7.5 TERMS | 2 YEARS AND 5 1/2 MONTHS, FULL-TIME
SPRING: JANUARY 9TH, 2023
Graduates of the Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program will be agents of excellence who thrive in a student-centered curriculum with an emphasis on wellness promotion, health equity, inter-professional collaboration, lifelong learning, and evidence-based care in occupation-centered practice. The OTD at SCU offers a unique blend of primarily remote learning with frequent on-campus experiences over 7 1/2 terms (approximately 2 ½ years) of classroom and experiential learning.
Students with at least 90 credits from a U.S. Department of Education (USDE) recognized institution can be accepted into the program. In addition, SCU does not require students to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) to be admitted into the program.
SCU offers a unique blended curriculum where students experience 70% online interactive instruction and 30% on-ground experiential learning. This is a on-ground program that requires students to be on campus.
Students engage in clinical activities to improve practice quality and advance evidence-based care at SCU’s University Health Center and other Fieldwork sites. SCU Health provides a wide variety of care to over 45,000 patients per year. All Fieldwork sites are in California, so there is no need to travel out of state.
Interact with students from other programs while in interprofessional coursework so you can learn and excel side-by-side.
The curriculum includes modalities courses for adult and pediatric populations. These courses help train students in physical agent modalities and may be used as educational hours towards the California PAM certificate upon approval.
The clinical driving simulator allows students to retrain and test the critical skills needed for clients to get back behind the wheel. The hours of safe and virtually stress-less driving simulator practice can help clients regain their confidence.
Graduates 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). The curriculum embeds exam prep questions throughout core courses and after successful completion of this exam and all requirements of the didactic experiential component of the program, the student can take the NBCOT exam necessary for becoming an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR®).
Expected growth between 2018 and 20281
U.S. News & World Report Best Health Care Jobs3
Median annual wage for occupational therapists in the Los Angeles area2
The American Occupational Therapy Association has produced an informative video titled “What Can Occupational Therapy Do For You?”. If you are interested in learning more about this career please visit the link attached above.
The time to join the occupational therapy revolution is now. Occupational therapy is the future of health and wellness at the local, state, national, and international levels. For OTA practitioners seeking a direct pathway to a doctoral degree, our OTD program at SCU is the only one in the country offering a primarily remote, hybrid structure. We focus on student success, the scholarship of ‘doing and learning’, interprofessional collaboration, occupational justice, lifelong learning, and evidence-based, occupation-centered care.
How do we deliver this? Our faculty come from highly diverse backgrounds, with expertise in neuro-rehabilitation, mental health, pediatrics, and clinic- and hospital-based practice. They are not only experts, but trailblazers in the development of novel and innovative programs for the future. Online interactive lectures in our cutting-edge curriculum support the needs of students who wish to live in their preferred residence. Students also have on-campus, face-to-face clinical and lab experiences. Those who wish to interact more with other students can take classes in integrative, whole-person health, join clubs, and participate in the Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA) and Pi Theta Epsilon (PTE) Occupational Therapy Honor Society.
Our state-of-the-art labs include pediatric and adult neuro-rehabilitation assessment and intervention materials. Students can readily access this equipment throughout the program. The Activities of Daily Living Lab, Modalities Lab, Pediatric/Adult Neuro Lab, and video recording software (VALT) provide extensive opportunities for training and teaching. These resources for students, to name a few, include a ‘mock’ apartment, hospital bed and Hoyer lift, Driving Simulator, 3-D Printer, and teleconference training area which all provide students with multiple training experiences to access throughout the program.
The aim of the OTD program at SCU is to provide each student with the skills, knowledge, and professionalism necessary to be confident, caring, and competent the very first day after graduation; that is, fully prepared to pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam and succeed in the OT workforce.
Program Director, Occupational Therapy
Southern California University of Health Sciences
Accreditation confirms that SCU programs, faculty, resources, and partnerships are meeting or exceeding national standards for education. Southern California University of Health Sciences is accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), 1001 Marina Village Parkway, Suite 402, Alameda, CA 94501. Phone: (510) 748-9001.
DOCTORAL-DEGREE-LEVEL OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY PROGRAM (Program with Candidacy Status). The entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program has applied for accreditation and 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. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its web address is www.acoteonline.org.
In compliance with 34 CFR 668.43, the Doctor of Occupational Therapy program at SCU provides information pertaining to professional licensure for the program. Students should refer to the information below and contact the appropriate licensing board to ensure they will meet the licensure requirements in the state(s) in which they intend to practice upon graduation.
The program must have a pre-accreditation review, complete an on-site evaluation, and be granted Accreditation Status before its graduates 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 successfully completing 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.
The Doctor of Occupational Therapy program meets the educational requirements for licensure in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Some states have requirements in addition to educational requirements – prospective and enrolled students are encouraged to research licensure requirements for the state that they intend to practice in. These licensure requirements vary from state to state.
Neither acceptance for admission into the program nor the subsequent earning of a Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree guarantees that a state or a foreign country will grant a graduate a license to practice occupational therapy. Each state and foreign country, through its legislative and administrative process, defines the standards of competency and scope of practice of occupational therapy within its jurisdiction.
Please note that licensure requirements are always subject to change. Although SCU will confirm the licensure requirements on a routine basis, we strongly recommend that you inquire with the licensing agency to confirm that you understand and will meet the requirements for licensure before enrolling in your program of choice. Additionally, while progressing through the program, we recommend that you check licensing agency requirements regularly to monitor whether they have changed in a manner that impacts your licensure plans.
All international students are strongly encouraged to check the credentialing requirements in the country where they intend to practice.
Students are required to complete all didactic and experiential coursework including Level I and II Fieldwork, the Mentored Doctoral Experience and a Doctoral Capstone Project within 5 years of matriculation and achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.0.
Applications must be submitted through the OTCAS portal.
Applications may be submitted with pending requirements; however, applications will not be reviewed until all requirements are met. Eligible applications with all the completed prerequisite coursework, including transcripts for undergraduate credit hours, will be reviewed upon submission.
The OTD program does not offer advanced placement or accept transfer credits. Transfer students are not accepted.
Email OccupationalTherapy@scuhs.edu with any questions.
Connect 1-on-1 with SCU Faculty – schedule a phone appointment with an SCU Doctor of Occupational Therapy faculty member to discuss your path to becoming a future healthcare professional and any questions about the SCU program. Schedule here.
In addition to the other prerequisites listed below, you may apply for the OTD program if you have completed a minimum of 90 undergraduate credit hours with a combination of science and liberal arts coursework from an accredited institution and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and above. A U.S. bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or university will also be accepted. A regionally accredited college or university is an institution that holds active accreditation recognized by the Department of Education.
SCU’s Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program is currently not enrolling international students.
All prerequisite courses must be completed at a regionally accredited college or university. Official transcripts verifying successful course completion must be uploaded by OTCAS by December 15, 2022. Applications may be submitted with pending prerequisite courses, however, the application will not be reviewed until the official transcript for each pending course is uploaded by OTCAS.
Pass/fail grades will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, however, please note that pass/fail grades are not calculated into the OTCAS GPA.
Students who are missing a prerequisite course requirement or are looking to improve their GPA can choose to take an SCU Accelerated Science course and complete the requirements in as little as five weeks. SCU’s Accelerated Science courses are prequalified and guaranteed acceptance for this program. Click here to learn more.
Core science courses must be completed with a minimum 3.0 grade or above. Each course used to satisfy the requirements below must include a lab and have been completed no earlier than 7 years from the current admissions cycle. Introductory level courses are accepted, but upper-level courses are preferred. Online courses and labs are accepted.
*A combination human anatomy & physiology course will be accepted, however, you cannot use the same course to fulfill both the anatomy and physiology prerequisites. If not titled “Human”, a course description must demonstrate a human focus.
Online courses and labs are accepted.
*Any course not titled “English Composition” must be a writing-intensive course that includes instruction on comprehension, investigation, evaluation, explanation, and refutation.
*The core science prerequisite GPA includes human anatomy and human physiology.
Applicants are expected to demonstrate professionalism in their interactions with the program and our faculty and staff. Applicants who demonstrate unprofessional behavior at any time will not be considered for admission.
The following guidelines are recommended for letters of reference. It is imperative the persons providing references are able to provide specific examples of strengths and accomplishments. One reference should be from a person who can address intellectual and academic abilities. One reference should be from a supervisor in a professional or other work capacity who can address work performance, service commitment, or other areas of background that may be pertinent.
Academic or licensure infractions, misdemeanors, and/or felonies may prohibit participation in required supervised clinical practice, eligibility to take the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) Exam and/or eligibility for state licensure. Due to this, all academic or licensure infractions, misdemeanors, and/or felonies must be disclosed on OTCAS and will be assessed by the Admissions Committee on a case-by-case basis. Failure to disclose the above will result in applicant denial and recension of an enrollment offer, if applicable. Additionally, programs are required to report an applicant’s failure to disclose this information to the American Occupational Therapy Association.
All admissions decisions are made in accordance with our program mission, vision, and goals. Additionally, preference is given to applicants with evidence of the following:
*SCU does not refund OTCAS application fees under any circumstance, including loss of accreditation during the application cycle.
Once the class is fully seated, information about additional requirements will be provided. These may include the following requirements which must be completed prior to matriculation.
*Any student that has resided or is currently residing in New York may be subject to additional fees for the criminal background check retrieval per state law of New York.
$110,090 tuition to complete the program.*
SCU’s Fixed Rate Tuition Guarantee for degree programs allows you to plan your educational investment.
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*Tuition is charged at $1,090 per credit hour.
**Program fees listed are for the 2022/2023 academic year and are subject to change. Program fees include charges for technology, malpractice insurance, student health, professional affiliation, and ASB, and are charged every term that a student is enrolled.
** Books, supplies and other equipment not included in this tuition and fee schedule may be required for this program.
SCU’s program is the first and only bridge program for Occupational Therapy Assistants (OTA) that grants a Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) degree. Other institutions only provide a pathway to a master’s degree (MSOT/MOT). With SCU’s program, students spend roughly two and a half years earning a doctorate.
Occupational Therapy Assistant practitioners with a minimum of 90 credits (a bachelor’s degree is not required) from a U.S. Department of Education (USDE) recognized institution can apply for acceptance to the program. Student’s having an existing bachelor’s degree can also be accepted into the program.
To see a list of all OTA bridge programs, visit Educational Programs for OTAs Seeking OT Degrees.
You wouldn’t be looking at this program if you weren’t interested in helping people find their healthiest life. Your dedication and enthusiasm for the growing movement toward whole-person wellness are what makes you the perfect fit for SCU. Now, begin to discover why we’re the perfect fit for you.
Our approach to Interprofessional Education is unique in California and across the country. Here, modern medicine unites with ancient and traditional healing arts to create an environment of engagement. SCU’s groundbreaking IPE model combines curriculum, clinic, community, and clubs to help you develop a broader base of knowledge and gain a deeper appreciation for different perspectives on care which leads to a seamless transition from student to practitioner.
We bring together aspiring students from different disciplines so you can learn and excel side-by-side. The depth and breadth of this dynamic experience will prepare you to one day take the lead in a collaborative, interprofessional practice.
If you have 90 credit hours or more and meet other admission standards, you are eligible for the Doctor of Occupational Therapy program.
Students at SCU have many financial assistance opportunities available to them in order to cover their educational expenses. It is the policy of the Financial Aid Office to assist our students as much as possible to afford their education. Talk with a financial counselor by calling (562) 947-8755 ext 766 or click here to learn more
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