Why Choose Duquesne OT

What makes the Occupational Therapy program at Duquesne different?

We are the ONLY Freshman Admit Program in Western PA

Once accepted into the OT Program, meeting academic standards means that there is NO need to re-apply in the professional or doctoral phase. Students engage in OT coursework in each level of the program.

All Duquesne OT students have a CHOICE for degree level

We are the only OT program in Western PA that offers both accredited Entry-Level Degree Programs. All students will have the option to declare your terminal degree (MSOT or OTD) during your first semester of your senior year. Students earn their Bachelor's of Health Science Degree at the end of year four, and then continue on to earn their terminal degree of choice (either MSOT or OTD).
Each program is accelerated which allows our graduates to enter the workforce at a quicker-rate. The MSOT program is complete in 4.5 calendar years, and the OTD program is complete in 5.5 calendar years.

Right-Sized Cohorts allow for more Personalized Attention with Classroom Learning and Professional Development

Faculty/Student ratio in labs is no more than 1:15 which facilitates more student-centered learning. Students will have the opportunity to learn in a personalized teaching-learning environment (~30 students) from a diverse team of 11 full-time faculty who are experts in diverse teaching practices such as interprofessional education (IPE), flipped classroom, simulation, community-engaged learning and more. Several of our faculty continue to maintain clinical practice roles as direct practitioners, ensuring relevance and modernization within our classrooms and labs.

Superior Graduation Rate

The Occupational Therapy Programs at Duquesne University demonstrate strong student progression and retention rates among our cohorts. Students declare their terminal degree within the fall semester of the 4th year in the program. OTD students begin the advanced phase of the curriculum after level II fieldwork. A three-year graduation rate from the Department of Occupational Therapy at Duquesne University is 100% for the MSOT program and 98% for the OTD program. Students who did not earn the OTD degree were successful in achieving the MSOT terminal degree and completing eligibility for NBCOT certification exam .

Exceptional Board Certification PASS RATES

Program results from the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) can be found here. (To locate Duquesne University results, search for Pennsylvania, then select OT Doctoral or OT Masters level Program and choose year).

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.


The vast majority (99%) of our graduates responding to employment surveys reported that they took their first job within 1-6 months of graduation.

Structured Faculty / Student Mentorship Program

All students in the program are assigned a faculty mentor. Semesterly meetings allow more personalized support for academic and professional growth as students progress from pre-professional, professional and doctoral phases of the curriculum.

Faculty and Student Mentorship is also uniquely available via the research project sequence. This optional 3-credit course sequence, is offered in the professional phase. Students are provided the opportunity to apply to serve as research apprenticeships and work closely with DU OT faculty in their area of scholarship. Most research students have the opportunity to disseminate their work at state and national conferences such as the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), or engage in the process of writing a publication. These are some great resume builders and help make DU OT students stand-out in the job market upon graduation!

Flexibility to Supplement OT Curriculum & Engage in Study Abroad

The DU OT curriculum has space built-in to allow students to explore other interests that might augment their training as an occupational therapist; More than half of all OT students pursue a minor in fields like psychology, special education or sociology, public health, global health and notably assistive technology, which is taught by OT faculty.

Students have opportunities to study abroad for a semester in our Rome or Dublin campus (during the Spring of their 2nd year) and there are a number of short-term opportunities as well some of which are led by OT or other health science faculty.

A Plethora of Affiliated Sites for Fieldwork Education and Doctoral Capstone Experiences

Across the curriculum, DU OT Students complete 5 fieldwork experiences, which accrues over 1200 hours of clinical training as a generalist. The doctoral curriculum includes an additional 560 hours designed to develop in-depth knowledge in a focused area of study. The Rangos School of Health Sciences is affiliated with over 1,000 practice settings around the US. These include nationally recognized settings inside and outside the Pittsburgh area... such as Kessler Institute for Rehab, Sheppard Pratt Health System, Nemours Children's Hospital and many more. In collaboration with our Academic Fieldwork Coordinator, DU OT students receive access to a clinical database that allows them to search affiliated sites as well as have the opportunity to assist with setting up new affiliations to create a well-balanced and student-centered plan for experiential learning.

Numerous Opportunities for Community-Engaged Learning

A key component of our curriculum; hands-on learning with community as classroom. This means that DU OT students have unique opportunities to apply their knowledge and skills in settings that don't typically have an OT on staff such as community organizations that serve veterans, homeless youth, refugees, and individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Check out winning videos from the 2020 Research and Scholarship Virtual Competition from St. Anthony's and DOCS. DU OT students receive direct community-based practice experience across several courses, which aim to develop unique skills in program development, grant writing and consultative skills.

Student Service and Leadership Opportunities

Rangos School of Health Sciences and The Dept of OT have a robust model for student engagement and leadership. Strong Student OT Association, (SOTA), Coalition of Occupational Therapy for Diversity (COTAD) chapter, Pi Theta Epsilon (PTE) the OT honors society chapter, and eventually a DU Alumni Association, SOTA is a great way to get involved and have active social media presence. Follow SOTA on Instagram! SOTA won organization of the year!