Post-Professional Occupational Therapy

Doctorate (OTD)

American International College’s (AIC) brand new Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate program (OTD), approved by the New England Association of Schools & Colleges, was developed in response to the projected workforce demand for occupational therapists, the current and projected shortage of doctorally prepared faculty in occupational therapy programs, and the desire for the profession to advance the educational preparation of occupational therapists.

Why pursue a post-professional OTD?

Obtaining a post-professional OTD from AIC will enable occupational therapists to advance their careers and become educators and leaders of their profession.

Why pursue a post-professional OTD at AIC?

  • AIC will primarily offer the post-professional OTD through distance education to meet the needs of busy, working professionals. The program requires 3 on-campus visits during the course of the program. The entire, 30-credit program is designed to be completed in 21 months.
  • The program is based on the American Occupational Therapy Association’s (AOTA) vision and guidelines for the profession, including AOTA’s Centennial Vision 2017, AOTA’s Specialized Knowledge and Skills of Occupational Therapy Educators of the Future (2009), and AOTA’s Philosophical Base of Occupational Therapy (2011).
  • The curriculum is uniquely designed to provide occupational therapists with the knowledge and skills they need to fulfill educator roles in a variety of settings.

With a post-professional OTD, you will be able to contribute to the growth and advancement of the profession by educating the next generation of occupational therapists, enhancing the quality of care provided to the growing number of clients who will need OT services, and advocating for the profession.

OTD Job Outlook
Program Description
How to Apply


  • OTR 7100: Scholarship of Teaching and Learning for Occupational Therapy
  • OTR 7300: Leadership in Occupational Therapy
  • OTR 7500: Occupational Therapy Theory in Practice, Education, and Research
  • OTR 7700: Occupational Therapy Scientific Inquiry and Research I (Residency I included)
  • OTR 7900: Occupational Therapy and Community-Based and Population-Based Practice
  • OTR 8100: Occupational Therapy Scientific Inquiry and Research II
  • OTR 8300: Occupational Therapy and Legal, Ethical, and Policy Issues
  • OTR 8500: Evidence-Based Practice and Occupation Practice (Residency II included)
  • OTR 8800: Writing for Publication
  • OTR 8900: Capstone Seminar (Residency III included)

OTD Courses

Students explore learning theories and how theories of human learning and motivation can be applied to the instructional process. Model learning theories associated with behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism are reviewed and applied to creative learning and teaching experiences in the occupational therapy context.

Students examine, develop, and practice leadership in relation to the self, to the profession of occupational therapy, and to the wider contexts of health systems and communities, from the local to the global level.

Analysis of occupational therapy theory and its application to and influence on occupational therapy practice, education, and research.

Students explore quantitative and qualitative research designs, methodologies, research processes and products, and apply their knowledge to the development of a research proposal. Students explore options for potential research methods and ideas to implement in their own work settings.

Residency I: The purpose of this residency is for students to present, discuss and reflect on the scholarly work developed to date and analyze/critique others’ work and perspectives to continue to develop critical analysis and scholarship skills.

Occupational therapy models are examined and applied to address both community-based and population-based issues from a public health and occupation-based perspective, such as prevention and health promotions, aging in place, and others.

This course is a continuation of OT Research I. This course focuses on conducting the actual research planned in Research I and preparing to disseminate findings. Students enhance their knowledge of data analysis methods, both qualitative and quantitative.

This course is designed to advance occupational therapists’ knowledge regarding the important role law, ethics, and policy play in determining occupational therapy practice. Students develop/enhance skills to analyze political, legislative, legal, and ethical aspects of practice and broader public health issues.  Examples of issues discussed include, reimbursement, workers’ compensation, the Americans with Disabilities Act, IDEA, privacy & confidentiality, guardianship, malpractice issues, regulatory reform and advanced directives, among others.

This course expands students’ knowledge of principles of evidence-based practice and policy, practice guidelines, and information utilization to promote evidence-based practice in clinical practice, education, research, and advocacy.

Residency II: Students will have the opportunity to share their research interests/projects and analyze/critique each other’s ideas/proposals, and reflect on their own learning to date within the context of occupational therapy practice, research, and education.

This course guides the doctoral student through the process of writing for publication. Students will begin with a rough draft they wish to develop into a manuscript to submit for publication. Each student will be assigned to a faculty who will mentor the learner through this process and work within a cluster of faculty and students to develop and review manuscripts.

This capstone course focuses on knowledge synthesis and application and not on instruction. In this capstone course, students synthesize what they have learned throughout the program, reflect on that knowledge, and apply it to a scholarly project. Students will complete their capstone project under the supervision of their capstone committee.

Residency III: Students will have the opportunity to share the outcomes of their capstone projects, lessons learned, and directions for future clinical research and scholarship to advance the profession. A key component of this last residency is the opportunity for students to discuss and reflect on their experiences in the program and new insights and perspectives they have gained, and provide input for program evaluation and improvement.

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