors were stimulating, supportive and encouraging. They were especially helpful with my dreaded subject, statistics. My advisor and statistics professor thoroughly counseled me in a most supportive manner until I felt I had a thorough grasp on the subject. It was just what I needed to successfully complete my requirements. Coursework required active study and continual work, which enhanced my knowledge and understanding of our profession. PT and OT classmates were a delight. Students were excellent clinicians, academics, authors, and experts in their field. I found the time spent on campus, with the students, to be the highlight of the program. Lifetime friendships were made during the RMU experience. My entire experience at RMU, from beginning to end, was a pleasure. The RMU curriculum prepared me to participate in the active research that I am doing today, and helped me to understand the clinical value and usefulness of a scientific approach in the occupational therapy profession. I strongly recommend the RMU program to any busy clinician who enjoys working independently, but still seeks a supportive learning environment. The RMU program offers the best of both worlds.”

Vanessa M. Dazio, OTD, OTR/L, (D) ABDA
SAFE Aging
New Port Richey, FL

“I enjoyed my learning experience at RMUoHP and never regretted my decision to pursue my OTD. While balancing work, school and family may be difficult at times, it was well worth my efforts. I received a promotion at my workplace accompanied by an increase in salary immediately following completion of my coursework. I would encourage anyone who is thinking of seeking an OTD to attend RMUoHP!”

Loriann Helgeson, OTD, OTR/L
Bluffdale, UT

“The post-professional programs at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions offer academic excellence for the Occupational Therapy Professional without interrupting your professional responsibilities or social commitments. The faculty is academically supported with various educational achievements, years of clinical experience, and work very hard with the individual student to comprehend and master the class material. The information in the classroom is cutting edge for the profession of Occupational Therapy. This model allows the Occupational Therapy professional to strengthen clinical practice and enhance professional worth in Occupational Therapy. The staff at RMUoHP are wonderful people who go out of their way to assist the post-professional student to be successful while on campus as well as off campus via the web.”

Sandra Pugh, OT, OTD
El Dorado, AR

“Completing this post-professional degree increased my confidence in seeking out leadership roles. Although I have been a busi­ness owner for 22 years, I have never worked on a national project. The leadership class taught by Dr. Sweetman provided me with the inspiration and motivation to serve in a leadership capacity for the AOTA.”
“My favorite part of the program is the relationships I made along this journey. I have met and worked with amazing clinicians. These connections will stay with me for a lifetime. Many of us within the cohort continue to communicate with one another on a weekly basis. Working with stellar clinicians has been the most rewarding part of pursuing this degree.”
“I own 3 busy outpatient therapy centers in central Virginia. Balancing my career, my family, and my education was a major chal­lenge. However, the faculty were very supportive during this process. This hybrid program, although it is very rigorous, is feasible for the working professional.”

Ellen Hudgins, OTD APM alumna

The OTD program was a valuable asset to my career. The time and monetary commitment was well worth it. I couldn’t be happier with my experience!

Amy Kashiwa, OTR/L Bellingham, WA

RMUoHP provided me with a stellar OTD education that enhanced my ability to be an evidence-based practitioner and OT educator. This experience enabled me to grow professionally and personally while shaping my confidence. In addition to the amazing faculty, I developed close relationships with peers in my cohort. The rich, student-centered learning experience made my time at RMUoHP enjoyable and exciting. Although the majority of my class time was spent through on-line learning experience, I never felt alone. The on-campus visits were set-up scheduled in a way that made it easy for me to continue working my full-time job as an OTA program director and this e pertinence further enhanced so many areas of my career. I would encourage anyone to follow their dream of becoming an OTD. RMUoHP can certainly help you achieve your goals with a reasonable, high quality, and cost-effective education.

Jennifer K. Renshaw
OTD Cohort 24 OTA Program Director
Wilmington, NC

RMUOHP provided a challenging and positive environment which allowed me to grow both personally and professionally. I am very thankful that I moved forward with my decision to advance my knowledge and career.

Michele Karen Johnson, OTR/L
Duluth Edison Charter School
Duluth, MN

I am excited to begin my path as a scholar and life long learner. I have learned and gained so much from this program and look forward to contributing to our professions Centenniel Vision. The design of this program has propelled my confidence, evidence-based practice skills, clinical skills and leadership capability and I will be forever grateful to the faculty for their professionalism, guidance, caring and compassion through the process.

Tracy Chism, OTR/L, CHT
Select Physical Therapy
Los Angeles, CA

RMUoHP provided an environment of rigor and encouragement. My practice has grown through evidence based practice. My passion for occupational therapy has intensified and I’m a proud OT.

Suny Faradj-Bakht, OTR/L

The OTD has launched my career into an area that I never dreamed would be in reach for me as an occupational therapist! Thank you Dr. H and Dr. S

Christy A. McDonald OTR/L

“With a limited residency model, the RMUoHP degree programs are designed for the working professional. I was able to continue practicing full-time as a clinician while working on my degree. The RMUoHP staff and expert instructors were the heart of the program. They, as well as the students, brought multi-disciplinary clinical knowledge and expertise from all areas of the world. I have and will continue to recommend RMUoHP as the university of choice for the working healthcare professional.”

Kara Baxter

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