Occupational Therapy Doctorate (2023)

Facilitating participation in everyday living

The Occupational Therapy Doctorate program at CUAA will prepare you to serve people across the lifespan to improve their lives through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. You will take part in a variety of clinical and community-based experiences which include individual and group treatment sessions in pediatric and adult populations. At CUAA, we prepare uncommon OTs who are ready to serve their communities and clients.

Credits 109

Faith Based

We are committed to engaging your mind and spirit for service to Christ in the church and the world.


Online and in-person format allows flexibility for busy students.

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Program Overview

Learn more about our OT program at our upcomingOTDe Campus Visit Dayon Thursday, March 16th from 2-4pm EST.

The Concordia University Ann Arbor Occupational Therapy Program prepares clinicians who are passionately committed to recognizing the dignity of all human beings through participation in valued occupations, resilient and creative problem solvers prepared to rise to the challenges of a changing world.


Graduates of the Concordia University Ann Arbor Occupational Therapy Program will be consistently recognized as highly compassionate professionals with the skills to empower effective change in individuals, communities, and in health care.


The CUAA OT program is designed to prepare graduates to excel within the complexities of both traditional and emerging practice areas.

  • 28 students per cohort
  • 109 credits/3 years of study for post-baccalaureate applicants
  • Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation Science (BSRS) to OTD format for incoming freshman allows completion of bachelor’s and doctorate degrees in 4.75 years total
  • Program threads include occupation as a centering concept, spirituality as a lens through which we view the client, professional identity as the foundation of who we are as practitioners, deliberatepractice and advocacy as primary tools for addressing occupational performance, and an innovative, engaged, and transformative curriculum design
  • Hybrid program delivery combines structured online learning with hands-on practice both in the classroom and in the community
  • State-of-the-art classrooms, laboratories, and simulation center
  • Twenty-four weeks of full time fieldwork experiences are designed to ensure students achieve the entry-level generalist competencies of the occupational therapy profession
  • Fourteen week individualized capstone project and experience allow students to gain an in-depth exposure to one or more areas of practice

What to Expect

Graduates of the CUAA OT Program will:
  • Recognize the unique spiritual aspect of every individual’s occupational roles, routines, and activities
  • Extend Christian empathy, compassion and dignity based on a reverent view of the unique occupational nature of all human beings
  • Cultivate the professional identity of an occupational therapist based on reflection and positive self-management skills, consistently responding with sound ethical decision making
  • Provide culturally responsive and individualized occupational therapy services
  • Address health and participation disparities among diverse communities and populations
  • Effectively combine principles of science & medicine, interpersonal interaction, teaching & learning, environmental/technology studies, and occupational science to meet the holistic needs of individuals, groups, and communities
  • Apply advanced clinical reasoning and creative problem solving to empower others to overcome occupational barriers
  • Demonstrate a desire for inquiry and a commitment to lifelong learning
  • Articulate and advocate for the distinct value of occupational therapy when working as part of an interdisciplinary team
  • Complete thorough and timely documentation of occupational therapy services to communicate treatment plan/results and facilitate reimbursement of services
  • Select, analyze, and utilize evidence-based practice as an integral part of clinical decision making
  • Contribute to the body of knowledge of occupational therapy through completion of a relevant research study and capstone project


All applicants to the Concordia University Ann Arbor Occupational Therapy Program will utilize the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS). The application process will open mid-July of the year prior to admission and close June 1 with a rolling admissions process.

Scholarships for Occupational Therapy Students:

Admission Requirements

The Concordia University Ann Arbor Occupational Therapy Program (CUAA OTD) will accept a maximum of 28 students annually, with the first cohort beginning classes in July 2022.

(Video) Doctorate of Occupational Therapy at Temple University

Prerequisite Requirements

All students applying for admission to the program must have:

  1. Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA recommended.
  2. C or higher in the following prerequisites:
      1. Minimum 6 total credits (8 preferred) of Human Anatomy & Physiology with a lab component from a biology, anatomy, or physiology department
      2. 1 credit of Medical Terminology
      3. 3 credits Statistics
      4. 3 credits Lifespan/Development course
      5. 3 credits Abnormal Psychology
      6. 3 credits Multicultural/Diversity themed course
  3. CUAA Accelerated BSRS-OTD students will apply during the Fall of their sophomore year. For others, at least four of the six prerequisite courses must be complete at time of application with a documented plan for completion of all prerequisites. Post baccalaureate students must have a bachelor’s degree completed from an accredited institution prior to the start of the OTD program.
  4. Three letters of recommendation addressing potential for success both academically and as an occupational therapist, giving specific details about the applicant.
  5. Shadowing of an occupational therapy professional is encouraged but not required. Students should be familiar with the profession of occupational therapy and the types of populations that OT serves. This can be completed through online research, readings, an Introduction to OT course at another university, or personal experience. Volunteer or work experience with diverse populations representative of those who may receive OT services (i.e., pediatric, geriatric, homeless, disabled, underserved, etc.) assists with development of leadership and service skills and will strengthen a candidate’s application.
  6. To assure the health and safety of the student and clients with whom they work, applicants must have the ability to perform essential functions of an occupational therapy graduate student.
  7. International applicants who would attend on a student visa and whose native language is not English must demonstrate competent user status via Test of English as a Foreign Language (iBT TOEFL; minimum score of 79) or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System; minimum score of 6.5).
  8. Pre-requisite coursework must have been completed at a regionally accredited institution.
  9. A holistic admission process will be utilized. In addition to the above requirements, participation and leadership in extracurricular activities, work, research or other pursuits is encouraged. An interview will be required for all selected applicants, including CUAA BSRS students with early assurance admission. The OT Admissions Committee within the Occupational Therapy Department will make decisions regarding the status of an application after reviewing application materials. Decisions of the committee are final.
  10. Once accepted to the program, applicants must successfully pass a background check, provide immunization and health screening, and complete CPR training prior to the start of the program

Note: The program does not accept occupational therapy transfer students or credits.


The Concordia University Ann Arbor entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program has applied for accreditation and has been granted Candidacy Status 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 www.acoteonline.org.


The program must have a preaccreditation review, complete an on-site evaluation, and be granted Accreditation Status before its graduates 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.

Students must complete 24 weeks of Level II fieldwork as well as an individual 14-week capstone experience within 24 months following the completion of the didactic portion of the program. The doctoral capstone experience must be started after completion of all coursework and Level II fieldwork as well as completion of preparatory activities defined in 2018 ACOTE OTD Standard D.1.3.

Juliane H. Chreston OTD OTRL Program Director - Occupational Therapy at CUAA, Professor

Juliane H. Chreston

Program Director - Occupational Therapy at CUAA, Professor
Office: Ann Arbor North Building 303
Phone: (734) 995-7596


Dr. Chreston is an occupational therapist since 1994, experienced in physical rehabilitation and community re-integration. She lives in Grass Lake with her husband of 30+ years and their two dogs.

Occupational Therapy Doctorate (2)


  • OTD - Chatham University (2010)
  • MS - Health Education, University of Michigan - Flint (2000)
  • BA - Psychology, Wayne State University (1990)

Research Interests

  • Professional identity development
  • Scholarship of teaching

Teaching Interests

  • Occupation-based practice
  • Physical medicine and rehabilitation
Jennifer Engja OTD, OTRL Coordinator - Academic Fieldwork Coordinator, Assistant Professor

Jennifer Engja

Coordinator - Academic Fieldwork Coordinator, Assistant Professor
Office: Ann Arbor North Building 315
Phone: (734) 995-7369

Occupational Therapy Doctorate (4)

(Video) How to get a Doctorate Degree in Occupational Therapy


  • OTD - Occupational Therapy, Chatham University (2019)
  • MOT - Occupational Therapy, Dominican University of California (2012)
  • BS - Brain, Behavior, and Cognitive Sciences, University of Michigan (2008)


  • Bueby, J. "Completed review on textbook ancillaries for new edition of textbook." Neuroscience: Exploring the brain (4th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.
  • Bueby, J. (2021). Book Review: Powerful Practice: A Model for Authentic Occupational Therapy [Review of Powerful Practice: A Model for Authentic Occupational Therapy by Fisher, A. G., & Marterella, A.. (1 ed.,vol. 4,pp. 3). London: Occupational Therapy in Health Care- Taylor & Francis.


  • Bueby, J. (2022). Accommodations in Fieldwork. Lecture. MOTEC Fieldwork Educator Days Spring 2022. Virtual.
  • Bueby, J. (2022). Appreciating the Interdisciplinary Team Approach to Pain Management. Lecture. School of Health Professions Open House- Pain Management CEU Event. North Building.
  • Bueby, J. (2021). A Review of Powerful practice: A model for authentic occupational therapy. Lecture. Michigan Occupational Therapy Association- Huron Chapter meeting. Virtual.
  • Bueby, J. (2021). Mindfulness for Fieldwork Educators: Strategies to Manage Stress and Burnout During a Pandemic. . Lecture. MOTEC Fieldwork Educator Days Spring 2021. Virtual.
  • Bueby, J. (2021). Perspectives of Neurorehabilitation Providers on the Utilization and Implementation of the Attention Process Training Program After Web-based Education. Poster. Concordia University Faculty Scholarship Week. Virtual.

Research Interests

  • Strategies for improving student confidence for application of learned OT skills
  • Lifestyle Redesign for Chronic Pain Management

Teaching Interests

  • Bridging the gap between the classroom and clinical application
  • Topics in neurorehabilitation
Marwan Francess OTD, OTRL Assistant Professor

Marwan Francess

Assistant Professor
Office: Ann Arbor North Building 304
Phone: (734) 995-7361


My name is Marwan Francess and I graduated with my doctorate of OT from Shawnee State University. I am thankful for my family, my faith and the opportunity to teach at Concordia University.

Occupational Therapy Doctorate (6)

Research Interests

  • Home Modification
  • Aging in Place

Teaching Interests

  • Research - Evidence-based Practice
  • Occupational Roles & Outcome Measures
Nicole O. Hansen Dr.OT, M.S., M.O.T., OTR/L Coordinator - OTD Capstone

Nicole O. Hansen
Dr.OT, M.S., M.O.T., OTR/L

Coordinator - OTD Capstone
Office: Ann Arbor North Building 301A
Phone: (734) 995-7228

Occupational Therapy Doctorate (8)


  • MOT - Occupational Therapy, Texas Woman's University (1988)
  • MS - Counselor Education , Winona State University (2016)
  • BA - Psychology, West Virginia Wesleyan College (1985)
  • Occupational Therapy , Nova Southeastern University (2021)

Research Interests

  • Meaning in Life
  • Life Review and Reminiscence

Teaching Interests

  • Meaningful Occupation
  • Therapeutic Relationships and Communication
Jeff Smith OTD, OTRL, MSOT, BS Assistant Professor

Jeff Smith

Assistant Professor
Office: Ann Arbor North Building 301
Phone: (734) 995-7327


I am a Michigan native from the "downriver" area. I have been practicing occupational therapy since 2015. I was introduced to occupational therapy as a child as my mother was a certified occupational therapy assistant. I have experience in adult and geriatric rehabilitation.

Occupational Therapy Doctorate (10)

Research Interests

  • The Relationship Between Leisure and Health
  • Occupational Therapy in Prevention

Teaching Interests

  • Occupational Therapy Theory
  • Occupational Therapy Process


Hybrid Design

(Video) Duke's Occupational Therapy Doctorate Program

The Concordia University Ann Arbor OT Program is designed as a hybrid program with a goal of a minimum of 51% of total instruction delivered through distance education. This design was deliberately chosen in order to allow flexibility for students and attract a more diverse cohort. The planned schedule is for students to be on campus for two full days per week with a third day reserved as potentially on campus or in the community in order to accommodate Level I fieldwork activities and interprofessional learning experiences. Students should be aware, however, that the program is full-time with an expected weekly workload of approximately 40 hours between class attendance, preparation, and assignment completion. Many students find they need to make adjustments in their employment, social, and community obligations in order to accommodate their educational commitment.

The majority of courses are designated as Blended-Face-to-face formats with 65% of content provided face-to-face and the balance of instruction asynchronous in the Learning Management System (LMS), which is BlackBoard. Each term, a minimum of one course is designated as either a Blended Videoconferencing or Blended Online format. Blended Videoconferencing means that 51% or more of instruction is real-time live through videoconference with the remainder of instruction asynchronous in the LMS. Blended Online format provides a minimum of 51% of instruction online asynchronous with the balance of instruction either Face-to-face (in person) or Videoconference (virtual). Each course syllabus clearly designates the format of the course as well as a breakdown of the face-to-face, videoconferencing (synchronous), online (asynchronous), and expected homework hours of instruction.

All capstone preparation courses are currently designed as 100% Online asynchronous. This allows students to work independently on preparing for the capstone project and experience. The Doctoral Capstone Coordinator has the option to schedule additional full cohort or individual student meetings as needed when students are on campus to support these courses and student activities.

As students progress through the program, instructional content shifts more heavily towards Videoconference and Online formats. This is true for all courses that take place following Level II fieldwork, in order to eliminate the need for students to return to campus in the event they live out of the area or are completing Level II fieldwork or the Capstone experience in another state.

Because of the hybrid nature of the program, students are required to ensure access to a personal computer with camera and internet access at their own expense throughout the course of the program. View minimum recommended technology requirements here.

Hybrid learning requires specific competencies, and it is important for each student to evaluate their individual learning styles and strategies to determine if it is the best format for them. According to Hoppes, Geiger, & Fleisher (2021), ten characteristics important for successful online learning include:

  1. Ability to work independently
  2. Strong time management skills
  3. Ability to self-reflect
  4. Being a thorough and comprehensive reader
  5. Commitment
  6. Knowing when to take breaks
  7. Willingness to take advantage of available support services
  8. Willingness to ask questions
  9. A self-motivated personality
  10. Willingness to actively participate

Student Fieldwork

Students participate in learning experiences in the community and in various clinical settings throughout the program. In occupational therapy, we call these experiences “fieldwork.” The purpose of fieldwork education is to:

  • Enrich the educational experience through application of learned skills and knowledge to occupational therapy practice. This process is essential to progress from the role of student to that of practitioner competence.
  • Provide opportunity for the student to learn to apply the occupational therapy process and evidence-based interventions to meet the occupational needs of a diverse client population.
  • Assist student development in competency to assess client occupational performance needs, identify supports or barriers affecting health and participation, and document interventions provided.
  • Provide opportunities for the student to develop advocacy, leadership, and managerial skills in a variety of practice settings.
  • Support student development of a professional identity as an occupational therapy practitioner, aligning his or her professional judgments and decisions with the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Standards of Practice (AOTA, 2015) and the Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics (AOTA, 2020).
Level I Fieldwork

Level I fieldwork experiences are an introduction to occupational therapy practice and are completed concurrently within the didactic curricula each semester of the first two years of the program through courses titled “Integration and Practice.” These courses aim to introduce students to fieldwork, assist with developing an understanding of client needs, identify strengths and learning/growth needs, and introductory application of knowledge to practice. Concordia University Ann Arbor will utilize a wide variety of activities towards Level I fieldwork each semester, including but not limited to:

  • Simulated environments
  • Standardized patients
  • Faculty practice
  • Faculty-led site visits
  • Interprofessional learning activities
  • Community volunteer activities
  • Supervision by a fieldwork educator in a practice environment

Level I fieldwork experiences may take place through community organizations, hospitals, clinics, schools, or through simulation. Supervisors may include but are not limited to practicing occupational therapy clinicians, psychologists, teachers, physician assistants, social workers, nurses, and physical therapists.

On Level I fieldwork, students observe and engage in the treatment process to varying degrees and largely depends on the site. This experience builds a foundation for the skills and knowledge that are required for Level II fieldwork engagement including professional behaviors, developing therapeutic communication, and understanding the clinical reasoning process.

Level II Fieldwork

Level II fieldwork is designed to provide an immersive clinical experience to prepare students for entry-level competency and for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) examination by building skills through observation, analysis and clinical reasoning; demonstrate safe, ethical practice and professional behaviors; and develop therapeutic use of self. Level II fieldwork takes place within two full-time, 12-week clinical placements. These placements occur during the Summer and Fall Semesters during the third year of the program and provides the student with the opportunity to practice occupational therapy under supervision in order to integrate academic knowledge with application skills and attitudes for entry-level practice. Supervision must be provided by an occupational therapist who is currently licensed and has at least 1 year of experience.

The Level II experience is an integral part of the educational process with in-depth experience in delivering occupational therapy services to clients, focusing on the application of purposeful and meaningful occupation and/or research, administration, and management of occupational therapy services. On Level II fieldwork a student will be expected to act as a practicing occupational therapist and is considered an OT intern who engages in the evaluation, intervention planning, intervention implementation, ongoing assessment for effectiveness of intervention, and discharge planning phases of treatment.

Upon successful completion of the Level II fieldwork experiences, the student will perform as a competent, entry-level, generalist occupational therapist. Entry-level performance is defined within each practice environment based on the roles and responsibilities of the occupational therapist in that setting. Level II fieldwork is a full-time, unpaid commitment. Students are considered to be enrolled “full-time” while completing Level II fieldwork and therefore qualify for financial aid. Transportation to and from Level I and II Fieldwork and housing are the responsibility of the student. Concordia University student malpractice insurance is included with tuition.

Additional fieldwork requirements:
  • All students will be required to provide proof of immunizations, get a physical examination to determine ability to engage in activities required of occupational therapists, and complete a background check prior to Level I or Level II placement confirmation.
  • Some agencies/sites may require additional information including but not limited to drug testing, additional background checks, and additional immunizations.
  • Proof of health insurance is required for all students prior to confirming a fieldwork placement.
  • Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from fieldwork sites and housing.
  • Some sites may require specific clothing such as scrubs.

Doctoral Capstone Experience

Students also complete a doctoral capstone, which includes both a project and an experience. The goal of the doctoral capstone is to provide an in-depth exposure to one or more of the following:

  • Clinical practice skills
  • Research skills
  • Administration
  • Leadership
  • Program and policy development
  • Advocacy
  • Education
  • Theory development

Students begin identifying capstone interests in the first semester, and develop their idea and plan throughout the program. Capstone experiences are 14 weeks, full-time, and occur at the end of the program. Similar to fieldwork, students may have additional background checks, drug screens, etc. required by their capstone site and are responsible for housing and transportation during their capstone experience.

Estimated program costs

Estimated Program Costs for the Cohort Admitted Summer 2023
(Subject to change based on textbooks selected, change in fee amounts from the University/related learning resources, and added requirements as the curriculum is still developing.)

Year 1Year 2Year 3Total
Nonrefundable, applied to first tuition payment
Billed at $15,237 each Fall/Spring (Prorated charges/ credits will be applied if student withdraws during summer term)
Program Fee
$40/billing cycle
University Fees
$70 Technology fee/semester
$35 Health Service fee/semester
Parking fees$150$150$150$450
AOTA Annual Student Membership$75$75$75$225
MiOTA Annual Student Membership$30$30$30$90
Textbooks and materials$1500$1500$500$3,500
EXXAT STEPS Access$35$35$35$105
CPR/First Aid$100$0$100$200
Background check$75-100Varies by clinical siteVaries by clinical site$75-100 minimum
Immunizations, Health Exams, Drug Screens (varies by clinical site & student history/insurance)VariesVariesVariesVaries
Graduation fee$65$65
Distance Education Fee$0$0$0$0
Total Approximate Cost of Program$97,027
  • Costs are the same for both resident and non-resident.
  • Tuition is locked upon admission if the student maintains progression through program with current cohort; voluntary or academic delays will result in tuition increases. Tuition typically increases approximately 3% per cohort.
  • Due to the hybrid nature of the curriculum, student requires a dedicated laptop computer and high-speed internet access throughout the duration of the program. Costs varied by equipment/location. View minimum recommended computer technology requirements.
  • Student housing, transportation, and food are not included, nor are costs for clothing required to comply with program dress code (business casual with scrubs and/or program logo apparel optional).
  • Student housing may be required at rural/out of state clinical sites; all housing and transportation costs are the responsibility of the student.
  • Fees for national certification examination and preparation and state licensing not included.


It is essential for occupational therapy students to learn through exposure to a wide variety of settings, clinicians, and emerging community roles of occupational therapists to develop passion and ideas for improving occupational engagement, health, and wellness of populations. To do this, we need your help!


ACOTE requires that fieldwork educators for Level II occupational therapy students must be a licensed occupational therapist with minimum 1-year experience. Level I and capstone students may be supervised by non-occupational therapy professionals including but not limited to physical therapists, social workers, nurses, physician assistants, psychologists, teachers, physicians, speech language pathologists, and occupational therapy assistants.

If there is limited OT staff at a site interested in partnering with Concordia University’s occupational therapy department, Concordia would potentially be interested in providing faculty-supervised, student-led programming to expand occupational therapy services.

(Video) 2022 Duke Occupational Therapy Doctorate Program Convocation

MOTEC Membership

Concordia University Ann Arbor is a member of theMichigan Occupational Therapy Education Consortium (MOTEC). MOTEC is made up of all of the academic fieldwork coordinators for OT and OTA programs in the state of Michigan. Membership in MOTEC serves to provide all occupational therapy students in the state of Michigan with quality fieldwork and learning opportunities.

With the exception of the accreditation requirements for the candidacy application as outlined above, Concordia University will submit future requests for fieldwork reservations in accordance to the MOTEC policy (requests made in January for the following calendar year).

Benefits of Partnering with Concordia University OTD Program

  • Exposure to emerging interventions and evidence-based practice through collaboration with current OT students to keep clinicians’ skills current
  • Opportunity to instill passion for occupational therapy into students
  • Ability to enrich the learning process for future occupational therapy practitioners
  • Potential recruitment for occupational therapists at your institution
  • Energizes and refreshes current therapists on staff
  • Provides opportunity to fulfill desire to give back to the profession
  • Promotes the role of OT within the company/organization
  • Provides students opportunities to research and bring innovative ideas/creative treatment approaches to the organization
  • Potential to decrease workload once students are seeing patients with indirect supervision

Support for Fieldwork Educators

Clinicians may identify barriers to supervising a student despite the desire to be a fieldwork educator. The Academic Fieldwork Coordinator at Concordia University is available to provide education, resources, and support to assist in reducing barriers. Frequently cited barriers include but are not limited to:

  • Productivity pressures/lack of time
  • Part-time clinicians at the site
  • Too few clinicians at the site
  • Limited physical resources/space
  • Fieldwork educator role strain
  • Previous experiences with challenging students
  • Lack of confidence/experience in fieldwork educator role

Concordia University Faculty can help reduce these barriers and support you as a fieldwork educator through:

  • 1:1 mentoring or facility in-service on fieldwork/education related topics
  • Assistance to develop fieldwork manual, site specific objectives, and other student materials
  • Best practice resources on fieldwork education role
  • Invitation to annual MOTEC fieldwork education events (free CEUs)

Students may benefit from a collaborative supervision model (one fieldwork educator paired with two or more Level II students, or an OT and OTA student concurrently) as students are accustomed to learning in groups and the ability to learn with and from a peer (within or outside of their OT program) can enhance learning and enrich the educational experience within a Level II fieldwork placement.

For any questions or request for support related to becoming a fieldwork educator or partnering with Concordia University, please contact Jennifer Bueby at jennifer.bueby@cuaa.edu or 734-995-7369.

Doctoral Capstone Experiences

We are also seeking potential partners for doctoral capstone experiences. Capstone experiences are 14 weeks, full-time, and occur at the end of the program. Students begin identifying capstone interests in the first semester, and develop their idea and plan throughout the program. Capstone mentors are not required to be occupational therapists.

The goal of the doctoral capstone is to provide an in-depth exposure to one or more of the following:

  • Clinical practice skills
  • Research skills
  • Administration
  • Leadership
  • Program and policy development
  • Advocacy
  • Education
  • Theory development

For any questions or request for support related to scheduling a doctoral capstone student or partnering with Concordia University, please contact Nicole Onori at Nicole.Hansen@cuaa.edu or 734-995-7228

Program/Lab Participation

It is highly beneficial to include practitioners within the educational aspects of the program. This provides the opportunity for students to begin developing professional networks, experience real world practice issues, and learn about specialty areas of practice. Activities can take place on campus, in the community, or virtually and may be in the form of:

  • Participation in admission interviews
  • Guest lectures
  • Assisting with lab checkouts
  • Playing the patient during simulation experiences
  • Hosting a class fieldtrip at your site
  • Serving on our advisory board
  • Adjunct teaching

If you are interested please contact Program Director Juliane Chreston at juliane.chreston@cuaa.edu or 734-995-7596.

Faculty Positions

A variety of positions for full-time and adjunct faculty, lab assistants, and capstone coordinator will be posted over the next several years. Interested candidates should contact Dr. Chreston at juliane.chreston@cuaa.edu.

(Video) Is the salary worth the OT doctorate degree


Is a doctorate in OT worth it? ›

Benefits of a doctorate in OT

Earn a higher income than those with bachelor's or master's degrees in occupational therapy. Demonstrate your seriousness and commitment to employers who can trust you for leadership roles. Open new career paths, such as an occupational therapy professor or teacher.

Does OTD make more than mot? ›

Cost. Most OTD programs require an additional 1.5 to 2 years of schooling, including a community-based research project. For this reason, individuals who choose the OTD route will end up paying anywhere between $30,000 and $60,000 more than people who take the MOT route.

Are OTD programs competitive? ›

Occupational therapy school is SO competitive, since many applicants are applying as soon as they can as opposed to when the supposed deadline is. For example, the programs you're looking at might have deadlines in December, but they start accepting applications in August.

Is occupational therapy being phased out? ›

OT is not being phased out. This field is here to stay as new trends keep emerging. However, you need to study the necessary courses and get all the certificates to have a successful career. Though the classes may be challenging, keep your focus on getting a college degree.

What do you call an OT with a doctorate? ›

OTD (doctorate of OT)

The intent of this additional education is to provide extra training in education, research, and clinical leadership. The cost is typically more than a master's degree for the additional year of training.

What is the highest OT salary? ›

According to the BLS, OTs who work in home healthcare get paid the most. The annual mean wage of home health care OTs was $102,640 in 2021.

What state has the highest OT salary? ›

Geographic profile for Occupational Therapists:
StateEmployment (1)Annual mean wage (2)
California11,460$ 105,760
Texas8,500$ 96,100
New York8,320$ 93,190
Florida6,770$ 86,640
1 more row

Where are OTs paid the most? ›

Best-Paying States for Occupational Therapists

The states and districts that pay Occupational Therapists the highest mean salary are Nevada ($109,010), California ($105,760), New Jersey ($100,140), Texas ($96,100), and New Mexico ($95,060). How Much Do Occupational Therapists Make in Your City?

What pays better OT or PT? ›

The average salary for an OT is $83,200 per year. The average salary for a PT is $86,850 per year.

What is the hardest class in OT school? ›

The Hardest Courses are Usually at the Start

For many students (myself included), gross anatomy, neuroscience/neuroanatomy, and kinesiology are typically the hardest of the classes. These courses are almost always in the beginning, which helps ensure that admitted students can handle the rigors of graduate school.

What are the easiest OT schools to get into? ›

Let's begin our list of 10 easiest occupational therapy schools to get into.
  • Western New Mexico, New Mexico. ...
  • Vincennes University, Indiana. ...
  • Community College of Baltimore County, Maryland. ...
  • Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Mississippi. ...
  • East Mississippi Community College, Mississippi.
Feb 9, 2021

Can OTD be a professor? ›

OTD and DPT (Doctor of Occupational Therapy/Doctor of Physical Therapy): These degrees may be entry-level or post-professional, and appropriate for clinical-track or tenure-track faculty positions, depending on institutional rules and regulations.

What are the disadvantages of OT? ›

Here are 6 of the most common obstacles that OTs face on a daily:
  • 1 – The Medical Field is Emotionally Stressful. ...
  • 2 – Occupational Therapy is a Physically Demanding Job. ...
  • 3 – Institutional Barriers May Prevent Desired Results. ...
  • 4 – Long Work Hours Are Common. ...
  • 5 – Learning New Techniques and Technology.

Can occupational therapists make six figures? ›

Yes, occupational therapists can make six figures.

The second and third highest-paid industries are Management of Companies and Enterprises ($99,850) and Continuing Care Retirement Communities and Assisted Living Facilities for the Elderly ($94,360).

When did occupational therapy require a doctorate? ›

Till 2007, registered occupational therapists were required to have a Bachelor of Science degree in occupational therapy. But, since 2007, prerequisite to enter in the profession is a master's degree (M.A., M.S. or MOT). Other than this, a professional doctoral degree can also work.

Is an OTD the same as a PhD? ›

No. The OTD is a clinical, practice-oriented doctorate for the advanced clinician. Our OTD program requires you to prepare a professional portfolio. The PhD is a research degree for individuals pursuing a research and/or academic career and requires students to complete a scholarly dissertation.

What's the difference between Ota and OTD? ›

OTs and OTAs work together closely, and their responsibilities overlap in many respects. Both OTs and OTAs work hands-on with clients, create patient treatment plans, and report on patient progress. The main difference is that OTAs do not work independently; they must be supervised by OTs.

What is the average salary of an occupational therapist? ›

Do occupational therapists make more than nurses? ›

Do nurses make more money than OT? Yes, and no, it depends on the nursing career you choose. According to BLS, the annual salary for Occupational Therapists is $98,700, while the yearly salary of Registered Nurses is $85,970.

Is a career in OT worth it? ›

Summary: OT is a good career because it offers a flexible schedule, comfortable salary and the ability to choose where you work. While it's true you may have to deal with setbacks and manage tough situations, you'll also get to help people and make a difference.

Is OT better than OTA? ›

An OT makes significantly more than an OTA, in part because of the difference in job expectations and education levels. Both are respectable and rewarding careers. The pay can vary from state to state.

How can an OT make more money? ›

They may or may not be the best fit for you, but are definitely worth considering.
  1. Work Multiple PRN Jobs Instead of One Full-time Position. This has been the best choice I made after OT school. ...
  2. Rent Out a Room on Airbnb. ...
  3. Babysit. ...
  4. Build Niche Websites. ...
  5. Find a Product to Sell an Amazon.
Jan 12, 2016

Are occupational therapists happy? ›

A survey study on job satisfaction in occupational therapy settings found that roughly 94% of school-based occupational therapists and 67% of non-school therapists reported a rating of good or better for their overall job satisfaction.

Are OT in high demand? ›

The demand for occupational therapists is rising, with job growth expected to increase 17% from 2020 through 2030, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The aging population is definitely driving those numbers, but it's not the only cause.

Do travel OTs make more money? ›

The salaries of Travel Occupational Therapists in the US range from $18,902 to $497,138 , with a median salary of $90,680 . The middle 57% of Travel Occupational Therapists makes between $90,680 and $226,086, with the top 86% making $497,138.

Do OTs get to wear scrubs? ›

Yes. Occupational therapists are required to wear scrubs at certain rehabilitation centers and hospitals. If scrubs are not required wherever the OT is employed, they often wear a polo shirt with either dark colored pants or scrub pants.

Do OTs wear scrubs? ›

So what do Occupational therapists wear? Occupational therapists usually wear scrubs, business casual clothing, or a polo shirt with khakis.

Do Slps or OTs make more money? ›

On average, speech-language pathologists earned slightly less than occupational therapists with a median salary of $79,060, or about $39.53 per hour, in 2021.

Who makes more PTA or OTA? ›

No, they are in the same pay range, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median salary for established OTAs is more than $60,000. The median wage for established PTAs is $58,040.

Is OT or PT school more competitive? ›

Historically, PT programs have been more difficult to get into than OT, but in the past few years the number of applicants to OT programs have literally grown exponentially.

How hard is the OT exam? ›

Unlike other exams, students took during their academic tenures, the NBCOT® Exam is rigid, requiring you to adopt the mindset of the individuals who wrote the questions in order to pass. It's arduous and of course, time-consuming. Below, we unpack just why this test is so hard to prepare for.

What is a passing score on the OT exam? ›

Overall performance is reported on a standardized scale ranging from 300 to 600. A total scaled score of at least 450 is required to pass the OTR or COTA certification examination. It is important to note that the passing standard is based on candidate performance across the entire exam.

Is occupational therapy a hard degree? ›

It is not an easy degree and you definitely need to work hard in it, but it is a very rewarding one especially if you have a heart and desire for working with and helping people and bringing out the best in everyone.

Does GPA matter in OT school? ›

Minimum GPA requirements may vary between programs, but as a general rule, you can expect most to require a 3.0 GPA to gain admission. Additionally, some programs require that your GPA for prerequisite courses be as high as 3.5.

What is a good GRE score for occupational therapy? ›

The average GPA for admitted OT students is around 3.5-3.8 for most programs that I researched for this post. Minimum combined scores for the GRE are usually around 290, broken out as 150 for verbal and 140 for quantitative.

Is occupational therapy an easy degree? ›

Your course is one big group of mates

We don't have to work long hours or do night shifts either, with minimal bodily fluids involved. Occupational Therapy isn't the easiest of degrees, but it's way more rewarding than a 9-5 desk job.

Can you be a full time professor without doctorate? ›

Professors generally need a doctorate for entry-level positions. Most professors dedicate a decade to their postsecondary education before teaching their first class.

Can you be a professor without being a Dr? ›

While the titles of “Dr.” and “Professor” often overlap, they are not always interchangeable. Not all professors have PhDs. In fine arts, social work, and law, many professors will have an MFA, MSW, or JD (respectively) rather than a doctoral degree.

Can I do PhD in occupational therapy? ›

Doctor of Philosophy in Occupational Therapy

the PhD program in Research in Occupational Therapy was the first such doctoral program in the world. The program provides occupational therapists.

How many years is a PHD in occupational therapy? ›

A doctoral degree in OT is typically three years in length. “Prospective students need to be clear about their career objectives,” said Sheperd. “Degree requirements can differ depending on whether you want to work directly with clients as an OT practitioner, or if you want to go into teaching or research.”

What are the hazards of being an occupational therapist? ›

OT-related risks include knowledge, skill, judgment, experience and stress level; ability to communicate; ability to apply Standards of Practice; ability to assign and supervise occupational therapist assistants. Other potential risks include biological, fire, chemical, financial or electrical.

Is occupational therapy stressful job? ›

Being an occupational therapist can be stressful.

So while you do get to provide meaningful treatments and help people achieve their goals, you will likely have to deal with the struggle of meeting your productivity on a daily basis.

Is a PHD in occupational therapy worth it? ›

A doctoral degree in occupational therapy is an excellent option for students and professionals looking to further their careers. The doctor's degree program can take anywhere between three to four years.

What are the benefits of OTD? ›

As a terminal degree in occupational therapy, the OTD has the potential to support career aspirations in any number of potential directions such as clinical program development and coordination, leadership and management, participation on research teams, and teaching in an occupational therapy education program.

Why choose a doctoral over a masters OT program? ›

Students who pursue doctoral programs conduct independent research as a part of their degree requirements, thus having the edge over other occupational therapists. You can also pursue a broader range of career opportunities after an OTD and get into teaching, research, and policymaking.

Is an OT doctorate a PhD? ›

Is the OTD a PhD? No. The OTD is a clinical, practice-oriented doctorate for the advanced clinician. Our OTD program requires you to prepare a professional portfolio.

Can you skip a Masters and get a doctorate? ›

Yes, you can get a PhD without first obtaining a master's degree. A number of universities offer direct entry to PhD programs from undergraduate or bachelor degree studies. In some cases, specific schools or programs may prefer that applicants hold a master's degree.

What are the benefits of an OTD? ›

As a terminal degree in occupational therapy, the OTD has the potential to support career aspirations in any number of potential directions such as clinical program development and coordination, leadership and management, participation on research teams, and teaching in an occupational therapy education program.

Is it better to get a second masters or a doctorate? ›

If you have one doctorate, you've achieved the doctoral level. A second (or higher) master's keeps you at the master's level. It can give you greater breadth, but that's not the same as greater depth. It's also not the same level of credential, especially for administrative positions, which often require a doctorate.


1. Rocky Mountain College - Doctorate of Occupational Therapy - Capstone Process for Project Partners
(Rocky Mountain College Occupational Therapy)
2. Duke's Occupational Therapy Doctorate Program - Interview with Program Director Barb Hooper, PhD
(Duke University School of Medicine)
3. The Journey of Two BU Occupational Therapy Doctoral Students
(Boston University)
4. Xavier University - Graduate Programs - Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD)
(Xavier University)
5. Occupational Therapy Doctorate Webinar Series
(Roberts Wesleyan University)
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