Occupational therapy is a growing field with leadership opportunities to positively change lives. USM’s Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctoral Degree program (OTD) is a fully online program designed for students with a Master's degree in occupational therapy. Doctoral post-professional occupational therapy education builds upon the previous occupational therapy education and professional experience of the student by providing a sequential course of professional study that stresses active, independent inquiry, critical thinking, strong communication skills (oral, nonverbal, written, and electronic), problem-solving, clinical reasoning, and professional behaviors.
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.
- GPA of 3.0 or higher is required.
- Hold a degree in Occupational Therapy
- Hold a license in OT
- GRE scores are not required by the Post Professional OTD program
Application Procedures and Required Materials
Application Deadline: Rolling admissions
Review of applications will take place upon receipt of all materials.
Applicants are required to provide the following materials:
- USM Graduate Application: Online application.
- USM Application fee: There is currently no application fee.
- 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 masters’ degree from a regionally accredited college or university and a current occupational therapy license. If you need to confirm the accreditation status of an institution, you may search at Council for Higher Education Accreditation site.
- Essay: 5-page essay including introduction, summary of professional career, capstone interest, knowledge, skills, and resources you will bring to the capstone process, and plans for the use of your doctorate after graduation.
- Resume: Submit a resume or CV that outlines professional experience.
- Copy of OT licensure.
- Letters of Recommendation: Two 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 doctoral-level graduate study and your chosen profession. 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.
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
When 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
Colleges and universities that participate in electronic submission of transcripts may send official transcripts to email@example.com
Resumes, essays, and other required documents may also be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
For a transcript or recommendation to be considered official, it must be sent by the institution or the person writing the recommendation.
- 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.
- 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.
- For answers to any questions you might have contact:
- Mary Anderson OTD, OTR/L
USM-Occupational Therapy Department
- Mary Anderson OTD, OTR/L
- Need to verify the status of your application?
- Contact the Office of Admissions at 207-780-5670 or email us.
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.
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