Although the Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (OTD) prepares students to practice occupational
therapy, as a professional graduate degree, it does not prepare students for
research or academic careers. Students
who are interested in becoming a researcher or a faculty member prepare for
these careers by completing a PhD program. At The Ohio State University, students can combine
the Doctorate of Occupational Therapy program with the Health and Rehabilitation
Science PhD program through entry into the OTD/PhD track. The primary goal of this dual degree program
is to prepare students for academic positions in Occupational Therapy and
Rehabilitation Sciences programs at research intensive universities. Therefore, in addition to the professional
training, the program emphasizes higher education teaching, research, and
Students accepted into
the OTD/PhD program complete PhD courses while they are in the OTD program. By completing courses during
the OTD program, the length of the PhD program can be shorter; in addition
certain courses count for both degrees. Students who apply to the dual
degree program are also eligible for certain University and College fellowships. Strong applicants for this track have GRE
scores at or above the 75 percentile, have a GPA at or above 3.6, may have
previous research experience as an undergraduate student, and have strong
interest in academia. Students who apply
to the OTD/PhD program may be accepted into the OTD/PhD track or may only be
accepted into the OTD program.
Students who are
interested should simultaneously apply to both the OTD and PhD programs. Students apply to the OTD Program through OTCAS and to the PhD program through the OSU Graduate School, checking the box on
the Graduate School application for OTD/PhD. This PhD application requires 3 letters of
reference and a second personal statement that describes a student’s interest
in a PhD degree, describes past leadership or scholarship, and explains career
goals. In addition, students must request
a letter of support from one of the OT faculty.
It is recommended that a potential applicant meet with one of the OT
faculty to discuss his or her interests and ask for the letter. The
application will be reviewed by both the OT Division’s admissions committee
and the School’s PhD admissions committee.
Students accepted into
the OTD/PhD program complete all of the OTD courses in the order and sequence
of other students The dual degree
student also completes additional courses to gain research exposure and
experience. In your first year, students
take one semester of a research practicum with one of the OTD faculty. In the second year students take a research
practicum each semester (2 total). Through
these practica, students complete a research specialization in an area of
research that aligns with one of the OT faculty. In addition, each semester, the dual degree
student enrolls in the PhD seminar, Grand Rounds. Some students complete the College Teaching
course in Spring of the second year (optional).
The OTD coursework ends
in the Spring semester of the second year, at which time students enter full-time
fieldwork. Students in the dual degree
program are assigned to fieldwork in Columbus for the Autumn semester to allow
enrollment in the first core course of the PhD program (Health and Rehabilitation
I). In general, OTD/PhD students receive full-time funding in the Autumn semester
of the third year.
Students continue to
take the PhD core courses in Spring semester and teach in one of the OTD or
School courses. In the second year of
the PhD program, students complete the core courses with the goal of taking the
candidacy examination by the summer of the second year (fourth year since
entry). After passing the candidacy
examination, students propose their dissertation and focus on completing the
dissertation full time for the remainder of the program.
It is anticipated that
the OTD/PhD program is 5 to 5 ½ years in duration, depending on progress.
Students can enter the
combined degree program any time in the first year. A graduate school application is required to
enter the OTD/PhD program after beginning the OTD program.
Students can decide to
pursue only the OTD degree after entering the dual degree program. There is no penalty for this decision.
For more information,
contact Dr. Amy Darragh (email@example.com).