Occupational Therapy, Doctorate

Boston University’s online Post-Professional Doctorate in Occupational Therapy (OTD) program is for practitioners in the field who have a professional degree in occupational therapy. Through a mentorship, and bolstered by a collaborative learning environment, students develop the advanced knowledge needed to create innovative responses to the current and future needs of individuals, communities, and populations. The program offers work/life flexibility to help students balance their responsibilities as they earn a doctoral degree without disrupting their careers or relocating their families.

The program will prepare you to:

  • Critically evaluate theory and evidence in your area of practice.
  • Identify gaps or shortcomings in current intervention methods and programs.
  • Design innovative responses to fill those unmet needs.

Why Choose BU’s Doctorate of Occupational Therapy?

  • Students are paired in a one-on-one mentorship with our faculty.
  • Collaboration and engagement with peers globally enhances expertise.
  • Focusing on their specific area of practice, students learn to critically evaluate theory and evidence.
  • Students identify gaps or shortcomings in current intervention methods and programs and design innovative responses to fill those unmet needs through their doctoral project.


Cost per Credit

$895 per Credit

Cost of a Typical Course

$2,685 (3 credits)

Technology Fee

$60 per Credit

Student Services Fee

$60 per Semester

*See Tuition & Fees page for next year’s tuition rates.


The Post-Professional Doctorate in Occupational Therapy consists of ten required online courses.

SARHP720 Educational Theory and Practice

This on-line graduate course focuses on developing effective teaching techniques and strategies that are needed in a variety of clinical and academic contexts. Topics covered in this course include; identifying instructional settings in one's own practice, the impact of ethical, legal, and economic factors on the educational process, principles of major learning and instruction theories, effective teaching strategies for learners at different developmental stages, strategies that facilitate motivation and improve compliance, and writing behavioral objectives for instruction. Students design and deliver a formal presentation and create a client-education brochure. [Var credits]

SAROT610 Health Promotion and Wellness

This on-line graduate course focuses on developing a health promotion program grounded in theory. After an introduction to the field of public health and the role of occupational therapy in the area of health promotion and wellness, the course guides the student in the development of a program related to a health issue in his or her practice setting. The student will be introduced to frameworks and theories from public health and other disciplines and will then apply these as he or she develops a health promotion program. The student will read about and discuss programs in health promotion at the individual, group, and population level, for people with and without disabilities, and in a variety of environments. (3 credits) [3 credits]

SAROT910 Social Policy and Disability

This on-line graduate case-based course examines current models of and perspectives on disability and their influence on social policy. The history of disability policy is examined as well as the ways in which social, medical, and universal models are manifest in current health and social service delivery systems in the US and other developed countries. The course also examines cultural assumptions about the nature of health, disability, and quality of life and the implications of cultural differences for practice models and methods. [3 credits]

SAROT911 Practicum in Social Policy and Disability

This on-line graduate course engages students in the critical analysis of policy and disability theory in their major area of practice (e.g., ergonomics, medical rehabilitation, early intervention, mental health services). They must complete critical reviews of additional reading related to their specific field of application as well as a sequence of analyses of the impact of relevant policies on resource allocations, service delivery methods, and reimbursement. [3 credits]

SAROT915 Evaluating Clinical Theory and Research

This course is designed to help students think critically about the ways in which theories and models are used to guide clinical practice. In particular, we will examine the distinction between models of function and disablement and theories of how change occurs as a result of intervention, as well as how these models may or may not be related. We will examine how theories and models describe or explain a phenomenon at different levels of analysis and the types of scientific evidence required to support or refute the propositions reflected in clinical models and theories. The course is limited to students in the OTD program and is offered exclusively on-line. [3 credits]

SAROT916 Practicum in Theory Analysis

This course builds on OT 915: Evaluating Clinical Theory and Research. Students examine the contrasting views of mechanistic, organismic, and contextual models, and contemporary expressions of these approaches in the clinical theories. The course investigates explanatory models of change through a critical examination of the theoretical bases of intervention approaches in occupational therapy. Students examine in depth a theory relevant to their doctoral project. The course is limited to students in the OTD program who have completed OT 915. It is offered exclusively on-line. [3 credits]

SAROT920 Outcomes Measurement and Monitoring I: Program Evaluation

This on-line graduate course examines quantitative and qualitative methods developed for systematic program evaluation, providing the foundation knowledge and skills needed to complete an evaluation plan for the Doctoral Project. Examples of program evaluations from the clinical literature are examined and their applicability to programs in the student's area of clinical practice evaluated. [3 credits]

SAROT921 Outcomes Measurement and Monitoring II: Individual Client Monitoring

This on-line graduate course builds on methods introduced during the foundation courses on evidence-based practice to develop skill in the application of quantitative methods of outcome evaluation for individual clients. These methods include client surveys, performance assessments, continuous performance monitoring, and single-subject designs. The course prepares the student to identify and/or create appropriate methods to evaluate individual results for the evaluation plan for his or her Doctoral Project. [3 credits]

SAROT925 Capstone

This on-line graduate Capstone course is the final course in the post-professional OTD program. This course also includes a two-day, on-campus stay at Boston University. Students will prepare for and deliver a 45-minute presentation on their doctoral project to an invited audience from the greater Boston community. After receiving written faculty feedback from this presentation, students will formulate a written response with modifications, and/or counter-argument; and prepare a final version of the proposal that is suitable for professional dissemination. [3 credits]

SAROT930 Doctoral Project

This is an on-line graduate course in the post-professional OTD program. Concurrent with each full semester (fall, spring, summer) in the OTD program, students register for one credit of the Doctoral Project. In the fourth semester of the program, students register for 3 credits of the Doctoral Project course. The Doctoral Project is organized around the student's proposed innovation in practice. It is in the form of a series of qualifying tasks, each of which represents a critical phase of the proposal. Guidance in the doctoral project will be through a combination of three elements: Faculty advising and mentorship, peer mentorship and a.Circle of Advisors composed of a minimum of two professionals with content expertise in the doctoral project. The project outcomes include: Description of a short-coming, gap or specific need in the student's area of practice; compilation of a theoretical and evidence base to support the proposed project; description of the proposed program; evaluation plan; funding plan; dissemination plan; executive summary and Fact Sheet. (1 credit each full semester until completed, 3 credits in the final semester - a minimum of 6 credits) [Var credits]

This program is open to graduates from any ACOTE-accredited entry-level occupational therapy program, or (for International applicants) graduates of a WFOT-approved program. Graduates of U.S. programs must have passed the NBCOT certification examination. International applicants must have met all requirements for practice in their own country and must have graduated from an accredited (or WFOT-approved) occupational therapy program. International applicants must provide documentation that they are eligible to practice as an occupational therapist in their home country.

Specific admission requirements include:

  1. A 3.0 GPA in an OT degree program with no grade below a C
  2. Two professional references attesting to the applicant’s clinical experience, job responsibilities, verbal and written skills, and leadership potential
  3. Evidence of good-to-excellent writing skills in English as documented through professional essays
  4. Curriculum Vitae
  5. Formal transcripts from entry-level occupational therapy education
  6. Graduate Record Exam (GRE) taken within the last five years. Minimum scores are: Verbal 153 (500 on the prior 200 – 800 scale); Quantitative 144 (500 on the prior 200-800 scale); analytical writing 4.5.
  7. Students for whom English is not their first language must take the iBT (the Internet-based version of the TOEFL [Test of English as a Foreign Language]). Students who are most competitive for admission will have a composite score of at least 90-100 and minimum scores of 20 in each section.
  8. Documentation of NBCOT certification
  9. $100 application fee


Getting Started

Find out more about for the Online Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy program or learn how to apply at Sargent College.