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Entry-Level Doctoral Program

students and medical models of human spine

The Entry-Level Doctor of Occupational Therapy (ELOTD) is designed for students entering with a degree in a field other than OT. Students will experience an exciting program combining a diverse curriculum, research, service learning, fieldwork and a doctoral experiential component. The program prepares students to graduate as a generalist, ready to work in any area of the field while fostering leadership skills, allowing our students to emerge as top practitioners and researchers in occupational therapy. 

Clinical reasoning is a central organizing framework for the curriculum:

  • It provides a foundation for making informed decisions based on observation, interaction, theoretical principles and procedures, underlying assessments and interventions, and consideration of the best available research evidence. 
  • Human behavior and participation in meaningful activities results from dynamic interaction between the individual’s innate potentials and characteristics, and experiences with people, objects, and events in the environment. In ongoing clinical reasoning seminars, faculty and students examine these interactions in the contexts of clinical and community-based practice.

With this program, students learn to be Empowered, Innovative, Educated and Inspired in the profession of Occupational Therapy.


Program Details:

  • The ELOTD program is a 9-semester, full-time program
  • Students will experience a well rounded curriculum focusing on both research and occupational therapy practice.
  • Small classroom sizes and one-on-one faculty mentorships during the Doctoral Experiential Capstone allows for both academic and professional growth as you transition from student to clinician.
  • Students are exposed to a wide range of learning experience through classroom lectures, simulated labs, self-directed study, group projects, hands-on learning, community partnerships, and research presentations.
  • Students will graduate with an OTD, a professional/ clinical doctoral degree.
  • After the completion of your OTD degree, you will be eligible to sit for the NBCOT exam to become a practicing occupational therapist.

The Tufts University entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree (OTD) program has been granted candidacy status 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. Contact AOTA at 301-652-AOTA.

The OTD program is now eligible to proceed to Step 2 of the Initial Accreditation Process (the Initial Review), with the submission of the Self-Study Report due November, 2020. The program would then participate in an Onsite Accreditation Team Visit, with the goal to receive formal accreditation before the first cohort of students graduate from the program.

students speaking with teacher

Apply Now

You may apply for our Entry-Level Doctoral program through OTCAS or by applying to Tufts Occupational Therapy Department directly.

If you have any questions about which choice is best for you, please contact Jill Rocca, Admissions Coordinator.