OTD Program

Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) - WSCUC and ACOTE Candidacy Approved 

Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) Program Mission and Description

The Entry-level Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) Program prepares students for a professional career focused on helping people achieve skills and utilize resources to live independent and meaningful lives. The OTD program aims to meet the increasing demand for highly skilled occupational therapy practitioners within the dynamic nature of contemporary health and human services delivery systems. The program is structured towards producing client-centered occupational therapists with enhanced critical thinking abilities. It aims to produce professionals who can research, develop, implement, and evaluate procedures utilizing a high degree of independent judgment and to consult where appropriate with other members of the health care team. The OTD Program educates occupational therapists who possess advanced knowledge and skills as direct care providers, consultants, educators, managers, leaders, researchers, and advocates for the profession and the consumer, as defined and prescribed by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).

 The Entry-level OTD is 120-unit full-time Cohort Program over 9 consecutive semesters (including summer) allowing for in-depth exposure and training in clinical practice skills, research skills, administration, leadership, program and policy development, advocacy, education, and/or theory development. The students within a specific cohort matriculate together and are expected to take the same courses every semester as well complete the requirements of the program at the same time.

 The 9 consecutive semesters (including summer) include:

- 5 semesters of didactic coursework

- 2 semesters of clinical rotations (Fieldwork II): 3 months each with full-time internship under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist

- 2 semesters of doctoral capstone experience, project, and advanced clinical elective courses

A doctoral capstone experience and a capstone project are required to obtain the Occupational Therapy Doctorate Degree.

Academic Advisement

Interested students should contact the Department of Occupational Therapy at (310) 243-2726, otdadmissions@csudh.edu or visit https://www.csudh.edu/ot/ for program specific details, application packet and additional information.

Students admitted to the OTD Program are assigned to an academic adviser. Professional Development, which involves an academic advisement process, will be facilitated at the end of every semester until graduation.


Admission to the Entry-level Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) Program require completion of a baccalaureate degree and all specified prerequisite courses and admission requirements.

Pre-Admission Disclosure for Academic Programs Leading to Licensure or Credentialing

Admission into programs leading to licensure and credentialing does not guarantee that students will obtain a license or credential.  Licensure and credentialing requirements are set by agencies that are not controlled by or affiliated with the CSU and requirements can change at any time.  For example, licensure or credentialing requirements can include evidence of the right to work in the United States (e.g., social security number or taxpayer identification number) or successfully passing a criminal background check.  Students are responsible for determining whether they can meet licensure or credentialing requirements.  The CSU will not refund tuition, fees, or any associated costs, to students who determine subsequent to admission that they cannot meet licensure or credentialing requirements.  Information concerning licensure and credentialing requirements are available from Dr. Eric Hwang:  WH A320 - (310)243-2726.


The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) has granted the OTD Program approval of candidacy status in February 2023 (step 1), which allows the Program to admit students.  Although the "Candidacy Status" designation does not guarantee that the program will be accredited, it indicates that the resource allocation and plan for development of the proposed program appear to demonstrate the ability to meet ACOTE Standards.  With the granted Candidacy Status, the program will submit a Report of Self-Study for review by ACOTE (step 2) and will have an on-site evaluation (step 3).  The Program anticipates attaining its full accreditation in August 2025.  The AOTA is located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929.  TEL: (301)652-AOTA.


Upon the Program's full accreditation by the ACOTE, graduates are eligible to sit for the national certification examination for occupational therapists administered by the National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT).  After successful completion of this examination, the graduate will be an Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR).


Graduates wishing to practice in the state of California must apply for a state license to practice.  A state license is based on successful completion of the NBCOT Certification Examination.

Credentialing Requirements

A felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to sit for the certification examination administered by the NBCOT or to attain state licensure.  NBCOT's certification examination application contains character review questions that must be answered by all exam candidates applying for the certification examination.  Applicants who answer "yes" to any of these questions must submit an explanation and official documentation regarding their background to NBCOT's Regulatory Affairs Department at the time of application to take the examination.  This information will be reviewed by the NBCOT on an individual basis prior to determining exam eligibility.

An individual who is considering entering an educational program or has already entered an educational program can request an early determination review to have their background reviewed prior to the application for the certification exam.  If you have additional questions or would like additional information, you may contact the Credentialing Services at NBCOT, located at One Bank Street, Suite 300, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877; TEL: (301) 990-7979.  Email:  professional.conduct@nbcot.org.