Frequently Asked Questions
What are the advantages of earning a doctorate (OTD) as opposed to a master’s (MS) degree?
The OTD clinical doctoral degree is designed to prepare you as a direct-care provider, consultant, educator, manager, leader, researcher, and advocate for the profession and the consumer. The OTD degree not only develops the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for a generalist (MS degree) but also an area of advanced practice from an in-depth experience in a clinical practice area; research; administration; leadership; program and policy development; advocacy; education; and/or theory development (OTD). Career opportunities following the experiential component have enabled students to gain and master leadership and professional connections in an area of personal and professional interest.
The Council on Education at the 2013 AOTA Annual Conference made the recommendation that all entry-level occupational therapy programs be at the doctoral level by 2017. This is only a recommendation at this time but reflects the AOTA Vision 2017 that says, "We envision that occupational therapy is a powerful, widely recognized, science-driven, and evidence-based profession with a globally connected and diverse workforce meeting society's occupational needs."
Do I have a better chance of getting into the OTD program if I attend HU as an undergrad?
Applicants who have earned a bachelor's degree from Huntington University within the past 10 years with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher are eligible for automatic admission into the doctorate of occupational therapy program provided they meet all other admission prerequisites. Additional review will be required for Huntington University graduates who earned their bachelor's degrees 10 years or more prior to applying to the program.
How long will it take to complete the OTD program?
The OTD degree is a 3-year, full-time, eight-term program.
What is the normal course load for a doctoral student?
The curriculum is very rigorous with 18 to 19 credit hours per semester. Students should be prepared to designate evenings and weekends to extensive study, reading, and writing.
Will classes be offered during the day?
Classes and fieldwork experiences typically will be held Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Can I enroll as a part-time student?
The OTD program is designed as a cohort group where students complete a series of courses full time. Year 3 allows for part-time at 50% minimum for fieldwork II and the experiential component. Going part-time would delay graduation accordingly.
Where will classes be offered?
Classes will be located in the Huntington University building on the Parkview Randallia campus at 1819 Carew Street, Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Is a bachelor's degree required to start the OTD program?
Yes. This OTD program is designed for students who currently hold a baccalaureate (undergraduate) degree, or are in the process of earning one prior to the start of the OTD classes.
What types of bachelor's degrees are acceptable for entry into the program?
Students holding bachelor’s degrees from any discipline are welcome to apply as long as they complete the specified occupational therapy prerequisites.
What is the timeline for admission decisions?
Students can apply at any time on OTCAS, with a final application deadline of June 1st. To be considered for first-round decisions and interviews, we recommend completing your application by October 1st. Eligible candidates will be invited to interview with a faculty member. First-round decisions will be made in January, and final decisions will be made in May.
What prerequisites are required to start the OTD program?
Huntington University undergraduates with a 3.5 GPA or higher who meet all prerequisites are guaranteed acceptance into the OTD Program.
Anatomy and Physiology I with lab, 4 semester credits
Biology with lab, 3-4 semester credits
Introduction to Psychology, 3 semester credits
Abnormal Psychology, 3 semester credits
Social Science, 3 semester credits
Statistics or Research, 3 semester credits
Medical Terminology, 1-3 semester credits
View descriptions of these prerequisites.
Can I apply while I am in the process of completing my prerequisites?
Yes. It is common to be finishing up prerequisite courses when you apply. The admissions committee will consider each applicant once the application is processed by the admissions counselor.
Will my prerequisite courses transfer to Huntington University?
Yes. Prerequisite courses, if successfully completed at a regionally accredited university, will transfer. All prerequisite courses are currently offered at Huntington University.
How many students will be accepted into the program each year?
We will admit up to 32 students per year. A new cohort class begins each fall semester in late August.
What does it mean that Huntington University’s OTD program is not currently accredited by ACOTE?
In April 2014, ACOTE granted Huntington University candidacy status. As a result, the institution may admit students into the Occupational Therapy Doctoral Program according to the approved timeline (August 2014) and may proceed to the Initial Review step of the accreditation process. You will have an opportunity to have this further explained to you by phone or in person during an onsite visit. Dr. Ruth Ford, the OTD Program Director, is obligated to provide you with current and accurate information. You also may read the official letter from ACOTE.
Resources from AOTA that address general questions about OT
Questions about occupational therapy education (PDF)
Why should I consider becoming an occupational therapist? (PDF)
Why should I choose a career in occupational therapy? (PDF)
What is day-to-day life like as an occupational therapist? (PDF)
What does the job market look like for occupational therapists? (PDF)
What types of salaries and opportunities can I anticipate as an occupational therapist? (PDF)
Source for PDFs: The American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.