The postprofessional Doctorate in Occupational Therapy (Dr.O.T.) at Grand Valley State University 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.


  • Minimal travel: The Dr.O.T. program is taught in a hybrid format, which only 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 O.T. 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.


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.

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

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

Occupational therapy students at graduate poster day.


  • 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.


For more information on tuition and fees, please visit the costs portion of the GVSU Financial Aid website. For financial support, scholarship search, and filing for FAFSA, please visit the GVSU Financial Support website.

Note: Grand Valley does not charge a higher tuition rate based on residency. Tuition is based on the program in which you chose to enroll.

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

Page last modified September 17, 2018