Graduate Catalog

Doctorate in Occupational Therapy

Belkis Landa-Gonzalez, Ed.D., O.T.R./L., FAOTA Professor and Program Director


The College of Nursing and Health Sciences offers a post-professional practice doctorate degree in occupational therapy designed for clinicians with a masters degree who have been certified in the field within one year of graduation. The program aims to meet the rehabilitation needs of the US or international population by preparing doctorate level professionals who are capable of serving as healthcare educators and clinicians capable of delivering services in advanced areas of practice, to multicultural clients and complex cases in a variety of innovative settings.

The high-quality, flexible, distance-delivered degree program is designed for certified and licensed eligible occupational therapists throughout the United States and its territories, as well as internationally trained prospects who meet the admission criteria and wish to advance their education beyond the master’s level.

Admissions Process

The program participates in the online Centralized Occupational Therapy System-OTCAS ( Therefore, applications and all documents required for admission consideration are submitted via the OTCAS system. Prospects may contact the College of Nursing and Health Sciences Admissions office for questions or additional information. The program admits students on a rolling basis. Application deadlines are as follows:

March 1st (to start in the Summer semester), July 1st (to start In the Fall) and November 1st (for a start in the Spring semester)

  • Candidates are selected for admission on the basis of high promise for program completion and academic success in graduate education.


  • Have earned a master’s degree from a regionally accredited or internationally recognized institution.
  • Have attained OTR certification
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.2 or better on a 4.0 scale.
  • Satisfactory Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score
  • Completed University application
  • Completed statement of purpose or essay indicating motivation to apply, personal and professional strengths, potential contributions to the discipline and commitment to succeed in the program.
  • Official transcripts from institutions of higher learning attended
  • Knowledge of using distance technology (via acknowledgment & self-assessment form)
  • International students must be certified OTRs with MS equivalent from internationally recognized institution. Knowledge of the English Language (TOEFL 79 or above on the computer-based exam)
  • Interview may be required
  • Three professional letters of recommendation

Program Goals

Upon successful completion of the program, graduates will:

  1. Demonstrate advanced knowledge of professional domains for evaluation & intervention with multicultural clients (Advanced Clinical Practice)
  2. Demonstrate advanced knowledge of professional theoretical foundations (Theory)
  3. Demonstrate skills and behaviors for leadership roles in the profession in both traditional and emerging practice settings (Leadership)
  4. Integrate research evidence and scholarship into practice (Evidence Based Practice)
  5. Demonstrate professional advocacy and community service (Advocacy & Service)
  6. Apply technology and innovative principles to practice and education (Technology)
  7. Demonstrate competence in working with diverse populations (Diversity)

Educational Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate mastery of professional knowledge and technical skills relevant to areas of advanced occupational therapy practice.
  2. Synthesize, integrate, and apply theoretical knowledge with clinical expertise to promote best practices in the delivery of occupational therapy services with complex and diverse cases.
  3. Apply research evidence to practice focusing on reduction of risk, promotion of health & wellness, and enhanced quality in healthcare delivery.
  4. Serve as transformational leaders in clinical practice, health policy, clinical education and healthcare delivery.
  5. Use effective communication, teamwork and interdisciplinary collaboration skills to solve complex clinical problems, facilitates positive change, and improved quality of care for diverse individuals, groups and populations.
  6. Engage in scholarship and dissemination of research findings through professional activities and life-long learning opportunities.
  7. Demonstrate skill in management of technology and innovative services in various settings.


The program includes a continuous and sequential structure, beginning with 18 credits in the Core Foundation courses in the discipline (i.e. Theoretical Foundations and Occupation-Centered Practice) and progressing to 18 credits of electives or advanced practice sequence where students complete interdisciplinary courses in specialty topics and advanced areas of practice culminating with a capstone project. The curriculum phases are logically sequenced to build upon previous knowledge and skills gained during the master’s degree preparation and professional practice experience as a certified occupational therapist. The curriculum facilitates the development of expert clinicians skilled in the appraisal and translation of theory and best research evidence to occupational therapy practice. The goals of the core sequence are for students to gain competencies in advanced critical thinking, scientific inquiry, integration of theoretical and evidence-based knowledge and professional leadership. During the second phase of the curriculum, students gain advanced clinical expertise, engage in self-reflection, and further lifelong learning in select specialty areas. The scholarly capstone project is the culmination of the learning process for the OTD student. In addition, the curriculum also includes a 16 week doctorate experiential practicum which is interwoven through the curriculum.

Courses in the curriculum are web and multi-media based and include synchronous and asynchronous distance learning formats. They may be completed on a part time of full time basis with a minimum of 6 credits required each semester.

Transfer Credits

Acceptance of transfer credits is at the discretion of the program director. A maximum of 6 graduate credits may be transferred from a regionally accredited or internationally recognized institution of higher education at the time of matriculation. Only courses with a final grade of B or higher will be considered for transfer. Transfer credits must meet the criteria established by Barry University.

Credits for Work and Professional Experience

The Occupational Therapy Program is committed to transformative education of adult learners through non-traditional lifelong learning experiences. We recognize the value of life and professional experiences and offer certified clinicians the opportunity to submit a reflective portfolio evidencing their acquired knowledge and skills that support the program’s professional and educational outcomes in the areas of leadership, research or specialized/ advanced practice. Student prospects may earn up to 6 credits towards their doctorate degree in occupational therapy through the submission of a reflective portfolio. An application/review fee applies. For additional Information, please contact the program director.

Progression Requirements

Doctoral students must obtain a grade of B or above in all courses and maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 point scale to progress in the program

  • A student who receives a C in a course will be placed on probation
  • A student who receives an F in a course will be dismissed from the Program
  • Students may not begin a new semester with a grade of ‘Incomplete’ in a course from the previous semester without the permission of the Program Director
  • A student enrolled in OTD 831 Applied Research Capstone Project will receive an ‘IP’ grade until the project is completed. The student will be required to enroll for 1 additional credit beyond the required 6 credits each semester until completion of the project

Graduation Requirements

In order for students to be eligible for graduation from the program, students must:

  1. Maintain good academic standing earning a GPA of 3.2 or above.
  2. Successfully complete all coursework and degree requirements including the capstone project and experiential practicum within 5 years of initial enrollment.
  3. Comply with all of the policies and procedures of the Program, the University, and the College of Nursing & Health Sciences at all times.

Grading Policy

The grading policy for students in the Doctorate Program in Occupational therapy is as follows:

A 90%–100%
B 80%–89%
C 70%–79%
F 0%–69%

Doctorate Experiential Practicum

The practicum experience includes 16 weeks of practical experience working with mentors in advanced areas of interest such as specialized clinical practice, research, administration, leadership, or instruction. This requirement is incorporated within select courses in the curriculum sequence.

Sample Course Sequence

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (36 credits)

Spring, Yr 1 (6 credits)





Summer, Yr 1 (6 credits)





Fall, Yr 1 (6 credits)





Spring, Yr 2 (9 credits)







Summer, Yr 2 (9 credits)







Note: Course offerings are based on enrollment