Healthgrad identified the nation’s top 15 OT doctorate programs (OTD degree) based on factors, including faculty excellence, fieldwork opportunities and graduate outcomes. USD’s OT program was praised for its real-world learning opportunities, holistic perspective and for its training in how health conditions influence occupational performance.

According to Barbara Brockevelt, Ph.D., chair of USD’s Occupational Therapy Department, the doctorate program offers health professionals a diverse set of important skills that benefit patients and the public.

"Our graduates have a unique skill set in leadership, management and entrepreneurship which enables them to practice in traditional medical settings as well as innovative community based models," Brockevelt said. "Our graduates focus on both the clinical and social determinants of health."

USD’s Occupational Therapy Department has offered the OT doctorate since 2016, and during the past three years there have been 59 graduates of the doctorate program. One hundred percent of the program’s graduates have passed their boards and gained certification and licensure, 31 percent of the graduates are South Dakota residents and 90 percent reside in the immediate five-state region.

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