Accelerated OTD (Doctor of Occupational Therapy)

The Occupational Therapy program offers an accelerated pathway to obtain an OTD degree for any Dominican undergraduate major. Dominican undergraduates can earn both their Bachelor’s in their chosen major and an OTD within 6 years. Students complete all undergraduate degree requirements and OT prerequisites in 3 years and start the OTD program as a Senior.

Dominican’s occupational therapy curriculum builds on the knowledge and experience students gain each year. Students progress from exploration to competence to achievement to mastery. 

Our OT program prepares you to become a professional licensed occupational therapist. You will complete fieldwork at top rehabilitation, mental health, and education facilities, and build your network in the Bay Area. You will have ample opportunities for capstone projects, international experiences, and creative program development—all in a close community setting. 

Admission is selective and our program requires full-time, weekday attendance at our San Rafael campus.

Program Highlights

  • Experienced, professional faculty
  • Small class sizes and student-centered learning
  • More than 200+ fieldwork partners
  • A strong community engagement focus 
  • Integrated research experience

Career Paths

Occupational Therapy is a fast-growing and rewarding field that will allow you to work in hospitals, clinics, schools, business, industry, and community settings, serving persons of all ages with developmental, physical, psychiatric, or behavioral disabilities. OTs also promote health and help prevent disease and disability through occupation-centered interventions and environmental adaptations.

I recently had two job offers, and accepted one with a geriatric transitional care facility in San Luis Obispo. One great thing is that I met my employer at the Dominican Career Fair. Having access to OT opportunities at the fair was important and successful for me! 
— Amanda Harness, MS, OTR/L
 

Dominican University of California's Occupational Therapy Department values a holistic admissions process. When reviewing your application we consider the extent and quality of your occupational therapy and related experiences, participation in academic or non-academic areas, your understanding of occupational therapy, evidence of interpersonal and communication skills, and other holistic aspects of your application including additional skills, strength, and life experiences.

Undergraduate students apply to the accelerated OTD program in the spring semester of their junior year and start OT courses in their senior year.

  1. 3.0 GPA 
    Applicants must meet a minimum GPA of 3.0 in their most recent 60 semester units of work and for all prerequisite courses, including graduate and undergraduate coursework.
  2. Personal Statement
    Please provide a brief essay describing your professional and personal goals, as well as your reasons for pursuing an OT degree. 
  3. Observation/Volunteer Experience
    Applicants to the Occupational Therapy Program are required to complete a minimum  of 40 hours of observation/volunteering in human services, and 20 of those hours must be with licensed occupational therapists. The remaining 20 hours can be fulfilled through observation/volunteering in non-OT human services settings or via Alternative OT learning experiences. 
    • Your supervisor(s) will fill out your volunteer experience form and return it to you to submit with your application. If you do not complete all of your hours at one location, a separate form will be needed for each site. Timesheets or other facility forms will not be accepted.
    • Alternative OT learning experiences hours must be documented on the OT Alternative Experience Reflection Form. Alternative learning experiences are accepted to fulfill no more than 20 hours of documented experiences. 
  4. Resume
    Submit a resume with your application. Your resume must include an "Other Relevant Work Experience" section to account for experience related to the OT profession. This should not include the volunteer experience that you submitted on the volunteer form. 
  5. Two Letters of Recommendation
    We require a minimum of two letters of recommendation to be submitted through the application. The salutation for the letters should be: "Dear Occupational Therapy Admissions Committee." Please do not ask individuals to contact the committee directly on your behalf as these recommendations will not be considered. 
  6. Official GRE Score (optional)
    Scores on the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) are not required, but will be considered in the evaluation of an applicant’s admissibility if submitted. If you do submit scores, please use the Dominican University of California OTCAS (code 4107) when indicating your program as a score recipient. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) will transmit official GRE scores electronically to OTCAS.
  7. Prerequisite Courses
    Complete all prerequisite courses listed below. A minimum 3.0 GPA is required. Priority consideration is given to candidates who have completed all prerequisites by the application date. If you are granted admission with pending prerequisite coursework, you must successfully complete all in progress prerequisites and/or degree conferral before the program starts. Dominican does not accept any courses taken the summer before the start of the semester.
    • Human Anatomy with lab: (Bio 2500/2505 or Bio 4500/4505) - 4 units (completed within the last 5 years)
    • Human Physiology with lab: (Bio 2600/2605 or Bio 4600/4605) - 4 units (completed within the last 5 years)
    • Child and Adolescent development (Psy 3120) - 4 units, and Adult development and Aging (Psy 3121) - 4 units
    • Introduction to Psychology: (Psy 1100) - 4 units
    • Abnormal Psychology (Psychopathology): (Psy 3141) - 4 units 
    • Statistics (math or psychology only, not business): (Psy 3187) - 4 units
    • Neuroscience, or Functional or Clinical Neuroanatomy: (BIO 3800/3805 or OT 3010) - 3 or 4 units (Completed within the last 5 years)
    • Medical Terminology (1 unit or more)
  8. Recommended Courses
    • Occupation and Others - 1 unit
    • Occupation and Community 1- unit
    • Occupation as Therapy - 1 unit
  9. International Applicants
    International candidates must meet additional admissions requirements.

At Dominican University of California (DUOC), information regarding a student's criminal background and the results of criminal background checks are not considered during the admissions process for the Occupational Therapy program. However, it is important for applicants to understand that a criminal background could affect their ability to take the National Certification Examination for Occupational Therapists, which is overseen by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). Additionally, a felony conviction might restrict access to necessary clinical fieldwork experiences, impact eligibility for the NBCOT certification exam, and influence the ability to obtain state licensure. Applicants with concerns about how a criminal background might affect their program participation are encouraged to consult with an OT Academic Advisor at DUOC. They can provide guidance on the requirements for completing the degree and obtaining licensure or certification.

Undergraduate Tuition

Learn about tuition per unit, additional fees and total undergraduate tuition.

We'll also show you how a Dominican education is more affordable than you might think with support from financial aid, scholarships and loans.

UNDERGRADUATE TUITION AND AID

OTD Graduate Tuition

Tuition Rate Per UnitNumber of UnitsFormat
$1,210

Tuition and Financial Aid information coming soon.
64 Units
 
In-person

 
Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education logo

Dominican University of California's entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program has applied for accreditation and has been granted Candidacy Status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its web address is www.acoteonline.org

The program must have a pre accreditation review, complete an on-site evaluation, and be granted Accreditation Status before its graduates will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). In addition, all states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure. 
 

Admissions and Aid

A degree from a top-ranked, private University like Dominican is deliberately affordable and accessible! More than 99 percent of our first-year incoming students receive significant financial aid through merit- and need-based scholarships as well as state and federal aid. Additionally, for most students, there is no application fee, and we don't ask for test scores. Get in touch with a counselor to learn more about your path to an exceptional college experience at Dominican!

Learn More About Admissions and Aid
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What is like to be in the Occupational Therapy Program?

Hear directly from our students on what it is like to study occupational therapy!

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Occupational Therapy in the News

Faculty and Staff

Gina Tucker-Roghi headshot

Gina Tucker-Roghi, OTD, OTR/L, BCG

Associate Professor Chair and OTD Program Director
Kitsum Lee

Kitsum Li, OTD, OTR/L, CSRS

Professor Doctoral Capstone Coordinator
Kristin Jones headshot

Kristin Jones, MS, OTD, OTR/L

Assistant Professor Academic Fieldwork Coordinator
Laura Hess

Laura Greiss Hess, PhD, OTR/L

Associate Professor
Karen McCarthy headshot

Karen McCarthy, OTD, OTR/L

Associate Professor
Caroline Umeda headshot

Caroline Umeda, PhD, OTR/L

Assistant Professor
dominican seal

Julia Wilbarger, PhD, OTR/L

Associate Professor
Sharon Freiberg

Sharon Freiberg

Program Administrator
dominican seal

Sarah Hockey

Instructional Resources Coordinator
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Three students walking together on the Dominican campus.

La Vida Dominican

La Vida Dominican is a program for all students, increasing educational access and connection to support services, enabling degree completion and post-graduation success. Particularly, La Vida is centering experiences of students from Latinx and other historically underserved backgrounds.

Learn More About La Vida Dominican