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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. 


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. The program is a three-year curriculum that combines didactic and clinical education. See accreditation for more information regarding the ACOTE accreditation process.

Students in the Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program choose one of five available degree tracks. The Specialization is optional and available only to enrolled Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree-seeking students. It is awarded after successful completion of the identified program of study with a minimum of a B attained in all coursework leading to the Specialization (30 - 33 credits), and an A earned in a minimum of 24 credits.

  • Nonspecialization
  • Mental Health specialization
  • Neuroscience & Rehabilitation specialization
  • Pediatrics specialization
  • Rural/Underserved specialization

To view more information about the degree tracks, refer to occupational therapy in the current graduate catalog.

View Curriculum

Accelerated O.T.D. Standard Program

This 3+3 program is available, by application, to current USD students in the following programs with the O.T.D. standard program and:

(1) Health Sciences, B.S. - Clinical Studies Specialization only 

(2) Kinesiology and Sport Management, B.S. - Exercise Science specialization only

(3) Neuroscience, B.S. - Cognitive Neuroscience specialization only 

The accelerated track will allow the undergraduate program to count 20 hours of the 1st year of O.T.D. towards the electives in the B.S. degree. The student will complete 100 hours by the end of the 3rd year towards the undergraduate degree.

View Curriculum


Admission Requirements

Application Deadline:

Preferred application deadline is Oct. 1, 2021 with a final application deadline on Feb. 1, 2022. Selected applicants will be invited to interview in 2021 on Nov. 4 or Dec. 9 or in 2022 on Jan. 20 or Feb. 17.

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.