Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate FAQ

The post-professional OTD is designed for experienced OTRs who have a desire to advance their careers and need advanced training to do so. The entry-level OTD is designed to prepare students to sit for the NBCOT exam to begin a career as an OTR.

Yes, applicants admitted to the program must have completed a master’s degree in occupational therapy. Occupational therapists with a baccalaureate degree in occupational therapy and master’s degree in another field may be eligible to enroll once the admissions committee determines that their master’s program has prepared them adequately for the OTD program content. This will be determined on a case-by-case review of applicants. The program in currently not accepting applicants with only a baccalaureate degree in occupational therapy.

The PPOTD is based in the Division of Occupational Therapy at MUSC's College of Health Professions, a nationally-ranked, well-respected, long-standing occupational therapy program. PPOTD students are mentored and taught by the experienced, award-winning, occupational therapy faculty. The implementation of high-quality online educational programs is a priority strategic goal of the college. Hence, PPOTD courses are offered through a variety of distance learning technologies (asynchronous online activities, independent reading, and projects) with strong support from college IT and Educational Support infrastructure.

The MUSC PPOTD program is 100% online. You are invited to the MUSC campus in Charleston SC for orientation and graduation. You will also be invited to attend other on-campus professional development events such as the annual Maralynne Mitcham Lectureship. Attendance at these non-program specific events is optional.

The MUSC PPOTD program embraces a Cohort Model in which you will begin the program at the same time as your classmates and remain together with these classmates throughout the program until graduation. The faculty will make create opportunities for you to develop community within the cohort, including several synchronous zoom meetings for professional development throughout the program that will be scheduled well in advance. In addition you will routinely interact with your cohort during online class activities including asynchronous written and video-based discussions. A recent PPOTD graduate remarked that she was pleasantly surprised by the strong sense of community she and her classmates established within the program despite not having met each other in-person until graduation.

The program begins in the Fall semester each year (mid-August) and will end 5 semesters, 1.5 years, later in the Spring semester (mid-May). The program culminates with two exciting events. Students will have opportunity to present their Doctoral Capstone project to an online audience. Then, students are invited to attend graduation in-person in Charleston SC.

Students will begin the program in the Fall semester annually and remain with their cohort throughout the five-semester program. We believe that this will optimize students’ opportunities for peer support and networking.

The program’s conceptual foundation and initial design was influenced by our MUSC occupational therapy alumni with the aim to assure that the PPOTD is relevant to practice and profession development.

Yes, in addition to the application itself, a total of two (2) references are required. One reference form should be completed by a person familiar with your academic ability. The second reference should be completed by a person familiar with your professional skills and goals.

Applicants are required to submit official transcripts from each post-secondary school attended and all materials must be received by the application deadline.

Yes. The 30-credit online program will be completed in five semesters (20 months) with two courses per semester. This allow students to keep working full-time and move through the program at a reasonable pace.