Entry-Level Doctor of Occupational Therapy Curriculum

WesternU’s progressive Entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program offers a flexible, hybrid, multimodal learning model. Students complete at least 51% of the program on-site at our state of the art facility in Oregon, and with the hybrid model, you have the opportunity to make your own decisions on how you want to be taught and the choice of delivery versus hybrid where the instructor determines the format. Lectures and learning materials are always available to you, so students can access them anytime and any way—online, in-person, at-home, synchronously and asynchronously. Our in-person hands-on labs on select weekends at our state-of-the-art campus along with our established community health partnerships will ensure you have the knowledge and skills to take your career as far as you want to go.

Our entry-level OTD program trains students to become generalist Occupational Therapists (OTs) to help anyone for any functional need. OTs use occupation-based interventions to improve the function of people of all ages and conditions in the actual things they do to live life to the fullest.

Program Overview

Length: 8-Trimester (2.7 years)

Curriculum Delivery: The hybrid format allows you to attend in-person or from anywhere. (Five didactic trimesters (select immersive labs are held in-person), two 12-week fieldwork and one 14-week capstone).  Students will complete at least 51% of the program on-site in Oregon.

Admission Requirements: Bachelor’s degree from regionally accredited institution with minimum GPA of 3.00, conditional admissions may be granted pending degree completion. No GRE. No Pre-requisites courses. To better prepare you for success, you will be enrolled in a non-credit “Introduction to OT and Biopsychosocial Approach” micro-course prior to the start of the program.

Program Application: Apply through the Common Application System OTCAS.

  • Round One: Submission of an interview video to the WesternU admissions team.
  • Round Two: Invited students will have a synchronous meeting with OT faculty regarding your application.

Accreditation: ACOTE OT Program Candidacy. Western University of Health Sciences is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

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.

Accessible Hybrid Format

Our OT program believes learning is something to be enjoyed. WesternU uses a multimodal learning model that gives you the opportunity to learn in your own way. With our unique hybrid format, attend lectures in-person or view them online or complete an asynchronous learning module—you get to choose how and from where—whether in person or at home! In-person immersive hands-on labs are conveniently on select weekends to work with your schedule.

Hands-On Experience

OTs are the experts in DOing things! You will get hands-on with meaningful experiences at WesternU to practice your skills. Our four in-person weekend immersive lab workshops each trimester lets you learn and apply your clinical education. See your knowledge and skills grow with actual clients and immersive real-life scenarios through our Practical Applications Lab (PALs Clinic), Immersive Simulation Center, Standardized Patients, Electronic Medical Record (EMR), Level I Fieldwork and Community Healthcare partners. You will be well-equipped and ready when it is time for your fieldwork opportunities located throughout the country that you choose.

Life-Balanced Program

As OTs we respect and understand that everyone has obligations, work, family—life is always happening. Our hybrid program is designed to allow you to earn your doctorate in occupational therapy without giving up your own wants, needs and responsibilities. Many of our potential students cite the need to prioritize time for themselves and others while meeting their career dreams.

Advanced Certificates

WesternU’s unique Capstone experience and project provides you with the opportunity to obtain an advanced certificate in an OT high-demand area of practice such as Pelvic Health, Mental Health, Oncology/Lymphedema, Autism & Neurodivergence, Health Coaching, Neurorehabilitation, and Hand Therapy.

Inspired By Community

WesternU is a 501(c)3 non-profit university who is ranked among the most comprehensive graduate health and medical universities in the nation. We serve on community, state and regional boards in advisory, education and volunteer capacities. Among our focus areas are health policy, literacy, healthy communities, lifestyles, underserved, and vulnerable populations. We are honored to be consistently recognized and supported through numerous grants from government and community organizations to further these missions.

Curriculum Details


Trimester One Trimester Two Trimester Three
  • OT Foundations & Theoretical Framework (3cr)
  • OT Tenets & Practical Skills (4 cr)
  • Foundation of Function: Anatomy & Kinesiology (4cr)
  • Lifestyle Medicine & Social Determinants of Health (3 cr)
  • Screening, Assessment & Clinical Reasoning (4 cr)
  • Lifespan Development & Developmental Psychology Practice (3 cr)
  • Foundation of Function: Neuroscience (4 cr)
  • Fieldwork I-A (1 cr)
  • IPE: Team Training in Healthcare I (1 cr)
  • Occupational Therapy Scholarship (3 cr)
  • Supporting Occupation: Biomechanical Approach, Therapeutic Modalities & Orthotics (4 cr)
  • Assessment and Intervention: Pediatrics & Adolescence in the Continuum of Care (4 cr)
  • Capstone Experience and Project Proposal (2 cr)
  • Fieldwork I-B (1 cr)
Trimester Four Trimester Five Trimester Six
  • Assessment and Interventions: Early and Middle Adult in the Continuum of Care (4 cr)
  • Professional Identity Development & Leadership (3 cr)
  • Occupational Science and Assistive Technology (4 cr)
  • Fieldwork I-C (1 cr)
  • Assessment and Intervention: Late Adulthood, Death and Dying in the Continuum of Care (4 cr)
  • OT Service Delivery and Management in Varied Health Settings (3 cr)
  • Capstone Experience and Project Preparation (2 cr)
  • Preparation for Practice in an Evolving World: Fieldwork Readiness (3 cr)
  • IPE: Team Training in Healthcare II (1 cr)
  • Fieldwork II-A (12 cr)
Trimester Seven Trimester Eight Total Credit Hours
  • Fieldwork II-B (12 cr)
  • Advanced Practice Clinical Capstone Experience & Project Dissemination (14 cr)
  • 104 Credit Hours
  • All-Inclusive Program
  • Included Advanced Practice Certificate