Academic Catalog 2022-2023

Slippery Rock University

Occupational Therapy, Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)

The Occupational Therapy (OT) Program at Slippery Rock University offers an entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program in an on-campus, face-to-face learning format with scheduled off campus fieldwork placements. The curriculum focuses on contemporary practice using evidence-based strategies to provide students with generalist and advanced training learning experiences. Classroom and laboratory learning opportunities are influenced by accreditation standards established by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).

Occupational Therapy Program Mission & Vision Statements


The program's mission is to facilitate and support the education of future occupational therapy professionals who will demonstrate compassion, evidence-based knowledge, and advanced practice skills with both individuals and distinct populations. 


Slippery Rock University’s Entry-Level Doctorate in Occupational Therapy Program will be recognized for preparing practitioners who will use transferrable knowledge and skills in a variety of practice areas. As such, they will be committed to lifelong learning and ethical, competent and evidence-based practice in an era of continued change and challenge, while providing personal and professional leadership to improve the world in which they live.

Both the mission and vision statements align with key aspects of the vision statements developed by Slippery Rock University and the College of Health, Environment and Science. It also considers the profession of Occupational Therapy, including the AOTA Centennial Vision Statement (for 2003-2017) and the AOTA Vision Statement 2025, the ACOTE Accreditation Standards and specific competency areas that are unique to the training of the occupational therapist.

Accreditation Status

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.

All students must complete Level II fieldwork (OCTH 810 & OCTH 815) and doctoral experiential requirements (OCTH 820) within 24 months following completion of the didactic portion of the program.

The timeline for accreditation for the program by ACOTE involves three steps: (1) Applicant Status (completed), (2) Candidacy Status (completed), and (3) Initial On-site Evaluation (completed).  Initial accreditation will result in program graduates being able to sit for the national certification exam after their commencement.

Graduation from an ACOTE accredited educational program makes one eligible to sit for the certification exam administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) to become an Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR) and to apply for state licensure in the state(s) one wishes to practice.

Program Description

The first academic year of the program is comprised of clinical and applied sciences along with foundational occupational therapy offerings that provide an important introduction to the history, philosophical base and theoretical concepts of the profession along with therapeutic use of self, research and ethical guidelines, and challenges faced by therapists. The conclusion of the first year provides students with their first part-time fieldwork experience in psychosocial settings. 

In the second academic year, students are involved in classroom learning experiences that include assessment and intervention with children, youth and adults and related technology that can be utilized with these populations. Concurrent Level I (part-time) fieldwork experiences are also scheduled with courses that provide instruction in working with children/youth and adults to allow growth in professional knowledge, skills and abilities. Students are engaged in didactic offerings that provide insight into management, leadership, policy, advocacy, clinical educations of clients/families, research and grant writing. The second year concludes with comprehensive examinations and further preparation for full-time fieldwork.

The third year in the program is based primarily off-site in two Level II (full-time) fieldwork settings and at a doctoral practicum site where capstone projects will be completed. This doctoral experiential practicum is scheduled to allow students to develop advanced skills in clinical practice, research, administration, leadership, program or policy development, advocacy, education or theory development. This requirement is stipulated by ACOTE and is the major academic requirement that differentiates an entry-level doctoral degree and master’s degree.

The purpose of this program is to provide cost-effective training for entry-level occupational therapists with an emphasis on providing advanced learning opportunities to prepare graduates for the challenges that currently confront the professional practitioner. In particular, the program will focus on assisting special-needs populations to live safely and independently in their preferred environment. This focus will be integrated throughout didactic and clinical experiences and will establish the program as unique. Faculty and student-faculty scholarship combined with the development of emerging practice, will provide important opportunities for service to the Slippery Rock community, Butler County and to the Metropolitan Pittsburgh area. Graduates will be prepared for the national certification exam and will be trained as dynamic, ethically principled and client-centered practitioners who will demonstrate leadership within their organization and the profession of occupational therapy.

The program will allow students to earn an entry-level doctoral degree that will provide them with generalist and advanced professional practice training. Successful completion of the program will meet the standards of the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). All candidates completing the OT program are eligible to be nationally registered after achieving a passing score on a national examination.  Satisfactory completion of the national certification exam is one-step towards state licensure, which is a different process in each state.

The program will consist of courses that provide a strong foundation in:

  • Basic tenets and theoretical perspectives of occupational therapy
  • Screening, evaluation and referral
  • Intervention plan formulation and implementation
  • Context of service delivery
  • Leadership and management
  • Scholarship
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Professional ethics, values and responsibilities

Related Links

Occupational Therapy, OTD Program Page

Occupational Therapy Department Page

Occupational Therapy Fact Sheet

Professional Licensure/Certification Page

Curriculum Guide

Summer Academic-Year 1 Requirements
OCTH 605Fundamentals of OT Practice3
OCTH 610Body Structures for Occupation4
OCTH 630Theories & Tenets in OT3
Fall Academic-Year 1 Requirements
OCTH 615Neurological Applications4
OCTH 620Development and Occupation3
OCTH 640OT Process I: Physical Disabilities4
OCTH 680Scholarship in OT I3
OCTH 681Scholarship in OT Seminar I1
Spring Academic-Year 1 Requirements
OCTH 625Factors that Impact Occupation3
OCTH 645Level I Fieldwork A1
OCTH 650OT Process II: Psychosocial Applications4
OCTH 665Therapeutic Media In OT3
OCTH 730Scholarship in OT II3
OCTH 731Scholarship in OT Seminar II1
Summer Academic-Year 2 Requirements
OCTH 710Management Applications in OT3
OCTH 720Capstone Preparation Seminar I1
OCTH 724Community Health & Wellness3
OCTH 765Leadership, Advocacy & Policy3
Fall Academic-Year 2 Requirements
OCTH 721Capstone Preparation Seminar II1
OCTH 740OT Process III- Children & Youth4
OCTH 745Level I Fieldwork B1
OCTH 775Technology in Rehabilitation3
OCTH 777Impact of Culture on Occupation3
OCTH 781Scholarship in OT Seminar III3
Spring Academic-Year 2 Requirements
OCTH 722Capstone Preparation Seminar III1
OCTH 750OT Process IV- Adult Applications4
OCTH 755Level I Fieldwork C1
OCTH 760Educational Strategies in Clinical & Academic Settings3
OCTH 770Advanced Theory and Practice4
OCTH 791Scholarship in OT Seminar IV3
Summer Academic-Year 3 Requirements
OCTH 792Professional Practice Seminar4
OCTH 810Level II Fieldwork A9
Fall Academic-Year 3 Requirements
OCTH 815Level II Fieldwork B9
Spring Academic-Year 3 Requirements
OCTH 820Doctoral Capstone Practicum9
OCTH 825Post-Doctoral Practicum Seminar3
Total Hours115

Important Curriculum Guide Notes

This Curriculum Guide is provided to help SRU students and prospective students better understand their intended major curriculum. Enrolled SRU students should note that the My Rock Audit may place already-earned and/or in progress courses in different, yet valid, curriculum categories. Enrolled SRU students should use the My Rock Audit Report and materials and information provided by their faculty advisers to ensure accurate progress towards degree completion. The information on this guide is current as of the date listed. Students are responsible for curriculum requirements at the time of enrollment at the University.

PASSHE - Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Institutions

Major Code: 9DOT
UCC: 03.02.21
Revised 07.01.21