Note: As part of the transition from the entry-level program from the M.S.O.T. to the O.T.D. degree, the Department of Occupational Therapy has suspended admissions to the post-professional O.T.D. until summer 2016. The post-professional O.T.D. curriculum is being adjusted to bring that program in synch with the entry-level O.T.D. The department’s goal is to provide the best overall program at both levels. Plans continue to evolve, so please be in touch if you are interested in a post-professional O.T.D. Prospective students can visit the department’s website or call directly at (804) 828-2220.

Program goal

The primary mission of the Department of Occupational Therapy is the preparation of excellent, innovative, adaptable and responsible occupational therapists as professional leaders for the state, the nation and the world. Our mission represents an integration of the missions of the university and the School of Allied Health Professions. In pursuit of this mission, the department:

  1. Prepares students to become client-centered practitioners who utilize up-to-date evidence, theory and technology to facilitate their clients’ health and well-being through the use of occupation
  2. Seeds the development of new occupational therapy leaders in research, teaching and service through educational, community and research expectations and opportunities
  3. Fosters student commitment to scientific inquiry and professional competence and promotes personal growth, balance and dedication to lifelong learning and service
  4. Promotes faculty excellence, collaboration and leadership in teaching, scholarship, research and service that models integrity, competence and evidence-based practice
  5. Collaborates with the community through education, consultation and the development of strong linkages with practitioners, clinical educators and the community
  6. Interacts dynamically with the OT profession and stakeholders, contributing proactively to the evolution and recognition of the profession and the use of occupation to meet society’s needs for health and quality life

Student learning outcomes

  1. The student will articulate knowledge of leadership theories and models, critically analyze current leadership abilities and apply leadership skill in professional contexts.
  2. The student will identify and use professional, data-driven evidence to support professional programs and initiatives through proposal writing for grant funding and program development.
  3. The student will demonstrate advanced skill in developing and implementing new programs/projects designed to advance the field of occupational therapy.

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on degree candidacy requirements.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on graduation requirements.

Other information

Student manuals are distributed to new students every August at the on-campus meeting.

Note: As part of the transition from the entry-level program from the M.S.O.T. to the O.T.D. degree, the Department of Occupational Therapy has suspended admissions to the post-professional O.T.D. until summer 2016. The post-professional O.T.D. curriculum is being adjusted to bring that program in synch with the entry-level O.T.D. The department’s goal is to provide the best overall program at both levels. Plans continue to evolve, so please be in touch if you are interested in a post-professional O.T.D. Prospective students can visit the department’s website or call directly at (804) 828-2220.

Admission requirements

Degree: Semester(s) of entry: Deadline dates: Test requirements:
O.T.D. Fall May 1 GRE (if applying with a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy)

In addition to the general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School, applicants must meet the following minimum acceptable standards for admission:

  1. Bachelor’s or master’s degree in occupational therapy from an accredited college or university
  2. Cumulative minimum GPA of 3.0 from prior course work
  3. Current (within 5 years) GRE scores if applying with a bachelor’s degree (The GRE is not required if applying with a master’s degree.)
  4. Official transcripts in sealed envelopes and signed by university official across seal
  5. A leadership essay describing how earning an O.T.D. and completing a capstone leadership project will enhance personal career goals and how the applicant may use advanced leadership skills developed in this program to advance the profession of occupational therapy
  6. Curriculum vitae or resume that details professional leadership experience
  7. Three letters of recommendation

Note: As part of the transition from the entry-level program from the M.S.O.T. to the O.T.D. degree, the Department of Occupational Therapy has suspended admissions to the post-professional O.T.D. until summer 2016. The post-professional O.T.D. curriculum is being adjusted to bring that program in synch with the entry-level O.T.D. The department’s goal is to provide the best overall program at both levels. Plans continue to evolve, so please be in touch if you are interested in a post-professional O.T.D. Prospective students can visit the department’s website or call directly at (804) 828-2220.

Degree requirements

The Occupational Therapy Doctorate is a part-time, distance education, post-professional program for students with an occupational therapy degree. It combines Web-based instruction with on-campus meetings twice a year, in August and January. The program follows the traditional fall and spring semester schedule. Summer courses are required for students entering with a bachelor’s degree and are optional for students entering with a master’s degree. The curriculum consists of leadership, research/scientific foundation and theory practice foundation core courses, along with electives for concentrated study.

In addition to general VCU Graduate School graduation requirements, students must complete all university and School of Allied Health Professions requirements. Students must successfully complete all credit hours appropriate to the curriculum into which students enter. The curriculum for an occupational therapist entering with a master’s degree from VCU requires a minimum of 21 credit hours. The curriculum for an occupational therapist entering with a master’s degree from another university or college requires a minimum of 32 credit hours. The curriculum for an occupational therapist entering with a baccalaureate degree requires a minimum of 47 credit hours of courses.

Curriculum requirements

Students entering with an M.S. from VCU

Research and scientific foundations core
OCCT 735Evidence Bases for Occupational Therapy Practice3
Leadership core
OCCT 736Developing Fundable Projects3
OCCT 739Program Development and Evaluation3
OCCT 740Concepts in Disability Leadership for Occupational Therapists3
OCCT 741Leadership Applications for Occupational Therapists3
OCCT 742Practicum in Leadership for Occupational Therapists4
OCCT 743Synthesis and Evaluation of Capstone Leadership Project2
Total Hours21

Total graduate credit hours required (minimum) 21

Students entering with an M.S. from another university/college

OCCT 671Advanced Theory in Occupational Therapy4
OCCT 673Health Care Delivery and Occupational Therapy Practice Models3
OCCT 710Quantitative Research Processes4
OCCT 735Evidence Bases for Occupational Therapy Practice3
OCCT 736Developing Fundable Projects3
OCCT 739Program Development and Evaluation3
OCCT 740Concepts in Disability Leadership for Occupational Therapists3
OCCT 741Leadership Applications for Occupational Therapists3
OCCT 742Practicum in Leadership for Occupational Therapists4
OCCT 743Synthesis and Evaluation of Capstone Leadership Project2
Total Hours32

Total graduate credit hours required (minimum) 32

Students entering with a B.S.

OCCT 671Advanced Theory in Occupational Therapy4
OCCT 673Health Care Delivery and Occupational Therapy Practice Models3
OCCT 685Advanced Clinical Reasoning: Asking the Right Questions3
OCCT 686Advanced Clinical Reasoning Applications3
OCCT 710Quantitative Research Processes4
OCCT 735Evidence Bases for Occupational Therapy Practice3
OCCT 736Developing Fundable Projects3
OCCT 739Program Development and Evaluation3
OCCT 740Concepts in Disability Leadership for Occupational Therapists3
OCCT 741Leadership Applications for Occupational Therapists3
OCCT 742Practicum in Leadership for Occupational Therapists4
OCCT 743Synthesis and Evaluation of Capstone Leadership Project2
Electives
Select three of the following: 19
Aging
Problems, Issues and Trends in Gerontology
Aging and Human Values
Occupational Therapy Seminar
Independent Study
Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder
Assessment, Curriculum and Teaching Methods for Autism Spectrum Disorder
Supporting Behavior and Social Skills for Autism Spectrum Disorder
Instructional Design and Field Experience for Autism Spectrum Disorder
Total Hours47
1

Electives must be at the graduate level, consistent with the student’s overall leadership direction and approved by the director of post-professional education. They may be taken at VCU or at another university or college. Some options at VCU include those listed below. Please check Online@VCU for additional opportunities. 

Total graduate credit hours required (minimum) 47

Graduate program director
Linwood (Tony) Gentry, Ph.D., OTR/L
Professor and director, post-professional education
Email: logentry@vcu.edu
Phone: (804) 828-2219

Additional contacts
Lawrencine Smith
Program manager
Email: lsmith@vcu.edu
Phone: (804) 828-2219

Al Copolillo, Ph.D., OTR/L, FAOTA
Associate professor and chair, Department of Occupational Therapy
Email: aecopoli@vcu.edu
Phone: (804) 828-2219

Program website: sahp.vcu.edu/departments/occu/programs/postprofessional-otd