Doctoral Capstone

Casey Primeau and Gregory Blocki (Sargent ’19) share their experiences the OTD program, explaining how it has prepared them to become agents of change in their profession.

About the Doctoral Capstone

During the Doctoral Capstone, students apply the knowledge and skills developed in courses and clinical fieldwork to the design and implementation of an applied and innovative response to an identified need in the field.

The Doctoral Capstone is designed to support advanced skills in the student’s selected area of interest. The experience is a 14-week, full-time in-depth experience in the situation of practice in one or more of the following student-selected areas:

  • Advanced clinical practice
  • Research
  • Policy and advocacy
  • Education

Students will select a Doctoral Capstone area based on a match of interests with an appropriate faculty mentor‘s expertise.  Together, students and mentors will negotiate and formulate a specific topic and experience.  The mentors serve as professional role models and guide students throughout the experiential component.

Throughout the Boston University Entry-Level OTD curriculum, students will be completing competency tasks to prepare for the Doctoral Capstone. Each student will be mentored by a faculty mentor, a site mentor (mentor in the situation of practice), and a peer mentor. During the doctoral experiential component, students meet on-line with their faculty mentor and small groups of students for support, problem-solving, and mentorship.

Capstone Examples

Doctoral Capstone projects range greatly.  A sampling of projects include:

  • Developing and implementing a wellness recovery program for people with depression
  • Implementing an evidence-based program for self-management of chronic disease in a primary care setting
  • Working with a legislator to propose policy changes related to access to and reimbursement for occupational therapy
  • Studying outcomes of occupational therapy for children with autism spectrum disorder at a public school
  • Developing brochures related to home safety for older adults with low literacy
  • Designing a curriculum for educating caregivers of people with dementia
  • Studying the fall risks linked with childhood obesity

View previous doctoral capstone projects from current OTD alumni.