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Welcome, Class of 2024. You'll find information below about your admission to the occupational therapy program.


Be prepared to attend orientation with required sessions beginning July 19, 2021. Regular OT courses will begin on July 26, 2021. To help familiarize yourself with the orientation locations, please view the campus map. Most events will be held in the Sanford Coyote Sports Center (SCSC), Muenster University Center (MUC), and Lee Medical Building. Parking on campus will require a permit. Students parking near the SCSC are required to either park on the street, the lot to the south of the building (permit required), or in the DakotaDome lot to the northeast of the building (permit required). Students should enter the SCSC through the south door until they have received their USD student ID. Orientation activities require business casual dress code - please view the full dress code information below. All orientation activities will appear on your Google calendar.

As a part of the orientation week, you will participate in the occupational therapy professionalism ceremony. This ceremony is your welcome to professional education and family members are encouraged to attend. A PowerPoint presentation will be utilized as a part of this ceremony. Please complete the template file and return your slide to for inclusion into the full presentation.


The USD Occupational Therapy Student Handbook is a resource with which all OT students should make themselves familiar. This document provides detailed information about our policies and procedures. Students are encouraged to read through this document before they come to orientation. This handbook will be sent to all accepted students when it is finalized in early summer.


Because of the complexity of the anatomy course, an overview of the course and lab component will be held during the first week of OT courses. It is important to know that you will start work on the first day of class. Therefore, to be appropriately prepared you will need, in advance, your textbooks for lecture and dissecting apparel for the laboratory, which immediately follows the lecture. Beginning information will be posted in the D2L course shell. Until then, these are the requirements you will need to know and have complete prior to the first anatomy class session.

  1. White lab coats are required to be worn by the students in the lab, no other color will be allowed. Lab coats used by previous students will be available for purchase during orientation week.
  2. Wearing scrubs in encouraged. Any color is acceptable. Some used scrubs will be available for purchase during orientation week. You may also want to have shoes that will only be used in the lab.
  3. Students will want to have several boxes of latex-free gloves available as lab will be several months long. Gloves will be available for purchase during orientation week.
  4. Students will need to buy one box of scalpel blades per lab table. Scalpel blades will be available for purchase during orientation week.
  5. Dissection tools will be provided.
  6. Mask and eye goggles will be provided.


The USD occupational therapy program strongly recommends the use of a laptop PC during the course of the program. Your laptop will be used for more than just note taking in class; it will become a critical part of your educational experiences: exams, individual and group research projects, and data collection and manipulation.

The university has negotiated pricing with Lenovo, Apple and HP. Although it is not required, students are encouraged to purchase one of the recommended laptops. The USD IT website details the support levels that USD can provide for student laptops. IT recommends that students purchase their laptop from one of the 3 websites listed under “Ultimate Support.” These computers are business‐grade computers designed to last through your education at USD and have been selected based on quality, value, and durability. If you choose to purchase one of the computers recommended, be sure to do so through the website, using the link above. The university can perform warranty repairs on all of the computers listed on the website, and repairs are typically completed within 3-5 days. If you choose not to purchase one of the recommended systems, you need to ensure that your laptop meets the minimum computer requirements.

Throughout the duration of your time at USD as a student, you are entitled to Microsoft Office 365 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive) at no charge. For information on how to download Office 365, please go to the technology homepage.

For any questions regarding laptops or software, please contact the USD Help Desk at or 605-658-6000.

Students are responsible for providing any/all adapters and ethernet (internet) cables for use in the program. Come prepared to orientation with an ethernet cable.

Do not try to connect to the USD network as a guest user. USD ITS will assist all incoming students with connecting to the wireless network during orientation.

Program of Study

The OTD Program of Study is the list of courses that you will be required to enroll in during your time at USD. OT students will want to make themselves familiar with this list of courses. The finalized Program of Study will be sent to all accepted students in early summer.

Class Calendar

All class calendars are available as a Google calendar. You will visit the to access the calendar for your entire program at USD. Please be aware that as new semester information is added, this draft information will appear before it is finalized. Please do not rely on the information listed for future semesters until the semester actually begins.

A list of semester start and end dates can be found below. Please plan on being in class daily from approximately 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Dates are subject to change.

Semester Start Date End Date
Orientation Monday, July 19, 2021 Friday, July 23, 2021
Fall 2021 Monday, July 26, 2021 Wednesday, December 15, 2021
Spring 2022 Wednesday, January 5, 2022 Friday, May 6, 2022


A list of textbooks needed for the fall semester can be found on our campus bookstore website after you are registered for courses. 

The textbooks required for the Occupational Therapy program comprise your professional library, one that we hope you will continue to add to throughout your career. Textbooks used in professional programs are different from those purchased in courses as an undergraduate student. Faculty selects these textbooks with the understanding that they will be used throughout your program, often in multiple courses; for board exam preparation; and during your career as an independent practitioner. Faculty rely not only on their expertise and experience, but also on the results of national OT program surveys to determine which texts are most appropriate for each course. The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy uses the results of these textbook and journal surveys to write board exam questions. Given all of this, the program strongly discourages textbook rental or sharing among classmates, nor use of earlier editions of the required text. Textbook selection and edition may change from year to year so relying on information from current 2nd or 3rd year students is not advised. 

Please be prepared by purchasing your textbooks in a timely manner through the above linked website or another source. You will have reading assignments to complete prior to the first day of class and will need texts for lab the first week. Not having received your textbooks in time because you did not purchase them early enough is not acceptable.

Financial Aid

You will not be able to pick up your financial aid until after classes begin. You may contact Lindsay Miller in the Financial Aid Office at 605-658-6250 or at with any questions.

AOTA Membership

Membership in AOTA is required throughout the curriculum. Readings and other materials available through the members-only area are required for a variety of courses. To join, visit the AOTA website. (You will need to scroll to "Are you not yet a Member of AOTA? Join now!") Students receive full membership benefits for only $75 per year. This cost is included in your financial aid package.

Dress Code

We require a specific dress code when attending class, lab or other related program event. Take time to read through the Occupational Therapy professional image policy and attire guidelines to become familiar with these requirements. Lab coats and scrubs will be available for purchase during orientation. Please come to the program prepared.