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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 program.

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

A world where all people flourish through access to and participation in meaningful, health-supporting occupations.

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

Duke OTD Mission

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

  • Address the complex transactions that limit and enable people’s access to and participation in everyday occupations,
  • Serve as ethical, visionary leaders who anticipate the evolving occupational needs of diverse populations, communities, individuals, and the profession, and who proactively and creatively address those needs.

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 will admit the first cohort of students in Fall of 2021 and start 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.

Accreditation

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 www.acoteonline.org.
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.