Health Science/Pre-Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists are licensed health professionals who help people of all ages, with and without disabilities, to do the things that are important to them in their daily lives. 

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Starting Fall 2022, this program is no longer being offered to new, incoming students. For information on our new Pre-Occupational Therapy program, visit this page.

A career in occupational therapy begins with earning a Master's degree from an accredited program. To start you on this journey, Dominican offers a five-year program leading to the Bachelor of Science in Health Science and then a graduate degree in occupational therapy. The Dominican Occupational Therapy program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).

Students will complete most of their general education and all of the pre-OT admission requirements during the first two years of college (lower division courses), and begin a focused group of occupational therapy courses in their junior year. All students complete a faculty-directed integrative capstone experience, which is research, program development, or clinically focused. This major academic achievement represents a synthesis of content learned throughout the program.

Please note: Criminal background checks, or information relating to a student’s criminal background, are not used as part of the admissions process at Dominican University of California (DUOC). Students should be aware that some programs train students to sit for the State of California or national licensure and certification examinations that qualify them to work in the field relating to their program of choice.

The following programs constitute a list of 2021/2022 DUOC programs that train for licensure or certification: Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Physicians Assistants, Counseling Psychology, Art Therapy (Marriage & Family Therapy), and Education. 

Students with questions relating to criminal background requirements, who wish to enroll in these programs at DUOC should speak to an Academic Advisor and reference the specific qualifications for degree completion, and license or certification. 

Program Highlights

  • Experienced, professional faculty
  • Small class sizes and student-centered learning
  • More than 200+ fieldwork partners
  • A strong community engagement focus 
  • 10-year accreditation with Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education 

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

Office Hours

Mon.–Fri., 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

Admissions and Aid

A degree from a private university like Dominican University of California is more accessible than you might think. For most students there is no application fee and we don't ask for test scores. We're also proud to say that more than 99 percent of our first-year incoming students receive financial aid, which makes paying for school within reach.

Learn More About Admissions and Aid
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Doctorate in OT

Pre-OT students can complete their OTD in just five-years, starting graduate level courses in their junior year.

Learn about our OTD

Faculty and Staff

Gina Tucker-Roghi headshot

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

Assistant Professor OTD Program Director
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Natalia Feldman, OTR/L

Academic Fieldwork Assistant
Sharon Freiberg

Sharon Freiberg

Program Administrator
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Laura Greiss Hess, PhD, OTR/L

Assistant Professor
Kristin Jones headshot

Kristin Jones, MS, OTD, OTR/L

Assistant Professor
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Kitsum Li, OTD, OTR/L, CSRS

MSOT Program Director Associate Professor
Karen McCarthy headshot

Karen McCarthy, OTD, OTR/L

Associate Professor
Claire Murphy headshot

Claire Murphy

Instructional Lab Coordinator
Caroline Umeda headshot

Caroline Umeda, PhD, OTR/L

Assistant Professor
Evin Wallus headshot

Evin Wallus, MS, OTR/L, AFWC

Assistant Professor Academic Fieldwork Coordinator
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Julia Wilbarger, PhD, OTR/L

Associate Professor
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Amy Arenberg, OTR/L

Adjunct Assistant Professor
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Jacqueline-Elizabeth Cantrell

Adjunct Instructor
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Jamie Close

Adjunct Associate Professor
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Ernie Escovedo

Adjunct Assistant Professor
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Susan LeBlanc

Adjunct Professor
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Maggie Smida

Adjunct Assistant Professor
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Kaitlyn Trimarchi

Adjunct Assistant Professor
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Alison Virzi

Adjunct Professor

Occupational Therapy in the News