Occupational Therapy


Why study Occupational Therapy?

The University of Cincinnati’s new Doctor of Occupational Therapy provides students with the opportunity to earn the highest level of education for an entry-level occupational therapist. The program will allow you to sit for the board licensing exam. Once you pass the board exam, and meet additional requirements set forth by the state in which you seek licensure, you will be eligible to work as a licensed occupational therapist (OT). 

The mission of the program is to educate students to become occupation-based clinicians capable of competently and independently evaluating, treating and/or consulting with clients of diverse cultural backgrounds in a variety of settings. In addition, it is the mission of the program to educate those who might not have access to traditional forms of higher education through a mix of online learning technologies and face-to-face instruction. The program strives for excellence in teaching, service, scholarly activity, and leadership while supporting the professional growth of faculty and students, instilling a commitment to lifelong learning, and responding to the needs of the region that it serves. 

Occupational therapy is an allied health profession that promotes optimal health and function through facilitating successful and satisfying participation in the roles and everyday activities (occupations) that individuals want and need to do. Occupational therapists are client centered healthcare practitioners that use a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team. Consideration of an individual’s physical, cognitive, psychological, social, and emotional abilities, as well as environmental impacts, are central to the occupational therapy evaluation and intervention process. 

Occupational therapy services typically include: 

  • an individualized evaluation, during which the client/family and occupational therapist determine the person’s goals, 

  • customized intervention to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach the goals, and 

  • an outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or make changes to the intervention plan 

The University of Cincinnati Doctor of Occupational Therapy program is a blended educational model that combines online and in-person learning activities. Students meet for a full day of in-person courses one day per week to participate in on-campus lab sessions and experiential community learning activities in addition to online instruction. The approximate ratio for educational content delivery is 60% on-campus and 40% online for the semesters 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, and 9 of the nine semester program. Semesters 5 and 6 involve semester long full-time clinical internships under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist. Semester 8 involves on-site completion of the doctoral capstone at the student’s assigned location. 

This intensive program is designed to prepare students for all areas of OT practice including pediatrics, rehabilitation, gerontology, mental health and more. UC’s OTD program has partnerships with over 150 fieldwork sites including Cincinnati Children’s Medical Hospital, UC Health, Veterans Medical Center, TriHealth and more. 

Admission Requirements

Please visit Admission Requirements for detailed information about what you need in order to be a successful applicant. 

Early Admission Opportunities

The OTD program offers two early admission opportunities to qualified students. High school seniors entering the UC Bachelor of Health Sciences – Pre-Occupational Therapy program may apply to the High School Early Assurance Pathway and juniors may apply to the Junior Early Assurance Pathway. Students who maintain minimum requirements for these programs have a spot reserved in the OTD program when they graduate. 

The OTD program prepares graduates for a career as an occupational therapist. 

Occupational therapists provide preventative and rehabilitation services to individuals of all ages in areas related to successful and satisfying physical, sensory, psychological, social, cognitive, and behavioral performance in meaningful activities (occupations). 

Graduates find careers working with patients across the lifespan in a variety of locations: 

  • hospitals 

  • rehabilitation and long-term care facilities 

  • outpatient clinics 

  • nursing facilities 

  • community based programs 

  • mental health facilities 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for occupational therapists is expected to grow 17% (much faster than the national average) and the median pay is $86,280 per year. It is projected that the number of job opportunities will be particularly higher in hospital, skilled nursing, and community settings as the number of elderly needing occupational therapy is expected to rise in proportion to the increase of the elderly population. 

Application Deadlines

Visit the How to Apply page to find information on application deadlines, where to send your materials and more. 


The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Occupational therapy programs in the United States are accredited through the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). Gaining that accreditation is required for students to write the national certification exam (NBCOT) and ultimately practice as a State licensed occupational therapist. 

The Doctor of Occupational Therapy program has been approved by the University of Cincinnati and state of Ohio. Candidacy documents are currently being reviewed by ACOTE with the decision coming in August 2022.  

Contact Information

Occupational Therapy
Health Sciences Building
3225 Eden Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45267
(513) 558-7477

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Program Code: 35DOC-OT-OTD