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GVSU Graduate D.R.O.T. student at Commencement.

Occupational Therapy, Dr.O.T.

The post-professional Doctorate in Occupational Therapy (Dr.O.T.) is designed for the working professional in search of a challenging yet supportive program. The Dr.O.T. aims to expand clinical skills, advance career opportunities, develop leadership skills, prepare for teaching in higher education, and facilitate innovative problem solving through highly individualized curricular experiences.

Visit the program website for more information.

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Program Overview

The 36 credit hour program offers a fully online curriculum with either full (2 classes/semester) or part time (1 class/semester) options. All Dr.O.T. students will be required to have a degree in occupational therapy as well as a master's degree in either occupational therapy or another field of study. Students are encouraged to maintain employment throughout the program.

Why Study Occupational Therapy at Grand Valley?

  • GVSU is the only public university in Michigan to offer a post professional Doctorate in Occupational Therapy.
  • Each course is designed so that individual student interests are applied through research, discussion, and assignments. Therefore, students are not tied to a pre-chosen set of curricular tracks to follow.
  • Dr.O.T. faculty have a diverse set of clinical experiences and are highly skilled in the design and facilitation of a challenging and rewarding distance program.
  • Dr.O.T. students are fully supported with a faculty advisor for guidance through the curriculum in a manner that is best for the students' personal and professional responsibilities.
  • Grand Valley offers the same graduate tuition rate for in- and out-of-state students.

Career Insights

This tool shows an overview of potential career opportunities for this major. Actual salaries, employment opportunities, and job titles may change over time.

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.



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

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

Application deadline is August 1 for fall semester and December 1 for winter semester. The $30 application fee is waived if the applicant previously applied to GVSU.

  • 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.

Admission Requirements

For general requirements for graduate admission, visit Grand Valley State University’s admission section of the online catalog.

Admission into the occupational therapy doctorate program has additional requirements, which are available on this page.

If you have additional questions, please contact our graduate admissions office.

For More Information

College of Health Professions
Department of Occupational Science and Therapy
Occupational Therapy

[email protected]
500 Lafayette Ave, Suite 204
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
(616) 331-5500

Graduate Admissions and Recruitment Office

Program Director

Susan Cleghorn, Dr.O.T.
(616) 331-2799


“The doctorate program has helped me see not only my patients, but the world in a different light. It has transformed my thinking process to be an even more holistic practitioner.”

Jamie Miller-Aten
Occupational Therapy Alumnus, 2021