Boston University’s post-professional OTD program (PP-OTD) is open to graduates from any ACOTE-accredited entry-level occupational therapy program, or (for international applicants) graduates of a WFOT-approved program or who can provide a National Government Recognition documentation of their program in occupational therapy.
Typically, students will complete two courses and their doctoral project per semester. Students may begin the on-line PP-OTD program in September, January, or May.
The program consists of 33-37 credits, depending on the semester that the student matriculates. If no foundation courses are required, the student takes ten courses. Students may be required to complete six foundation courses, depending on their past educational experiences, prior to their doctorate study. The foundation course curriculum is described below and will require additional semesters in the program, but these foundation courses are integrated into the overall schedule of courses.
Students will take two courses per semester, each lasting seven weeks. Students with MA, MS, MSOT, and MOT degrees may be able to complete the program in ~18 months. Students can begin the program at one of three entry points within the year: January, May, or September. Concurrently, you will work on your doctoral project each semester. You can review a list of recent doctoral projects completed by PP-OTD graduates.
- Sample Schedule Fall (Sept) Matriculation with a Bachelor’s Degree in OT
- Sample Schedule Fall (Sept) Matriculation with a Master’s Degree in OT
- Sample Schedule Spring (Jan) Matriculation with a Bachelor’s Degree in OT
- Sample Schedule Spring (Jan) Matriculation with a Master’s Degree in OT
- Sample Schedule Summer (May) Matriculation with a Bachelor’s Degree in OT
- Sample Schedule Summer (May) Matriculation with a Master’s Degree in OT
Students with a Bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy will need to take foundation courses. There are six foundation courses that are integrated into the core course curriculum. Students may waive these courses based on evidence that the required content and competencies have been met through previous graduate studies. Students with MA, MS, MSOT, and MOT degrees may not be required to take foundation courses after the review of their transcript. Only graduates of the Boston University online post-professional Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program will be able to waive all six foundation courses. Applicants should contact Program Director Karen Jacobs about this process.
SAR HP561: Evidence Based Practice I
This graduate-level course for occupational therapy practitioners aims to develop the essential skill set for competence in evidence-based practice. In HP 561, we will apply the basic steps of the EBP process. Starting with a practice situation or problem, we will develop a clear, focused, answerable clinical question, conduct an effective systematic search for published literature that provides research evidence, critically appraise the evidence, and draw an unbiased conclusion as to how the evidence answers the clinical question. The practicum that follows, entitled OT618: Directed Study in Evidence-Based Practice, builds upon the knowledge and capabilities gained in this first course. The course format will include weekly self-paced lessons, live online classrooms, written discussions, and assignments. (Credits: Var)
SAR HP650: Health Care Management
This on-line graduate course introduces the fundamentals of management in the health care environment. It was designed to develop and enhance student understanding of the health care system and the social forces affecting health care, and to provide skills needed to function effectively in a management or supervisory role. Topics covered in this course include United States policies and legislation affecting healthcare management; the roles of a manager; conducting a market analysis; operating, cash and capital budgeting; process analysis; and risk management. Students will develop, design and execute a formal presentation. (Credits: Var)
SAR OT617: Contemporary Trends in Occupational Therapy
This on-line graduate course examines three important current topics of discussion in occupational therapy. The first theme is client-centered practice: What is contemporary thinking about this principle and how does my practice reflect this principle? The second theme is occupation-centered practice: What does it mean to have occupation as the core focus of practice and what are current challenges to keeping this focus? The third theme is looking outward: How do the concerns of occupational therapy relate to work emerging in other fields and where might we find knowledge to enhance our practice, or collaborators who share similar concerns and values? The course assignments are designed to facilitate critical reflection on the student's own practice in relation to these developments. (Credits: 3)
SAR OT618: Directed Study in Evidence Based Practice
This on-line graduate course builds on the knowledge and skills that were introduced in HP561: Evidence Based Practice and provides further practice in appraisal and application of research evidence. The course revisits some of the measurement issues introduced previously in more depth and examines other research approaches that provide evidence for practice, including single subject research and prediction designs. Additional topics include; how to use research evidence to evaluate and refine the models that guide clinical decision-making, and how to apply the methods and measures of research to gather outcomes evidence in one's own practice. The major assignments of the course are completed through participation in a virtual journal club with students collaborating in small groups to examine evidence on a question of mutual interest. (Credits: 3)
SAR OT900: Scholarly Project I
This on-line graduate course gives students the opportunity to apply the skills developed in the first two evidence-based practice courses Evidence Based Practice (EBP) and Directed Study in Evidence Based Practice: to investigate an intervention question related to their own practice. Students will conduct an in-depth search for evidence, analysis of best evidence, and the outline of a synthesis that proposes the current, "best answer" to the clinical question posed. Students will work as partners to provide assistance, guidance, and feedback to each other during this structured process. (Credits: Var)
SAR OT901: Scholarly Project II
This on-line graduate course completes the work begun in Scholarly Project I. The specific emphasis of work in this course is on preparing evidence summaries in different formats that are suitable for client/consumer, management, and peer audiences. (Credits: Var)
Review a sample PP-OTD Core Curriculum here.
SAR HP720: 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. (Credits: Var)
SAR OT610: 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) (Credits: 3)
SAR OT910: 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. (Credits: 3)
SAR OT911: 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. (Credits: 3)
SAR OT915: 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. (Credits: 3)
SAR OT916: 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. (Credits: 3)
SAR OT920: 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. (Credits: 3)
SAR OT921: 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. (Credits: 3)
SAR OT925: Capstone
This on-line graduate Capstone course is the final course in the post- professional OTD program. Students will prepare for and deliver a 30-minute presentation on their doctoral project to an invited audience of colleagues, family, and friends. After receiving feedback from their presentation, students will prepare a final version of their doctoral paper which will be indexed in the Boston University Mugar Library. (Credits: 3)
SAR OT930: 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) (Credits: Var)
Curriculum, courses, and program requirements are subject to change.