About the Program

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What the Occupational Therapy Program Offers

 OTD Program

  • A comprehensive occupational therapy curriculum that prepares graduates for employment in a wide range of health care and community settings. 
  • Forty-one weeks of embedded clinical experiences
    • Three 40 hour fieldworks (1 pediatric, 1 adult physical dysfunction, 1 psychosocial)
    • Two full time 12 week fieldworks in two different type settings
    • One 14 week doctoral capstone experience in a specialty area
  • Engagement in a variety of community service learning opportunities
  • A focus on each student's personal growth and development to become an effective occupational therapy professional.
  • A committed faculty team with diverse backgrounds and extensive educational experience.  

Benefits of an OTD

This UMMC doctorate program prepares occupational therapists who are able to provide education and intervention to individuals across the life span whose lives have been impacted by physical, cognitive, psychological or developmental problems or other individuals who could also benefit from health promotion services. The graduates of this new doctoral program will be uniquely trained to design activities for individuals or groups to maximize occupational performance in self-care, work, leisure and other daily occupations.

In addition to the core skills required of an entry-level occupational therapist, the doctoral curriculum will include an increased emphasis on leadership and advocacy skills; broadened research efforts and dissemination; advancement into diverse, non-clinical areas of practice to promote wellness and population health; and skills in management and public policy. This will ensure an occupational therapy workforce in Mississippi is able to tackle the complex and changing healthcare needs of Mississippi residents.

Accreditation process for new OTD programs

The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) is the accrediting body for entry level occupational therapy programs in the United States. All new entry-level occupational therapy doctoral programs must be granted Candidacy Status, have a pre-accreditation review, complete an on-site evaluation, and be granted Accreditation Status for graduates to 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 initial accreditation process will be ongoing throughout the first three years of the program; this process and timeline is standard across all newly developed programs seeking ACOTE accreditation. Visit the ACOTE website for more information about its accreditation process.

For more information

If you are interested in learning more about occupational therapy, you are invited to join us on campus for the School of Health Related Professions' Annual Program Awareness Day in the spring and Program Focus Day in the fall for a Q&A session.

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