Occupational Therapy

Entry-Level Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD)

The University of Southern Maine (USM) College of Science, Technology, and Health offers a professional, entry-level Doctorate degree in Occupational Therapy (OTD) for people who hold a baccalaureate or master's degree in a discipline other than occupational therapy. The Entry-Level Occupational Therapy Doctoral program systematically guides students through foundational knowledge and practice. Advanced skill development is the focus of this program, with emphasis on competency in practice, research, and program development, producing ethical, evidence-based practitioners and leaders within the field.

Entry-Level OTD Student Course Sequence: 3 Years 

 

Year 1 — Fall Semester 

  • OTH 501 Occupational Therapy Foundations (3 credits)
  • OTH 502 Introduction to Occupation (3 credits)
  • OTH 503 Reflective Practitioner (3 credits) 
  • OTH 506 Contextual Considerations (3 credits) 
  • OTH 514 Fundamentals of Human Anatomy Lecture (3 credits) 
  • OTH 515 Fundamentals of Human Anatomy Lab (1 credit) 

Year 1 — Spring Semester

  • OTH 504 Research and EBP (3 credits) - Online
  • OTH 505 Impact of Mental Health Part I Lecture (3 credits) 
  • OTH 508 Impact of Mental Health Part I Lab (1 credit) 
  • OTH 507 Ethics and Occupational Justice (3 credits) 
  • OTH 509 Level I Fieldwork: Mental Health (1 credit) 
  • OTH 520 Neuroscience for OT’s: Lecture (3 credits) 
  • OTH 521 Neuroscience for OT’s: Lab (1 credit) - In Person

Year 1 —  Summer Semester

  • OTH 510 Level I Fieldwork: Community Practice (1 credit) 
  • OTH 512 Research and EBP II (3 credits) - Online
  • OTH 517 Occupational Well-being (3 credits) 
  • OTH 603 Occupational Performance: Adulthood Part I Lecture (3 credits) 
  • OTH 525 Pediatric Mental Health Lecture (3 credits) 
  • OTH 526 Pediatric Mental Health Lab (1 credit) 
  • OTH 606 OTH 603 Occupational Performance: Adulthood Part I Lab (1 credit)

Year 2 —  Fall Semester 

  • OTH 511 Level I Fieldwork: Populations (1 credit) 
  • MPH 580 Health Literacy (3 credits)
  • OTH 602 Applied Kinesiology and Exercise Physiology Lecture (3 credits) - In Person
  • OTH 605 Management in Occupational Therapy (3 credits)
  • OTH 609 Applied Kinesiology and Exercise Physiology Lab (1 credit) - In Person
  • OTH 604 Occupational Performance in Infancy through Adolescence Lecture Part I (3 credits) - In Person
  • OTH 607 Occupational Performance in Infancy through Adolescence Lab Part I (1 credit) - In Person

Year 2 — Spring Semester 

  • OTH 705 Population (3 credits)
  • OTH 708 Research Methods (3 credits)
  • January - March (7 weeks)
    • OTH 614 Occupational Performance: Adulthood Part II Lecture (3 credits) In Person
    • OTH 617 Occupational Performance: Adulthood Part II Lab (1 credit) - In Person
    • OTH 615 Occupational Performance in Infancy through Adolescence Lecture Part II (3 credits) - In Person
    • OTH 619 Occupational Performance in Infancy through Adolescence Lab Part II (1 credit) - In Person
  • March - May (7 weeks)
    • OTH 518 Group Process (3 credits)

Year 2 —  Summer Semester

  • OTH 620 First Level II Fieldwork (6 credits)
  • OTH 710 OT Research I (3 credits)

Year 3 — Fall Semester

  • NUR 644 Leadership (3 credits)
  • OTH 720 OT Research II (3 credits)
  • OTH 735 Occupational Science (3 credits)
  • OTH 770 Capstone Proposal (3 credits)

Year 3 — Spring Semester

  • OTH 621 Final Level II Fieldwork (6 credits)
  • OTH 730 EBP III (3 credits)

Year 3 —  Summer Semester 

  • May - August (16 weeks)
    • OTH 780 Doctoral Capstone Experience (6 credits)

 

MPH 580 - Health Literacy and Communication

This online course provides students with knowledge, skills, and attitudes to recognize and improve health communications in public health, healthcare, and social service settings.  Topics covered in the course include:  patient-centered environments, health numeracy, oral health literacy, medical interpretation, informed consent, culture of safety and quality, adaptation of written health education materials and other written communication, cultural competence, effective communication, and the use of social media and web sites to advance health literacy. Students participate in field-based learning exercises and a workshop session with community partners in order to build and practice health literacy skills. 3 credits For matriculated students only.

  

NUR 644 Healthcare Leadership and Management  

This course presents information about leadership and management within the dynamic environment of healthcare and offers students the opportunity to explore key concepts critical to successful healthcare leadership and management. Students examine how leadership/management models/approaches influence outcomes within the direct care environment as well as more broader environments such as the clinical team, department, professional workload, organization, community and their profession. Through case studies, online discussion groups, literature review, and self-assessment/reflection, this course helps to better prepare students for their leadership role as a healthcare professional. Credits 3 For matriculated students only. 

 

OTH 701- Research and Evidence-Based Practice I

This course introduces the student to evidence-based practice in occupational therapy and the spectrum of investigative strategies that can be used to answer questions of concern to occupational therapists. Students will learn foundational research principles and use these to critically examine current research and master basic evidence-based practice and research skills. The work of this course will revolve around students connections with community-based partners and collaboration around their clinical questions. Targeted assignments will support the development of skills in designing a practice-based capstone project, searching, critiquing, and synthesizing relevant literature, and completing an evidence-based capstone project. Cr 3. For matriculated students only.

 

OTH 702 – Introduction to Occupation

This course will focus on foundational concepts of occupation and theories underlying occupational therapy practice. Students will be going in depth to discover how theory and frames of reference direct and inform practice. 2 credits For matriculated students only.

 

OTH 703 – Introduction to the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework

The official document of the American Occupational Therapy Association, the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain and Process is a crucial resource for occupational therapy practitioners.  This course will allow students to clearly understand how to use this resource when informing evidence and policy as well as payors and consumers. 1 credit  For matriculated students only.

 

OTH 705 - Occupation & Population, Policy, Advocacy, and Ethics

This online course explores occupation and occupational therapy practice at a population/community level focusing on present-day community and population health practice as well as the potential for occupational therapy practice in the future. The course looks at planning, implementing, and evaluating interventions through the lens of policy, advocacy, and ethics in practice. 3 credits For matriculated students only.

 

OTH 708 - Research, Outcomes, Quality Assurance: Translation of Research to Practice

This online course provides students with foundational knowledge and skills to explore research methods, outcome and data collection processes and translating research and translational research for application in occupational therapy practice.  Students explore promotion of science and scholarly endeavors to describe and interpret the scope of the profession, build research capacity, establish new knowledge, and interpret and apply this knowledge to practice. 3 credits For matriculated students only.

OTH 735 Occupational Science

This course will explore the history, theoretical foundations, and research methodologies of occupational science, as well as the application of occupational science for occupational therapy practice.   Cr 3. For matriculated students only.

OTH 710 OT Capstone I

This course provides the opportunity for students to apply research concepts to the investigation of an occupational therapy question, need, or evaluation of occupational therapy practice.  Using the research question generated in the first course of the research sequence, students will initiate their research project and begin to collect and analyze data. Course sessions and assignments will guide students through this initial phase of the research process. Cr 3 For matriculated students only. 

OTH 720 Capstone II

This course provides the opportunity for students to apply research concepts to the investigation of an occupational therapy question, need, or evaluation of occupational therapy practice.  Students will continue and complete their research project initiated in OTH 710, interpreting their data, writing a research report, and preparing a manuscript for publication and/or presentation. Course sessions and assignments will guide students through completion of the research process. Cr 3. For matriculated students only.

OTH 730 Capstone III

This course provides the opportunity for students to apply research concepts to the investigation of an occupational therapy question, need, or evaluation of occupational therapy practice.  Students will continue and complete their research project initiated in OTH 710, interpreting their data, writing a research report, and preparing a manuscript for publication and/or presentation. Course sessions and assignments will guide students through completion of the research process. Cr. 3. For matriculated students only.

OTH 750 Assistive Technology/Contemporary Practice

This course provides students exposure to new and innovative tools and techniques. This course gives students an opportunity to work together to learn about and develop assistive technology. The course will have a multi-disciplinary team from a variety of backgrounds, as well as cultivate a better understanding of the people being served. Partnering with outside organizations, students will work in teams to identify a clinical need relevant to a certain clinical site or client population, and learn the process of developing an idea and following that through to the development of a prototype product. For matriculated students only.

Applicant Qualifications

  • Minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale is required for interviews
  • GRE scores are not required
  • Prerequisite courses must be completed at a regionally accredited college or university
    • All prerequisite courses are available through the University of Southern Maine
    • Straighterline courses are unacceptable for prerequisite courses
    • Optional OT Prerequisites Worksheet is available to track progress
  • Prerequisite courses must be passed with a grade of B or higher
    • For grades lower than a B, students may opt to retake the course, complete an equivalency exam (specific subjects only), or petition the faculty to substitute an appropriate course and/or work/life experience
  • Completion of prerequisite courses as follows:
    • Medical Terminology: 1-3 credits
    • Neuroscience: 3 credits
    • Introduction to Sociology: 3 credits
    • Upper-level SOC course may be substituted (with B or higher)
    • Multicultural Human Development or Developmental Psychology: 3 credits
    • Statistics: 3 credits (taken within 6 years of applying)
    • Abnormal Psychology: 3 credits (taken within 6 years of applying)
    • Introduction to Physics with Lab: 4 credits (taken within 6 years of applying)*
    • SCI 150 Physics & Biomechanics: 3 credits is acceptable (no lab required)
    • Anatomy & Physiology I with Lab: 4 credits (taken within 6 years of applying)*
    • Anatomy & Physiology II with Lab: 4 credits (taken within 6 years of applying)*

*Online or simulated labs will be assessed at the discretion of the Program Director

Application Procedures and Required Materials

  • Application Deadline:
    • Priority Deadline: October 1st
    • Final Deadline: February 1st

Review of applications will begin in early October for those who have completed their application materials by the October 1st priority deadline. Interviews will be scheduled in mid-November. Any application materials submitted after the October 1st deadline will be reviewed after the final February 1st deadline, with interviews in early spring.

Applicants are required to provide the following materials:

  • USM Graduate Application: Online application. Students may also apply through OTCAS, the Centralized Application Service for Occupational Therapy Programs, beginning in mid-July each year.
    • Students should apply through one avenue only (either through USM directly or through OTCAS)
    • Students applying directly through USM can apply anytime prior to October 1 for consideration for next fall's cohort
  • USM Application fee: Currently free through USM for all applicants. OTCAS requires its own set of fees for utilizing this service. Applicants applying through OTCAS will pay all associated fees directly through the OTCAS program.
  • Essay: Explain why you selected occupational therapy as a career and how an Occupational Therapy degree relates to your immediate and long-term professional goals. Describe how your personal, educational, and professional background will help you achieve your goals. Essay length: 3-5 pages.
  • Transcripts: Official transcripts from all colleges or universities previously attended, excluding the seven campuses of the University of Maine System (UMS transcripts are accessible to USM). Applicants must demonstrate completion of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university and meet all prerequisite course requirements. If you need to confirm the accreditation status of an institution, you may search at Council for Higher Education Accreditation site.
    • Transcripts must show proof of completion of or progress toward required MOT prerequisite courses. Prerequisite courses do not need to be fully completed prior to applying, but must be completed prior to beginning the program if accepted full time.
    • GRE scores are not required by the MOT program
  • Resume: Submit a resume or CV that outlines professional, volunteer, and community experience.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Recommendations should be from individuals who are qualified, through direct experience with your academic or professional work, to comment on your ability to undertake graduate study and your chosen profession.
    • Three letters of recommendation are required. As part of the online process, applicants will be prompted for the names and email addresses of three recommenders. Each person will receive an electronic recommendation form to complete directly from the university.
  • TOEFL or IELTS: Students whose first language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and submit official scores as part of the application process. See additional information below regarding test scores.

International Applicants

In addition to the standard application materials, international students must also provide the following materials:

  • College transcript evaluation: official course-by-course evaluation of college-level transcripts from a NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) approved transcript analysis agency
  • Declaration of Finances form accompanied by the appropriate financial documentation
  • International students whose first language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and submit official scores as part of the application process. Only applicants with TOEFL scores of 79 or higher on the internet-based test, 550 or higher on the paper-based test, or 213 or higher on the computer-based test; or IELTS scores of 6.5 or higher will be considered for admission to a graduate program.

Applicants whose first language is not English

Students whose first language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and submit official scores as part of the application process. Only applicants with TOEFL scores of 79 or higher on the internet-based test, 550 or higher on the paper-based test, or 213 or higher on the computer-based test; or IELTS scores of 6.5 or higher will be considered for admission to a graduate program.

Where to send transcripts and application materials

If applying through the USM Graduate Application, official transcripts and other supporting documents can be sent to:

Application Processing Center
University of Maine System
P.O. Box 412
Bangor, ME 04402-0412

If applying through the Centralized Application Service for Occupational Therapy Programs (OTCAS), please submit all materials directly to OTCAS.

OTCAS Transcript Processing Center
P.O. Box 9120
Watertown, MA 02471

Colleges and universities that participate in electronic submission of transcripts may send official transcripts to edocs@maine.edu.

Resumes, essays, and other required documents may also be sent to edocs@maine.edu.

For a transcript or recommendation to be considered official, it must be sent by the institution or the person writing the recommendation.

Additional Information

  • Job shadowing is not required but is highly recommended for every student. If job shadowing is completed, it must be with an occupational therapy practitioner and should be documented using the Job Shadow Evaluation Form. It is the applicant's responsibility to make arrangements for this experience at one or multiple facilities. Please send completed forms to edocs@maine.edu
  • Completion of the application requirements does not guarantee admission into the program. Admission is based on a comparative evaluation of the applicants’ materials to determine eligibility for an interview. 
  • MOT candidates who complete an application by the deadline AND who have met the minimum GPA requirements will be invited for an individual and group interview. The interview process is the final admissions requirement and is by invitation only. Alternative interview arrangements can be made for those who are unable to attend the on-campus interview sessions. Applicants can expect a decision by mid-December.

Information for Admitted Students

Financial Aid & Scholarships

If you are applying for financial aid, your financial aid form (FAFSA) should be mailed by February 1 to ensure the best possible financial aid package. Applicants should complete the FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The University of Southern Maine’s Federal ID Code is 009762. Contact Student Financial Services directly with any questions or concerns.

Search to see which scholarships you qualify for.

For further information or problems with this page, contact: usm.ot@maine.edu