Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between an entry-level OTD and a post-professional OTD?

The PPOTD is designed for experienced OTRs who 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.

Do I need a degree before I enter the program?

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 OT.

Why choose MUSC’s PPOTD?

The MUSC PPOTD is based in the College of Health Professions’ Division of Occupational Therapy, a nationally ranked, well-respected, long-standing OT 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.

Is the MUSC PPOTD entirely online?

There 3 in-person weekend sessions on the MUSC campus in Charleston SC. These weekend sessions will occur at the beginning of the program (August), middle of the program (Summer) and at the end of the program (Year 2 Spring).

What is the format of the intensive in-person sessions?

Students attend three on-campus weekend session over the course of the entire 5 semester program. During these on-campus sessions, students will interact directly with faculty mentors and fellow students.

Will I feel like I am part of a community?

The synchronous format and three in-person visits to the MUSC campus (2-3 days at the start, middle and end of the program) offers opportunities for you and your cohort to establish a community for peer support and shared learning.

When does the program start and end?

The program begins at the fall of each year at the end of August. The program is 5 semesters including 4 semesters of on-line coursework and 1 semester in which students complete a Doctoral Experiential Project. The program will end in the Spring semester with a final in-person session to present one’s Doctoral Projects and celebrate with graduation ceremonies.

Can I begin the program at other times of the year?

Students will begin the program in the Fall semester annually and remain with their cohort throughout the 5-semester program. We believe that this will optimize students’ opportunities for peer support and networking.

What is a Doctoral Experiential Project?

The Doctoral Experiential Project will develop occupational therapists with advanced skills by providing an in-depth experience in one’s concentration track: teaching or leadership. A student will design and formulate a proposal for his/her project with direct mentorship from PPOTD faculty. Students will finalize plans and preparations for their project during the Scholarship in Occupational Therapy course, occurring in the 4th semester of the program. Students will implement and complete his/her project during the 5th semester of the program (180 contact hours).

Is the coursework relevant?

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

Do I need references with my application?

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.

Do I need to submit official transcripts from my master’s degree?

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

Is it possible to work while in the PPOTD program?

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 fulltime and move through the program at a reasonable pace.