On-line Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)Program

Thank you for your interest in Pacific University’s post-professional distance-based Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program.  The School of Occupational Therapy offers this unique post-professional degree to practicing occupational therapists in a distance format.  The program allows you to achieve your educational goals without relocating or disrupting your current employment or living arrangements.

The Post-Professional Program has two tracks, a transitional program offers recent graduates of Pacific University's Master's degree program an OTD degree in as little as 17 months (24 credits).  See Curriculum Grid Transitional Post-Professional.

The Post-Professional program for practicing occupational therapists with Masters degrees can be complete in 24 months (36 credits).  Curriculum Grid Post-Professional Program

The program will begin with a 3 day on-campus orientation (see academic calendar for schedule dates).  All courses are delivered in a distance based format usually occurring within 9 week sessions in the Fall and Spring and 12 weeks during the summer. Most on-line courses are asynchronous (available 24/7 at student's convenience) arrangements for the rare synchronous class meeting will be made through the course instructor.  OTD elective courses are listed under Post-Professional OTD Course Descriptons. Students will plan the sequence of their specialty elective course with their academic advisors.  Plans for the capstone project will begin in the first course of the program, and assignments throughout the curriculum will be directed towards development of the capstone and research project and grounded in the current or future work setting of the student.  As students complete the program, they visit campus to present their capstone project and participate in graduation ceremonies. 

For students seeking federal loans it is important to take 2 or more courses per semester or 12 week session (5 credits or more total).                      

Admission Requirements:

Please review a copy of the current application for details

The Post-Professional on-line OTD program requires:


How to Apply:

The School of Occupational Therapy is accepting applications from currently practicing occupational therapists with a Master's degree in OT, or OT related field, for the on-line Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate (POTD) program.  Application deadline is July 15th for the Fall start date in late August.


The Curriculum

The goal of the post-professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy program is to develop innovative leaders in the global health care community.

The curriculum prepares you to be a leader in shaping the future of occupational therapy.  Graduates will be prepared to assume roles in consulting, program development, outcomes research, teaching, advanced practice, or health promotion.  You will learn about the interconnections of occupational science and occupational therapy, critically evaluating theory and evidence for application in your chosen area of practice.  What you learn in the virtual classroom is applied directly to your clients and your workplace.  Concepts of occupational justice are related to work with your clients, communities, organizations and populations, with opportunities to apply these concepts to real life case examples.

Students work closely with a faculty mentor to determine educational goals.  From the beginning, Pacific University faculty will help you design the just-right challenge for your education, including specialty electives, and the focus of your Capstone Research and Scholarship project.  All students on the regular Post-Professional track take the following core courses:


Transitional Post-Professional core courses (Pacific Alumni from past 6 years):

You will choose a specialty focus for coursework and research to support development as a leader in practice areas that matches your individual professional goals.  Areas of specialty focus include:


This area of specialty focus supports students who wish to develop expertise in gerontology.  Students may wish to pursue electives through the Graduate Certificate in Gerontology for the Healthcare Professional program. 


Leadership and Policy

This area of focus supports students who wish to develop expertise in administration, management, or policy development.  Students may wish to pursue electives in Interprofessional Global Health or Healthcare Administration (through the Master of Healthcare Administration program). 


Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

This area of focus supports students who wish to develop expertise in teaching within the OT field.  Students may seek capstone projects involving writing, course instruction, or fieldwork education.


The program begins and ends with brief onsite visits.  During the first visit you will meet the educational team, your cohort members receive an introduction to distance learning, and map your path for the best educational experience.  The program culminates when students return to campus to present capstone projects in a research symposium, and to graduate.  The post-professional OTD program consists of 12 courses (10 core and 2 electives for 36 credits).  Students can typically complete the program in 24 months of part-time study.  Pre-requisite foundation courses may be required of students based on an analysis of previous coursework before beginning the doctoral program.  Application deadline is July 15th for the Fall start date in late August.


The Pragmatics:

There is one entry point into the curriculum in August.

Though it is possible to complete the OTD course work within 24 months, some students may choose to extend the time in order to accommodate issues of life and occupational balance.  We encourage students to stay within a cohort to build the support of a collegial community throughout the program. The program must be completed within five years.

Tuition and technology fees can be found here


Students are required to have a computer that meets the minimum specifications as outlined in the document found on the University Information website

For the onsite portions of the program, lodging is available that is convenient to campus through use of public transportation.  Lodging and the Hillsboro Campus of Pacific University may be reached via public transport (Trimet) from Portland International Airport (PDX) and Union Station (Amtrak).

Ready, Set, Go!  Not sure doctoral work is for you?

Want to take some course work but not sure you’re ready for the full doctoral program?

Join us for a course or two while enrolling as a non-degree-seeking student to try out graduate study.  The courses can apply toward a certificate or other degree and the courses can apply toward the post-professional doctorate when you decide you are ready.