This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2023-2024 VCU Bulletin. This edition includes all programs and courses approved by the publication deadline; however we may receive notification of additional program approvals after the launch. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

Program accreditation
Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education of the American Occupational Therapy Association

The VCU Occupational Therapy Doctorate program prepares students for entry-level practice. Graduates are equipped with knowledge to be outstanding leaders that utilize a client-centered approach, make decisions based on the best evidence, and create new knowledge and apply that knowledge to practice. The program provides an in-depth exposure to interprofessional and collaborative care and provides opportunities for program and professional development. The entry-level O.T.D. program prepares students to work in a wide range of occupational therapy practice settings as well as emerging areas of practice. Graduates will be eligible to apply for licensure to practice in any state upon successful completion of the national board examination.

Student learning outcomes

  1. Students will apply occupational therapy theory and practice skills in occupational engagement, therapeutic use of self, activity analysis, clinical reasoning and ethical decision making.
  2. Students will communicate and work effectively with clients and members of the interprofessional team and articulate the role and value of occupational therapy.
  3. Students will evaluate and document client occupational performance and participation.
  4. Students will design and implement occupation-based, client-centered, evidence-based interventions that improve client participation in activities, occupations, roles and routines.
  5. Students will analyze current policy issues and the social, economic, political, geographic and demographic factors that influence the various contexts for practice of occupational therapy.
  6. Students will demonstrate the ability to translate evidence to advance occupational therapy practice.
  7. Students will analyze and synthesize relevant scientific literature and apply results to improve occupational therapy practice and patient care outcomes in a culturally sensitive manner.
  8. Students will participate in professional development, leadership and advocacy opportunities.

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 academic regulations 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 academic regulations 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 academic regulations section for additional information on graduation requirements.

Other information

All graduates of an occupational therapy program are required to take the national certification examination to become a registered occupational therapist and use the credentials OTR. The national certifying organization for occupational therapy is the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy. Other licensure or certification requirements have been established by all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico. Most licensure requirements include board certification as a registered occupational therapist. Some licensure or certification agencies consider individuals convicted of a felony ineligible for licensure or certification. For specific information, prospective students should contact the licensure or certification agency for occupational therapy.