What is an “OTD” degree?

The Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree, or OTD, is a post-baccalaureate professional degree launched online by Boston University in 2007. The OTD is a practice-based clinical degree to which therapists can apply with a minimum entry-level occupational therapy degree (BS, MA, MOT or MS). This degree focuses on sophisticated practice competencies, targets the application and synthesis of practice-based knowledge, and further develops competencies to use and contribute to evidenced-based practice, outcomes research, and program evaluation.

Is this distance learning degree any different from the degrees that are earned on campus at Boston University?

No. There is no distinction between degrees earned online and those earned on campus.

Are there any on-campus requirements?

Yes, students are required to attend events on campus in Boston for two days when they begin the program and two days when they end the program.

What is the difference between an entry-level OTD and a post-professional OTD degree?

Students earning an entry-level OTD program have not completed all components to qualify to take the national registry exam. Those working toward a post-professional OTD degree would already have their NBCOT certification and experience working as a practicing OT.

How long is the program?

The program can be completed in 16 months, depending on how many foundation courses, if any, you need to complete. There are four semesters with each semester lasting 14 weeks. The program is 10 courses, or 33 credit hours of course work (provided you do not have to complete any of the foundation courses).

How many credits and courses do I take each semester?

You will enroll in two courses each semester. You will take one course at a time and each course is seven weeks in length. You will work concurrently on your doctoral project each semester.

How much does the program cost?

The most current Tuition and Fees information is found here. This is a great investment when you consider that the program will allow you to realize career-advancing opportunities while you continue working. It is immediately accessible from your home or office, and you can have the benefits of a doctorate from a prestigious school like Boston University.

May I transfer credits into the program?

Students who believe that their prior education has encompassed any of the courses that form part of the required post-professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree curriculum will need to submit course syllabi and descriptions for review. The decision to waive any course will be individualized, and might require substitution of an appropriate alternative.

When do I start the program?

You may enter the program three times per year during any semester—fall, spring, or summer. Speak to your advisor about the next available start time.

Are there prerequisites?

Yes. There are foundation courses you may need to complete to begin this program based on the coursework you have completed in previous degree programs.

How much time is required in this program?

This program is designed for the working professional who must keep up with the demands of work and home. Most students report around 20 hours of study per week. Your instructor will help you stay on track. Students also find the small cohort group and peer partner relationship a tremendous source of support.

What are the technical/system requirements for online learning at Boston University?

System requirements can be found here. You will also need a web camera; Adobe, Java, and Quicktime or RealOne Player plugins.

Contact Us

  • For questions about the OTD program or the application process, please contact the OTD Program Director Karen Jacobs at kjacobs@bu.edu (email preferred) or 617-353-7516.
  • For current students who have registration questions, please contact the BU Sargent College Academic Services Center in room SAR-207 (635 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215), sargrad@bu.edu, or 617-353-2713.