Application for Summer 2024 entry opens late July. Deadline to apply is November 1, 2023 11:59PM EST. See more information.
Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD)
To be considered for admission to Georgia State OTD program you need to apply through:
A.) OTCAS and
B.) Georgia State Graduate Application following the recommended steps below.
- Take the GRE and have your official scores sent to Georgia State, using code 0194. If your first language is not English, you must also take the TOEFL.
- Create an account with OTCAS.
- Complete the OTCAS application and submit fees to OTCAS. All admissions materials should be received and complete by OTCAS by the deadline.
- Have all official transcripts sent to OTCAS.
- Complete and submit the Georgia State graduate application and $50 fee.
The professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) program accepts students once a year for the summer semester of each academic year.
Admission to the OTD program is competitive; not all that apply will be admitted. Applicants whose credentials are the most complete and who present the highest qualifications are accepted for admission. Completion of the stated selection criteria does not assure admission to the program. Students who are not accepted into the program may apply for the next application deadline. Complete applications will be reviewed by the OTD Program Admissions Committee. A select number of applicants will be invited for a personal interview.
Applicants must understand the following is a list of minimum requirements for application to the program and that acceptance to the program is competitive and not guaranteed.
- Complete a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum of a 3.0 cumulative GPA average based on a 4.0 scale for the undergraduate degree. Applicants may apply while completing their degree, but the degree should be completed before the anticipated start of the OTD program.
- Have a minimum cumulative GPA average of 3.0 based on a 4.0 scale for prerequisite courses. All prerequisites must be completed within the last 5 years – no exceptions.
- Submit official transcripts to OTCAS. If you are enrolled in another graduate program at Georgia State University, you may complete a Request for Transfer of Records in your current college’s graduate admissions office.
- Have completed the GRE within 5 years of the desired semester of entry, including the quantitative, verbal and analytical writing components. We recommend that you take the GRE no later than two months prior to the application deadline. The score should be sent directly to OTCAS from the Educational Testing Service (ETS). The correct institution code for OTCAS at Georgia State University is 0194. A department code is not used. GRE scores must also be self-reported into OTCAS. Visit the GRE website at http://www.gre.org/ for information and registration. **A minimum score of 150 on the Verbal and 140 on the Quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is recommended. A minimum score of 3.5 in the Analytical Writing section is also recommended.
**While minimum GRE scores are recommended, they are not required.
- Submit contact information for three references through OTCAS. The references will then be contacted by OTCAS to submit their letter of recommendation. At least one letter should come from an OT, one from an academic instructor, and one from a work supervisor, academic advisor, or other health care professional (not family or friends).
- Submit documentation of a minimum of 50 hours of work, volunteer, or shadowing experience in at least two different delivery systems demonstrating exposure to and understanding of the occupational therapist’s role. Applicants should plan to track their own hours, and there is no specific format required to document the hours. The documentation of hours should be signed by the supervising occupational therapist(s). Please see here for more information.
- Complete a Personal Statement, no more than 2 pages double spaced. The Personal Statement should succinctly discuss how your academic background and life experiences will contribute to your success in the OTD Program while enhancing our program and the profession of occupational therapy. This letter should only be submitted in OTCAS
- Submit a current resume of professional, academic, leadership, and volunteer experiences in OTCAS. As applicable, your resume should highlight any multicultural experience or experience working with diverse groups of individuals (i.e. – study abroad experience, diverse volunteer experience, fluency in multiple languages, etc.).
- International students whose native language is not English must also submit an official report of their score on the Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) taken within the last 2 years:
- TOEFL with a score of 90 with no less than 20 on each subtest OR
- IELTS with a score of 6.5 with no less than 6 on each band score.
**For additional information on international admissions at GSU, please visit https://isss.gsu.edu/future-students/admissions/
- Participate in an interview on request from GSU.
Applicant Data for Entering OT/M students –Class of 2018 (1st Cohort)
|Cumulative GPA||Prerequisite GPA||GRE V||GRE Q||GRE Writing|
Applicant Data for Entering OT/M students –Class of 2019 (2nd Cohort)
|Cumulative GPA||Prerequisite GPA||GRE V||GRE Q||GRE Writing|
Applicant Data for Entering OT/M students –Class of 2020 (3rd Cohort)
|Cumulative GPA||Prerequisite GPA||GRE V||GRE Q||GRE Writing|
Applicant Data for Entering OT/M students –Class of 2021 (4th Cohort)
|Cumulative GPA||Prerequisite GPA||GRE V||GRE Q||GRE Writing|
Applicant Data for Entering OTD students –Class of 2024 (1st OTD Cohort)
|Cumulative GPA||Prerequisite GPA||GRE V||GRE Q||GRE Writing|
- Take the GRE and have your official scores sent to GSU using code 0194. If your first language is not English, you must also take the TOEFL.
- Create an account with OTCAS.
- Complete the OTCAS application in its’ entirety and submit fees to OTCAS.
- Have all official transcripts sent to OTCAS.
- Please make use of the Check Status option at the top of the dashboard. Confirm here that all official transcripts and three references have been received by OTCAS. If this is not done, your application will not move forward. It is your responsibility to monitor the progress of your application components.
- Your OTCAS application must be complete by the deadline. For this to happen, OTCAS must have a complete OTCAS application, all official transcripts, and application fee(s). From here, OTCAS begins to verify your coursework (the coursework you self-reported against what your official transcripts list). So, please make sure everything matches. ***More information can be found here: https://help.liaisonedu.com/OTCAS_Applicant_Help_Center/Submitting_and_Monitoring_Your_OTCAS_Application/Before_and_After_You_Submit_Your_OTCAS_Application/02_Check_Your_OTCAS_Notifications_and_Status.
- Complete and submit the GSU Graduate application and $50 fee.
“Regarding non-resident Georgia (out-of-state) students that are taking courses via distance education, please review the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) link to determine if the courses you are planning to enroll in are accepted by your home state and/or home institution. If the courses are not authorized, you may not receive Georgia State credit taken in those states.” If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Academic Assistance. If you will be an out-of-state student, the admissions committee suggests that you contact the appropriate state licensing board in your state to confirm that the Georgia State University courses or program that you have been accepted to allow you to practice with professional licensure in your state of residence after completion.”
**Please note that the OTD Program does not accept AP (Advanced Placement) or CLEP (College Level Exam Progress) credits as prerequisite courses.
- Human Anatomy and Physiology 1 with lab (3 credits)
- Human Anatomy and Physiology 2 with lab (3 credits)
- Human Growth and Development or Developmental Psychology (3 credits)
- Abnormal Psychology (3 credits)
- Statistics (3 credits)
- Sociology or Anthropology (3 credits)
- Medical Terminology (2-3 credits)
All prerequisite courses should be taken from a regionally accredited college or university. The GSU OTD Program requires that 5 out of the 7 prerequisite courses be completed at the time of application submission and all of the courses should be completed by the time of the anticipated start to the program in the following summer semester. Human Anatomy and Physiology 1 with lab (3 credits) need to be completed at the time of the application submission.
Prerequisite Equivalent Course Examples
|OTD Prerequisite||GSU Equivalent Course Examples|
|Human Anatomy and Physiology 1 with lab (3 credits)||BIOL 2110 K –Human Anatomy and Physiology I (4 credits)|
|Human Anatomy and Physiology 2 with lab (3 credits)||BIOL 2120 K –Human Anatomy and Physiology II (4 credits)|
|Human Growth and Development or Developmental Psychology (3 credits)||
PSYC 2103 Introduction to Human Development: Individual and family issue (3 credits), OR
NURS 2010 Health and Human Development Across the lifespan (3 credits), OR
PSYC 4040 Developmental Psychology (3.0)
|Abnormal Psychology (3 credits)||PSYC 3140 Abnormal Psychology (3.0 credits)|
|Statistics (3 credits)||Math 1401 Elementary Statistics|
|Sociology or Anthropology (3 credits)||
SOCI 1101 Introduction to Sociology, OR
SOCI 4230 Sociology of Health and Illness (3.0 credits)
|Medical Terminology (2-3 credits)||CNHP 2010 (3.0) Medical Terminology for Health Care|
ESSENTIAL TECHNICAL STANDARDS FOR OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY STUDENTS
Occupational Therapists are healthcare professionals who are experts in evaluating human learning and performance skills. Occupational Therapists analyze, select, and adapt activities for patients whose ability to cope with daily living and perform tasks necessary to care for themselves or others is compromised by developmental deficiencies, the aging process, environmental deprivation, or from physical or psychological, or social injury or illness. The OTD student at Georgia State University must have the abilities and skills to successfully complete all of the didactic and clinical experiences in order to effectively work with clients.
Occupational Therapy Objectives: OT Student must be able to:
- Plan and implement activities and programs to improve sensory and motor functioning at the level of performance normal for the patient’s stage of development.
- Teach skills, behaviors, and attitudes crucial to the patient’s independent, productive, and satisfying social functioning.
- Design, fabricate, apply, and instruct patients in the use of selected orthotic or prosthetic devices and other adaptive equipment which assists the patient to adapt to his or her potential or actual impairment.
- Analyze, select, and adapt activities to maintain the patient’s optimal performance of tasks and to prevent further disability.
- Complete a comprehensive Occupational Therapy evaluation and conduct treatment in a clinical environment which may include measuring Range of Motion, strength, endurance, muscle tone, pain level, ADL skills, fine motor skills, transfer skills, functional mobility, balance, response to sensation, cognitive status, and home management skills.
- Demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and colleagues, including patients from different cultural and social backgrounds and in stressful situations. This includes, but is not limited to the ability to establish rapport with patients and communicate evaluation and treatment information effectively. Students must be able to understand and speak the English language at a level consistent with competent professional practice.
- Demonstrate the ability to record evaluation results, treatment plans, patient notes and outcomes clearly and accurately.
- Demonstrate the ability to assimilate, analyze, synthesize, integrate information and problem solve to form the basis for their clinical reasoning.
- Demonstrate the ability to maintain composure and continue to function well with patients who are undergoing periods of stress and may exhibit challenging attitudes or behaviors.
- Demonstrate the ability to adjust to changing situations and uncertainty in clinical situations.
- Demonstrate the ability to develop professional values, ethics, appropriate demeanor and rapport that are essential for professional education and quality patient care.
In order to successfully accomplish the objectives stated above, the OTD student must possess adequate sensory / motor / skills, cognitive / judgement / observation skills, and communication / interpersonal / professional skills as described below. These technical standards are necessary for full participation in the academic and fieldwork/clinical aspects of the OTD program at Georgia State University. Each occupational therapy student is required to meet these Essential Technical Standards with or without reasonable accommodation.
Essential Technical Standards:
Sensory / Motor Skills
- Lift 10-50 pounds
- Rotate & twist trunk
- Reach above shoulder level
- Kneel Push/Pull Carry
- Use hands repetitively
- Use light and firm grasp
- Use manual dexterity
- Use auditory/tactile/visual senses to evaluate client status
- Transition from different heights (chair – floor – plinth)
- Move within clinic/community setting on a variety of surfaces (steps, uneven ground)
- In an average academic / clinic day a student must be able to:
- Sit: 2-6 hours
- Stand: 2-4 hours
- Walk/travel: 2 hours
Cognitive / Judgement / Observation Skills
Attend class approximately 35+ hours per week which includes the following:
- Task group meetings
- Integrated clinical experience
- Meets class standards for course completion
- Reading, studying and absorbing classroom materials
- Performs and/or instructs others in a timely manner in the following:
- Transfers – performs and/or instructs
- Activities of daily living (dependent through independent status) – performs and instructs
- Splinting – performs
- Therapeutic activities/procedures
- Task and verbal group activities
- Carries out assessment procedures using sound judgment and safety precautions
- Applies critical thinking process to requirements of the academic learning experience in:
- Integrated clinical experience
Communication / Interpersonal / Professional Skills
- Addresses problems or questions to the appropriate person at the appropriate time
- Maintains personal appearance and hygiene conducive to professional student setting
- Travels or relocates to various locations required for internships and practicums
- Maintains work area, equipment and supplies in a manner conducive to efficiency and safety
- Models socially appropriate behaviors
- Manages time effectively
- Treats peers, faculty, staff, patient/clients with respect
- Conducts himself/herself in an honest manner in dealing with faculty, staff, guest speakers and peers
- Assumes responsibility for professional conduct and growth
- Is responsible for abiding by the rules and regulations of the Occupational Therapy Program, fieldwork facility and profession
- Follows all policies and procedures required by fieldwork sites and the OT program
- Completes all assignments from both FW sites and academic program
- Maintains patient/client confidentiality
- Communicates with peers, faculty and staff effectively and professionally
- Complies with dress code
- Meets attendance requirements
- Demonstrates professional standards of practice and adheres to AOTA code of ethics
- Maintains work area, equipment and supplies in a manner conducive to efficiency and safety
- Models socially appropriate behaviors
- Creates an environment which maximizes client responses
- Documents all required information
- Effectively adjusts communication for intended audience
- Demonstrates problem solving skills in patient care
- Gathers information needed prior to assessment
- Engages appropriately in a supervisory process
- Uses sound judgment in maintaining professionalism when communicating with peers and patients or their caregivers
- Respects diversity and the values of others
Following acceptance into the Occupational Therapy Program, the OTD student is required to verify that he/she/they understands and meets these technical standards or that he/she/they believes that, with certain accommodations, he/she/they can meet the standards. For a student who believes that he/she/they can meet these standards with accommodation, the University’s Access and Accommodations Center (https://access.gsu.edu/) will validate the need for accommodation and will work with the Occupational Therapy Department to determine if reasonable accommodation can be made. This determination will take into account whether the accommodation would jeopardize clinician/patient/client safety or undercut an essential element of a course, clinical experience or internship.
(Explanation of reasonable accommodation: https://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/accommodation.html)
Georgia State University does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, creed, age, sexual orientation, gender, disability, national origin, or veteran status in employment or the administration of the program and activities conducted by Georgia State University or any of its several departments now in existence or hereafter established.
Summer Year 1:
OT 6500 – Human Gross Anatomy for Occupational Therapy – 4 credits
This lecture course is designed to provide OT students a comprehensive understanding of normal human anatomy. We take a regional approach and divide the course content into five modules to cover (1) back, (2) upper extremity, (3) trunk (thorax, abdomen, pelvis), (4) lower extremity, and (5) head & neck regions. We emphasize the structure and function of the musculoskeletal system in each region, and the essential nerve and vascular innervations. The purpose is to provide students the foundational knowledge throughout the OTD program to better understand human function and occupation.
OT 6501 – Human Gross Anatomy for Occupational Therapy Lab – 2 credits
This lab course coincides with the OT 6500 Anatomy Lecture course. Through hands-on experiential learning with cadaver dissection and virtual anatomy technology, students will gain an in-depth understanding of the structure and function of the musculoskeletal system in different body regions, and the relevant nerve and vascular innervations. We follow the anatomy lecture course to set up five lab modules: (1) back, (2) upper extremity, (3) trunk (thorax, abdomen, pelvis), (4) lower extremity, and (5) head & neck regions. The purpose is to enhance students’ learning outcomes from lecture material through visualization and exploration of the human body and strengthen the understanding of the functional relationships between structures.
OT 6600 – Medical Conditions Across the Life Span – 4 credits
This course introduces the student to a variety of medical conditions affecting individuals across the lifespan with an emphasis on conditions frequently encountered in various settings in which occupational therapists may practice. The course covers content related to the etiology, pathology, symptomatology and medical/surgical management of selected medical conditions which affects an individual’s ability to participate in occupational endeavors.
OT 6700 – Doctoral Seminar I: Profession of Occupational Therapy – 1 credit
This course provides the students with an understanding of the historical foundation of the profession of occupational therapy, focusing on core concepts of the profession. This course is designed to introduce students to the Occupational Therapy process and introduces The Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain & Process (OTPF) 4th edition (AOTA, 2020), an official document for the profession. Students examine their role in the creation of practice-based evidence in occupational therapy. This course supports students in the development of critical reading and writing skills with particular relevance to understanding human occupation and the practice of occupational therapy through scientific inquiry. This course is designed to introduce students to foundational concepts about clinical applications of research that will ultimately support them in their research and capstone projects.
Fall Year 1:
OT 6800 – Functional Movement Across the Lifespan – Analysis and Assessment – 4 credits
In this course students will develop an understanding of clinical human anatomy and biomechanical principles underlying human movement and their application to occupational performance and how it changes across the lifespan. Students will perform detailed regional analyses of the upper and lower extremities and the trunk. Assessment procedures, including palpation, muscle strength testing, range of motion, and flexibility testing will be learned in order to analyze their relationships to occupational performance.
OT 6900 – Social and Cultural Determinants of Health and Occupation Across the Lifespan – 3 credits
This course focuses on the effects of occupations on health and how societal and cultural determinants influence an individual’s quality of life throughout the life span. Students apply relevant theories and constructs to understand the social and cultural effects on the development of human occupation.
OT 7150 – Analysis and Adaptation of Occupation – 3 credits This second semester course focuses on philosophical assumptions, and core concepts of the occupational therapy profession including the OT Code of Ethics, occupation-based theories, models of practice, and frames of reference. Additionally, this course will follow lifespan development from infancy through older adults and the relevant occupational engagement at each stage. Through using the flipped class design, the lab component provides the students with an opportunity for interactive, dynamic, hands on activities to develop an understanding of occupation, activity analysis, evaluation of ADLs/IADL and professional documentation.
OT 7200 – Neuroscience: Assessing Human Performance – 4 credits
This course, including lecture and lab sections, introduces students to the basic neuroanatomical structures and neurophysiological functions to allow them to build foundational knowledge throughout the OTD program. We cover neuroscience terminology, cellular neurophysiology, structure & functions of the central and peripheral nervous systems and address human behavior and performance in relation to the nervous systems.
The lecture section is divided into four modules covering from the cellular level of the nervous system to different systems (e.g., autonomic nervous system, somatosensory system, motor system) and the higher-level neural functions (e.g., language, memory, emotion). Students will also be asked to focus on pathophysiology and clinical manifestations, along with prevention in occupational therapy.
The lab section provides hands-on experience and clinical application of material covered in lecture. A variety of assessments and diagnostic procedures will be utilized to establish students’ knowledge and skills needed in occupational therapy.
OT 7350 – FW 1A and Skills for Occupation Based Practice Seminar I – 2 credits
This course is the first occupation-based practice seminar of the 3-seminar Level I FW sequence. It is an essential element of the first Level 1 FW Experience as it facilitates the integration of information students are learning in the didactic courses through clinical observations and application in traditional Level I FW sites for approximately 40 hours over semester. Faculty lead reflective questions help the students focus on specific factors during the FW experience to facilitate students’ understanding of occupation and task analysis in practice and the importance cultural competency. The students are also introduced to the concept of “soft skills”” such as empathy, active listening, and flexibility and the important role they play in developing therapeutic relationships.
OT 7500 – Doctoral Seminar II: Advanced Statistics for Health Professions – 3 credits
The Doctoral Seminar II is the second seminar course in the Doctoral Seminar Series. The Doctoral Seminar II will provide students the skills needed to perform advanced statistical analysis of occupational performance data for research and practice. Students will develop knowledge and skills to choose, apply and interpret appropriate quantitative statistics to conduct research in occupational therapy and health-related professions. The course will cover descriptive, correlational, and inferential statistics beyond basic statistical analysis such as Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), multiple regression modeling, and combining regression and ANOVA (ANCOVA) etc., and non-parametric tests. Students will have hands-on experience utilizing a statistical software program.
Spring Year 1:
OT 6910 – Orthopedic Assessment and Intervention Across the Lifespan – 4 credits
In this course, students will explore a variety of orthopedic diagnostic conditions and their impact on occupational performance through critical analysis of research evidence and current concepts and techniques utilized in orthopedic rehabilitation. Biomechanical considerations of major orthopedic injuries including injury potential of various human movement activities and methods for injury prevention are explored. Additionally, students will demonstrate orthotic fabrication and use of physical agent modalities with this population.
OT 6920 – Disability Theory, Mental Health and Group Process–Assessment and Intervention Across the Lifespan – 4 credits
In this course students will explore models and theories of practice, diagnostic conditions and disorders, and research evidence for occupational therapy practice with children, youth, and adults, individually and in groups, who present with mental and behavioral health conditions. This course is designed to provide knowledge and skills needed to select and implement specific occupational therapy assessments and interventions including individual and group interventions. This course will focus on individuals living with conditions most likely to benefit from remedial interventions focusing on performance skills and client factors that impact occupational functioning. Students learn through peer-led instruction and dynamic hands-on activities. They complete in-class exercises targeting assessment and intervention and learn by designing, demonstrating, and critiquing therapeutic group sessions.
OT 7450 – FW 1 B and Skills for Occupation Based Practice Seminar II – 2 credits
This course is the second occupation-based practice seminar and corresponding Level I Fieldwork Experience in the 3-seminar sequence. The focus will be on psychological and social factors that influence engagement in occupation. The students will incorporate mental health and group dynamics theories from their didactic courses into their FW I experience. The students will utilize the OT process of assessment, intervention and discharge with individuals with psychosocial impairments and will incorporate therapeutic use of self, ethical principles, occupational justice, and clinical reasoning skills throughout the OT process. The students will participate in approximately 40 hours of supervised clinical experience.
OT 7650 – Research Project Seminar I – 3 credits
This is the first of a series of research project courses that supports the development of the skills needed to develop, implement and disseminate a research project. This course focuses on the skills needed to complete a research proposal. The topics of this course include ethics in the conduct of human subject research, ethical review through institutional review boards (IRB), plagiarism, scientific writing, sound research inquiry and process, literature reviews and methodology plan. Through a series of lectures, small group discussions and hands-on activities, students are guided through the development of a research proposal and a submission to the GSU IRB.
OT 7600 – Doctoral Seminar III: Professional Development to Become an Evidence-Based Practitioner: Quantitative Research Design – 3 credits
The Doctoral Seminar III is the third seminar course in the Doctoral Seminar Series. The Doctoral Seminar III continues developing student scholars who will be able to use scientific evidence for clinical decision-making. Quantitative research methods are explored in the context of clinical inquiry to increase understanding of clinical evidence. Topics of this course include searching the literature, utilizing reference managing programs, quantitative study designs (experimental, quasi-experimental, single-subject, case series, observational studies design, etc.). Students will demonstrate the ability to locate, select, analyze, and critically appraise quantitative studies by identifying the level of evidence, the strength of the methodology, and relevance to the profession of occupational therapy. This course will further develop the skills needed for student research and capstone projects.
CNHP 6200 – Interprofessional Education Seminar – 2 credits
Inter-professional education is a collaborative approach to develop healthcare students as future inter-professional team members. A recommendation by the Institute of Medicine suggests that training future healthcare providers to work in inter-professional teams results in improved healthcare outcomes for patients. The students in this course will closely examine recent trends and research evidence regarding inter-professional collaboration and will participate in an inter- professional team with other healthcare disciplines. Trends in healthcare service delivery, the way in which services are offered, will also be examined. Comparison of service delivery can consider elements such as setting, provider, format, frequency and so forth. Students participate in small group, interactive assignments.
Summer Year 2:
OT 6930 – Neurologic Assessment and Intervention Across the Lifespan I – 3 credits
This course is the first in a pair of courses focused on neurologic rehabilitation. In this course students explore theoretical frames of reference, as well as clinical theories and techniques that use neurophysiological concepts in assessments, and interventions for sensory, cognitive-perceptual, and motor dysfunction. Students will perform evaluations and implement strategies focused on remediation and compensation for activities of self-care, work and play in pediatric, adult, and aging populations. Emphasis will be placed on sensory, cognitive, and perceptual challenges that impact occupational performance. A lecture and lab format is followed with additional practicum experiences.
OT 7660 – Research Project Seminar II – 3 credits
This is the second of a series of research project courses. This course focuses on the skills needed to collect/manage data and implement interventions if needed. The topics of this course include recruitment strategies and procedures, screening, scheduling, assessors training, data collection, data entry and data security. Through a series of lectures, small group discussions and hands-on activities, students are guided through the completion of data collection.
OT 7700 – Doctoral Seminar IV: Professional Development to Become an Evidence-Based Practitioner: Qualitative and Mixed Method Design – 3 credits
The Doctoral Seminar IV continues to develop student scholars who can use scientific evidence for clinical decision-making. The Doctoral seminar IV will explore qualitative and mixed method research designs in the context of clinical inquiry to increase understanding of clinical evidence. Students will critically appraise qualitative study designs followed by synthesis of appraised studies. Students will demonstrate the ability to locate, select, analyze and critically evaluate qualitative and mixed methods studies to identify level of evidence, strength of the methodology, and relevance to the profession of occupational therapy. Students will also learn to select, apply, and interpret qualitative methods, while analyzing and synthesizing qualitative data. This course will continue to further develop skills needed for student research and capstone projects.
Fall Year 2:
OT 6940 – Assistive Technology and Environmental Assessment and Intervention Across the Lifespan – 3 credits
In this course students will examine technology for health and wellness of populations and individuals with and without disabilities. Students will explore the impact of the non-human environment on occupational performance of individuals across the lifespan and gain the necessary knowledge and skills to provide evaluation and intervention. Through this course, students learn how to apply evidence-based practice, resource coordination, and advocacy for clients who utilize technology and environmental intervention. Students participate in dynamic experiences that afford the opportunity interact with technologies and consult with experts in the field.
OT 6950 – Neurologic Assessment and Intervention Across the Lifespan II – 4 credits
This course is the second in a pair of courses focused on neurologic rehabilitation. This course addresses the role of occupational therapy in medical settings including, acute, sub-acute, rehabilitation and skilled nursing facilities. In this course, students will continue to apply the foundational concepts learned in OT6930 in these settings, while focusing more on the neuromotor difficulties experienced by children, adults, and older adults with developmental, acute, and progressive conditions. Students will continue to learn evidence-based evaluation tools and methodologies for assessment and treatment of individuals presenting with specific neurologic conditions.
OT 6960 – Community Based Practice Assessment and Intervention Across the Lifespan – 4 credits
This course examines models of community occupational therapy practice along with the skills and challenges related to community practice. Research evidence related to individual, group, and community interaction to promote occupational functioning, health promotion, and disease prevention will be analyzed. The role of occupational therapy in assisting at-risk or underserved individuals, families, and groups living in the community will be examined by looking at factors influencing occupational performance such as the social, cultural, political, and physical environment. Students will gain hands-on experience with program development in collaboration with local organizations that serve at risk or underserved individuals in the community. Following development of an occupation- and evidence-based program, students will create a portfolio and deliver a presentation to community stakeholders.
OT 7550 – FW 1C and Skills for Occupation Based Practice Seminar III – 2 credits
This is the third and final occupation-based practice seminar and Level I FW experience in the 3-seminar sequence. The focus of this semester will be the application of the OT process including assessment, intervention and discharge while working with individuals in community environments. The students will participate in approximately 40 hours of FW over the course of the semester as they apply concepts from various courses taught this semester including Community based practice, evidence-based practice and Health literacy. Through peer activities, seminar discussions and on-line discussion posts, the students will continue to develop clinical reasoning and professional behaviors that will prepare them for their future Level II experiences.
OT 7670 – Research Project Seminar III – 3 credits
This is the final of a series of research project courses. This course focuses on the skills needed to complete data analyses as well as a poster and a manuscript for dissemination of the findings. The topics of this course include: data analysis, preparation of tables and figures, integration of the findings with existing literature, and development of posters, manuscript and scientific presentation. The scientific writing and presentation emphasize the importance of contribution to the OT literature and continuing education programs.
Spring Year 2:
OT 7800 – Doctoral Seminar V: Preparation for Mentored Doctoral Capstone Project – 1 credit
This course introduces the OT Doctoral Capstone Project and Experience which is an integral part of the OTD program. This preparatory course will present the students with the roles, responsibilities, and expectations of the capstone. The students will explore the areas of focus for the capstone established by the Accreditation Council of Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). In addition, the student will begin the brainstorming process required for the development of the capstone experience.
OT 8300 – Competency Testing and Clinical Review Seminar – 2 credits
This course will review major concepts of all competency-based coursework taught throughout the curriculum to help students prepare for Level II Fieldwork and the National Board of Credentialing for Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam. Students will dialogue with peers and faculty to discuss clinical reasoning when making decisions about assessments and interventions. They will take practice tests to review content and learn test-taking strategies. Students will demonstrate mastery over content and skills by passing a NBCOT-style computerized practice exam and skills-based competency exam.
OT 8320 – Fieldwork Experience II A – 6 credits (12 weeks)
This fieldwork will provide student with the first full-time supervised fieldwork experience to refine and further develop entry-level abilities and integrate OT theory, research, and practice.
Summer Year 3:
OT 8000 – Healthcare Management and Business Development – 3 credits
This course provides a fundamental, critical overview of health care management principles. The course will describe and discuss major leadership philosophies and theories as well as ethical dilemmas. Detailed discussions, teamwork, practical case study experiences, as well as oral and written assignments will be used to educate students in the effective management of people and resources, and to understand political, regulatory, economic, and social forces that are affecting a constantly changing and often complex health care environment. Major emphasis is on reimbursement, financial planning, personnel management, leadership, negotiation skills, conflict resolution, ethics, grant writing, entrepreneurship, and marketing.
OT 8020 – Development of Mentored Doctoral Capstone Project – 3 credits
This capstone development course consists of traditional lecture, in-class and online discussions, self-study, and guest panel presentations. This course supports the student in designing individualized capstone level plans, with faculty direction to guide the development and implementation of the 15-week doctoral capstone experience. The goals of the capstone planning course include identifying interest areas, topics, and mentors, as well as finalizing a draft of the capstone plan. The capstone plans need to be fluid, working documents that allow for changes to meet the evolving needs of the students, mentors, and sites. The student’s plan will include the projects goals and objectives and reflect the desired outcomes from the doctoral capstone, which are to acquire practice-scholar competencies reflecting GSU’s Doctoral program’s sequence and scope of content in the curriculum design.
OT 8100 – Policy, Leadership, and Advocacy in OT – 2 credits
This course investigates the essential components of the health care system from the point of view of the practitioner, manager, and consumer. The course is designed to enable the student to demonstrate an understanding of government regulations, professional organizational policies and practices, and practitioner roles as they relate to the formation and implementation of policy and law.
Fall Year 3:
OT 8350 – Fieldwork Experience II B – 6 credits (12 weeks)
This fieldwork will provide student with the second full-time supervised fieldwork experience to refine and further develop their entry- level abilities and integrate OT theory, research, and practice.
Spring Year 3:
OT 8400 – Doctoral Capstone Experiential Component – 9 credits (15 weeks)
After Finalizing the planning phase with the capstone team (the student, capstone coordinator, faculty mentor and site mentor) and successful completion of the doctoral capstone project, the student will participate in the 15-week experience. The student will transition to their Capstone experience site and begin the in-depth experience. The five phases of the experience include 1) orientation, 2) screening and evaluation, 3) Implementation and evaluation, 4) discontinuation and sustainability and 5) dissemination. During the implementation phase, the student remains engaged with faculty and peers through online discussion posts. These serve as check-ins on progress and completed work. Key components of evaluations include progress toward learning activities, projects, remaining work, sustainability of projects, mentor-perceived value of projects, and narrative summaries from both students and mentors. Evaluations of capstone are completed at midterm (Week 7) with the CC and the final (Week 15) with the student and mentor.
Total OTD Program Credits– 111-114 Credits (Includes 2 required electives)
Departmental and Interdisciplinary Elective Options:
OT 7201 – Specialized Practice in Brain Injury – 3 credits
This course is designed to develop strong foundational knowledge about brain injury, its treatment, and rehabilitation in order to help participants provide quality of care for persons with brain injuries. Neurophysiological aspects, associated consequences, and related complications of brain injury will be reviewed to establish a basic understanding. Specific rehabilitation philosophies, approaches, and techniques that can be used across the continuum of care and with specific populations will facilitate the ability to work in the recovery of brain injury. Interactive online discussions and varied assessments of knowledge for each area will enhance learning. Overall, this course will deliver a wide range of information about brain injury care and prepare participants for taking the national examination to become a certified brain injury specialist.
OT 7935 -- Interdisciplinary Therapy and Outreach in Costa Rica—3 credits
OT 8200 – Directed Readings in Occupational Therapy – 1-3 credits
|This online course provides the student with an opportunity to complete readings and/or conduct a literature review on a special topic pertaining to occupational therapy to enhanced knowledge. Readings will be guided by an instructor with particular expertise in the topic area. Students may elect to complete 1-3 credit hours of study.|
OT 8240 – Family Centered Care in Early Childhood Systems – 3 credits
The purpose of this course is to illustrate the centrality of the family in the life of infants and young children (age birth to 3) with disabilities and, subsequently, early childhood intervention. Additionally, this course will facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration to understand roles and responsibilities of related health professionals in providing family centered early intervention. We will also explore the application of telerehabilitation in providing family centered care. This course relies on outside readings, discussions, and completion of performance-based competencies where concepts are interpreted and applied to early childhood intervention.
OT 8340 – Evidence-Based Practice for Early Childhood Intervention – 3 credits
This course is designed to prepare the student to use techniques associated with evidence-based practices for young children (age birth to 3) with disabilities. Students will learn to develop clinical questions, develop search strategies to access best available evidence, begin to analyze selected literature, and utilize information to facilitate clinical decision making. Students will explore the impact of evidence-based practice on early intervention, such as the implementation of evidence-based practices for young children through a telehealth platform and identify the gap of current evidence on early intervention.
OT 8440 – Teaming and Collaboration within Early Childhood Systems – 3 credits
The purpose of this course is to provide a foundation for the inclusion of infants and young children (age birth to 3) with disabilities and their families into inclusive community settings and programs. This course is designed to help students apply models, skills, and processes of teaming when collaborating and communicating with families and professionals, using culturally and linguistically responsive and affirming practices. In partnership with families and other professionals, students will demonstrate strategic planning to implement individualized plans and transitions that occur across the age span of birth through 3.
CNHP 8002—Addressing Health and Wellbeing for At-risk, Underserved, and Marginalized Populations: Cross Cultural Perspectives – 3 credits
This course examines cross-cultural programming aimed at addressing health and wellbeing for at-risk, underserved, and marginalized populations. Students will develop an understanding of the programming process, and evidence-based programming in both Denmark and the United states will be analyzed. This course will be delivered as a hybrid course with online, in class, and study abroad components.
PT 8500 – Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis in the Health Sciences --2 credits
This combination of systematic review and meta-analysis, the statistical process for combining data from multiple studies, is the basis for evidence-based practice in the health sciences, social sciences, and a host of other fields. Clinicians use it to determine the most effective course of treatment. Researchers use it to plan new studies, to justify these studies (in grant applications) and to put these studies in context (in the introductory section of published papers). The objective of this course is for the student to become proficient in conducting systematic review and meta-analysis in the health sciences. Topics will include publication bias, effect size calculation, forest plots, moderator variables, and meta-regression.
*Additional elective courses will be added as they are developed.
The primary requirement for admission into the OTD program is the applicant’s ability, as judged by the program’s Admissions Committee, to successfully complete the three-year curriculum. Applicants who are admitted into the program have strong academic records as evidenced by their cumulative and prerequisite grade point averages, their breadth and depth of science background and their demonstrated consistency of undergraduate academic performance. A firm and clear commitment to occupational therapy is another criterion for admission as manifested by work or volunteer experience. Qualities such as maturity and effective interpersonal relationships, as ascertained from the letters of recommendation and the personal interview, are important admissions criteria.
An applicant who receives a provisional acceptance on the basis of course work still in progress must satisfactorily complete all outstanding courses prior to matriculation. All students must submit a final transcript that indicates the receipt of the baccalaureate degree.
The Program in Occupational Therapy reserves the right to rescind an acceptance offer if the program requirements are not completed by the start of program classes.
Georgia State University is a public research university. Every applicant is considered individually with regard to suitability for graduate study and expectation of scholarly attainment.
It is the policy of Georgia State University to implement affirmative action and equal opportunity for all employees, students, contractors, consultants and applicants for employment or admission without regard to race, color religion, creed, national origin, sex, age, veteran status or disability.
All applicants who meet the minimal prerequisite requirements will be considered on an individual basis. Applicants found to be competitive may be invited for an interview. The interview process serves a dual purpose:
- It provides a realistic evaluation of eligibility for admission into the program, as it assesses personality, clarity of thought, strength of academic background, quality of related clinical and work experience, and knowledge of the profession.
- It gives the applicant an opportunity to learn more about the program’s teaching and learning philosophy and to spend time with faculty and enrolled students to appraise the program in terms of meeting anticipated personal and professional growth.
Applicants accepted into the program must notify the program of their intent by the date indicated on the acceptance letter. This is done by signing and returning the Acceptance Acknowledgement Letter.
Once a student is admitted into the OT program at GSU the student will be required to provide the following by the start of the program:
- A current physical exam and a Certificate of Immunization are required. The immunization form can be printed from here. Submit the physical exam and Certificate of Immunization form to Georgia State University Health Services and to the OT Academic Fieldwork Coordinator (AFWC) prior to registration.
- Submit a copy of current CPR certification to the AFWC.
- Students are to use this link for a required criminal background check and drug screen and submit this information to the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator. Students must receive a response that the student has not been convicted of any crime pursuant to Section 660.317 RSMO or other disqualifications that would prohibit licensure as a Registered Occupational Therapist. **Students who fail these checks or procedures will be subject to further review by the OTD Program Admissions Committee. This may result in dismissal from the OTD Program.
- Students will be responsible for the cost of professional memberships, as well as any other cost associated with their program of study (including but not limited to: liability insurance, health insurance, background checks and drug screenings, program uniform, travel related to fieldwork placement, etc.).
- The American Occupational Therapy Association has an Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics and Ethics Standards to which all OTD students will adhere; students will respect the rights and dignity of all individuals.
- Matriculated students must enroll on a full-time basis and progress through the program with their class.
It is the policy of Georgia State University to implement affirmative action and equal opportunity for all employees, students, contractors, consultants and applicants for employment or admission without regard to race, color, religion, creed, national origin, sex, age, veteran status or disability.
Students who have completed graduate courses at other institutions prior to enrollment at Georgia State University may request that those courses be evaluated for transfer of credit to the College of Nursing and Health Professions. The request for transfer credit must be made by the student. Only those courses that are deemed to be appropriate to the student’s program of study in the college can be transferred. Transferred credits will be included in the year limitation placed on credits applicable to the degree.
Students who wish to enroll in courses at another institution after acceptance to a graduate program in the College of Nursing and Health Professions and wish to apply those courses to their graduate program at Georgia State University, must first obtain written approval from their advisor, the graduate director/coordinator, and any other appropriate persons. Students will not be allowed to enroll in courses to be transferred back to Georgia State University during the semester he or she expects to graduate from Georgia State University.
The maximum amount of credit that may be transferred is nine semester hours. Exceptions to this rule will be granted on an individual basis.
For more information, visit here.
Work experience will not be awarded credits required to graduate from the OTD program. The OTD admission committee and the program director will determine if previous work experience may be counted as the observation or volunteer hours needed for admission to the program.
Georgia State University
P.O. Box 3995
Atlanta, GA 30302-3995