Program Outcomes

Student Progression & Retention

Every student entering the professional phase of our program in the past 3 years has successfully completed the program.

Graduates' performance on the NBCOT certification exam

In academic year 2020-2021, 17/18 MSOT graduates (94.44%) successfully passed the exam on 1st attempt, 100% of DU test takers passed exam on subsequent attempts; 7/7 OTD students (100% passed the exam on 1st attempt,) Overall 5-year average of MSOT & OTD NBCOT pass rate for 1st time test takers is 93.75%.  The national average pass rate for the last 3 years (2017-2019) is 72.33%.

Upon successful completion of our program, students are eligible to take the national occupational therapy certification examination. Successful completion of this certification examination allows a person to be registered in the U.S. as an occupational therapist and to carry the credentials, O.T.R. This exam is offered independently through the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) Performance on the national OT certification examination is one means of demonstrating a program's quality. For the five most recent academic years (2016-2020), the performance of the graduates of Duquesne University's occupational therapy program on NBCOT certification examination are as follows:

MSOT Outcomes:
Year # of MSOT Graduates  # of 1st time test takers # of 1st time test takers passing on 1st attempt % of 1st time test takers passing on 1st attempt % of all DU test takers who passed the exam
2017* 29 28 25 89.29% 100%
2018 29 29 26 89.66% 100%
2019 22 22 20 90.91% 100%
2020 19 19 17 89.47% 100%
2021 18 18 17 94.44% 100%

TOTAL 5-Year

117 116 105 90.51% 100%

*2017 includes one student who did not take the exam.                                                                          Updated:  April 2021

OTD Outcomes
Year # of OTD Graduates (December)*  # of 1st time test takers # of 1st time test takers passing on 1st attempt % of 1st time test takers passing on 1st attempt % of all DU test takers who passed the exam
   2016** 5 5 5 100% 100%
2017 2 2 2 100% 100%
2018 6 6 6 100%


2019 10 10 9 90%


2020 7 7 7 100%


TOTAL 5-Year



29 97% 100%

**OTD program first graduating class was 2016.                                                                                       Updated: January 2021

Prior to graduation, the occupational therapy department provides resources to support students' preparation for the certification examination. When a graduate of our program does not successfully pass the exam the first time, the faculty initiate dialogue with the student and offers to review score reports and define re-testing strategies. Every graduate who has not passed on the first attempt has passed the certification exam on a subsequent attempt. Program results from the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) can be found online at

The NBCOT Board of Directors has approved the implementation of background checks as part of the exam process. This enhancement offers the unique opportunity to apply a national standard to all entry-level practitioners in support of NBCOT's mission of public protection.

Background checks will be completed as part of the exam application process for all first-time applicants beginning January 1, 2018. Students and prospective students are advised that a felony conviction may affect one's ability to sit for the certification examination or attain state licensure.

Fieldwork education and doctoral capstone experience performance

In academic year 2018 - 2019, all students who enrolled in a level I or II fieldwork experience, and doctoral capstone experience (OTD students only) received passing scores and received a C or better on all FW/ experiential components of the program.

Employment Statistics of Alumni

Data from exit surveys reflect that in the past 3 graduating classes 17% completed job interviews during their clinical fieldwork. Roughly 1/2 of these graduates (56.2%) had either accepted a job or were considering a job offer before graduation. Most students, however, reported that their focus was on preparing for taking the national certification exam. The vast majority (99%) of alumni responding to employment surveys reported that they took their first job within 1-6 months of graduation.


Duquesne University's OT programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). ACOTE accredited our programs for the maximum initial accreditation periods on August 5, 2016.

Information regarding the accreditation of this program can be obtained through the American Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE), 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929, Phone: (301) 652-AOTA.