Entry-Level Program

Students begin the entry-level program in the fall semester. The preferred deadline for applications is November 1. The final deadline for applications is February 1.  Interviews are required in the admission process.  Qualified applicants will be notified if they are selected for an interview. 

Enrollment is limited, and meeting minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to the professional program. Admission is based on academic and personal qualifications considered necessary for successful, competent practice as an occupational therapist. The OTD program does not require a minimum grade-point average for admission, although grade-point average is considered in the overall evaluation of the applicant’s suitability for the program. Candidates are evaluated on the basis of the fit between their personal goals and the mission and objectives of the OTD program. In addition, prior education, work experiences, honors, awards, service to others, leadership activities and understanding of Ignatian values serve to provide insight into a candidate’s commitment to lifelong learning and doctoral-level education. It is recommended that prospective students spend time observing occupational therapists at work in their communities. This serves to familiarize the applicant with the general responsibilities of an occupational therapy practitioner.

The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) requires that institutions with doctoral level education programs must require applicants for admission to hold a baccalaureate degree or higher prior to admission to the program.  For more information on program accreditation, please see AOTA/ACOTE website at http://www.aota.org/Educate/Accredit.aspx.

Applicants can find application information at http://spahp.creighton.edu/admission.

Creighton EDGE

The Occupational Therapy Admission Committee honors admission priorities established by the Creighton EDGE program. For more information on the Creighton EDGE, please contact the School of Pharmacy and Health Professions Office of Admission

Pre-Professional Component

  • A baccalaureate degree is required for admission. Pre-occupational therapy courses may be completed at any regionally accredited university or college.
  • All prerequisite coursework must be completed with a grade of "C" or better.  A grade of C- is not acceptable.
  • All prerequisite coursework must be completed by August 1 of the desired year of entry.

The courses listed below should be taken by pre-occupational therapy students. These courses are reflective of a liberal education essential for occupational therapy professional practice. The pre-occupational therapy course sequence introduces students to the various traditional liberal arts and empirical sciences which are later extended in the OTD program. Together, the prerequisites and the OTD curriculum contribute to a broad understanding of human culture and prepare students to respond to the needs of society through professional practice.

The School of Pharmacy and Health Professions will make the final determination regarding courses satisfying requirements.

All curricula in the SPAHP undergo constant review and refinement. Questions regarding prerequisites may be directed to the School of Pharmacy and Health Professions Admission Office, 402.280.2662, 800.325.2830, phaadmis@creighton.edu.

Prerequisite Courses Semester Hours Quarter Hours
Theology, Philosophy and/or Ethics (also includes religion or logic)34.5
Culture, Ideas and/or Civiliations (includes history, world religions, American studies, world literture, or women's studies34.5
Anatomy (If enrolled in a combined anatomy/physiology course, 6 semester hours will be required.)34.5
Psychology (3 of the 6 hours must include either human development or abnormal psychology)69
English Composition34.5
Statistics or Research34.5
Medical Terminology11.5

Post-Professional Program

Students accepted to the post-professional OTD pathway must have completed a bachelor’s or entry-level master’s degree in occupational therapy at an Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) accredited institution in the United States. International applicants to the Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy program must possess an entry-level degree in occupational therapy from an educational institution recognized by the World Federation of Occupational Therapy (WFOT). 

Applicants must also submit a notarized photocopy of current National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) certification or NBCOT Confirmation of Examination Application Eligibility Notice (for international applicants). International applicants requiring more information should contact the School’s Office of Admission at 402.280.2662 or http://spahp.creighton.edu.

Students accepted into the distance post-professional OTD pathway must demonstrate that they have access to the necessary technology for the web curriculum.

Applicants can find application information at http://spahp.creighton.edu/admission.

Entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy Pathway

The entry-level professional doctorate curriculum in occupational therapy emphasizes the development of critical thinking skills, an understanding of research literature, and professional competence. The degree Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) is granted to students who successfully complete a program consisting of the prerequisite course work and a baccalaureate degree followed by eight semesters of professional education.

In addition to didactic course work, students in the entry-level professional OTD pathway must register for Level I Fieldwork for four didactic semesters of the curriculum beginning in the second semester. Level I Fieldwork is provided in a variety of settings covering the lifespan, including hospitals, clinics, school systems and community centers. The schedule of didactic classes is organized in such a way to assist students in accomplishing this course requirement. All fieldwork assignments are made by the Occupational Therapy Academic Fieldwork Coordinators.

Two of the eight professional semesters required for the awarding of the entry-level OTD degree are three-month Level II Fieldwork placements at supervised, approved facilities. Eligibility for Level II Fieldwork experiences is determined by the student’s mastery of the professional curriculum. In addition, a 16-week Professional Rotation experience is required during the eighth (last) semester of the curriculum. A GPA of 2.00 or higher is required for Level II Fieldwork placement.

It is the student’s responsibility to finance transportation and living accommodations for all fieldwork and Professional Rotation courses. Students should plan to travel to sites outside of the local area for both Level I and Level II Fieldwork, as well as for Professional Rotation.

Entry-Level Distance Pathways

In 2007, we began our University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA)-Creighton University Distance Pathway. This entry-level program initiative includes asynchronous and synchronous teaching and learning in a unique distance hybrid model. Students complete lab and experiential learning activities at the UAA campus.  Students must be residents of Alaska and meet the admission requirement and criteria identical to the on-campus applicants (see above for more information).

In 2013 we began the Greater-Omaha (GO) Distance Pathway. Like the UAA-Creighton University Distance Pathway, this entry-level pathway includes asynchronous and synchronous teaching and learning in a unique distance hybrid model. Students must reside within the Greater Omaha Metropolitan Area in order to complete examinations, lab and experiential learning activities on the Creighton University campus in Omaha.  Students must meet the admission requirement and criteria identical to the on-campus applicants (see above for more information).

Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy Pathway

The School initiated a post-professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) pathway in the fall of 1995. This pathway was one of the first professional OT doctoral programs of its kind in the country and is designed to strengthen occupational therapists’ professional, practice management, teaching, and administrative skills. With the expertise and credentials gained by completing this program, graduates are more able to compete for positions in a diverse range of practice environments and will be poised to lead the profession into the 21sst century. In 2001, the school instituted the post-professional OTD program in a distance format to make the program readily accessible to occupational therapy practitioners who wish to pursue doctoral education while working. Students are able to access didactic coursework supportive of occupational therapy practice through course websites, print, videotape, CD-ROM, and web technology.

The post professional curriculum provides well-developed learning opportunities related to the practice of occupational therapy. In addition, the curriculum offers education in instructional and research methods in an effort to prepare students for academic as well as practice-oriented careers. Didactic coursework addresses advanced theory, knowledge, and skills in critical analysis, personnel supervision, examination of health care policy, legal and ethical parameters of practice, and quality review methodologies. Various methodologies enhance the practice relevance of the coursework.

The distance pathway, designed for practicing professionals, allows students to enroll in two or more courses per enrollment term. POTD 500 Introduction to Clinical Doctoral Studies is held on Creighton University’s campus. Once students successfully complete POTD 500 Introduction to Clinical Doctoral Studies, they may begin to enroll in courses to complete their plan of study.

After successful completion of POTD 580 Professional Trajectory, students participate in 16 credit hours of professional rotations. Rotations can be developed in a variety of practice settings including pediatrics, industrial rehabilitation, hand rehabilitation, neonatal intensive care, private practice, psychiatry, home health, gerontology, community, cross-cultural environments and academia.  Students may develop rotations in the state where they reside or where they work.