Pursue a career in the fast-growing field of occupational therapy.

UVM is proud to bring the first occupational therapy (OT) degree program to the State of Vermont. The entry-level clinical doctorate in OT is designed to prepare students to become OT practitioners. It has a strong experiential learning component embedded throughout the curriculum, yet still offers some hybrid learning to provide schedule flexibility. Innovative techniques, interprofessionalism, and evidence-based practice concepts are woven throughout the curriculum. An occupational therapy degree consistently ranks among the most meaningful college majors. A career in occupational therapy allows one to creatively work with individuals to help people engage in desired activities.

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Senior man talks with OT


The entry-level OTD incorporates traditional classroom and online learning with experiential and community-based training. Interprofessional opportunities allow occupational students to work together as a team – an essential function for the highest quality, patient-centered health care. Students will achieve the competencies set forth by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE®) through coursework, fieldwork experiences and a scholarly capstone project. Following completion of the degree, students will be eligible to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam.*


Entry-level Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD)

Fall 1

  • OT 410: Foundations for OT practice (2)
  • OT 411: Functional anatomy (4)
  • OT 412: Movement and occupational performance (4)
  • OT 413: Development of occupational beings (2)
  • OT 414: Psychosocial and mental health influences on occupation (3)
  • OT 418: Activity analysis (2)

Spring 1

  • OT 425: Older adults as occupational beings (6)
  • OT 420: Therapeutic interventions (3)
  • NSCI 302: Neuroscience (3)
  • OT 424: Visual and cognitive-perceptual influences on occupation (3)
  • NH 399: Fundamentals of Critical Inquiry (3)

Summer 1

  • Fieldwork – Level I (2)
  • OT 435: Cultural immersion (2)
  • OT 460: Capstone I (1)
  • OT 437: Research I (3)

Fall 2

  • OT 445: Young adults as occupational beings (6)
  • OT 448: Designing creative therapeutic intervention (2)
  • OT 440: Teaching and advocacy  (2)
  • OT 447: Research II  (2)
  • OT 449: OT practice management (3)           
  • OT 461: Capstone II (1)

Spring 2

  • OT 455: Children as occupational beings (6)
  • OT 459: Becoming a life-long practitioner and learner (3)
  • OT 456: Living life to the fullest (3)
  • OT 457: Research III (2)
  • OT 462: Capstone III (1)

Summer 2

  • Fieldwork - Level II (8)

Fall 3

  • Fieldwork - Level II (8)

Spring 3

  • OT 463: Capstone IV (8)

98 Total Credits

Further program requirements are outlined in the Entry-level Occupational Therapy Doctorate Student Handbook (PDF) >>

Admission Requirements

Applicants must complete a baccalaureate degree in any major at a regionally accredited institution with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher; applicants with a baccalaureate degree from institutions outside the U.S. will also be considered.

All applicants must complete the following prerequisite courses with a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or greater prior to entry into the program:

  • One semester of General Psychology (3 credits)
  • One semester of Abnormal Psychology (3 credits)
  • One semester of Human Development (3 credits)
  • One semester of Statistics (3 credits)
  • One semester of Biology (3 credits)
  • One semester of Human Anatomy with lab (4 credits)
  • One semester of Human Physiology with lab (4 credits)
  • Two semesters of Social Sciences (Anthropology, Humanities, Philosophy, Sociology: 6 credits )
  • One semester of Physics or Kinesiology (3 credits)

Additional requirements:

  • 40 observation hours (observation hours are waived for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle)
  • 3 letters of recommendation (1 academic letter and 2 professional letters, preferably one by an OT)
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) for non-US residents who did not receive their undergraduate degree from an institution at which English is the language of instruction
  • For students who pass through the first stage of the admissions process, an interview will be required

NOTES: GRE scores are not required for this program. No transfer credits will be accepted, and no credit will be given for work experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a period of time that the prerequisites are no longer acceptable towards my application?

It is highly recommended that prerequisite courses are taken no more than ten years prior to applying to the program.

What is the average class size?

The program accepts 40 students per academic year.

What about financial aid and the tuition costs for the program?

For current information about financial aid, tuition, and fees, refer to the Student Financial Services website. If you have questions about whether you are an in-state or out-of-state resident, refer to the Registrar's Residency Policy. To note: 16 credits of the required curriculum are taught during the summer semesters when the cost of tuition is 30% less than academic-year tuition.

Are there graduate assistantships available?

There are no graduate assistantships available at this time. We are working on developing these in the future.

Will I need a car?

You will most likely need access to a car during your clinical experience courses. Students are responsible for travel to and from affiliated clinical sites. The Burlington community has a robust public transit system which is free for UVM students and encompasses many but not all of our off-campus clinical locations.

What type of computer will I need? What other technology requirements do I need to know about?

UVM OTD students are required to have a laptop computer with software that allows for word processing, the creation of presentations, and basic spreadsheet capabilities. Students are expected to have a basic understanding of these software programs. Microsoft Office can be downloaded for free through the UVM Information Technology office. Student technical support can be found through the UVM Enterprise Technology Services. The minimum computing requirements are listed below. A netbook/chromebook/tablet will not be sufficient for the program.

  • 13-inch high definition / high resolution screen
  • 2.0 GHz dual core processor
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 256 GB Hard Drive memory (512 GB is ideal)
  • 256 MB graphics memory (6 to 8 MB L3 Cache)
  • 802.11 a/c wireless connectivity
  • Front-facing camera

Is an interview required for admission into the program?

Yes. Students who pass through the first stage of the admissions process will be granted an interview.


Accreditation: The University of Vermont’s entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program has applied for accreditation and has been granted Candidacy Status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-6611 and its web address is www.acoteonline.org. The program must have a preaccreditation review, complete an on-site evaluation, and be granted Accreditation Status before its graduates will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). In addition, all states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination.

Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.

Students must complete 24 weeks of Level II fieldwork as well as an individual 14-week capstone experience within 4 months following the completion of the didactic portion of the program. The doctoral capstone experience must be started after completion of all coursework and Level II fieldwork as well as completion of preparatory activities defined in 2018 ACOTE OTD Dtandard D.1.3.DOCTOR'S-DELGREE-LEVEL-OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY PROGRAM (Program with Candidacy Status).

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Application Open: July 26

Term Start Date: Fall 2022

In-State Tuition: $683 per credit

Out-of-State Tuition: We are working on a plan to reduce out-of-state tuition for this program. The rate will be available in Fall 2021.

Credits: 98

Duration: 8 semesters

Learning Format: Hybrid (online and on-campus)

*Tuition and fees are subject to change, and vary based on number of enrolled credits per term. Eligible for the New England Board of Higher Education's Tuition Break  program.

Occupational Therapy Program Faculty

Admitted Student Checklist

Occupational Therapist Employment Outlook

Occupational therapy remains one of the fastest-growing health care professions in the U.S. Employers in Burlington, VT express the second-highest regional demand for occupational therapists. Learn more >>