Is it true that all Occupational Therapy (OT) programs are moving to the entry-level doctorate in 2027?
No! In April 2019, the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Representative Assembly voted to continue to offer both Master’s degrees and Doctoral degrees as entry-level Registered Occupational Therapist (OTR) practice points. This decision was carefully made after the submission of many reports, surveys, open hearing records, and publications that were reviewed by the members of the Council.
What is the difference between post-professional and entry-level OTD?
Most entry-level OTD programs:
- Add a third year, completed full-time, as an on-campus student which extends the time students are unable to work and earn income
- Students complete a semester long practicum/capstone in a practice area chosen by their university
- Graduating students are prepared for clinical practice/future leadership roles, however their degree is considered entry-level and not an advanced degree
Salus University’s post-professional OTD:
- Students can work full-time as an OTR/L from anywhere in the country while they take nine online courses (24 credits) and two five-day on-campus workshop courses (six credits) over two years or more depending on the student’s preferred pace to complete the OTD program
- Students complete a scholarly capstone project in which students themselves choose the setting, area of specialty, and project type with close faculty mentor support
- Students gain and actually practice important skills needed to hold an academic position, including higher education teaching, leadership, advocacy, and scholarship
- Graduating students are immediately ready to assume a leadership role in clinical practice or obtain a position in academia
Is there any difference between the DrOT, OTD, DOT etc.?
These acronyms are program-specific and cannot be generalized. The key distinction to make when comparing different OT doctoral programs is whether the program offered is entry-level or post-professional.