Doctoral Degree

Occupational Therapy (OTD)

Pursue your goal of becoming an occupational therapist at Widener. Here, you'll engage with expert faculty and undertake high-quality community and clinical experiences.

Program Overview

The doctor of occupational therapy (OTD) program consists of coursework, field experiences, and mentorship programs designed to enable students to become ethical, contemporary occupational therapy practitioners who adopt the values necessary to:

  • Work interprofessionally to contribute to the vitality and well-being of the community or individual served
  • Utilize evidence to inform professional reasoning and decision-making
  • Practice using a client-centered, occupation-based approach
  • Collaborate with individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations to identify culturally relevant personal and communal goals
  • Strive to maximize the fit between the individual and their personal, social, cultural, physical, virtual, and community environments
  • Serve as leaders in their community

ACOTE Accreditation

The entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program is accredited 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 and its web address is

Graduates of the program 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.

 View Student Outcome Data

Program Information for OTD

View the Loading... for information regarding the doctoral of occupational therapy curriculum.

The IOTE is predominantly a traditional weekday program.  However, there are a few courses that are delivered in the hybrid/online format.  Success in both the online and in person format requires student to be able to navigate our learning management system. Widener University uses Canvas as the learning management system. Lectures may be live using the webcasting application from multiple sources such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Throughout the curriculum, students may have exposure to other technology applications.

Minimum Requirements

Hardware and Software

  • Printer
  • The Program uses Canvas with Respondus Lockdown for testing purposes. 
  • PCs, Macs, and most Tablets are supported
  • Safari, Google Chrome or Firefox 
  • Microphone/ headphones or earbuds and webcam
  • MS Office

To practice as an occupational therapist, individuals must graduate from a university that is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE), complete fieldwork requirements, and apply for and pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) Certification Exam.

Students are encouraged to visit their state licensing board website for further information.

Admissions Information

  • Complete online application and pay application fee through OTCAS.
  • The GPA for combined science courses is expected to be at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale). Competitive students will have a combined science GPA of 3.5 or greater.
  • Transcripts must be sent to OTCAS.
  • You must have 20 hours of volunteer or paid experience in a supervised OT setting.
  • Three letters of recommendations should be submitted through OTCAS. At least one must be from an occupational therapist, at least one must be from a professor, and one can be from any other source. Do not use family members or family friends as reference sources.
  • Interviews are held, with invitation.

Enter with a Bachelor's Degree

Applicants holding a bachelor’s degree in any discipline may apply to the program under the entry-level OTD track.

Applicants are encouraged to contact the program early to assess the need for completion of prerequisite course work. Courses taken in preparation for entry may be completed at Widener University or at another university or college.

Enter through Widener's Pre-Occupational Therapy Pathway

Through our pre-occupational therapy pathway, students are encouraged to apply to the professional OTD Program through the OTCAS system. Students within the College of Arts and Sciences who major in anthropology, biology, visual & performing arts, psychology, or sociology will be able to take courses to meet all prerequisite requirements. Applicants must have a baccalaureate degree before entering the OTD Program.

Accelerated 3+3 Program

Undergraduates who are admitted to the graduate occupational therapy program after their junior year are considered to be 3+3 students. The courses they take in their senior year count toward both their fourth undergraduate year and their first year of the graduate degree. Applications for the graduate program are completed in the fall of junior year. A baccalaureate degree is conferred upon successful completion of the first year of graduate study. After successfully finishing the graduate program, students earn their doctor of occupational therapy degree.

This option is only available to students majoring in anthropology, visual and performing arts, psychology or sociology. Students wishing to be considered for the 3+3 program must identify their interest by the end of their first undergraduate year.

4+3 Program

The 4+3 option allows students to complete all required courses for their academic major and all pre-requisite courses for the graduate program in four years. It provides a less intense class schedule for students as they finish undergraduate study in the traditional four-year span. Applications for the graduate program are completed in the fall of senior year. Students who complete their undergraduate study at Widener University will be given preference on admission to the graduate program. 

Students in both the 3+3 and 4+3 programs must also provide documentation of at least 20 hours of observation in an occupational therapy facility under a licensed occupational therapist.

  • Anatomy and Physiology I and II with Lab
  • Statistical Methods
  • Lifespan Human Development or equivalent
  • Abnormal Psychology or equivalent
  • Sociology or Anthropology (preferably cultural)

All students must apply through the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS) website. Upon completion and verification of the application, you may be asked to come for an interview day.

Our soft deadline is November 15, and our hard deadline is April 15.

Items for all Students Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Tuition $45,528 $52,032 $22,764
Castle Branch account for program requirements $107    
FBI fingerprints $25 $25 $25
PA Child Abuse Clearance $13 $13 $13
CPR And First Aid Course $75 (Summer) $75 (Spring)  
TB Screening- PPDs or Bloodwork Up to $200 without insurance but many insurance plans do cover the bloodwork    

Flu Shot (Fall) 

  • ·      Cost will depend on depending on insurance and provider

  • May be able to sign a declination

$0 - $100

$0 - $100

$0 - $100

OT Equipment Bag $200 ** **
Parking Permit $135 $135 $135

Anatomy Clothes:

  • Lab Coat
  • (2) Scrubs
  • Lab Goggles
$45 x 2


AOTA Membership (Student) $75 $75 $75
POTA Membership (Student) $36 $36 $36
Varies based on individual needs.
*May be covered by health insurance
It is common for students to need an updated TDaP every 10 years. Most received as an 11-13 yo.
$0-100 $0-100 $0-100
Drug Screen (Depends on clinical placements requirements)
*May be covered by health insurance
$0-100 $0-100 $0-100
*May be covered by health insurance
Clinic appropriate attire- Including but not limited to scrubs, khakis, or dress pants, golf/polo shirts, blouses, sweaters, closed toe shoes.
  • Dress code varies by clinic site.
  • Sneakers may or may not be acceptable shoe choices.
Phil Theta Epsilon $75 $25 $25
Clinic Transportation $150-$200 $150-$200 $300-500
Books $1245 $1000 $0
Graduate Student Fee $36 $36 $36
New Student Fee $35 ** **
Technology Fee $209 $209 $87
Simucase $100 $100 **
Housing (Optional)  $15,000 $15,000 $15,000
NBCOT Practice Exam     $30
Therapy Ed     $300


Program Highlights

The doctor of occupational therapy degree program will engage you in dynamic experiential learning methodologies, student-faculty scholarship activities, intentional personal interactions, facilitated leadership opportunities, and service activities in the culturally diverse local community throughout the curriculum.

Faculty Mentorship & Interprofessional Learning

At Widener, you’ll learn from and build relationships with industry experts as they support and prepare you to be a leader in the occupational therapy field. Students and faculty connect interprofessionally across other departments through shared academic and experiential opportunities supporting holistic approaches to care.

PT student community engagement

Community & Clinical Experiences

You'll experience a meaningful education with unique clinical experiences, including work with diverse and underserved local communities through the community pro-bono clinic, and opportunities to participate in other Widener community-based clinics.

Pro-Bono Clinic

Here, you'll give back to the community by working at our student-run pro bono clinic, which provides compassionate and cost-effective care to uninsured and underinsured members of the Chester community.

Clubs & Organizations

Occupational Therapy majors ahve the opportunity to join various clubs and organizations across and outside fo campus to expand their network, including the Coalition of Occupational Therapy Advocates for Diversity (COTAD), and many more.


Our occupational therapy faculty are industry experts who remain active in clinical practice, scholarly inquiry, and professional engagement. They serve as role models, mentors, and knowledgeable resources.

Your Inside Track to Success

Your Inside Track to Success

Our hands-on curriculum will put you on the inside track to a successful career. From your first day on the job, you'll be ready to meet and treat clients.

Outlook & Outcomes

Potential Careers

  • Gerontology
  • Pediatrics
  • Mental health & psychiatry 
  • Physical rehabilitation
  • School systems

Industry Growth

Employment of occupational therapists is projected to grow 17% by 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Recent Employers

  • Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)
  • Einstein Healthcare System
  • AIDS Care Group
  • Christiana Care
  • Cooper Medical Center

Student Stories

Christina Burke smiles and knees in front of a building while painting the exterior.

"I fell in love with exercise science and art therapy and both have been a perfect match for occupational therapy."

Christina Burke

Class of 2023

Take the Next Steps


We’re glad you made the decision to apply. All applications and supplemental materials are submitted through the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS).