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

Our entry-level clinical doctorate will prepare you to become an occupational therapist, a career with outstanding career prospects, social impact, and personal satisfaction. 

Program Highlights

  • The OTD at UVM offers experience-based learning in diverse communities throughout Vermont and beyond. Last year, 20 students traveled to Morocco to work with cancer patients and disabled youth.
  • We offer a mix of in-person and online learning for scheduling flexibility
  • You'll gain experience collaborating with professionals in other fields– interprofessional teamwork supports the highest quality of patient-centered health care
  • Our program culminates in a scholarly capstone project that allows you to focus on an area of special interest
  • Upon degree completion, you'll be eligible to take the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam. Our curriculum is shaped by standards established by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE®).

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Clinical Experience and Capstone

Clinical Experience follows coursework and other experiential components of our program. You'll complete a total of 24-weeks in diverse clinical sites throughout the U.S., including community centers and pediatric, rehabilitation, skilled nursing, mental health facilities.

The Capstone is a 14-week scholarly project that allows you to explore an area of particular interest, with support from faculty and other experts. Successful completion of the Capstone project constitutes the comprehensive exam for the program. 

Admission Requirements

All applicants must complete the following prerequisite courses from an accredited institution, with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and prerequisite GPA of 3.2, prior to entry into the program:

  • General Psychology (one semester/3 credits)
  • Abnormal Psychology (one semester/3 credits)
  • Human Development (one semester/3 credits)
  • Statistics (one semester/3 credits)
  • Biology (one semester/3 credits)
  • Human Anatomy with lab (one semester/4 credits)
  • Human Physiology with lab (one semester/4 credits)
  • Social Sciences (Anthropology, Humanities, Philosophy, Sociology; 2 semesters/6 credits)
  • A Medical Terminology course (appearing on transcript). If taken online a certificate of completion must be sent to the UVM Graduate College Admissions office.

Additional requirements:

  • 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 with an undergraduate degree that is not from an institution where English is the language of instruction
  • An interview for students who pass through the first stage of the admissions process

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


Our curriculum encompasses didactic coursework, experiential learning, field work/clinical training, and a capstone project over 6-semesters, plus 2 summer sessions. Learning threads throughout our curriculum include basic science, evidence-based practice, innovation, compassion, interprofessional competency, and leadership.

Entry-level Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD)

Fall 1

  • OT 7100: Foundations for OT practice (2)
  • OT 7110: Functional anatomy (4)
  • OT 7120: Movement and occupational performance (3)
  • OT 7130: Development of occupational beings (2)
  • OT 7140: Psychosocial and mental health influences on occupation (3)
  • OT 7180: Activity analysis (2)

Spring 1

  • OT 7250: Older adults as occupational beings (6)
  • OT 7200: Therapeutic interventions (3)
  • NSCI 6020: Neuroscience (3)
  • OT 7240: Visual and cognitive-perceptual influences on occupation (3)
  • NH 6899: Fundamentals of Critical Inquiry (3)

Summer 1

  • Fieldwork – Level I (2)
  • OT 7350: Cultural immersion (2)
  • OT 7600: Capstone I (2)
  • OT 7370: Research I (2)

Fall 2

  • OT 7450: Young adults as occupational beings (6)
  • OT 7480: Designing creative therapeutic intervention (2)
  • OT 7400: Teaching and advocacy  (2)
  • OT 7470: Research II  (2)
  • OT 7490: OT practice management (3)           
  • OT 7610: Capstone II (1)

Spring 2

  • OT 7550: Children as occupational beings (6)
  • OT 7590: Becoming a life-long practitioner and learner (3)
  • OT 7560: Living life to the fullest (3)
  • OT 7570: Research III (2)
  • OT 7620: Capstone III (1)

Summer 2

  • OT 7710: Fieldwork - Level II (9)

Fall 3

  • OT 7720: Fieldwork - Level II (9)

Spring 3

  • OT 7630: Capstone IV (7)

98 Total Credits

Further program requirements are outlined in the Occupational Therapy Doctorate Student Handbook (PDF) and Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Manual (PDF).

Virtual Info Sessions

  • January 17, 7 PM EST
  • February 28, 7 PM EST

 Email cnhsgrad@uvm.edu to attend.

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.

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.


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-AOTA (2682) 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 Standard D.1.3.DOCTOR'S-DEGREE-LEVEL-OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY PROGRAM (Program with Candidacy Status).



Application Deadline: April 30

Term Start Date: Fall 2024

Credits: 98

Duration: 8 semesters

Learning Format: Primarily in-person with some online courses

For tuition information, visit the UVM Student Financial Services website.

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 >>

OTD Explained

Learn more about UVM OTD program highlights in these video chats with Program Director Victoria Priganc:

UVM OT students participate in henna ceremony in Morocco

NEW Cultural Immersion Opportunity

The Class of ’25 had an incredible experience touring Morocco as part of the program's cultural immersion course created by professor and program director Victoria Priganc. Learn more >>