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Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy, a part of UMMC's School of Health Related Professions (SHRP), offers a doctoral degree program in occupational therapy (OTD). As the state's only doctoral level degree program for occupational therapists, its rigorous education program for full-time students keeps pace with the rapidly growing trend calling for entry-level doctoral preparation for occupational therapists.

Graduates of the three-year doctoral program are uniquely trained to design activities for individuals or groups to maximize occupational performance in self-care, work, leisure and other daily occupations. The enhanced ability to help clients engage in productive and healthy occupations is of particular value in Mississippi, where health disparities are rampant and access to resources and services is challenging.

Employment opportunities are available in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, outpatient facilities, mental health programs, private practice, long-term care facilities, home health agencies, industry and school settings.

About our program

The OTD program admits 40 students each year. Applications are accepted from July 1-Jan. 15 each year. Applications require a baccalaureate degree, specific prerequisite courses, observation hours, and official GRE scores. Admission is competitive with top candidates invited to an interview.

The program begins in the summer. The curriculum requires nine semesters of full-time study, including three full-time experiential learning courses (i.e., two 12-week courses and one 14-week course). Classes generally take place from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Accreditation and certification

Our occupational therapy program was initially accredited as a bachelor's (BS) degree in 1991. It transitioned to a master's (MOT) degree in 2003, and earned a full 10-year re-accreditation status for its master of occupational therapy program in 2014.

Most recently, the Department of Occupational Therapy was granted Candidacy Status for a new entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program from the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD  20852-4929. ACOTE's telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-6611.  The initial accreditation process will be ongoing throughout the first three years of the program; this process and timeline is standard across all newly developing programs. The accreditation process for all new entry-level occupational therapy doctoral programs includes being granted Candidacy Status, having a pre-accreditation review, completing an on-site evaluation, and lastly, being granted Accreditation Status. Visit for more information about its accreditation process.

Accreditation Status will afford graduates eligibility to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the exam or to attain state licensure. Once the first OTD cohort has graduated from UMMC (i.e., May 2021), examination data on pass rates will be publicly available on the NBCOT website. UMMC student performance on the NBCOT exam will be posted online at the NBCOT website.

Cost of attendance

Estimated cost of attendance for the Doctor of Occupational Therapy program can be found here.

Master's degree phase out

The Department of Occupational Therapy is completing a teach-out plan for the master of occupational therapy program. Admission into the MOT program has been discontinued and replaced with a doctoral level degree admission process. The master’s program will end with the May 2020 graduation of currently enrolled students.

Important dates

  • July 1 - Applications available online.
  • Jan. 15 - Application deadline

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See What SHRP Offers

SHRP hosts recruitment events each year to allow prospective students to learn more about our programs. Click the link below to learn more about these events and to register.

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How to Find Us

Occupational Therapy is one of the many programs offered at UMMC's School of Health Related Professions. It offers a doctor of occupational therapy degree.

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