Department Chair: Marian Gillard, Ph.D., OTR, FAOTA
Academic Fieldwork Coordinator: Kirsten Davin, OTD, OTR, ATP, SMS
Director of Doctoral Capstone: Barbara Doucet, Ph.D., OTR
- General Information For the Entry-Level OTD Program
- Program Description
- Entry-Level OTD Program Admission Requirements
- Program Admission Requirements
- Prerequisites for Admission
- Application Review
- Interview Process
- Selection Process
- Application Deadlines
- General Admission Requirements
- Additional Requirements Once Accepted into the Program
- Blended Education Format
- Entry-Level OTD Academic Calendar
- Graduation Requirements
To prepare practice scholars, educational innovators, and professional leaders to utilize clinically meaningful research in the implementation of best practice to meet the changing demands of the Occupational Therapy profession. The Department of Occupational Therapy offers two distinct program tracks, entry-level and post-professional.
General Information For the Entry-Level OTD Program
The Entry-Level Occupational Therapy Doctorate (EL OTD) program provides an accelerated, learner-centered, occupation-based, hybrid educational program that emphasizes academic excellence, life-long-scholarship, and servant leadership. This 2-year, hybrid-education program prepares doctoral-level, reflective Occupational Therapy practitioners with the requisite clinical reasoning skills and professional values to be responsive to the occupational needs of persons, organizations and populations within the communities they serve. Graduates are eligible to sit for the National Certification Examination administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). Graduates are employed as Occupational Therapists in such settings as hospitals, school systems, long-term care facilities, mental health facilities, rehabilitation hospitals, out-patient settings and the community.
The entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its web address is www.acoteonline.org. Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). In addition, all states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.
Students must complete 24 weeks of Level II fieldwork as well as an individual 14-week capstone experience within 12 months following the completion of the didactic portion of the program. The doctoral capstone experience must be started after completion of all coursework and Level II fieldwork as well as completion of preparatory activities defined in 2018 ACOTE OTD Standard D.1.3.
To be eligible to take the National Board for the Certification of Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) certification exam, OTR candidates must graduate with an entry-level occupational therapy degree from an ACOTE accredited occupational therapy (OT) program. Per USDE regulations, all credits and degrees earned and issued by a program holding Candidate for Accreditation status are considered to be from an accredited program. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure. The Baylor University OTD Program meets the educational requirements for certification in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. NBCOT maintains for the public a database of graduation rates for every accredited program.
Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences
The Department of Occupational Therapy is housed within the Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences (RCHHS). The following policies and guidelines apply to the OTD program.
Entry-Level OTD Program Admission Requirements
The following requirements apply to the EL OTD program and must be met by every applicant to be considered for admission.
Program Admission Requirements
Admission to the OTD program closely follows the admission criteria for all health science programs in the Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences with differences reflecting the need for prerequisite courses unique to, and in support of the OTD curriculum. Students applying to the EL OTD program should have the requisite skills and demonstrated potential to navigate the academic rigors of an accelerated and hybrid model of OTD education.
Prerequisites for Admission
The following prerequisites (or their approved transfer equivalents) are required for admission:
Completion of all prerequisite coursework with a GPA of 3.00 or greater on a 4.00 scale:
- Human Movement, Biomechanics, or Physics (3 semester hours)
- Abnormal Psychology (3 semester hours)
- Human Development (lifespan) (3 semester hours)
- Social Sciences (200-level) (6 semester hours)
- Statistics (3 semester hours)
- Medical Terminology (1 semester hour)
- Human Anatomy and Physiology I with laboratory (4 semester hours)
- Human Anatomy and Physiology II with laboratory (4 semester hours)
- Applicants must complete Anatomy and Physiology courses within the last 5 years prior to application or demonstrate ongoing work experiences that have kept this knowledge current (e.g. occupational therapy assistant, athletic trainer, etc.). For other courses, letter-graded prerequisite coursework is acceptable, no matter when the course work was completed.
Completion of an Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS) application and a Baylor University Graduate School supplemental application.
- The Occupational Therapy Program uses the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS) for those wishing to apply to the program. All students use the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS) to apply to the occupational therapy program. Visit the website at: https://otcas.liaisoncas.com/applicant-ux/#/login.
- It is strongly encouraged that all applicants thoroughly review the instructions for submitting an application through OTCAS as available for download through the OTCAS website before attempting to apply to the Baylor University Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program.
- Supporting Materials submitted through OTCAS:
- Official Transcripts: Applicants must arrange for OTCAS to receive an official transcript from each college and university from which a degree was earned (bachelor’s or higher) in the United States and/or Canada.
- References: Applicants must arrange for references to be submitted electronically through OTCAS. Each evaluator providing a reference will be contacted using an email address provided in OTCAS by the applicant. It is required that one recommendation be from a licensed occupational therapy practitioner.
- Current CV/Resume
- Writing Sample: Applicant must provide a carefully written 5-paragraph essay describing one treatment activity observed during an occupational therapy observation. Describe the purpose of the activity and the client’s response. Sample is scored for writing mechanics and content.
- OTD Essay
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or Duolingo: If English is not an applicant’s first (primary) language, official TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo scores must be submitted to OTD@baylor.edu.
- For assistance with applications students may contact: Admissions Program Manager at OTD@baylor.edu.
The OTD Admissions Committee and faculty will review all completed applications (i.e., application and all supporting materials received) in the order of receipt. Applicants are evaluated based on the following items:
- Cumulative GPA
- Pre-requisite GPA
- Observation hours
- Personal Essay
Other factors considered, but not required:
- Relevant work experience
- Prior military experience
The OTD admissions committee uses this evaluative process to ensure nondiscrimination and equal opportunity for all applicants. The OTD admissions committee will grant admission interviews by invitation only. The OTD program does not offer credit for previous work experience, coursework or experiential learning, nor is advanced placement credit available for this program.
The OTD Program Director or designee will contact selected applicants and provide further instructions for completing the interview process. Interviews are conducted using a video-based platform called Kira Talent®. Students record and upload their responses to a series of standardized interview questions for review by program faculty and the Admissions Committee. Students must have a computer with a webcam and internet service to complete this interview.
The OTD admissions committee and faculty will accept students into the program based on a holistic evaluation of the submitted application, supporting documents, and interview. All applicants will be notified by email and/or mail regarding final selection decisions.
The program has two applications windows. Please refer to the Baylor OTD Program website for the current information: https://otd.robbins.baylor.edu/.
For questions related to admission to the program, please contact OTD Admissions at OTD@baylor.edu.
General Admission Requirements
- Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution prior to OTD classes beginning. Provisional admission may be granted pending completion of the undergraduate degree. Students are required to successfully complete and document a minimum of four (4) FTE academic years of preprofessional preparation.
- Minimum prerequisite course GPA of 3.00.
- If cumulative GPA is less than 2.75 on a 4.00 scale, an applicant may still be eligible for admission if a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or greater has been achieved over the last 60 semester or 90 quarter hour credits of coursework.
- Three (3) letters of recommendation: it is required that one of your recommendations be from a licensed occupational therapy practitioner.
- Thirty (30) hours of volunteer or work experience with an occupational therapy practitioner is required (50 recommended).
- Personal interview.
- Ability to fulfill Technical Standards with or without accommodation.
- Background Check prior to matriculation.
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Testing Service (IELTS), or Duolingo exam is required for all applicants for whom English is not the first language or those who have completed a degree and prerequisite courses in a foreign country.
- Acceptable TOEFL scores: Internet based score = 80
- Acceptable IELTS scores: are an overall band score of 6.5
- Acceptable Duolingo scores: are an overall score of 125
- Official TOEFL scores must be submitted to OTD@baylor.edu.
Note: Meeting minimal entrance requirements does not necessarily guarantee admission.
Additional Requirements Once Accepted into the Program
Once accepted into the Occupational Therapy Program, and prior to beginning classes, students must submit the following documentation to the Department of Occupational Therapy:
- Attend the mandatory OTD Program Orientation.
- Purchase student liability insurance annually.
- Provide documentation of health insurance
- Purchase all required OTD textbooks, manuals and laboratory supplies.
- Assume all responsibility for transportation to and from all facilities used for educational experiences, including clinical agencies assigned.
- Complete HIPAA Training
- Adhere to the OTD Program Dress Code
- No ear gauges, piercing other than a single post in the ear lobes.
- No visible tattoos are permitted while in labs, or in uniform.
- If a clinical site has a dress code more restrictive than that of the OTD Program, students will adhere to the more restrictive code.
- Submit application for:
- Child Abuse History Clearance.
- FBI Clearance/ federal criminal background study.
- Texas Criminal Record Check, regardless of state of residence.
- Note: Students will be notified on how to submit the appropriate forms.
Note: Documented history of Child Abuse, a Criminal Record, and/or FBI Record may exclude the student from participating in the program.
Students accepted to the program may need to complete clinical placements in geographic areas requiring travel and/or housing costs. Student handbooks are provided to all accepted applicants for specific policies and procedures related to academics and fieldwork.
Blended Education Format
In designing the OTD curriculum, the faculty embraces a student-centered approach to develop cohorts of learners with a focus toward critical thinking, values and social responsibility, learning goals, and experiential learning. The curriculum provides the best education in a condensed time frame through a blend of online and on-campus education. Students learn through pre-recorded didactic instruction, daily engagement with faculty, hands-on lab immersions, fieldwork experiences, and the doctoral capstone project. Classes are not bound by geography, thus, allowing students and faculty to live all over the country to coordinate optimal learning experiences.
The OTD curriculum is delivered in a blended learning format that optimizes technology and web-based teaching strategies. Distance-based education courses and the online component of blended courses are scheduled in instructional blocks that are typically seven (7) weeks in duration. Students in the Baylor University EL OTD program can anticipate devoting between 50-60 hours per week, on average, to academic study. Intensive lab immersive sessions are scheduled during each minimester within the academic term. Online active learning accounts for 43% of the total academic program; immersive laboratory with modeled clinical experiences account for 15%, and 42% of the program is based in fieldwork and doctoral capstone experiences. The program’s didactic courses are completed using a combination of asynchronous and synchronous didactic instruction and activities to provide a quality, rigorous, and flexible learning experience for a diverse student body of traditional and nontraditional students.
Onsite laboratory immersion sessions conducted in Waco, Texas, emphasize intentional practice, self-reflection and peer-feedback of performance, with high- stakes practical examinations in a physically and mentally demanding environment that simulates full-time clinical practice. These sessions range from five (5) to ten (10) days depending on the number of blended courses in the minimester. These lab sessions focus on the development of professional behavior, problem solving, clinical reasoning, and psychomotor skills that are required for effective occupational therapy practice in traditional and emerging practice settings.
The overall curriculum is comprised of courses that prepare the graduate to practice as an occupational therapy generalist in current and emerging practice settings, with individuals of all age groups, and in areas of physical and mental health. This requires completion of Level I and Level II Fieldwork experiences. Level I Fieldwork occurs in year one of the program, over three (3) terms. Level II Fieldwork occurs in in year two of the program over two (2) terms. In accordance with the program’s Scholarship Agenda, student learning outcomes also support the program’s expectations that the OTD student performs beyond generalist-level preparation with application of in-depth knowledge in practice skills, research skills, administration, leadership, program and policy development, advocacy, education, or theory through a combination of a capstone experience and a capstone project. The Doctoral Capstone Experience and the Doctoral Capstone Project occur in year two of the program.
Entry-Level OTD Academic Calendar
Academic calendars are published for each program cohort based on the year of graduation. Key dates and activities contained in these academic calendars are subject to change. Please see the following link for additional information: https://otd.robbins.baylor.edu/entry-level-otd/curriculum/academic-calendar.
For a student to graduate from the Entry level OTD program, the student must be in good academic standing, have had satisfactory progress in all semesters of the academic program, and satisfactorily complete the following:
- Successfully complete the required 108 semester credit hours.
- Achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better across all academic courses.
- Exhibit professional behaviors as described in the Professional Behaviors, AOTA Core Values, and the Code of Ethics for the Occupational Therapist.
- Successfully complete a total of 24 weeks of supervised Level II Fieldwork and a 14-week Doctoral Capstone Experience.
- Complete all Level II Fieldwork and the Doctoral Capstone within 12 months of completing the didactic portion of the program.
- Complete all required Baylor University and OTD Program documents in preparation for graduation.
- Honor all professional and financial obligations to Baylor University, as published in the Baylor University and OTD Program Handbooks, and as specified in any written communications from the University’s administrators.
Entry-Level OTD Curriculum
The professional curriculum leading to the Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree requires students to complete 108 semester credit hours of coursework in 6 continuous academic semesters over a 24-month period. Students are enrolled into the EL OTD program as a cohort and complete required courses in a prescribed, sequential manner. Course sequencing within the curriculum is designed to optimize the student’s ability to learn and integrate course material into future didactic and clinical education experiences, culminating in the doctoral capstone. The curriculum is dynamic to keep abreast with best evidence in both clinical and educational practice.
The OTD faculty believe that student-centered teaching promotes discovery and clinical reasoning based on scholarly inquiry and instills a sense of awareness of self and others resulting in scientifically based client-centered service delivery characterized by ethical treatment decisions. This approach challenges students to expand their understandings of the relevance of occupational therapy to include considerations about the dynamic interaction of occupational performance, social participation and Christian values. The OTD curriculum design is comprised of the OTD Practice Sequence developed to prepare students for Fieldwork II and the OTD Scholarship Sequence developed for doctoral-level preparation for research and for application of in-depth knowledge required for the Doctoral Capstone. Stemming from the program’s five curricular threads the faculty have established the following curricular learning outcomes.
At the time of graduation from the program, the student will be able to:
- Utilize clinical reasoning in the occupational therapy process based on critical analysis, reflection and a dedication to excellence;
- Articulate the positive relationship between occupation and health and appreciate the occupational nature of humans as a core philosophical assumption of the profession;
- Provide client-centered care based on the principles, beliefs, and values of occupational therapy and a steadfast commitment to Christian values and identity;
- Demonstrate servant-leadership roles leading to an in-depth understanding of a specialized competency in the profession that contributes to solving problems facing people and communities worldwide;
- Demonstrate a commitment to scholarly practice and research through lifelong learning and critical inquiry.
Entry-Level OTD Degree Plan
|OTD 6311||Foundations of Occupational Therapy||3|
|OTD 6212||Scholarly Practice I||2|
|OTD 6215||Neuroscience in Occupational Therapy||2|
|OTD 6217||Analysis of Human Occupation Across the Lifespan||2|
|OTD 6420||Mental Health Populations and Practice in Occupational Therapy||4|
|OTD 6225||Fieldwork Seminar IA: Mental Health||2|
|OTD 6122||Conditions Impacting Occupational Performance||1|
|OTD 6227||Occupational Therapy Process Across the Lifespan||2|
|OTD 6124||Professional Competencies I||1|
|OTD 6430||Adult & Older Adult POP & PRAC in OT||4|
|OTD 6238||Fieldwork Seminar IB: Adult and Older Adult||2|
|OTD 6333||Human Movement||3|
|OTD 6237||Communication and Engagement in the Therapeutic Process||2|
|OTD 6242||Occupational Therapy Service Delivery and Organization||2|
|OTD 6144||Professional Development||1|
|OTD 6147||Conditions Impacting Occupational Performance II||1|
|OTD 6246||Scholarly Practice II||2|
|OTD 6248||Occupational Performance and Theories of Practice||2|
|OTD 6450||Children & Youth Populations & Practice in OT||4|
|OTD 6256||Fieldwork Seminar IC: Children and Youth||2|
|OTD 6255||Management of Occupational Therapy Services||2|
|OTD 6257||Educational Strategies and Learning in Healthcare and Academic Settings||2|
|OTD 6360||Wellness and Health Promotion||3|
|OTD 6262||Professional Competencies II||2|
|OTD 6265||Program Development||2|
|OTD 6161||Leadership and Advocacy||1|
|OTD 6V75||Level II Fieldwork I||12|
|OTD 6572||Doctoral Mentorship I||5|
|OTD 6V80||Level II Fieldwork II||12|
|OTD 6383||Doctoral Mentorship II||3|
|OTD 6285||Scholarly Practice III||2|
|OTD 6V09||Doctoral Capstone Experience||15|
|OTD 6309||Doctoral Capstone Project||3|