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 Sociology (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.
  3. Information required includes letters of reference, written essay, resumé, and volunteer information.
  4. Onsite 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:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
  • Bachelor of General Studies with Health Studies Emphasis
  • Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology
  • Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation and Human Services 
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology

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 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. Students advance to candidacy in the spring semester of the second year in the Occupational Therapy program when they complete their final program of study.
  5. The student is expected to maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher. The School of Graduate Studies will monitor the cumulative GPA, which must be 3.00 or higher. If the cumulative GPA is not 3.00 or higher, the Occupational Therapy department and 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, students will engage in some online learning which requires a computer and internet access.