Doctor of Occupational Therapy
Occupational therapy is a vibrant health profession that involves the assessment and treatment of individuals whose ability to perform their daily occupations is threatened or impaired by developmental disability, physical disability, psychosocial dysfunction, sensory impairment, or the aging process. The occupational therapy process involves the prevention or correction of physical, developmental, or emotional problems that affect occupational performance of the individual. The goal of occupational therapy is to assist the patient in the performance of activities that provide meaning to her or his life.
Occupational therapists serve patients of all ages in a variety of settings including rehabilitation facilities, long-term care facilities, public schools, psychiatric hospitals, day care facilities, sheltered workshops, homes, community agencies, and industrial sites.
The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) accreditation process for the OTD program is a multi-step process. We have been granted Candidacy Status by ACOTE which allows us to admit students to the OTD program
Graduates of the entry-level Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program are eligible to take the national certification examination administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) and to apply for licensure that is required for practice in most states. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT examination or attain state licensure. Please be aware that disciplinary actions in your past, either felonies or misdemeanors, should be addressed with the Texas Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners beforehand. Waiting to report it on your application for licensure will cause a delay in issuing a license. It is recommended that applicants use this review before applying to or attending an OT program.
For further information about the accreditation process contact:
American Occupational Therapy Association
4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200
Bethesda, MD 20814-3449
Telephone: (301) 652-2682
The OTD program consists of 114 semester credit hours of graduate-level coursework, including 6 months of full-time clinical fieldwork and completion of a doctoral capstone. A baccalaureate degree is required for admission. All program prerequisites must be completed by the end of the fall semester prior to summer admission. Applicants are encouraged to seek advisement from their college counselors or the Health Professions Office of Admissions and Special Programs at (866) 802-6288 (toll-free) or (210) 567-6220.
Applications for the OTD program are accepted between mid-August and mid-October for the entering Summer 2019 class. The OTCAS Application, supplemental application, official transcripts, and all supporting documents must be submitted by the application deadline in mid-October (See School of Health Professions web site for each year's specific dates). The first semester of OTD coursework typically begins the last week of May.
In addition to non-academic factors that are considered, admission requirements for the OTD program include:
- Official transcripts from each college and university attended (Note: All transcripts from institutions outside the United States must be submitted in the original language and must be accompanied by a course-by-course evaluation through a NACES Members agency)
- Grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 on OTD Program prerequisites
- Cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 for bachelor's degree
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required
- Knowledge and understanding of occupational therapy gained through a minimum of 40 hours volunteer and/or observation under the general supervision of a licensed occupational therapist as documented on Documentation of Experience form
- Two Letters of Reference, preferably from licensed occupational therapists
- Interviews with Occupational Therapy faculty
- Completion of all OTD program prerequisites (27 hours) by the end of the fall semester prior to admission the following summer:
- Human Anatomy with lab OR Anatomy & Physiology I, 4 semester credit hours
- Human Physiology with lab OR Anatomy & Physiology II, 4 semester credit hours
- Physics I Lecture, 3 semester credit hours
- Kinesiology Lecture (to include principles of human improvement), 3 semester credit hours
- Abnormal Psychology, 3 semester credit hours
- Development Psychology, 3 semester credit hours
- Sociology and/or Anthropology, 3 semester credit hours
- Statistics, 3 semester credit hours
- Medical Terminology, 1 semester credit hour (certificate of completion is acceptable)
- International Applicants only: Submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores; minimum scores 560 (paper) or 68 (Internet).
The OTD program consists of 114 semester credit hours of graduate-level coursework, including 6 months of full-time clinical fieldwork, and a Doctoral Capstone. Students must successfully fulfill all program-specific requirements including completion of all coursework while maintaining the performance standards outlined by the program, Level 2 Fieldwork, a competency exam, the Doctoral Capstone, as well as program requirements related to professional behavior and community service in order meet graduation requirements.
The program outcomes are aligned with the five concentration areas of the Doctoral Capstone Experience (Advanced Clinical Skills, Research/Evidence-based Practice, Leadership/Professional Skills, Teaching, and Program Development/Community Engagement) and reflect the five Curriculum Concentration Areas (Body Structure and Function, OT Theory and Practice, Research/Evidence-based Practice, Leadership/Professional Practice, and OT Practice in Context) that support these outcomes.
1. Apply theoretical and empirical knowledge in the implementation of evidence-based occupational therapy practice through integration of foundational bases of physiological, behavioral, social, and occupational therapy.
2. Design, establish and justify the schemata for a state of the art clinical occupational therapy practice.
3. Implement interventions and evaluate their effectiveness in the context of complex, inter-professional, and changing health care, education, and community environments.
4. Critique and evaluate patient information, literature in the field, and research evidence and data to make clinical decisions
5. Compare existing and new scientific and professional knowledge for discriminate adaptation and integration into practice.
6. Formulate and implement research initiatives and scholarly works while critically analyzing and defending the need for scholarly endeavors in the OT discipline.
7. Conduct and support professional responsibilities within the framework of ethical and professional standards.
8. Structure and integrate leadership skills in professional activities including practice, education, community, and professional service.
9. Implement and advocate for evidence-based interventions for clients, families, and the profession through employment as an occupational therapy practitioner and engagement in professional initiatives.
10. Distinguish and employ cultural competence in meeting the occupational performance needs of diverse client populations, including underserved communities.
11. Assess learning needs of individuals or groups in the context of practice, education, or program development and develop structured instructional delivery options to achieve the established learning outcomes.
12. Integrate and adapt learning theory and frameworks of teaching to the teaching and learning process and evaluate learning outcomes in order to meet the learning needs and goals of diverse clients and groups
13. Formulate and express clear and effective communication designs in professional situations, using appropriate modes of expression, documentation, teaching approaches, and interpersonal interaction.
14. Adapt, integrate, and facilitate distinguishing and demonstrable professional competencies including communication, teaching, and evaluation to meet the program development and evaluation needs of community organizations.
Laptop Computer Requirement
All OTD students are required to have a laptop computer for various class and testing activities that are conducted using web based programs or our university online course management system. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid if you would like the expense of a laptop considered into your financial aid offer.
Ethical principles reflect the values of a profession and thereby serve as action-oriented guidelines that are designed to be preventative rather than disciplinary. Occupational therapists are expected to abide by the ethics adopted by the profession (AOTA Code of Ethics, 2015). The Occupational Therapy Department subscribes to this ethical code and expects the behaviors of students to be consistent with these principles.
Fieldwork is an important part of the educational process for becoming an occupational therapist. It represents the part of the program for the student to develop clinical skills through observation and experiential learning and to apply understanding of theory and techniques through extended, supervised experience.
Fieldwork occurs away from the Health Science Center at affiliated clinical institutions/sites. The majority of the fieldwork sites are located within the State of Texas. Students may complete fieldwork only at assigned facilities. The Department maintains agreements with approved fieldwork sites, and these have been carefully selected to assure compatibility with the department philosophy, objectives, and curriculum design. The Academic Fieldwork Coordinator maintains contact with the fieldwork facilities to support links between the didactic and fieldwork aspects of the curriculum. Grades are based on the student’s performance, judgment, and attitude as measured by the on-site supervisor using the Fieldwork Performance Evaluation for the Occupational Therapy Student.
Whereas students are given an opportunity to express their preferences for location of placements, the program cannot grant assurances that student will be placed in their setting or location of choice. Students may be assigned a placement based on availability or other factors to ensure degree completion. Student placements are reserved many months (and in some cases, up to two years) in advance of a scheduled fieldwork experience. The Academic Fieldwork Coordinator maintains contact with the fieldwork facilities to support links between the didactic and fieldwork aspects of the curriculum. All assigned work including observational/participatory times, written and oral assignments, and class discussion participation must be satisfactorily completed in order for the student to receive a passing grade. Grades are based on the student’s performance, judgment, and attitude as measured by the on-site supervisor using the Fieldwork Performance Evaluation for the Occupational Therapy Student.
The student is responsible for making any required living arrangements and should be prepared to incur expenses for transportation, food, and lodging during required fieldwork assignments. Fieldwork students are expected to obey policies and procedures of the facility providing the fieldwork experience (this may include but is not limited to a background check and drug screen), and should submit all required assignments and evaluations, and other documentation as requested.
The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) requires completion of all fieldwork within 24 months following completion of academic preparation. This requirement assures continuity of academic concepts.
In addition to required tuition and fees, there are costs for textbooks, professional occupational therapy association dues, and supplies. The full-time clinical fieldwork experiences included in the curriculum may require that students locate outside of San Antonio for the duration of the rotations. Fieldwork expenses will vary according to individual arrangements depending on the cost of travel, temporary housing, maintenance of local accommodations, etc. Students are encouraged to budget for major expenditures that could be associated with these assignments. Detailed information about program costs can be found on the Department of Occupational Therapy website.
Other program requirements
In order to be eligible for graduation, students must meet all academic degree requirements and successfully complete program requirements including participation in community service activities, the professional behavior evaluation, interprofessional education activities, and membership in professional occupational therapy associations.
Standards of Practice
The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA, 2010) publishes minimum standards of practice. These standards are viewed as minimum expectations for therapists as they conduct their professional activities on a daily basis. Please note that standards by other agencies, whether voluntary, regulatory, or institutional, may be more specific or rigorous than those published by AOTA.
|OCCT 7000||Theoretical and Professional Foundations of Occupational Therapy||3|
|OCCT 7001||Gross Anatomy||6|
|OCCT 7002||Applied Biomechanics of Movement||4|
|OCCT 7003||Environmental Technologies 1||3|
|OCCT 7004||Human Occupation Across the Lifespan||3|
|OCCT 7005||Occupational Therapy Process: Mental Health||4|
|OCCT 7007||Level 1 Fieldwork: Mental Health||1|
|OCCT 7006||Foundations of Research Design||3|
|OCCT 7008||Occupational Therapy Process: Pediatric Part 1||5|
|OCCT 7009||Clinical Conditions: Pediatrics||2|
|OCCT 7010||Application of Neural Systems to Occupation||3|
|OCCT 7011||Research Design and Proposal||3|
|OCCT 7012||Level I Fieldwork: Pediatrics||1|
|OCCT 7013||Assessment Measures||2|
|OCCT 7015||Pediatric Service Delivery||3|
|OCCT 7030||Doctoral Capstone Proposal Development 1||3|
|OCCT 7014||Occupational Therapy Process: Pediatric Part 2||5|
|OCCT 7016||Occupational Therapy Process: Adult Neuromuscular||5|
|OCCT 7017||Clinical Conditions: Adult Neuromuscular and Medical||2|
|OCCT 7018||Environmental Technology 2||3|
|OCCT 7020||Teaching and Leadership||2|
|OCCT 7021||Level 1 Fieldwork: Adult||1|
|OCCT 7027||Occupational Therapy Process: Adult Biomechanical||5|
|OCCT 7024||Adult Service Delivery||3|
|OCCT 7028||Clinical Conditions: Adult Biomechanical||2|
|OCCT 7025||Management and Leadership in OT||3|
|OCCT 7031||Doctoral Capstone Proposal Development 2||2|
|OCCT 7019||Inter-professional Seminar||1|
|OCCT 7026||Doctoral Seminar||1|
|OCCT 7022||Level II Fieldwork A||9|
|OCCT 7023||Level II Fieldwork B||9|
|OCCT 7032||Doctoral Capstone||12|
|Total Credit Hours:||114.0|