Occupation Therapy Graduate photo

Helping people live full, meaningful lives.

Empowering individuals to reach goals and maximize independence.

Occupational therapists assist people in achieving their goals, maintaining or rebuilding their independence and participating in the everyday activities that they need to do or that simply make life worth living. Our program is a three-year curriculum that combines didactic and clinical education.


Doctor of Occupational Therapy (O.T.D.)

The Doctor of Occupational Therapy program at USD is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). The majority of this program is delivered face-to-face, on campus, with exception of Level I and Level II fieldwork and the capstone experience, and is designed for those who do not hold a degree in occupational therapy. See accreditation for more information regarding the ACOTE accreditation process.

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Post-Professional Clinical Occupational Therapy Doctorate (O.T.D.)

The post-professional clinical O.T.D. at the University of South Dakota is designed for licensed occupational therapists who graduated with a Master of Science degree in occupational therapy and wish to advance their careers through the development and application of new knowledge and skills. The O.T.D. is conferred upon completion of a five-semester, 24-credit curriculum that is offered fully online and is uniquely tailored to the professional aspirations of each practitioner.

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Admission Requirements

Application Deadline:

O.T.D.: Early application deadline is Oct. 1, 2018 to be considered for early interview on Nov. 9, 2018. General application deadline is Jan. 2, 2019 to be considered for an interview on either Feb. 14 or 15, 2019.

Post-professional O.T.D.: The post-professional O.T.D. began in fall 2015 with a cohort beginning each fall for 5 years. The deadline for application for fall 2019 is April 1, 2019.

The Classroom & Beyond

  • Job Security

    Occupational Therapists have an incredible employment outlook with 2% unemployment.

  • High Certification Rates

    Our students consistently achieve a nearly 100 percent pass rate on the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy exam.

  • Jumpstart your OT Program

    You may be eligible to secure your seat a year in advance through our Occupational Therapy Scholar Program.