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Occupational Therapy, Dr.O.T.

The postprofessional Doctorate in Occupational Therapy (Dr.O.T.) is designed for practicing occupational therapists who have a desire to expand knowledge and advance practice skills in the areas of policy, advocacy, leadership, and education. The program provides practitioners the opportunity to explore innovative and emerging topics in chosen areas.

Students will develop knowledge and skills directed toward enhancing leadership and advocacy, participating in public policy activities, dealing with social determinants of health, providing research-based interventions, and educating new therapists. The program will serve only master's degree credentialed students and qualifies graduates to hold advanced administrative positions in clinic or government settings and to teach at the university level.

Visit the program website for more information.

Program Overview

The curriculum offers an online postprofessional doctorate in occupational therapy across six semesters. Students must maintain employment in the field throughout the program to connect course content to real-world application. All Dr.O.T. students will be required to earn a minimum of 75 credits beyond the B.S. degree for the Dr.O.T. degree to be conferred. Any student with an M.S. degree of less than 39 credits will need to take at least one additional M.S. level course. The course determination will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Admissions Deadline

The admissions deadline for the Dr.O.T. program is September 15. The $30 application fee is waived for alumni to Grand Valley. Please visit

Admissions Requirements

  • Two years of practice experience as an OTR.
  • GPA of 3.25 over the last 60 credit hours.
  • Critical evaluation of an occupational therapy article.
  • Personal statement, including identification of specific goals and timelines in completing Dr.O.T. program.
  • Personal interview with two OST department faculty members.
  • Three letters of support from professional colleagues, supervisors, or department heads.
  • Professional resume outlining work history and continuing education experiences.

Refer to for additional application information.

Why Study Occupational Therapy at Grand Valley?

  • Minimal travel: The Dr.O.T. program requires two in-seat sessions over the entire program, minimizing travel time and cost.
  • Access: GVSU is the only public university in Michigan to offer a postprofessional OT clinical doctorate degree.
  • Tuition savings: Grand Valley offers the same graduate tuition rate for in and out of state students.
  • Best practice: The program focuses on critical thinking and the use of occupation in treatment and supports a client-centered, evidenced-based approach to therapy.

Helpful Links

For More Information

Occupational Science and Therapy Department
500 Lafayette Ave, Suite 204
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
(616) 331-5500

Graduate Admissions Office

Location & Format

Classes for the program are a combination of online and in-seat on the GVSU Health Campus, near the Grand Rapids Medical Mile.

Format: Hybrid


Dr.O.T. students will study a variety of topics, including:

  • Occupational science
  • Public policy, advocacy, and leadership
  • Education
  • Advanced practice