College of Health and Human Services2014-2015

Department of Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy, Doctor of Occupational Therapy

The NAU OTD is designed to produce transformative, competent, entry-level practice scholars who innovatively and skillfully use meaningful occupation as the mediator and facilitator of participation between the person and environment. Graduates will meet specific learning outcomes stated as professional competencies in three major content areas: transformative service delivery; practice-scholar inquiry and servant leadership.


What Can I Do with a Doctor of Occupational Therapy in Occupational Therapy?

The program has achieved Candidacy Status through the Accreditation council for Occupational Therapy education. The program now moves to Step 2 of the Initial Accreditation Process (the Initial Review) and will begin work on the Self Study that is due on or before April 1, 2015.

Applicants should familiarize themselves with accreditation procedures for developing academic programs throughout the application, admissions and matriculation processes. Once accreditation of the program has been obtained, its graduates will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). In addition, most states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure. 

Information regarding the program accreditation process and NAU’s current Candidacy Status can be obtained by contacting ACOTE  c/o AOTA at (301) 652-AOTA or online at ACOTE is located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449.

Career opportunities that might be pursued:
  • Occupational therapist in pediatrics, community health, independent living, hand rehabilitation, substance abuse, infant care, stroke rehabilitation, geriatrics, developmental disabilities, home health, cerebral palsy, work hardening, intellectual and/or developmental disability, prevention, rehabilitation technology, case management and mental health. 
  • A doctor's degree opens opportunities for advancement into administration, research or teaching. 

University Requirements

University Requirements
  • To receive a Doctor of Occupational Therapy Degree (OTD) at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses, consisting of 141 units of graduate-level courses, depending upon the student's initial degree and transcript.

    The full policy can be viewed here.


In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Minimum Units for Completion 141
Additional Admission Requirements Required
Comprehensive Exam Comprehensive Exam is required.
Fieldwork Experience/Internship Required
Research Individualized research is required.
Additional Fees/Program Fees Required
Residency Required Required


Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
    • NAU Graduate Online application required ( for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A"), or the equivalent. 
    • Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.
    • Transcripts
    • For details on graduate admission policies, please visit
    Individual program admission requirements include:
    • GRE® revised General Test
    • Must also complete OTCAS application
    • 2 letters of recommendation
    • Prerequisites (completed prior to enrolling in the program)
      • Laboratory and lecture- based biology courses
      • Laboratory and lecture- based college level physics
      • One semester of statistics, abnormal psychology, and liberal arts & humanities
      • Two semesters of life span human development and sociology (beyond introductory level)
    • 40 hours observing two different occupational therapists each practicing in a different type of setting with different age-groups (minimum of 20 hours in each setting).
    • 40 hours in at least two different community settings (agencies, programs, camps, etc.) serving vulnerable, disabled or disadvantaged individuals or populations that address health, rehabilitation , disability, quality of life or community issues or sustainability initiatives.
    • Demonstrate competencies in medical terminology and general occupational therapy knowledge.
Doctoral Requirements
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

  • Program fees are established by the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR). A program fee of $11000 per year has been approved for this program.

Campus Availability

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