Students practice their therapy skills.

In response to a rapidly changing environment within occupational therapy and health care, WVU implemented an entry-level OTD program in 2021 and obtained full accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) in 2023.

The OTD program emphasizes active and experiential learning to prepare future leaders in the profession and in healthcare. Students enrolled in the OTD program receive advanced preparation in leadership, scholarship, and evidence-based practice. Through the capstone experiential and project students can pursue their passion and further develop skills in leadership, clinical practice, advocacy, research, or program development.

Students who want to pursue the OTD degree must complete an undergraduate degree, apply to the OTD program, and be accepted into the program before beginning classes. Students on the OTD track in exercise physiology can participate in an early assurance program during their undergraduate education. Students from other majors from WVU or from other institutions who have completed the pre-requisite courses are welcomed and encouraged to apply. All applicants will have to submit personal recommendations, verification of shadowing hours, and a personal essay as part of the admissions process. Qualified applicants will be invited for an interview.

The program is competitive and admits 20 students each year. The admission cycle runs from August until December with the start of classes in the following May. The WVU OTD program utilizes OTCAS for admissions.

To find out more about our program click here to attend an in person or virtual information session or to set up your personal tour.

The entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 7501 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 510E Bethesda, MD 20814. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its web address is Graduates of the program 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). Prospective students, applicants, and interested parties can review program data results for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). 

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.

A head shot photo of Lauren Garcia.

Lauren Garcia

Occupational Therapy

“The OT program at WVU provides some of the best hands-on learning experiences available. Not only do we utilize the STEPs center as a means to practice with simulated patients, but we are also provided with opportunities to work with clients in need of therapeutic intervention.”