Occupational Therapy Doctorate

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 http://www.med.und.edu/occupational-therapy/

The Occupational Therapy Program has been granted accreditation through the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). For information regarding accreditation, contact ACOTE at (301) 652-AOTA, or  6116 Executive Blvd, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. The web address is www.acoteonline.org. The national entry-level certification examination for occupational therapists is administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT,  One Bank Street, Suite 300, Gaithersburg, MD 20878, phone 301-990-7979 or http://www.nbcot.org/). Graduates of the program are 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.

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. Transcripts 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.  Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended are required to verify completion of prerequisites and grade requirements.

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 Introductory Sociology or Anthropology (3 credits)
  • Two semesters of Human Anatomy and Physiology; lab required (8 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.

Applicant must be eligible for admission to the University of North Dakota or currently enrolled at UND. Admission to the Professional Program in OT requires completion of the following:

  1. All pre-requisite course work with a grade of C or higher; minimum 2.75 GPA (based on a 4.0 scale).
  2. Thirty (30) hours of volunteer work prior to application. (Minimum of 20 hours with an occupational therapy practitioner and 10 hours can be community involvement)
  3. Information required includes letters of reference, written essay, resumé, and volunteer information.
  4. Interview and writing exercise. 

Admissions are competitive and based on Admissions Committee review of:

  • Cumulative GPA
  • Personal interview
  • Leadership record (formal and informal leadership is valued)
  • Volunteerism record
  • Essay
  • Recommendations (references), preferably from professors, supervisors or professionals with whom you have worked
  • Resumé (include organizational and community involvements)


Students are assigned to a pre-professional advisor in the Occupational Therapy Department (OT Admissions, Grand Forks program or Breann Lamborn, Casper program), and are expected to make appointments to see the advisor regularly in program planning. In addition, students are assigned to a departmental faculty member who may assist them in career planning and personal-professional development.

Background Checks

Applicants must complete the required criminal background check following the offer of admission but prior to enrollment. A felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) certification examination or to attain state licensure as an Occupational Therapist.

Verified Credentials is the Minneapolis-based company that will conduct the background check.


Students are encouraged to apply for admission to the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences Occupational Therapy Program through the Indians Into Medicine Program (INMED). Each year the Occupational Therapy Department adds two (2) seats for INMED program participants who are enrolled members of federally recognized tribes. INMED is a national program and we encourage students from North Dakota and out of state to apply.

INMED provides academic, personal, and cultural support to aid in successful academic achievement for its program participants. To apply for admission to the UND Occupational Therapy Program through the INMED program, follow the steps listed below:

  • Complete the UND Occupational Therapy OTCAS, application including the Graduate School information.
  • Complete the Occupational Therapy INMED Application.
  • Attach a copy of your tribal enrollment document, i.e., CDIB or Tribal ID photo. (You must be enrolled, not a descendant)
  • For further information about the INMED application process, contact Kathleen Fredericks, Student Services Officer.

Visit the University of North Dakota INMED Program for more information. 

Occupational Therapy Doctorate

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 30 hours of observation.  20 hours are required with a professional occupational therapy supervisor and hours should be distributed among psychosocial, physical dysfunction, and pediatric practice, and 10 hours can be community volunteer involvement.  Please refer to http://www.med.und.edu/occupational-therapy/ 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.

Undergraduate Degree Options

Select undergraduate degrees 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 undergraduate degree would then be awarded at the end of the second semester.
  3. Have completed a minimum of 90 undergraduate credits to include all pre-OT work, 8 credits at 300 level or higher, and selected major degree requirements.

Undergraduate degrees require:

  • 120 total credits
  • A minimum of 30 credits from UND
  • 36 upper-level (300 and 400) credits
  • All essential studies requirements met
  • All program requirements met

Undergraduate degree options include:

If pursuing an undergraduate degree along with plans to complete OT, please be sure to declare both Pre-OT and the second major of your choice as an undergraduate student. This will help to ensure all requirements are met for both programs.

Plan of Study Grid

Plan of Study Grid
Professional Year 1
OT 500 Culture Occupation 3
OT 501 OT Process Practice Contexts 2
OT 502 Research Methods in OT 1: Qualitative to Quantitative Designs 3
OT 504 Occupation Analysis 4
OT 505 Forming Your Professional Identity 2
OT 506 Integration Fieldwork 1 3
 Total Credits17
Plan of Study Grid
Professional Year 1
OT 503 Research Methods in OT 2: Outcomes to Translation to Practice 4
OT 539 Health Disease Affecting Occupational Performance 5
OT 540 Evaluation of Occupational Performance 5
OT 541 Developing Leadership Skills in OT 2
OT 542 Integration Fieldwork 2 3
 Total Credits19
Plan of Study Grid
Professional Year 1
OT 543 Movement Occupational Performance 6
OT 544 Introduction to OT Intervention 2
 Total Credits8
Plan of Study Grid
Professional Year 2
OT 600 Interventions for Mental Functions to Support Occupation 5
OT 601 Interventions for Neuromusculoskeletal Functions to Support Occupation 5
OT 602 Management Advocacy for OT Practice 3
OT 603 Integration Fieldwork 3 2
OT 610 Experiential 1 1
OT 569 Interprofessional Health Care (*taken spring or fall. Assigned by department.) 0 or 1
 Total Credits16-17
Plan of Study Grid
Professional Year 2
OT 612 Interventions for Sensory Functions to Support Occupation 4
OT 613 Interventions to Support Occupation in Community-Based Practice 4
OT 614 Innovative Practitioner 3
OT 616 Integration Fieldwork 4 2
OT 617 Education in OT 2
OT 611 Experiential 2 2
OT 569 Interprofessional Health Care (*taken spring or fall. Assigned by department) 0 or 1
 Total Credits17-18
Plan of Study Grid
Professional Year 2
OT 618 Advanced Integration 1 1
OT 683 Level II Fieldwork A 12
OT 689 Readings in Occupational Therapy 1
 Total Credits14
Plan of Study Grid
Professional Year 3
OT 620 Advanced Integration 2 1
OT 684 Level II Fieldwork B 12
OT 689 Readings in Occupational Therapy 1
 Total Credits14
Plan of Study Grid
Professional Year 3
OT 694 Doctoral Experience 16
OT 995 Scholarly Project in Occupational Therapy *Students enroll in 995 or 997 0 or 2
OT 997 Independent Study in Occupational Therapy *Students enroll in 995 or 997 0 or 2
 Total Credits16-20