Doctor of Occupational Therapy - OTD

Program Description

Recognized as scholars and leaders in occupational therapy education for over 70 years, St. Catherine University continues this tradition by offering a post-professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) degree, the only Minnesota occupational therapy program offering such a degree.  The post-professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD PP) Program is a 35-credit terminal doctorate for credentialed occupational therapists preparing them for advanced practice in clinical, community, and academic settings. 

With a post-professional OTD from St. Catherine University, graduates can pursue:

  • Faculty positions in occupational therapy and occupational therapy assistant programs
  • Career advancement in clinical and community settings
  • Lane changes and supervisory positions in school settings
  • Roles in interdisciplinary or interprofessional teams and programs
  • Leadership opportunities in professional associations

OTD-PP Program Mission

Consistent with the missions of the University, the Henrietta Schmoll School of Health, the Graduate College, and the Department of Occupational Therapy, the Doctor of Occupational Therapy [OTD] Program prepares occupational therapists to lead and educate in community, clinical, and emerging practice areas with grounding in evidence-based research, critical thinking, ethics, and social justice.


The St. Catherine OTD PP curriculum embraces the university's emphasis on the liberal arts, intellectual inquiry, social justice, spirituality, ethics, and women in leadership. The curriculum builds upon a compelling mission, outstanding reputation, and a long tradition of contributions to healthcare and the profession of occupational therapy. Our program is recognized for its collaborative learning environments, supportive classmates and professors, and high expectations for excellence. 

The curriculum's advanced practice emphasis prepares students for advanced clinical roles or academic positions. During the program, students may also obtain additional clinical credentials or develop their expertise for faculty positions in higher education. Through completion of scholarly advanced practice projects, students are prepared to assume new professional roles in health and community settings.

Curricular Breadth and Depth

Our OTD-PP curricular themes are:

  • Leadership and Collaboration
  • Ethics and Social Justice
  • Diversity and Global Perspectives
  • Critical and Creative Inquiry
  • Effective Communication
  • Competence in Advanced Area of Occupational Therapy Practice
  • Purposeful Lifelong Learning


The St. Catherine University Occupational Therapy Doctorate is offered through the Department of Occupational Therapy, which is accredited by The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). Post-professional programs like the OTD PP program do not require ACOTE accreditation.

St. Catherine University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to offer clinical doctoral degrees in a distance format.

Degree Requirements

  • Completion of all degree requirements (minimum of 35 credits)
  • Earn a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale

Years to Complete the Program

St. Catherine University's OTD PP program is offered online and takes approximately 2 years to complete.

Transfer Credits

Requests for transfer of credit are considered on an individual basis and only graduate courses will be eligible. Students must request a review of previous course work upon admission to the program if they wish to receive credit for previous work.

Progression Policy

Requirements to Remain in Good Standing

To remain in good standing in the OTD PP program, students must:

  • Maintain an overall 3.0 grade point average in the OTD PP Program
  • Earn a grade of B or better in each course
  • Demonstrate satisfactory professional attitudes and behaviors as defined by the program

Conditions for Academic Probation

Students are placed on academic probation by the OTD PP program if:

  • A grade of B– or below has been earned in any OTD PP course
  • The overall GPA for the OTD PP Program is less than 3.0

The faculty of the OTD PP program will identify the written conditions of academic probation.

Removal from Academic Probation

Students will be removed from academic probation if the conditions are met by the end of the following semester. Failure to meet the written conditions for academic probation or to bring the grade point average to 3.0 by the end of the next semester may result in automatic dismissal from the program.

Academic Conditions for Program Dismissal

Students are automatically dismissed from the program for academic reasons if:

  • A grade of C, D, or F is earned in any OTD course
  • More than one grade of B- or lower is earned in any OTD course
  • Conditions for removal from academic probation are not met
  • Overall GPA in the OTD-PP Program is less than 3.0 by the end of the semester on probation

Other Conditions for Probation or Program Dismissal

Students may be placed on academic probation or dismissed from the program for the following violations:

  • Violation of the Code of Ethics of the American Occupational Therapy Association
  • Violation of the Institution's policy on academic integrity
  • Violation of the Institution's policy on student conduct

The policies and procedures for these violations are outlined in the OTD PP Student Handbook. Students may appeal an academic probation or dismissal from the OTD-PP program by following the Student Complaint Process identified in the OTD PP Student Handbook.


OTD 6310Evidence Based Practice3
OTD 7100Social Determinants of Health1
OTD 7200Organizations and Systems3
OTD 7900Doctoral Orientation Camp1
OTD 8005Essential Knowledge and Competencies for Leadership3
OTD 8010Evolution of Ideas in Occupational Therapy3
OTD 8020Educational Methods3
OTD 8030Program Evaluation3
OTD 8110Banded Project Program3
OTD 8400Advanced Practice3
OTD 8520Banded Project EBP2
OTD 8550Professoriate3
OTD 8610Banded Project Education3
OTD 8900Capstone Footprint1
Total Credits35

Elective Course:

OTD 7300 Critical Issues (1 credit)