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Entry-Level Doctor of Occupational Therapy

(Applicant Program)

Now Accepting Applications

Visit the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS) to apply. 

About the Program

The entry-level Doctorate in Occupational Therapy at Whitworth University will prepare compassionate health science professionals in a brand-new state-of-the-art building that has simulation classes and labs that resemble an actual clinical environment. The hands-on clinical classes will be integrated with other health and human service graduate classes to facilitate development and enculturation among professional behaviors. Whitworth's OT graduates will be prepared to engage in interprofessional cooperation in health science education, research and service, particularly to the underserved populations of our region. 

Benefit from: 

  • Hands-on clinical experience
  • Exceptional clinical site placement partnerships
  • Collaboration with multiple disciplines
  • A state-of-the-art health science building that houses a motion analysis research lab, exercise physiology labs, simulation labs and more
Degree Snapshot

Doctor of Occupational Therapy

Program Format

Face-to-face courses and clinical rotations

Application Deadline

Priority applications are due Jan. 1, 2022; all other application must be received by April 1, 2022; available through OTCAS.

Interview dates will be between February and April; classes begin August.

Completion Time

Nine consecutive semesters; complete the program in just three years.

Total Cost

Total anticipated cost for the Doctor of Occupational Therapy is $118,140*. Tuition and fees are included. Scholarships and financial aid are available!

*For students beginning in the 2022-23 academic year


State-of-the-Art Building Development

The Whitworth Board of Trustees approved and accepted funding for a new, 38,000-square-foot health sciences building. When it opens in 2022, the building will house the doctoral programs in physical and occupational therapy as well as the master's in athletic training program, to allow interprofessional collaboration. This building is planned to include a motion analysis research lab, exercise physiology labs, anatomy labs, simulation labs, dedicated classroom and functional lab spaces, and a practice clinic.

Dornsife Health Sciences Building 

Dana & David Dornsife Health Sciences Building

Job Outlook

Occupational therapy plays a significant role in the treatment of people with various illnesses and disabilities and helps to decrease the length of hospitalization. Employment of occupational therapists is projected to grow much faster than the average of all other occupations (16 percent from 2019-29, according to the 2020 Bureau of Labor Statistics). The salary for health professions remains strong, according to 2020 Bureau of Labor Statistics. The national mean salary for occupational therapists in Washington state was $87,680.

Accreditation Status

The entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program has applied for accreditation 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 Gregory Wintz, Ph.D. OTRL/L, has accepted the position as founding program director.

The program must be granted Candidacy Status, 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 successful completion of the NBCOT 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. At this time there is no guarantee Whitworth University will be granted candidacy status or be approved to admit students. This program has been reviewed as a substantive change by our institutional accreditor, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, and is included in our institutional accreditation status.

Students must complete 24 weeks of Level II fieldwork as well as an individual 14-week capstone experience within 24 months following the completion of the didactic portion of the program. The doctoral capstone experience must be started after completion of all coursework and Level II fieldwork as well as completion of preparatory activities defined in 2018 ACOTE Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) Standard D.1.3.

ACOTE (accreditation candidacy) application due Dec. 15, 2021
Priority applications due Jan. 1, 2022
All applications due April 1, 2022
ACOTE candidacy decision April 2022
If candidacy status is granted, students may be notified of acceptance into the program April 2022
Classes begin Aug. 15, 2022