Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) Online

Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) Online

Occupational Therapy Doctorate Online

This Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) Online is a post-professional online healthcare degree program for those already holding an entry-level, professional degree in occupational therapy.

The mission of the Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) Online degree is to enable occupational therapists to develop roles and skills beyond that of the therapist-clinician, to educate them to become practitioner-scholars who can translate knowledge (including cross-disciplinary theories and research) into practice and who are capable of serving as agents of change in new and expanded arenas.

In just two years, Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) Online graduates advance beyond the role of clinician to become leaders who create visionary new community-based health and wellness programs.

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The primary focus of the curriculum is on program development and evaluation and the role of occupational therapy in prevention and in the promotion of health and wellness. In addition to coursework, the Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) Online degree requirements include completion of a doctoral project and submission of a professional portfolio representing the attainment of advanced core competencies.

If you have been looking for an online healthcare degree program that balances your busy schedule with continuing your education in occupational therapy, ASHS is the right place for you. Offered entirely via an online format, our Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) Online degree allows working professionals to complete their studies at their convenience in the place of their choice – including the comfort of their homes. The program fosters valuable interaction among students and faculty by providing access to a virtual community of practicing occupational therapists from across the country and around the globe.

Post-Professional OTD Online students will:

  • Self-select a focus of a passion of yours in the area of health and wellness.
  • Complete a needs assessment with a community-based agency that you identify.
  • Develop your community-focused program and evaluate program outcomes.

Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) Online program requires a minimum of 48 quarter credit hours beyond the master’s degree. Developed for the practicing occupational therapist, the program is designed to be completed in two years based upon a part-time plan of study and includes the following coursework requirements:

  • Occupational Therapy Doctoral Seminars (24 credits required)
  • Electives (8 credits required)
  • Doctoral Project (16 credits)

What makes this Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) Online degree unique?

The entire Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) Online program of study is conducted online. The occupational therapy doctorate degree program is integrally tied to both AOTA’s Centennial Vision for 2017 and the nation’s first ever National Health Prevention initiative (through the Affordable Care Act).


Related Videos

  • Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) Online Program Guide+

    • For answers to many questions regarding the ATSU Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) Online degree, turn here for more specifics. This post-professional degree program fosters valuable interaction among students and faculty by providing access to a virtual community of practicing occupational therapists from across the country and around the globe. The OTD program is achievable in two years and offers the unique advantage of being entirely online.

  • Accreditation +

    • Higher Learning Commission Mark of Affiliation

      A.T. Still University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, 230 S. LaSalle Street; Suite 7-500; Chicago, IL 60604, Phone: 800.621.7440, Fax: 312.263.7492, Email:,

      Degree-granting authority for ASHS has been given by the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education, 1400 West Washington Rd., Room 260, Phoenix, AZ 85007. Phone 602.542.5709.

  • Career Advancement+

    • The Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) Online program is competency-based. OTD graduates will develop the following core competencies:
      • Identify, locate, critically analyze and implement the best available evidence for practice
      • Design, implement, and evaluate a new program
      • Assess and document program outcomes
      • Identify and analyze theories from disciplines outside of OT as well as within the profession’s body of knowledge; translate applicable theories to promote change in regards to some aspect of their present or future practice.
      • Identify models of change and act as a change agent or leader in at least two of the following roles:
        • manager
        • supervisor
        • care coordinator
        • program developer
        • entrepreneur
        • consultant
        • advocate
        • mediator
        • mentor
        • policy infuser
        • liaison
        • community organizer
        • committee chair or officer in a professional organization or community group

      • Participate in dissemination of knowledge through preparation of professional presentations, posters, and manuscripts for publication
      • Apply concepts of health and wellness through design and/or implementation of programs for individuals, groups and populations
      • Identify partnership opportunities with community and/or education-based groups for program development and support
      • Demonstrate knowledge of strategic and financial planning
      • Demonstrate professional commitment through membership in at least two professional Organizations

Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) Online Faculty

Dedicated to your success, faculty members provide expert online instruction to Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) Online degree students. Interaction with a variety of instructors offers students exposure to a variety of teaching styles, healthcare- and education-related backgrounds and experiences that contribute to a well-rounded education fostering personal and professional growth.

  • Dean +

      • Randy D. Danielsen, PhD, PA-C, DFAAPA

        Dr. Danielsen is Dean of the Arizona School of Health Sciences. Since graduating from the University of Utah Physician Assistant (PA) Program in 1974, Dr. Danielsen has distinguished himself as a clinician, PA educator, author, and editor. He received his BS in Health Science (cum laude) from the University of Utah in 1978, his Masters in PA Studies (MPAS) from the University of Nebraska with an emphasis on Internal Medicine in 1997, and his PhD from the Union Institute & University in 2003 with an emphasis on Medical Education. He completed sixteen years with A.T. Still University as academic coordinator (1995-1997), chair of physician assistant studies (1997-2004), and as dean of the Arizona School of Health Sciences (2004-2010) and recently returned as Dean of ASHS. He was honored in 2010 by A.T. Still University with Emeritus Professor status. He has served on the board of directors of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) and as a board member and chairman for National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.

        Earlier in his career, Dr. Danielsen served as president of the Utah Academy of Physician Assistants, the Arizona State Association of PAs, and as chair of the Arizona Regulatory Board for PAs. Retired after 28 years of service in the US Air Force and Army National Guard with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, Dr. Danielsen also is a former president of the Veterans Caucus of the AAPA and was honored with the Caucus’ Civilian PA of the Year Award in 2003.

        Dr. Danielsen was named Outstanding PA of the Year by the AAPA in 1993 and by the Arizona State Association of Physician Assistants in 2011. He currently serves as PA editor-in-chief for Clinician Review. Dr. Danielsen has published over sixteen peer-reviewed articles, eighteen journal editorials, two book chapters, and most recently his first book, entitled The Preceptor’s Handbook for Supervising Physician Assistants, published by Jones & Bartlett Learning. Recently he was selected as a Senior Consultant with the Academy for Academic Leadership.

  • Vice Dean +

      • Annlee Burch, PT, MPH, EdD

        Dr. Burch is Vice Dean of the Arizona School of Health Sciences. Her primary responsibility is to serve as Chief Operating Officer of the School under the direction of the Dean. In addition, she leads several University or School wide initiatives including the Diversity Initiative Task Force and the ASHS Adelante Project. In her role, Dr. Burch represents the School in the Dean’s absence.

        Dr. Burch received her Doctor of Education (EdD) from Columbia University, Teachers College in 2005. She received her Masters of Public Health (MPH) from Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health in 2002 and her Masters of Physical Therapy (MS) from Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1989. She was a postdoctoral fellow with the Research Group on Health Disparities at Teachers College, Columbia University.

        Dr. Burch received her BA is in Psychology from the University of Rochester. Prior to her appointment as Vice Dean, Dr. Burch served as the Chair of Physical Therapy from 2008-January 2012. Prior to coming to ATSU, Dr. Burch was the Director of Physical Therapy at the University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She has held administrative and/or faculty positions at the International Center for the Disabled in NY, NY, Mercy College in NY, and Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY.

  • Chair +

      • Rachel Diamant, PhD, OTR/L, B.C.P
        Professor, Acting OT Department Chair, Entry-level Occupational Therapy Program Director

        Dr. Diamant has been part of the occupational therapy program faculty at ATSU since 1998. She teaches courses related to pediatric practice for the residential OT program and for the online advanced masters in occupational therapy program. Prior to teaching, Dr. Diamant has been an occupational therapy practitioner for over 25 years with a work focus on children with disabilities and their families. She is Board Certified in Pediatrics as recognized by the American Occupational Therapy Association. Dr. Diamant is pediatric NDT certified and has done research projects in the areas of sensory processing, autism, and movement disorders. She is the co-author of Positioning for Play: Interactive Activities to Enhance Movement and Sensory Exploration, an activity text for therapists working with young children and their families. Ms Diamant received her masters of science degree in occupational therapy from Boston University and her doctorate degree in health psychology/behavioral medicine through Northcentral University.

  • Program Management and Administration +

      • Bernadette Mineo, PhD, OTR/L
        Professor and Online Program Director
        Read Bio
      • Michelle A. Zacofsky, B.A.
        Administrative Coordinator
        Read Bio

Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) Online Admissions

  • Requirements +

    • Application requirements for the Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) Online program include:

      A master’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or university. Applicants who have graduated from a non-U.S. college or university must submit acceptable evidence of U.S. degree/course equivalency and must have foreign transcripts evaluated by an evaluation service specializing in foreign transcript evaluation. The evaluation must state that the transcript(s) reflects equivalency of a U.S. degree.
      Initial certification as an occupational therapist from NBCOT. International applicants are eligible to apply but must show proof of certification or eligibility to practice as an occupational therapist that is equivalent to OT certification and licensure in the United States and have earned an OT degree from an OT program recognized by WFOT.
      Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 for all prior undergraduate and graduate level coursework and degrees completed; minimum Occupational Therapy Program GPA of 3.25 (on a 4.00 scale.)
      An up-to-date resume or curriculum vitae.
      A letter of intent providing a description of why the ATSU-ASHS Occupational Therapy doctorate program was chosen by the applicant and how the program aligns with the applicant’s intended career goals. The letter of intent should be a minimum of two pages and maximum of four pages in length and preferably will include a one-paragraph description of a prevention/health promotion program the applicant might be interested in developing for a particular population.

      Two letters of reference – one from someone who can attest to the applicant’s ability to be successful in doctoral level academic work (i.e. a former faculty member, academic adviser, or employer) and a second one from a reference who can attest to the quality of applicant’s professional work as an occupational therapist.
      Interview (conducted via phone) to identify the goodness of fit of the program for the applicant.
      Completion of all prerequisite coursework prior to program matriculation.
      Official sealed transcripts from all institutions attended.
      All students are required to demonstrate proficiency in English when applying to ATSU-ASHS. Written and spoken proficiency in the English language may be demonstrated by one of the following options:
      • Option 1 - English is your first language.
      • Option 2 - Graduated from a regionally accredited four year university or college in the United States (minimum BA or BS).
      • Option 3 - You are demonstrating your English proficiency by submitting acceptable scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Testing Service (IELTS).

      Acceptable minimal scores for ASHS applications are:

      • Internet based total score = 80
      • Acceptable IELTS score are an overall band score of 6.5

      For additional information contact the OTD Program Coordinator, Michelle Zacofsky at 480.219.6070 or

      Review a complete list of technology requirements.

      Foreign Credential Evaluation

      Applicants who have graduated from a foreign college or university must submit acceptable evidence of U.S. degree/course equivalency. All coursework taken at the foreign institution must be evaluated for American institution equivalence by one of the following services:

      • World Education Services P.O. Box 5087 Bowling Green Station New York, NY 10274-5087 phone: 212. 966.6311 fax: 212.739.6139
      • Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. P.O. Box 514070 Milwaukee, WI 53203-3470 414.289.3400
      • American Assn. of Collegiate Registrars & Admissions Officers One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 520 Washington, DC 20036-1135 202.293-9161
      • FCCPT - Foreign Credentialing Commission on Physical Therapy (PT Applicants only) p: 703.684.8406
      • Josef Silny & Associates, Inc. International Education Consultants 7101 SW 102 Avenue Miami FL 33173 p: 305.273.1616 f: 305.273.1338
      • ICD - International Consultants of Delaware (General) p: 215.222.8454
  • Tuition +

    • Application Fee: $70
      Tuition: $495 per credit hour (2014-2015 school year)
      Note: All fees and tuition are subject to change.

      Most courses are four credit hours. Each Residential Learning Institute is two credit hours. There are additional fees for books, reference materials, Residential Learning Institute travel and accommodations.

The Family and Culture

Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate Image


  • Blackboard Demo Course +

    • ATSU has set up a demo course of our Blackboard
      Learning Management System for interested students.

      Please go to our guest demo site, and login with:

      Username: OTDdemo
      Password: atsudemo

      Connect Now

Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) Online Overview

ATSU Arizona School of Health Sciences students are admitted to the Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) Online program each fall and participate with a cohort of peers throughout. Developed for the practicing occupational therapist, the program is designed to be completed in two years based upon a part-time plan of study.

For the doctoral project, each student will address at least one of the four strategic directions and one of the seven priorities from the first National Prevention Strategy. Read more

  • OTDP 9300: OTD Seminar I - The Role of OT in Health Promotion & Wellness+

    • This course will explore the myriad of opportunities for OTs to influence the health and/or wellbeing of individuals and populations. Students will examine topics within public health and epidemiology while furthering their knowledge of OT’s capacity to prevent disease, disability, and activity limitations and to promote health and participation. Upon completion of this course, students will be expected to identify a target population and/or an agency or community partner that could benefit from an occupation-based health promotion and/or wellness initiative and should have a proposed program idea that could be explored for further development. Includes a focus on literature from positive psychology and exploration of the relevancy of this body of work for occupational therapy practitioner-scholars. Co-requisite: OTDP 9910. (4 credits)

  • OTDP 9400: OTD Seminar II - Program Development and Evaluation, Part I+

    • First course in a series of two on this topic, during this seminar, students will be exposed to different methods of conducting a needs assessment and how to use the information obtained from a needs assessment to plan for and develop a program for a specific targeted population. By the end of the course students will be expected to complete a needs assessment and plan a program relevant to meeting an identified need at their practice site or with a community partner. Pre-requisite: OTDP 9300. Co-requisite: OTDP 9920. (4 credits)

  • OTDP 9500: OTD Seminar III - Program Development and Evaluation, Part II+

    • Second course in a series of two on this topic, during this seminar students will be introduced to and explore different methods of program evaluation and outcomes assessment. As part of the seminar, they will be expected to complete an IRB application to assess outcomes associated with a program they will develop. Pre-requisite: OTDP 9400. Co-requisite: OTDP 9930. (4 credits)

  • OTDP 9600: OTD Seminar IV – Strategic and Financial Planning+

    • During this seminar, students will learn about the combined strategic and financial planning that is necessary to sustain a program’s feasibility and long-term viability. Through case study examples, students will examine the relationship between organizational and programmatic priorities and the allocation and deployment of resources. By the end of the course students will be able to create a business unit plan that includes a market analysis, budget (start-up and/or operational, as well as human resource and facility planning), financial projections, and measurement of performance in relation to expenditures. (4 credits)

  • OTDP 9700: OTD Seminar V – Opportunities, Roles, & Responsibilities in Leadership and Advocacy Arenas+

    • This course will explore avenues of leadership for the practicing occupational therapist, as well as teach advocacy skills needed to represent individual, community, and population-based concerns. Students will be exposed to verbal and written advocacy strategies necessary to influence current policy/legislation or that can be used for the development of new policies. At the end of the course students will demonstrate their ability to be a change agent in at least one of the following new roles: manager, supervisor, care coordinator, program developer, entrepreneur, consultant, advocate, mediator, policy infuser, liaison, community partner/organizer, or committee chair or officer in a professional organization or community group. In order to complete the OTD program, the student will be required to demonstrate one additional leadership role. (4 credits)

  • OTDP 9800: OTD Seminar VI - Professional Writing and Dissemination of Practice-Based Scholarship+

    • Conducted using a writing workshop format, this course will focus on how to write a scholarly article from beginning to end, how to find appropriate publication avenues for scholarly writing and conference forums for dissemination of practice-based scholarship, how to prepare proposals for a presenting at conferences, and how to prepare presentations and posters. By the end of this course, students will be expected to submit a written article using author’s guidelines from a peer-reviewed journal and a proposal for presenting at a suitable conference venue using “Call For Papers” guidelines. (4 credits)


Students will be required to take eight credits of electives in subject areas of interest to them and related to the overall intent and design of the Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) Online program. Students will be able to select from the following course offerings, two of which will be scheduled for each summer. In addition, students may elect to pursue selected course offerings from ATSU’s College of Graduate Health Studies programs and/or the ATSU-ASHS Doctor of Health Sciences program subject to respective program director permission as well as OTD program adviser approval. Should the electives available at ATSU not match a students’ needs and interests, a student may elect to take and transfer up to eight credits of graduate-level coursework from another regionally accredited institution but is required to consult with his/her OTD program adviser and obtain approval prior to pursuing this option.

  • OTDP 9010: Disabilities Studies*+

    • This course will focus on the experience of living with a disability from the perspective of those with disabilities. Includes reading of works written or otherwise authored by persons with disabilities and provides a historical perspective on the disability and independent living movements in the U.S. and internationally. The use of person-first language, the World Health Organization Classification of International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health, principles of universal design, models of empowerment, strengths development, the value of collaboration, and promoting health and wellness within the disability community will be some of the topics addressed during this course. (4 credits) *Open to all ATSU students.

  • OTDP 9020: Organizational Behavior+

    • Survey of theories about how individuals and groups act in organizations and the applicability of these to maximize activity participation, promote targeted behavior change and health related outcomes. Includes an examination of a strengths-based approach to leadership and management and a focus on identifying aspects of an organization’s culture and how such cultural dimensions of organizations can influence leadership, communication, and group dynamics. (4 credits)

  • OTDP 9030: Policy Analysis+

    • An introduction to policy analysis including the application of analytical techniques through case study examples, with a particular focus on selected health policies. (4 credits)


Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) Online program requires the completion of a Doctoral Project which entails an integral and interwoven set of learning experiences designed to promote students’ development and refinement of skills in program design, development, implementation, evaluation, and dissemination of this work. The required course sequence includes eight two-credit courses that are taken over the duration of the student’s progression through the doctor of occupational therapy program.* The student must complete all the assigned tasks of each course to enroll in each subsequent course in the series.** Optimally, a student will proceed through the Doctoral Project eight-course sequence with the peer cohort group the student started the Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) Online program with so as to benefit from the peer support and review process that will be built into the design of each of the courses in this sequence. OTD Resources For the doctoral project, each student will address at least one of the four strategic directions and one of the seven priorities from the first National Prevention Strategy. Read more

Strategic Directions:
  • Healthy and Safe Community Environments
  • Clinical and Community Preventive Services
  • Empowered People
  • Elimination of Health Disparities
  • Tobacco Free Living
  • Preventing Drug Abuse and Excessive Alcohol Use
  • Healthy Eating
  • Active Living
  • Injury and Violence Free Living
  • Reproductive and Sexual Health
  • Mental and Emotional Well-Being
  • OTDP 9910: OT Doctoral Project I+

    • Introduction to and comparison of forms of scholarship with particular emphasis on practice-based scholarship. Students will be expected to identify a theoretical body of work or conceptual framework and examine how this work applies to some aspect of their present or future practice area of interest. Co-requisite: OTDP 9300. (2 credits)

  • OTDP 9920: OT Doctoral Project II+

    • Building upon OT 9910, students will identify a project idea and conduct a review of literature incorporating works from within and outside the body of OT literature. During this second course in the OTD Doctoral Project sequence, students collaborate with the course instructor to identify an OTD project adviser (who must be selected from a designated list of OT department faculty) and a project mentor from outside the OT department (might come from other departments or schools within the University or from the community). Pre-requisite: OTDP 9910. Co-requisite: OTDP 9400. (2 credits)

  • OTDP 9930: OT Doctoral Project III+

    • Students work with their project advisers and project mentors to develop a full proposal treatment for the project idea approved by their primary OTD project advisers. Pre-requisite: OTDP 9920. Co-requisite: OTDP 9500. (2 credits)

  • OTDP 9940: OT Doctoral Project IV+

    • Upon completion of their OTD project proposals, students submit and defend their proposal to their OTD Project Committee (consisting of their OT 9910 course instructor, their primary project adviser, and their project mentor). Following committee approval, students complete and submit an IRB application to the ATSU Mesa IRB committee as appropriate. Pre-requisite: OT 9930 and OTDP 9500.* (2 credits)

  • OTDP 9950: OT Doctoral Project V+

    • Following their successful proposal defense and IRB submission, students enter the implementation phase of their OTD projects, identifying at the beginning of the quarter the end point they intend to achieve. Students are required to provide progress reports to and receive feedback from their project advisers and mentors at least two-three times during the quarter. Pre-requisite: OTDP 9940.** (2 credits)

  • OTDP 9960: OT Doctoral Project VI+

    • Students continue with and complete the implementation phase of their OTD projects. Students are required to provide progress reports to and receive feedback from their project advisers and mentors at least two-three times during the quarter. Pre-requisite: OTDP 9950. (2 credits)

  • OTDP 9970: OT Doctoral Project VII+

    • Students will complete their program evaluations and document their results, completing at least a full first draft of an article for future publication as per author guidelines for a peer reviewed (online or print) journal and a proposal for a conference submission. Pre-requisite: OTDP 9960. Co-requisite or pre-requisite: OTDP 9800 (2 credits)

  • OTDP 9980: OT Doctoral Project VIII+

    • Upon completion of their coursework and all their OTD project requirements, students formally petition to present and defend their projects to their project committee members and an additional outside reviewer. Upon their successful defense, they will be invited to present their projects to their peers in an online or in-person conference forum.* (2 credits)
      *Should a student in the OTD program be unable to complete the requirements for OTDP 9940 or OTDP 9980 by the end of the quarter in which it is taken, the student will be given an incomplete for the course, will have one additional quarter to complete the associated tasks required, and will also be required to register for the following coursework. (Note: The specific number of additional credits required will be determined on a case-by-case basis, upon the recommendation of the student’s doctoral project adviser and/or committee.)

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