Doctor of Occupational Therapy Degree and Curricula

Professional Component

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. Starting in the fall of 2020, students can enroll in the program without a baccalaureate degree.

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 Hybrid Distance Pathway

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.

In 2015, we began a collaboration with Regis University in Denver, CO. This pathway follows the successful hybrid model used to make the Alaska Pathway so successful, and is available to students who wish to continue their Occupational Therapy education in Denver, Colorado.

In 2021, the third hybrid pathway program will begin on the Phoenix Health Sciences Campus in Phoenix, Arizona.

For all hybrid distance pathways, students must meet the admission requirements and criteria identical to the on-campus applicants, plus submit an additional statement articulating their interest in, and suitability for distance education.

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 21st 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 various technologies.

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.

All students enrolled in the Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy pathway must maintain continuous enrollment from matriculation until completion of all degree requirements. Continuous enrollment is defined as registering for a minimum of one course in every semester per academic year (Fall, Spring, Summer) until the degree is attained or status as a degree-seeking student is terminated. Students who find that they will not be enrolled in at least one course for any semester during the academic year must complete a Temporary Withdrawal Form to request withdrawal from the university for that semester. An exception may be granted for military students who are being deployed, provided they have communicated this information to the Assistant/Associate Dean in the Office of Academic and Student Affairs.

The curricula of the entry-level and post-professional doctorate in Occupational Therapy (OTD) responds to important trends in occupational therapy practice, health care, and society in general. Creigh­ton University’s professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy pathways prepare graduates to fulfill all traditional duties of occupational therapists while helping them become transformative leaders in the profession. The program is based on models of other professional doctorate degrees in health sciences such as medicine, den­tistry, pharmacy and physical therapy. The professional doctorate in Occupational Therapy at Creighton University is the first such program initiated in the United States.

For successful development as occupational therapists, membership in the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) is required of all entry-level and post-professional students. Membership in the Nebraska Occupational Therapy Association (NOTA), the Alaska Occupational Therapy Association (AKOTA), the Occupational Therapy Association of Colorado (OTACCO), or the Arizona Occupational Therapy Association (ArizOTA) is strongly recommended.

Special fees are required for purchase of professional resource and laboratory mate­rials, fieldwork expenses, NOTA or AKOTA and AOTA membership, and professional liability insurance.

Entry-Level (Campus, Hybrid AK, Hybrid CO, Hybrid Phoenix) Program

Plan of Study Grid
First Professional Year
IPE 500 Introduction to Collaborative Care 0
OTD 302 Occupations and Occupational Therapy 3
OTD 306 Health Conditions 3
OTD 310 Introduction to Clinical Education Seminar 0.5
OTD 314 Occupation and Health: Population Perspectives 3
OTD 316 Professional Practice and Ethical Formation Seminar 4
OTD 341 Neuroanatomy 3
 Term Credits16.5
OTD 317 Occupational Therapy in Mental Health 4
OTD 318 Level IA Fieldwork: Mental Health 0.5
OTD 324 Applied Kinesiology 3
OTD 334 Foundations of Research 3
OTD 342 Clinical Human Anatomy 4.5
OTD 355 Physical Rehabilitation I: Evaluation 3
 Term Credits18
OTD 333 Upper Extremity Evaluation and Intervention I 3
OTD 356 Physical Rehabilitation II: Neurorehabilitation 4
OTD 390 Level IB Fieldwork: Physical Rehabilitation 1
 Term Credits8
Second Professional Year
OTD 406 Management and Program Development 4
OTD 423 Occupational Therapy with Older Adults 3
OTD 433 Upper Extremity Evaluation and Intervention II 3
OTD 434 Research Proposal 3
OTD 435 Occupational Therapy with Children and Youth I 3
OTD 460 Clinical Education Seminar I 1.5
OTD 490 Level IC Fieldwork: Pediatric or Selected Practice Setting 1
 Term Credits18.5
OTD 403 Neuro-occupation 2
OTD 417 Disability and Health Care Policy 3
OTD 436 Occupational Therapy with Children and Youth II 4
OTD 442 Critical Analysis of Occupational Therapy Practice 3
OTD 457 Physical Rehabilitation III: Interventions and Outcomes 4
OTD 461 Clinical Education Seminar II 1.5
OTD 491 Level ID Fieldwork: Pediatric or Selected Practice Setting 1
 Term Credits18.5
OTD 481 Level II A Fieldwork 12
 Term Credits12
Third Professional Year
OTD 564 Professional Identity and Ethical Perspectives 3
OTD 571 Level II B Fieldwork 12
 Term Credits15
OTD 602 Professional Competency 0.5
OTD 603 Doctoral Capstone 16
 Term Credits16.5
 Total Credits123

Level I, II and Entry-Level Professional Rotation are practical experiences which supplement the occupational therapy didactic courses. Students will need to arrange for travel and housing to sites which may be located in Omaha, the surrounding area, or other states or countries.

Post-Professional Distance Program

Core Courses
POTD 550Occupation, Community, and Health: Population Perspectives3
POTD 551Leadership and Advocacy3
POTD 562Advanced Clinical Ethics3
POTD 565Instructional Methods and Evaluation3
POTD 601Capstone1
POTD 650Lit Review and Analysis3
POTD 651Research Proposal3
POTD 700Doctoral Capstone Planning3
Experiential Courses
POTD 701Doctoral Capstone I: Research Implementation3
POTD 702Doctoral Capstone II: Manuscript Writing3
POTD 703Doctoral Capstone III: Experiential Learning & Project3-9
Electives *
Students entering the program with a Master's degree take 6 credits of electives; students entering with a Bachelor's degree take 18 credits of electives6-18
POTD 420Exploring Spirituality in Occupational Therapy Practice3
POTD 530Grant Writing and Occupational Therapy Practice: Making the Connection3
POTD 531The American Professoriate: A Faculty Perspective3
POTD 552Neuro-Occupation and Technology3
POTD 557Program Development and Entrepreneurship3
POTD 586Institute for Latin American Concerns Immersion3
POTD 599Directed Independent Studies1-6
IPE 512Cultural Immersion and Experiential Learning in China3

Specialty Tracks for Occupational Therapy Program

In order to satisfy the requirements for graduation, the entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy and the post-professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy students must success­fully complete all requirements for admission, all required courses in their professional curriculum, and must participate in a capstone event at the end of the academic program. A cumulative grade-point average of not less than 2.00 is required for graduation based on all work attempted while enrolled in the profes­sional program. Candidates for the entry-level OTD and post-professional OTD degrees must be determined by the faculty to be of good moral character and fit for the practice of the profession, must have paid all indebtedness to the Univer­sity, and must be present at the ceremonies where the degree is conferred (unless excused under University rules). To participate in Commencement, a candidate must submit an application for degree available online through the Registrar's Office by the University deadline. In an effort to comply with accreditation and ongoing programmatic quality assurance, completion of all course evaluations and graduate exit survey is required in order for the student to be assigned a course grade and/or graduate.


Professors: Shirley A. Blanchard, Alfred G. Bracciano, Brenda M. Coppard, Helene Lohman, Keli Mu

Associate Professors: Angela Bahle-Lampe, Anna Domina, Kathleen Flecky, Bobbi Greiner, Lou Jensen, Angela Patterson, Andrea Thinnes

Assistant Professors: Sarbinaz Z. Bekmuratova, Carrie Bose, Sarah E. Dahlhauser, Lori Davis-Russell, Ashley Fecht, Rebecca Kinnison, Miranda Little, Yongyue Qi, Marion Russell, Julia Ye-Jin Shin, Colleen Spellman, Marisa R. Welch, Erin Young

Instructor: Lisa Jordan

Special Associate Professor: Rene Padilla