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Welcome to the Duke University Occupational Therapy Doctorate Division

Duke University is proud to announce the development of the Entry-Level Occupational Therapy Doctorate division.

The first steps of developing a new educational program involve collecting data from as many stakeholders as possible and using those data to inform what the program will stand for. We collected ideas from leaders at Duke, leaders in occupational therapy around the world, leaders in US occupational therapy education, practitioners, and the expertise of the curriculum team. From that data, we crafted the Vision statement for the program.

The Duke OTD shares a vision with occupational therapy and occupational science communities internationally, which is also compatible with the commitments of Duke University:

We envision an inclusive world where all people flourish through access to and participation in meaningful, health-supporting occupations, the activities of everyday life.

We next crafted a mission to clarify what the program will do to advance this vision.

Affirming the vital role of occupation in human flourishing and health, the Duke OTD, through innovative education, research, and collaborations, empowers students to:

  • Practice with authenticity, compassion, and care by integrating who they are as persons with what they do as professionals;
  • Address, through skillful practice and scholarship, the complex transactions that limit and enable people’s access to and participation in meaningful, health-supporting occupations,
  • Serve as ethical, visionary leaders who anticipate the evolving occupational needs of diverse populations, communities, and individuals; who proactively and creatively address those needs through innovation and scholarship; and
  • Contribute in diverse ways to the growth of occupational therapy locally and globally.

Achieving its mission will require that the Duke OTD staff, faculty, and students share these commitments:

  • Enabling occupation is the core competence of occupational therapists.
  • Research and education centered on occupation are paramount.
  • Deep learning occurs through diversity, community, and educational excellence.
  • Integrity and authenticity are essential to collaborative work with diverse clients, patients, and colleagues.
  • Innovation and excellence enliven all and meet real-world needs.
  • Intellectual humility and open inquiry advance understanding.
  • Knowledge about occupation arises at the research-theory-experience confluence.

The program is being developed under the direction of Dr. Barb Hooper. We anticipate accepting applications for the first cohort of students in the fall of 2021, admitting students in the winter and spring of 2021 and starting classes in June of 2022. We seek applicants from all walks of life who will contribute their perspectives to the program’s Vision, Mission and Shared Commitments. Applicants will need a bachelor’s degree in social sciences, liberal arts, biomedical sciences, or other fields. Check back in 2021 for the application process.

COTE Summer Teaching and Learning Institute
Join us in Durham, June 1–3, 2000, for the 2020 COTE (Center for Occupational Therapy Education) Summer Teaching and Learning Institute.

Designing Courses to Convey Occupational Therapy’s Distinct Value using
The Subject-centered Integrative Learning Model (SCIL-OT)

Learn more here.

Participants in the COTE Summer Institute will

  • Learn and use principles of subject-centered integrative learning to evaluate and (re)design a course and course materials
  • Describe the elements, transactions and views of knowledge in the Subject-centered Integrative Learning (SCIL) Model
  • Compare and contrast how different views of knowledge and knowledge organization structures produce different approaches to instructional design.
  • Evaluate and create learning outcomes, assessments/assignments, activities and content using the Subject-centered Integrative Learning (SCIL) model.
  • Explain how the SCIL model supplements generic backward instructional design processes for occupational therapy.
  • Apply the SCIL model to curriculum design


The entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program has been granted Applicant Status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. 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.