- Application Deadline: November 1
- Admission Interview: TBD (by invitation only)
- Additional information can be found in the below Admission Requirements section.
Chatham is proud to offer the entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy (ELOTD) program for students wishing to obtain this credential who hold a bachelor’s degree. At Chatham, you can earn your OTD in only 32 months—two terms beyond the Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT). The OTD provides more real-world experience through a doctoral project in your area of interest. Through this project, you’ll increase the scope of your career to include paths such as leadership, advocacy, research, program development, and advanced clinical practice.
This full-time cohort program begins each fall and is completed in only 32 months, just two terms past what is required for a master’s degree.
Cost consists of program tuition (cost per term times number of terms) as well as any applicable University and degree-specific fees. Students are subject to two tuition increases.
Chatham University’s entry-level OTD program has been granted Candidacy Status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education, (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). More information can be found by visiting our accreditation page.
Occupational therapy has joined the number of health-related professions that have been transitioning to the entry-level doctorate. In some settings, this has impacted hiring practices, salary differentials, and leadership appointments.
Due to the impact of COVID-19, several requirements have been updated for the 20-21 application cycle and are noted in the “Admission Requirements” section below.
Applicants to Chatham University’s entry-level occupational therapy program must use the Occupational Therapist Centralized Application Service (OTCAS). Beginning mid-July, applications may be submitted through the OTCAS application with all relevant materials: official transcripts, OT shadowing experience, and references. Please note official GRE scores are required, but there is not a supplemental application requirement.
Application Deadline: November 1*
Virtual Admission Interview Date: Saturday, November 14, 2020 (by invitation only)
In order to be eligible for invite to the admission interview:
*It is highly recommended that you submit your application to OTCAS on or before October 15. OTCAS’s verification process occurs once an applicant e-submits the application and all official transcripts have been received. Verification involves some processing time, so it is in your best interest to submit all materials as early as possible to ensure your complete, verified application is available for us to review.
Chatham University undergraduates applying through the Integrated Degree Program (IDP) must complete all requirements outlined on their respective admission or track tab on the IDP Portal Site. All IDP applicants should work closely with their academic advisors to ensure all requirements are met according to the IDP course of study.
After verifying that the minimum academic requirements are met, the occupational therapy program faculty reviews each candidate's entire application and invites the most talented and qualified students to interview before program faculty and alumni. As part of the admission review, Chatham reserves the right to request a background check prior to the offer of admission. The occupational therapy program strives for diversity and gender equity within each class.
Chatham University has entered into "Articulation Agreements" with a select group of Colleges and Universities. These agreements provide for additional student pre-professional advisement and possible priority admission status for candidates with exceptional applications, demonstrating academic preparation above the minimal acceptable standards. Agreements exist with the following institutions for the 2019-2020 academic year: Allegheny College, Baldwin Wallace University, Grove City College, Penn State Mont Alto, Washington and Jefferson College, and Waynesburg University. Pre-existing agreements with Mount Aloysius College and Mount Vernon Nazarene University are only applicable to undergraduates who matriculated at these institutions prior to August 31, 2017. Applicants from these institutions are advised to discuss the articulation requirements with their advisor as well as the graduate admission counselor at Chatham University.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our Admission Department:
Office of Admission
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
For students beginning Fall 2019:
|Average Overall GPA:||3.55|
|Average Prerequisite GPA:||3.65|
|Average Combined GRE:||296|
|Average Writing GRE:||3.85|
For students beginning Fall 2018:
|Average Overall GPA:||3.66|
|Average Prerequisite GPA:||3.79|
|Average Combined GRE:||299|
|Average Writing GRE:||4|
For students beginning Fall 2017:
|Average Overall GPA:||3.65|
|Average Prerequisite GPA:||3.73|
|Average Combined GRE:||299|
|Average Writing GRE:||4.08|
OTH622: Occupational Performance in Children and Adolescents
This course addresses the occupational development of children and adolescents, and the interrelationship between the child, occupation, and the environment on occupational performance and participation. Students learn theories and conceptual models of practice used in pediatric OT, and the evaluation and intervention process as practiced in a variety of settings (community, hospitals, schools, etc). Influence of the family, environment, and sociocultural factors on the developing child and the OT process is explored.
OTH 632: Environmental Interventions
Students learn principles of assistive technology practice and the occupational therapist’s role on the assistive technology team. Students explore and critique technology resources, assess environments, and apply information to evaluation and treatment. The impact of environmental interventions on the consumer’s ability to engage in meaningful occupations is discussed and analyzed.
OTH644: Community Based Fieldwork & Seminar
This community-based fieldwork experience emphasizes higher level management and leadership skills, including program development, advocacy, and consultation. Students learn about community agencies, population and organizational needs, and apply their knowledge to conceptualize, plan, implement, and evaluate a unique program in a community-based agency.
OTH 790: Doctoral Capstone Experience
This Doctoral Capstone Experience is designed to provide exposure in one or more of the following areas: clinical practice, research, leadership, program and policy development, advocacy, education or theory development. The experiential component will be a minimum of 14 full-time weeks in length. Development of individualized learning objectives and evaluation of student performance occurs in collaboration with the student, faculty Doctoral Project mentor and mentor in the practice setting with expertise consistent with the student’s area of focus.
The program guides students through introspection and self-reflection to develop individualized, authentic leadership skills, and prepares them with the tools and knowledge to be leaders within the OT profession and society at large. Students are provided opportunities both inside and outside the classroom to explore and apply cutting-edge theories and intervention approaches. They gain an understanding of professional responsibilities and advocacy through engagement in various personal and professional leadership and scholarship opportunities.
—JODI SCHREIBER, OTD, OTR/L, C/NDT, associate professor of occupational therapy
Chatham’s OTD faculty members bring a wealth of clinical experience as well as teaching experience in a range of practice settings.
An acknowledged leader in graduate education in the health sciences, Chatham has offered an accredited entry-level OT graduate degree for 25 years. The program boasts a 100% job placement rate within six months of graduation and an NBCOT pass rate of 99% within one year of graduation.
The vision of the ELOTD at Chatham is to cultivate personal and professional growth as globally-minded citizens and as leaders in healthcare. At its core, the program promotes sustainable health and wellness for all persons, communities and populations.
Chatham’s entry-level OTD program provides students with opportunities to engage in a variety of leadership activities throughout the curriculum. They are assigned a leadership advisor, and take part in a leadership advising group. In addition, there are multiple opportunities to engage in advocacy and leadership roles throughout the program, including program committee positions to foster the development of professional service and leadership skills.
Healthcare is becoming increasingly interprofessional in nature. Entry-level OTD students have myriad opportunities to engage in interprofessional education and community outreach, including the Ecuador trip, and other endeavors.
Chatham OTD graduates are eligible to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT®) certification exam. Successful completion of this exam certifies the therapist as an OTR®. State licensure is required by most states and is usually based on the results of the NBCOT® certification exam.
Chatham University’s entry-level doctor of occupational therapy degree program (OTD) 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. View ACOTE's website here, or call them at 301-652-AOTA.View Full Accreditation & Student Outcomes
Chatham receives numerous requests from employers who are interested in hiring our graduates. The OTD program maintains a bulletin board of current job opportunities. In addition, all job openings are emailed to students during their final term in the program. 100% of our graduates who are seeking employment find jobs as occupational therapists.View Student Outcomes
Chatham's location allows for access to a network of resources from surrounding colleges and universities. The many nearby hospitals, clinics, and community agencies offer a wide variety of opportunities for observation and fieldwork experiences. There’s lots of opportunity to network with local OT clinicians through guest lectures and panel discussions.
The Class of 2018 created the Joyce Salls Occupational Therapy Student Award, which honors Dr. Salls’s dedication to her students and the field of Occupational Therapy. The purpose of this award is to provide recognition and financial assistance to a deserving occupational therapy student at Chatham University’s School of Health Sciences.Give Now
Learn about occupational therapy student and faculty accomplishments, alumni achievements, and various activities that occurred over the last academic year—in Pittsburgh, and all over the country.Learn More
Want more details? Download our PDF for answers to the most frequently asked questions about Chatham's Doctor of Occupational Therapy program.Download the PDF
“I really liked what the university was about overall in terms of its commitment to sustainability and women’s leadership, and was really interested in the Occupational Therapy program’s commitment to community health and community-based projects,” Elizabeth Sherman says.
Chatham's School of Health Sciences has developed a strong reputation for its sought-after healthcare professionals. From advanced degrees to opportunities for increased leadership, our graduates build upon their careers ready to contribute to improving the quality of care in their organizations.
For many of the School of Health Sciences students, it would be their first time treating patients in such a context—navigating different cultures, different specialties, even different words. And if that weren’t novelty enough, they’d be doing it in Ibarra, Ecuador.
Students benefit from the breadth of faculty expertise found in Chatham’s OTD program: biomechanics, community-based practice, evidence-based practice, geriatrics/skilled nursing, gerontology, holistic practice, home care, leadership, mental health, neuroscience, pediatrics, rehab management, school-based practice, sensory integration, and spinal cord.