Occupational Therapy, Post-Professional (PPOTD)

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Occupational Therapy, Post-Professional (PPOTD) Overview

Chatham University’s Post-Professional Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (PPOTD) program is an online 30-credit program for clinicians and academicians who want to enhance their careers. Unlike a Ph.D. in occupational therapy, the PP-OTD degree has a clinical or practice focus and requires much less of a time commitment. The PPOTD degree can be completed in just 16 months. Students take two classes at a time, allowing them to continue working and balancing life commitments while effectively engaging in new learning.
Degrees Offered
  • Doctorate
  • OT
Program School
Application Deadline

Fall and Spring

July 1 for the fall term and November 1 for the spring term. We recommend that students submit their application as soon as possible, as space in our cohort program is limited.

Credits Required


Chatham's PPOTD is an online 30-credit program with two short residencies. The Bachelor to OTD Bridge Program is 39 credits and starts in fall terms.

Cost Per Credit


Cost listed is before the generous 20% tuition reduction Chatham offers for members of AOTA and several state occupational therapy associations, as well as full-time employees of companies participating in our Corporate & Strategic Partner Program.

Did you know?

Degree Options

Experienced occupational therapists who hold a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy, but not a master’s degree, are eligible for the Bachelor-to-OTD Bridge Program.

Explore the Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy Degree:

  • Free, online application
    • Please list former last or maiden names that may appear on transcripts
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended sent directly from the institutions to Chatham University via email or postal mail:
    • Chatham University
      Graduate Admissions
      1 Woodland Road
      Pittsburgh, PA 15232

Please provide the following:

  • Current resume
  • Copy of OT license
  • Essay of 500 words or less
    • Explain your understanding of evidence-based practice versus research, and then describe an area of interest and/or potential problem you plan to focus your evidence-based capstone project. Include why you are interested in this area and why it is relevant for occupational therapy practice.
To be considered for admission review, please note that either a master’s degree or undergraduate degree in occupational therapy is required. The GRE is not required.

OTD750: Occupational Therapist as Entrepreneur

This course provides the professional student with the knowledge and skills necessary to market and manage an occupational therapy practice in traditional or emerging healthcare systems. Students develop business plans and marketing strategies, and research potential financing through grants or loans. Legal and ethical issues impacting practice are also examined.

OTD760: Leadership and Professionalism

This course examines the meaning of leadership from both a personal and organizational perspective. Students explore leadership theories, styles, and the meaning of professionalism through narratives. Through group discussion of leadership and professional issues, students reflect on their own leadership strengths, as well as strategies for applying this knowledge in their professional lives.

OTD772: Capstone Implementation and Evaluation

The methods of evidence-based practice culminate in the professional student’s design and implementation of an intervention within their clinical setting. Through an independent study, students network with faculty mentors, administrators, and other professionals to successfully engage in the evidence-based OT capstone project. Students evaluate the efficacy of their individually implemented programs and present their findings.

View Full Curriculum

The post-professional OTD curriculum allows students to explore their own area of professional interest and then directly apply their learning through the design and implementation of an evidence-based capstone project in their work setting. Students become a true community of learners, working together for the future of better healthcare.

—SHARON NOVALIS, Ph.D., program director 

Our Faculty

Chatham’s OTD faculty members bring a wealth of clinical experience as well as teaching experience in a range of practice settings.

Full Faculty

Capstone Project

Each student will complete a capstone project that includes the design and implementation of an intervention where they work, or may extend into the community or an emerging practice area. Students present their project at Chatham at a peer-attended presentation and are encouraged to submit their work for consideration to peer-reviewed journals and conferences post-graduation.


The online learning experience is enhanced with two short, required residencies at Chatham University in Pittsburgh. The first is three days and occurs at the end of the first term. This experience includes a leadership course plus a preview of capstone presentations. The second is two days and occurs at the end of the last term. Here, students deliver their capstone presentation.

Student Success

"I feel that the OTD program has made me grow professionally as an OT and as a student. I have learned and developed so many new skills that can prepare me to be a better OT, leader, researcher, evidence-based practitioner, and educator. I have learned that I can accomplish a lot while dealing with working full-time, a part-time job, and raising a family." —Brooke Gingrich, OTD '17

Read More from Program Alumni

Educational Opportunities

Students enjoy opportunities to forge professional relationships that last well beyond the program. The small size of each cohort allows for deep discussion and interaction. An alumni mentor program ensures that students have a support system even beyond faculty and their online learning advisor.

AOTA Conference

Each year Chatham faculty, students, and alumni make a significant impact at the AOTA annual conference and expo, where we come together to network and catch up. Click here to view the accepted list of presentations by Chatham faculty, students, and alumni for the 2020 conference.

Alumni Perspectives

"Prior to starting this program, I observed occupational injustices but did not realize I could do something about them. As a result of Chatham's phenomenal OTD program, I know that I can be a change agent as an occupational therapist at my workplace, in the community, and globally."—Monica Cainion, OTD '17

Read More from Program Alumni

Funding Options

Chatham offers a generous tuition reduction for members of AOTA and several state occupational therapy associations, as well as full-time employees of companies participating in our Corporate & Strategic Partner Program. This benefit reduces the per-credit tuition rate by 20% for the duration of the program and makes our post-professional OTD one of the most affordable options.

Learn More

In Touch Newsletters

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.

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Making an Impact in Ecuador

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.

A Strong Reputation

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

Diverse Career Opportunities

Recent PP-OTD graduates have gone on to work in hospitals and medical centers; early learning environments; higher education; and entrepreneurship.