Doctor of Occupational Therapy

The OTD degree will be offered beginning Fall 2019.

The Occupational Therapy Department offers a 3-year entry level Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) degree.  Occupational therapy is a profession that believes occupation, and especially occupational participation have the power to impact humans’ state of personal health. UND has two campuses offering the entry level Occupational Therapy Doctorate. The main campus is located in Grand Forks, ND, and the satellite is located in Casper, WY. For information regarding the program, the website is

The Occupational Therapy Program has applied for Candidacy status through the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). For information regarding accreditation, contact ACOTE at (301) 652-AOTA, or ACOTE at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. The web address is The national entry-level certification examination for occupational therapists is administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT, 800 South Frederick Avenue, Suite 200, Gaithersburg, MD 20877-4150, phone 301-990-7979 or Once accreditation has been granted, graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the National Certification Examination for the Occupational Therapists, administered by NBCOT. After successful completion of this exam, the graduate will be an occupational therapist, registered (OTR). In addition, most states require licensure to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. A felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to sit for the NBCOT Certification Examination or attain state licensure.

Details pertaining to admission requirements, degree requirements and courses offered can be found in the Degree section.

Mission Statement

The Department of Occupational Therapy shares the mission of the University of North Dakota and the School of Medicine and Health Sciences to serve the public through: 1) teaching and preparation of highly skilled entry-level occupational therapists, 2) scholarly and creative activity, and 3) service. The mission is accomplished through integration of scholarly inquiry and application of occupation in teaching/learning and OT practice contexts. Best practices in the profession will reflect the exemplars of client-centeredness, occupation-centered, evidence-based, and culturally relevant practice. The skills for lifelong learning and ethical and effective leadership will be promoted to enhance the quality of life of all people with whom we engage.

Program Goals:

Art and Science of Occupational Therapy

  • The student will utilize professional reasoning strategies to provide rationale for decisions made during the occupational therapy process.
  • The student will demonstrate ability to accurately implement the OT process in all potential practice areas including evaluation, intervention, and outcomes.
  • The student will develop and maintain a therapeutic relationship with clients in order to collaborate during the OT process that would benefit the client’s health and well-being.
  • The student will act as a research user in planning and modifying intervention in light of evidence.
  • The student will design, construct, and implement the process for building evidence to act as a research builder.

Professional Identity and Collaboration

  • The student will analyze and articulate the role of occupation and its influence on health and wellness in the examination of the occupational nature of humans.
  • The student will articulate an understanding of the history, values, and ethics of occupational therapy and advocate with confidence what occupational therapy can offer society.
  • The student will apply occupational based theories and models of practice in order to construct, modify, and evaluate occupational performance related to the OT process.
  • The student will actively participate in profession-specific and formal educational activities in a variety of contexts that enhance the role and awareness of occupational therapy demonstrating professional engagement.
  • The student will apply skills necessary to effectively take part in intra/interprofessional collaborative practice.

Innovative and Intentional Leadership

  • The student will evaluate factors influencing public policy and create a course of action for improving access to occupational therapy services.
  • The student will make use of management skills to create occupational therapy services for individuals and organizations.
  • The student will utilize leadership skills and strategies in preparation for innovative practice.

Diversity and Inclusive Participation

  • The student will develop and practice relevant and culturally sensitive strategies and skills when interacting with consumers across occupational therapy practice to demonstrate cultural competence.
  • The student will analyze the effects of health disparities and inequalities and will advocate to increase occupational engagement for all occupational beings to promote justice.

Admission Requirements

Pre-Occupational Therapy

Prior to admission, a minimum of 90 semester hours of credit from an approved college or university is required. Students should be broadly educated in the sciences and humanities. The CLEP in natural sciences will not meet the Biology and Chemistry requirements in Occupational Therapy. Students should carefully check all CLEP exams for potential acceptance at UND. A student must have achieved a minimum of a letter grade of C in all pre-requisite courses. The prospective student should include eight (8) credits from upper level courses, i.e., 300 and/or 400 numbers. Students may take additional electives from any field of study.

The following list of courses and credits indicates the core prerequisites all applicants must complete prior to admission to the occupational therapy program.

  • Two semesters of Composition (6 credits)
  • One semester of Public Speaking (3 credits)
  • One semester of Biology  and lab (4 credits)
  • One semester of Chemistry and lab (4 credits)
  • One semester of College Algebra (3 credits)
  • One semester of Psychology or Sociology Statistics (3 credits)
  • One semester of Developmental Psychology (4 credits)
  • One semester of Abnormal Psychology (3 credits)
  • One semester of Sociology (3 credits)
  • One semester of Human Physiology (4 credits)
  • One semester of Human Anatomy and laboratory (5 credits)
  • One semester of Introduction to Occupational Therapy (2 credits)
  • Essential Studies requirements

All of the prerequisite coursework must be completed before entering the professional program; however, the prospective student may be enrolled in pre-professional coursework at the time of application.

Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Early Entry Option: This option grants the student permission to start occupational therapy coursework in the 4th year of study after the completion of 90 credits including all pre-requisites. Students are not officially accepted to the OTD program until they have received their bachelor’s degree. Upon successful completion of the undergraduate degree and occupational therapy coursework-under-permission status, students following this track will be granted official acceptance into the OTD program. Students who do not successfully complete the first year occupational therapy coursework will not be admitted to the program and will not be allowed to take additional occupational therapy courses.

Admission to the professional program in occupational therapy is on a competitive basis with consideration given to pre-professional performance in the sciences, general graduation requirements, leadership potential, volunteer work and personal qualifications. Each application is thoroughly reviewed. This review includes the applicant’s academic record (must have a minimum overall GPA of 2.75 based on a 4 point scale or a GPA of at least 3.0 on the last 60 credits earned), pattern of withdrawals, incompletes, etc., elective coursework, volunteer and/or work experience, references, essay and a personal interview. Applicants are required to complete 60 hours of observation with a professional occupational therapy supervisor and hours should be distributed among psychosocial, physical dysfunction, and pediatric practice.  Please refer to for more information about admission.

The applicant must meet the School of Graduate Studies’ current minimum general admission requirements as published in the graduate catalog.

  1. Completion of the application for admission to the professional program and UND School of Graduate Studies application form.
  2. Satisfy the School of Graduate Studies’ English Language Proficiency requirements as published in the graduate catalog.
  3. Applicants who have received their bachelors or masters degree in the United States or English-speaking Canada are not required to submit the TOEFL or IELTS.

Bachelor of General Studies Degree with Health Studies Option

The Bachelor of General Studies Degree with Health Studies Option will be available to occupational therapy students who:

  1. Have completed their pre-OT work either at UND or at another institution, and have not earned a previous baccalaureate degree.
  2. Have successfully completed the first two semesters of the OT professional sequence. The BGS degree would normally then be awarded at the end of the second semester, if the student has completed all general UND university graduation requirements, including:

Plan of Study Grid

Plan of Study Grid
Professional Year 1
OT 400 Culture & Occupation 3
OT 401 OT Process & Practice Contexts 2
OT 404 Occupation & Analysis 4
OT 402 Research Foundations in OT 3
OT 405 Forming Your Professional Identity 2
OT 406 Integration & Fieldwork 1 3
 Total Credits17
Plan of Study Grid
Professional Year 1
OT 403 Research Methods in OT 4
OT 439 Health & Disease Affecting Occupational Performance 5
OT 440 Evaluation of Occupational Performance 5
OT 441 Leadership Foundations in OT 2
OT 442 Integration & Fieldwork 2 3
 Total Credits19
Plan of Study Grid
Professional Year 1
OT 444 Introduction to OT Intervention 2
OT 443 Movement & Occupational Performance 6
 Total Credits8
Plan of Study Grid
Professional Year 2
OT 500 Interventions for Mental Functions Applied to Occupational Performance 5
OT 501 Interventions for Neuromusculoskeletal & Movement Functions Applied to Occupational Performance 5
OT 502 Management & Advocacy for OT Practice 3
OT 503 Integration & Fieldwork 3 2
OT 510 Experiential 1 1
OT 469 Interprofessional Health Care *taken fall or spring year 2 0-1
 Total Credits16-17
Plan of Study Grid
Professional Year 2
OT 512 Interventions for Sensory Functions Applied to Occupational Performance 4
OT 513 Community-Based Practice Interventions 4
OT 514 Innovative Practitioner 3
OT 516 Integration & Fieldwork 4 2
OT 517 Education in OT 2
OT 469 Interprofessional Health Care *taken fall or spring year 2 0-1
OT 511 Experiential 2 2
 Total Credits17-18
Plan of Study Grid
Professional Year 2
OT 583 Level II Fieldwork A 12
OT 589 Readings in Occupational Therapy 1
OT 518 Advanced Integration 1 1
 Total Credits14
Plan of Study Grid
Professional Year 3
OT 584 Level II Fieldwork B 12
OT 520 Advanced Integration 2 1
OT 589 Readings in Occupational Therapy 1
 Total Credits14
Plan of Study Grid
Professional Year 3
OT 594 Doctoral Experiential Placement 16
OT 995 Scholarly Project in Occupational Therapy *Students enroll in 995 or 997 0-2
OT 997 Independent Study *Students enroll in 995 or 997 0-2
 Total Credits16-20

Total Program Credits:  Minimum of 124

Degree Requirements

  1. Students must be formally accepted into the professional education component of the OTD. Acceptance by the UND Office of Admissions or the School for Graduate Studies does not constitute acceptance into the professional program in Occupational Therapy.
  2. The professional education component of the OTD will require three academic years (8 consecutive semesters) following completion of the pre-occupational therapy entrance requirements.
  3. No student will be allowed to remain in the program or complete fieldwork unless he/she attains a letter grade of at least “C” in all courses.
  4. To advance to candidacy in the Graduate School, the student must successfully complete the first year courses and maintain a cumulative School of Graduate Studies GPA of >3.00 AND/OR a summer session GPA of >3.00. Students who fail to advance to candidacy during the first year will be dismissed from the professional program.
  5. After advancement to candidacy, the student is expected to maintain a cumulative GPA of >3.00. The School of Graduate Studies will monitor the cumulative GPA, which must be >3.00. If the cumulative GPA is not >3.00, the School of Graduate Studies policies for probation and dismissal for GPA will govern the student’s status.
  6. Students in the professional program should be aware of special requirements for fieldwork, professional liability insurance, medical insurance, immunizations, CPR certification, and completion of a criminal background check. These requirements must be met prior to any fieldwork contact with clients. The student will also be responsible for travel, housing, and food costs in addition to the payment of tuition and fees during the full-time fieldwork and experiential experiences. The majority of these experiences will be completed at a geographical location other than the city of Grand Forks or Casper.
  7. Prospective students should be aware that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to obtain a professional license to practice occupational therapy.
  8. The faculty reserve the right to place a student on professional probation or to cancel the registration of any student in Occupational Therapy whose performance in the classroom or clinic is unsatisfactory.
  9. Students in the occupational therapy program take courses primarily on campus; but while completing level II fieldwork and the Doctoral Experiential Placement will engage in some online learning which requires a computer and internet access.

Office of the Registrar

Tel: 701.777.2711
Fax: 701.777.2696

Twamley Hall Room 201
264 Centennial Drive Stop 8382
Grand Forks, ND 58202-8382