This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2020-21 VCU Bulletin. This edition includes all programs and courses approved by the publication deadline; however we may receive notification of additional program approvals after the launch. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

Program accreditation
Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education of the American Occupational Therapy Association

The O.T.D. program prepares students for entry-level practice while also providing in-depth exposure in evidence-based practice, interprofessional and collaborative care, and program and professional development. The entry-level O.T.D. program is designed to prepare students in a wide range of occupational therapy practice settings. Graduates will be eligible to apply for licensure to practice in any state upon successful completion of the national exam.

Program goal

The mission of the Department of Occupational Therapy at VCU is to advance occupation-focused scholarship and practice through integrated education, research and service.

This happens through:

• Preparing outstanding, evidence-based, client-centered occupational therapists to serve the state and nation
• Developing innovative and influential leaders who change policy, practice and systems
• Responding to the occupational needs of the community
• Creating new knowledge and promoting translational applications
• Fostering cultural sensitivity, diversity and inclusion of faculty, students and staff

Student learning outcomes

  1. Students will apply occupational therapy theory and practice skills in occupational engagement, therapeutic use of self, activity analysis, clinical reasoning and ethical decision making.
  2. Students will communicate and work effectively with clients and members of the interprofessional team and articulate the role and value of occupational therapy.
  3. Students will evaluate and document client occupational performance and participation.
  4. Students will design and implement occupation-based, client-centered, evidence-based interventions that improve client participation in activities, occupations, roles and routines.
  5. Students will analyze current policy issues and the social, economic, political, geographic and demographic factors that influence the various contexts for practice of occupational therapy.
  6. Students will demonstrate the ability to translate evidence to advance occupational therapy practice.
  7. Students will analyze and synthesize relevant scientific literature and apply results to improve occupational therapy practice and patient care outcomes in a culturally sensitive manner.
  8. Students will participate in professional development, leadership and advocacy opportunities.

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on degree candidacy requirements.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on graduation requirements.

Other information

All graduates of an occupational therapy program are required to take the national certification examination to become a registered occupational therapist and use the credentials OTR. The national certifying organization for occupational therapy is the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy. Other licensure or certification requirements have been established by all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico. Most licensure requirements include board certification as a registered occupational therapist. Some licensure or certification agencies consider individuals convicted of a felony ineligible for licensure or certification. For specific information, prospective students should contact the licensure or certification agency for occupational therapy. Admissions are temporarily suspended for the post-professional OTD option while the program remains under departmental review. Please contact the department with any questions.

Apply online at graduate.admissions.vcu.edu.

Admission requirements

Admission requirements
Degree:Semester(s) of entry:Deadline dates:Test requirements:
O.T.D.SummerDec 1 (OTCAS and VCU graduate applications)GRE

In addition to the general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  1. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  2. A minimum grade-point average in all college courses of 3.0 (based on a 4.0 system) or a 2.7 overall GPA for applicants whose undergraduate degree was earned five or more years prior
  3. A minimum grade-point average in prerequisite courses of 3.25 without rounding
  4. The Graduate Record Exam with a 4.0 minimum analytical writing score
  5. An Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service application including these items:
    1. A personal statement that addresses:
      1. How the applicant’s personal, educational and professional background will help achieve these goals
      2. How a master's degree in OT relates to immediate and long-term professional goals
      3. Why applicant is selecting OT as a career
      4. A  “value-added” essay (no more than 1000 words) submitted as a PDF file to otentrylevel@vcu.edu
      5. Evidence of completion of a minimum of 30 observation hours in one or more settings under the supervision of a licensed OTR or COTA
      6. Three letters of recommendation (One letter from an occupational therapist is preferred, but it is not essential.)
      7. Ten prerequisite courses (30-32 semester credit hours)
  6. Courses on kinesiology and medical terminology — strongly recommended, but not required
  7. For non-native English-speaking applicants, regardless of immigration status, a Test of English as a Foreign Language iBT score of greater than 102, a TOEFL CBT score of greater than 253, a TOEFL PBT score of greater than 610 or an International English Language Testing System score of greater than 6.5

The VCU entry-level occupational therapy doctorate is a 104 credit program that spans three years (nine semesters). Applicants apply for the program between July and Dec. 1 of the year preceding enrollment. Orientation and summer semester classes begin the first week of June. The first semester is a seven-credit part-time semester and the second summer semester is a five-credit part-time semester. All other semesters, including the last year of two semesters of Level II fieldwork and the final semester of doctoral practicum are full-time semesters. Five courses in the curriculum (OCCT 780, OCCT 781, OCCT 782, OCCT 783 and OCCT 784) taken during the second summer and the second and third spring semesters will be taught in a hybrid format, which will require some on-campus hours with the remainder taught using the Blackboard course management system. Students will be required to have a computer or tablet with access to the Internet.

Degree requirements

In addition to general VCU Graduate School graduation requirements, students must complete all College of Health Professions requirements and successfully complete 104 credit hours.

CourseTitleHours
IPEC 501Foundations of Interprofessional Practice1
OCCT 580Introduction to the Profession of Occupational Therapy2
OCCT 589Advanced Functional Anatomy5
OCCT 590Functional Movement Analysis in Occupational Therapy3
OCCT 591Neuroscience Applications to Occupational Therapy4
OCCT 592Introduction to Injury, Illness and Disability3
OCCT 593Analysis of Human Occupation1
OCCT 594Theoretical Foundations of Occupational Therapy4
OCCT 613Adult Occupational Performance I3
OCCT 614Pediatric Occupational Performance I4
OCCT 615Level I Fieldwork in Occupational Therapy1
OCCT 616Research Process in Occupational Therapy3
OCCT 617Therapeutic Process in Occupational Therapy3
OCCT 689Occupational Therapy Assessment and Evaluation3
OCCT 692Assistive Technologies for Occupational Engagement2
OCCT 693Occupational Synthesis and Adaptations2
OCCT 713Adult Occupational Performance II4
OCCT 714Pediatric Occupational Performance II4
OCCT 715Level I Fieldwork in Occupational Therapy1
OCCT 716Evidence-based Practice in Occupational Therapy3
OCCT 717Level I Fieldwork in Psychosocial Occupational Therapy3
OCCT 720Policy, Advocacy and Management for Occupational Therapy Practice3
OCCT 721Clinical Reasoning in Occupational Therapy3
OCCT 759Fieldwork Education Seminar2
OCCT 760Level II Fieldwork in Occupational Therapy9
OCCT 761Level II Fieldwork in Occupational Therapy9
OCCT 780OTD Leadership Seminar3
OCCT 782Professional Development Portfolio2
OCCT 781Program Development and Evaluation3
OCCT 783Doctoral Practicum10
OCCT 784Practicum Evaluation and Dissemination1
Total Hours104

The minimum total of graduate credit hours required for this degree is 104.

Sample plan of study

Year one
Summer semesterHours
OCCT 580Introduction to the Profession of Occupational Therapy2
OCCT 589Advanced Functional Anatomy5
 Term Hours: 7
Fall
IPEC 501Foundations of Interprofessional Practice1
OCCT 590Functional Movement Analysis in Occupational Therapy3
OCCT 591Neuroscience Applications to Occupational Therapy4
OCCT 592Introduction to Injury, Illness and Disability3
OCCT 593Analysis of Human Occupation1
OCCT 594Theoretical Foundations of Occupational Therapy4
 Term Hours: 16
Spring
OCCT 613Adult Occupational Performance I3
OCCT 614Pediatric Occupational Performance I4
OCCT 615Level I Fieldwork in Occupational Therapy1
OCCT 616Research Process in Occupational Therapy3
OCCT 617Therapeutic Process in Occupational Therapy3
OCCT 689Occupational Therapy Assessment and Evaluation3
 Term Hours: 17
Year two
Summer semester
OCCT 693Occupational Synthesis and Adaptations2
OCCT 780OTD Leadership Seminar3
 Term Hours: 5
Fall semester
OCCT 713Adult Occupational Performance II4
OCCT 714Pediatric Occupational Performance II4
OCCT 715Level I Fieldwork in Occupational Therapy1
OCCT 716Evidence-based Practice in Occupational Therapy3
OCCT 781Program Development and Evaluation3
 Term Hours: 15
Spring semester
OCCT 692Assistive Technologies for Occupational Engagement2
OCCT 717Level I Fieldwork in Psychosocial Occupational Therapy3
OCCT 720Policy, Advocacy and Management for Occupational Therapy Practice3
OCCT 721Clinical Reasoning in Occupational Therapy3
OCCT 759Fieldwork Education Seminar2
OCCT 782Professional Development Portfolio2
 Term Hours: 15
Year three
Summer semester
OCCT 760Level II Fieldwork in Occupational Therapy9
 Term Hours: 9
Fall semester
OCCT 761Level II Fieldwork in Occupational Therapy9
 Term Hours: 9
Spring semester
OCCT 783Doctoral Practicum10
OCCT 784Practicum Evaluation and Dissemination1
 Term Hours: 11
 Total Hours: 104

The minimum total of graduate credit hours required for this degree is 104.

Contact
Audrey E. Kane, Ph.D., OTR/L
Assistant professor and graduate admissions chair
otentrylevel@vcu.edu
(804) 828-2219

Additional contacts
Lawrencine Smith
Program manager
lsmith@vcu.edu
(804) 828-2219

Carole Ivey, Ph.D., OTR/L
Associate professor and interim chair, Department of Occupational Therapy
civey@vcu.edu
(804) 828-2219

Program website: sahp.vcu.edu/departments/occu/programs/entry-level-otd