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Entry-Level OTD


The entry-level doctoral degree program is designed to equip graduates who exhibit advanced level expertise, design innovative programs and lead in practice and professional settings. The OTD curriculum prepares students to go beyond the generalist requirements of a master's degree program. The additional coursework, development of evidenced-based, occupation focused projects, critical practice analysis and applied research, and doctoral experiential requirements equip OTD candidates with skills in practice scholarship, leadership, program development and evaluation, education and advanced clinical reasoning all of which can support career advancement. The vast majority of our enrolled students are admitted as freshman into a 6-year OTD program.

6-year OTD - Freshmen 

When space allows we admit students that have earned a baccalaureate degree and appropriate prerequisites directly into our 3-year OTD program.

3-year OTD - Post-Baccaluareate

Regardless of the route of entry, our entry level OTD program educates students to be excellent, holistic, practice-scholars who serve, do, question and lead. Our department of mission is consistent with the Spiritan mission of the University.

Detailed descriptions of our curriculum framework can be accessed here.


Consider what Duquesne has to offer:

• Top tier rankings in U.S. & News Reports, Princeton Review and Forbes (Best Colleges, Best Values, Best Graduate Schools)
• Strong National Program Ranking compared to programs in similar institutions
• Small Class Sizes (30 Freshmen) ensuring student-centered focus
• 100% pass rate for National Certification program for all test takers; 95% 4-year average for 1st time test takers
• 95% employment rate in the profession within 6 months of passing certification exam
• Freshman direct admit into the OTD program - no reapplication required
• OT-related coursework in every year of study
• Curriculum flexibility offers opportunities to pursue minors (e.g. psychology, special education, business) and specialty certifications
• Study Abroad opportunities in 1st 2.5 years of curriculum
• Well-equipped teaching/learning laboratories
• Cadaveric anatomy course with dissection
• Strong, deep community learning partners ensuring multiple opportunities for community engaged learning
• Fieldwork Education experiences available in medical, school, community and emerging practice settings
• Program development and grant-writing training prepares students to develop their own opportunities after graduation
• Each student receives 6-years of consistent professional development mentorship from an assigned OT faculty member
• Mentored, supervised presentation, publication and research experiences
• Consistent OT Faculty professional development mentorship for every student with assistance for portfolio development and career exploration
• Nationally-recognized faculty who are teacher-scholars that lead by example