Doctor of Occupational Therapy

Two OT Doctoral Programs at FDU

Fairleigh Dickinson’s School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences offers two distinct doctoral programs in Occupational Therapy for motivated individuals in or entering Occupational Therapy practice.

Post-Professional Doctorate Entry-Level Clinical Doctorate
Delivered fully online Traditional on-campus program
For those with BS or MS in Occupational Therapy For graduates with appropriate 4-year degree
39 credit hours over 13-16 months estimated 107 credit hours over 2.5 years including summers
One or more years of relevant OT experience required No GRE required to apply
NBCOT certification required Provides preparation for NBCOT examination

Post Professional Doctorate

For those with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in occupational therapy, FDU’s Post Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy (PPOTD) program helps OTs stay competitive in an ever-changing healthcare market. The program is flexible, fully available online, and designed to advance your knowledge and skills in research, administration, business, and education.

All PPOTD program details

Entry Level Clinical Doctorate

The OTD is a 2.5 year, full-time, hybrid, cohort-based program consisting of 107 credits delivered over a period of 8 semesters including summers. During the length of the program and concurrent with coursework, students are placed in three different clinical sites (adults, pediatrics, and emerging practice areas) to complete fieldwork Level I experiences. During the program’s fifth and sixth semesters students complete two 12-week (480-hour) Level II clinical rotations , for a total of 960 hours. Additionally, on the eighth semester all doctoral students complete an experiential residency for 14 weeks or 560 hours.

An Occupational Therapy Doctorate from Fairleigh Dickinson University will prepare you to be an interprofessional occupational therapist generalist advancing equitable, diverse, inclusive, and sustainable health care practices. The FDU OTD program focuses on educating a new generation of interdisciplinary system thinking and compassionate leaders who are socially and environmentally engaged within local and global health practices to advance equitable, diverse, inclusive, and sustainable health care practices. These leadership roles require numerous iterations to integrate the multiple skills needed to contemplate and effectively propose solutions to a rapidly changing health, community, and educational system. Therefore, the curriculum presents students with an interprofessional learning environment and activities that facilitate adaptation and prepares students for occupational therapy practice and leadership roles in diverse communities.

Entry-Level Clinical Doctorate Details

Accreditation Status

The 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 The program must have a pre-accreditation 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.


The Occupational Therapy program focuses on educating a new generation of interdisciplinary system thinking and compassionate leaders who are socially and environmentally engaged within local and global health practices to advance equitable, diverse, inclusive, and sustainable health care practices.

Core Values

  • Sustainable Development – committed to building sustainable healthcare practices
  • Interprofessional Practice – promoting team-based client-centered practices to deliver the highest quality care
  • Creativity: cultivating innovative thinking and methods that positively impact pressing sustainable healthcare approaches and practice.
  • Racial Equity: full participation of all individuals and health equity.
  • Inclusion: building a culture of belonging and participation for all people
  • Ethical Practice: fulfilling our commitment to honesty, transparency and accountability for our actions and outcomes.


Occupational Therapy as a rehabilitation profession, is driven by the frameworks and models of rehabilitation science articulated by the American Occupational Therapy Association (Moyers & Dale, 2007), World Health Organization’s International Classification of Functioning–Disability and Health (2001), the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research of the National Institutes of Health. The purpose and role of occupational therapy are to optimize a client’s occupational performance within their social, economic, and environmental spaces. The quintessential goal of OT interventions is in facilitating sustainable approaches to achieving health, well-being, and participation in life through engagement in occupations (AOTA, 2014). The OTD program envisions that effective, sustainable development practices will benefit all people, the planet and afford prosperity to improve individuals’ lives and well-being. The previous statement reflects the philosophical underpinnings of the occupational therapy doctorate program and provides the foundations for the curriculum design.