Applications are currently being accepted NOW for the cohorts beginning January 2024 and January 2025 on a rolling admission basis. Applications are processed in the order received (first come first serve basis) with admission offers made within a month of submitting applications. Please see the admissions tab below for information on how to submit your application.
NKU offers an Innovative learning environment focused on Excellence in Occupation-Centered Practice, Collaborative Engagement, Professionalism, and Leadership. Students will experience a cutting-edge curriculum. If you choose NKU, imagine yourself…
Consistent with the mission and values of Northern Kentucky University, and the College of Health and Human Services the faculty and staff of the Department of Occupational Therapy promote an innovative environment to facilitate excellence in academics, entry-level occupation-based practice, collaborative engagement, professionalism, and leadership within a global context to promote health through occupational engagement.
To cultivate innovative occupational therapy professionals who promote occupation based health and wellness and foster dedication to inclusion, scholarship, collegiality, and service in order to improve quality of life across the lifespan.
Dr. Nicole Atkins is the Doctoral Capstone Coordinator for the Inaugural Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program. Nicole obtained her bachelor’s degree in recreational therapy from the University of Toledo and her doctorate of occupational therapy at Kettering College. Nicole has 3 years of experience as a recreational therapist working in psychiatric adult care and 4 years of experience as an occupational therapist in pediatric care. Nicole also serves as a trusted board member for the Miracle League of Greater Dayton and is a member of the Ohio Occupational Therapy Association. Nicole is a licensed provider in Ohio and Kentucky.
NKU OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY students will experience a highly respected evidenced-based education in the engaging Health Innovations Simulation Center. The NKU Center for Simulation Education utilizes advanced technology and thoughtfully designed spaces to create a safe learning environment where students can practice real-life healthcare situations. The center features eight inpatient simulation rooms including an operating room, and a multi-bed critical care room. In addition, the center has a simulated home health environment and eight outpatient examination rooms. The simulation spaces allow for a learner-centered education with endless exploration and is accredited by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare. NKU’s Entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy offers a business focused framework delivered by experts in the field, along with simulated experiences integrated into evidenced based coursework based on current areas of practice.
NKU’s beautiful rural campus is just 7 miles from downtown Cincinnati. The student rec center has over 17,000 SF of state-of-the-art cardo, weight and circuit training equipment, a 1/9-mile track, Olympic size aquatic center, and hundreds of regularly scheduled exercise classes. Students can visit Starbucks for a latte or fuel up in many eateries available in the student union, and stroll through the beautifully landscaped campus or partake in many leisure and social opportunities. The energetic Norse campus offers endless opportunities to get involved, build lasting skills, and establish lifelong relationships.
NKU’s OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY faculty focus on being culturally responsive and understand the need for diversity in education. Instructors take the time to know each student’s name and explore individual learning styles. Students experience a one-one education yet benefit from the full university experience among a highly established regional institution.
The Entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) curriculum integrates foundational knowledge, basic theoretical constructs and perspectives, and technical skills development for implementing the Occupational Therapy Process with a focus on systems and settings that represent contemporary and emerging Occupational Therapy practice. The curriculum is designed to prepare students to become evidence-based practitioners in the Evaluation, Intervention, and Outcomes stages of the Occupational Therapy Process for individuals, families, organizations, and communities across geographic locations and cultural settings. The location of services can include schools, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, outpatient clinics, homes, communities, and workplaces.
Aligned with the College of Health and Human Services’ emphasis on interprofessional education students in the Occupational Therapy program will participate in collaborative interactions and simulation experiences that allow them to support and encourage the contributions of other team member in optimizing client outcomes. The integration of basic foundational knowledge with interprofessional simulated client experiences allows for deeper integration of knowledge and better preparation for clinical experiences.
Curricular Threads and Program Outcomes
1) Excellence in Occupation-centered Practice:
2) Collaborative Engagement
NKU OTD students will actively engage with:
OTD Course Sequence
The majority of the NKU OTD courses are a face to face or hybrid format. Three summer courses will be in an online format. Please click here for the sequence of courses.
Application can be made to the program before completing all the requirements to begin classes. Please review the information below. Any admissions questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.orgJanuary
January 2024 Start Date
Apply Now for January 2024! Applicants who have a minimum of 5 completed prerequisite courses, 3 references, and an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher can submit their application immediately through the Occupational Therapy Central Application System (OTCAS). Qualified applicants will be invited to an interview with OT faculty. Applicants who pass the interview will be invited to join the January 2024 cohort until the maximum number of students has been reached. Applications will remain open once the cohort is full and successful applicants will be placed on a wait list.
January 2025 Start Date
Apply Now for January 2025! Applicants who have a minimum of 5 completed prerequisite courses, 3 references, and an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher can submit their application immediately through the Occupational Therapy Central Application System (OTCAS). Qualified applicants will be invited to an interview with OT faculty. Applicants who pass the interview will be invited to join the January 2025 cohort until the maximum number of students has been reached. Applications will remain open once the cohort is full and successful applicants will be placed on a wait list
Submit Your Application
To be considered for the program, please submit your application for the Entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy program through OTCAS at https://otcas.liaisoncas.com/.
Requirements to Begin Classes
Minimum requirements to begin classes in the NKU OTD program:
1. A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education with a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
2. Completion of 20 hours of observing occupational therapists in a variety of settings. Please click here for an OT observation record form template.
3. Submission of an application through the Occupational Therapy Centralized Admission System.
4. An interview with NKU OTD faculty.
5. Completion of the following prerequisite courses with a minimum grade of C and no more than two attempts in each prerequisite course.
6. Admission into the program
Join us in person or via zoom for an information session when we describe the NKU Occupational Therapy Program and answer potential students' questions.
Please RSVP a minimum of 24 hours in advance to Occupational Therapy Information Sessions on Campus with a Tour 2023 (RSVP email@example.com):
20th- 10-12 am
20th- 4-5:30 pm
27th -10-12 am
27th -4-5:30 pm
13th- 10-12 am
13th- 4-5:30 pm
27th -10-12 am
27th -4-5:30 pm
3rd- 10-12 am
3rd- 4-5:30 pm
17th- 10-12 am
May1st -10-12 am
1st -4-5:30 pm
Occupational Therapy Information Sessions via zoom 2023 (RSVP to OTD@nku.edu):
March 15th 7 to 8:30pm (Anderson)
April 4th 7 to 8:30pm (Atkins)
May 19th 7 to 8:30pm (Atkins)
June 7th 7 to 8:30pm (Anderson)
July 27th 7 to 8:30pm (Atkins)
September 6th 7 to 8:30pm (Atkins)
October 5th 7 to 8:30pm (Anderson)
November 14th (Anderson)
Please click here for the technology resources required for students enrolled in the program.
Students enrolled will need to maintain the following in order to continue in the program:
Students enrolled will need to complete the following in order to graduate from the program:
Please click here for a full list of fees and total tuition.
Please see https://inside.nku.edu/studentaccountservices/tuition/miscfees.html for miscellaneous fees.
The entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program 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. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its Web address is www.acoteonline.org. The program must have a preaccreditation review, complete an on-site evaluation, and be granted Accreditation Status before its graduates 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). 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.
Any bachelor’s degree offered at NKU meets the degree requirement for applying to the NKU Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program (OTD). All NKU OTD prerequisite courses must be completed even if they are not required for the undergraduate major. The links below provide the example degree programs with OTD prerequisites included for several common PreOT pathways at NKU. To find out more about Four-Year Plans, visit the Policies and Procedures page.
For students who have an earned associate degree in a health discipline
For students entering college or transferring to NKU
A Career as an Occupational Therapist
Occupational Therapy (OT) is a holistic profession that assists clients in functioning in life through focuses on remediating daily living tasks with creative and functional methods. Occupations are not just careers or one’s current job status, rather occupations refer to those everyday tasks that are deemed important for one’s quality of life such as: dressing, bathing, driving, playing, eating, and related demands of functional mobility (balance, strength, range of motion). The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) has extensive information supporting the impact of OT in the community https://www.aota.org/-/media/Corporate/Files/Practice/Manage/Presentation-Resources/Brochure/What-Is-OT-brochure.pdf.
A career in Occupational Therapy (OT) can take you many exciting places but more importantly, enable you to become a change maker of functional independence for the clients you serve. OTs work in the school system, outpatient clinics, hospitals, skilled nursing rehabilitation clinics, the community, and many other emerging practice areas. U.S. News and World Report, January 2021, shows OT in the Top 10 of The Best Top Health Care Jobs 2021 supporting it as a vibrant healthcare profession. Refer to https://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/rankings/best-healthcare-jobs.
Advantages of an Entry-level OTD
The American Occupational Therapy Association. (2015). Frequently Asked Questions About the Entry-Level Master’s and Doctoral Degrees for Occupational Therapists. Retrieved from https://www.aota.org/-/media/corporate/files/educationcareers/educators/coe/faq-on-professional-entry-degrees-2015.pdf.