Take the O.T. Fast Track: Graduate in Just Three Years

If you strive to be a standout O.T. practitioner, NSU’s rigorous Doctor of Occupational Therapy (O.T.D.) program is designed with you in mind. Your virtual and face-to-face didactic, research and clinical training prepares you to excel as a skilled interdisciplinary health care team contributor across diverse practice settings.

You’ll not only graduate sooner with our accelerated 3 ⅓ year curriculum – you’ll also have the opportunity to learn from professors considered by many O.T.s and other medical professionals as leaders in the profession.

NSU O.T. Faculty: Globally Known and Respected

NSU O.T. professors have specialized expertise that keeps them in high demand as keynote speakers, consultants, thought leaders and published authors in the U.S. and abroad. You’ll gain valuable insights on specific O.T. topics and have the chance to explore those areas more deeply than in many O.T.D. programs.

Two Formats to Meet Your Needs


O.T.D. Fort Lauderdale O.T.D. Tampa Bay
Class Format Face-to-Face (100%) Blended (approx. 70% online and 30% on-campus)
On-Campus Requirement

Monday-Friday primarily daytime

Monthly 4-day institute
Location Fort Lauderdale, FL Tampa Bay, FL

The Tampa Bay Doctor of Occupational Therapy program is offered in a blended format which generally combines three (3) weeks of interactive online learning and four (4) days of on-campus, hands-on experiences each month at NSU’s Tampa Bay Regional Campus in Clearwater, Florida.

The Fort Lauderdale Doctor of Occupational Therapy program is offered in a face-to-face format with classes taught primarily during the day Monday – Friday at NSU’s Fort Lauderdale-Davie Campus.

Embrace the challenge of NSU’s O.T.D. degree program — and emerge a confident, standout O.T. practitioner.

Apply Now Request Info

 

Quick Facts

Delivery Options

Fort Lauderdale: Face-to-face, Monday-Friday primarily during the day

Tampa Bay: Blended, online with on-campus presence once or more per month.

Start Dates
Classes start each May.
Tuition
Tuition is $36,771 per year.
Credit Hours
NSU's O.T.D. degree is a three and one third year program: 122 credit hours total.

Get the NSU Edge

Earning Potential

Average OT Salary by Facility

Facility Salary

Nursing care facilities (skilled nursing facilities)

$90,830

Home health care services

$89,220

Offices of physical, occupational and speech therapists, and audiologists

$87,190

Hospitals; state, local, and private

$85,510

Elementary and secondary schools; state, local, and private

$74,670

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Occupational Therapists (visited April 22, 2020).

Health professional supporting woman on round platform

Train with OT Leaders Known and Respected Worldwide

NSU OT faculty are well-known throughout the profession, with specialized expertise that keeps them in top demand as keynote speakers, consultants, and thought leaders. Topics and areas of focus include:

  • Sensory Processing Theory, Practice, Research and Education
  • Occupational Science; Sexuality in Occupation
  • International certification and assessment standardization initiatives
  • International OT practice (Ireland, Philippines, Japan, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, South/Central/North America)
  • Scientific journal review
  • Published works (chapters/books/scientific articles), addressing topics on Marketing and Business of Health Care, Blended Education, Wellness and Therapeutic Use of Self, Hand Therapy
Meet the OTD Tampa Bay Faculty Meet the OTD Fort Lauderdale Faculty

Important Tips Before You Apply

Please note that there are two different applications you’ll need to submit as part of the OTD program admissions process.

  1. Submit your OTCAS application.
  2. Once NSU approves your completed OTCAS application, you’ll get a link to the supplemental NSU application.

Doctor of Occupational Therapy: Program Details

Nova Southeastern University participates in the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service, known as  OTCAS . OTCAS may take up to six weeks verifying supporting documents. Therefore, early application is highly recommended.

IMPORTANT DATES
OTCAS Application Deadline April 15
NSU Supplemental Application Deadline April 30

Note:  NSU’s O.T.D. program uses a rolling admissions model where applicants are reviewed in the order that their completed application packets and supporting documents are received. As a result, applicants are encouraged to submit their application as early in the application cycle as reasonable.

  • Two-Part Application Process
    • Once your OTCAS application has been verified and received by Nova Southeastern University, an e-mail with a link to the NSU supplemental application will be sent to you. Please follow the instructions to complete and submit the NSU supplemental application and fee by the specific deadline. Please note, applications cannot be reviewed until   both  the OTCAS application and the NSU supplemental application have been completed and received. All data submitted in support of this application become the property of the university and cannot be returned. It is your responsibility to inform the university of any changes in address or telephone number.
  • Video Essay
    • Upon receipt of the verified application packet from OTCAS, the NSU supplemental application, and applicable fees, the Committee on Admissions will review the applicant's file and select applicants for a video essay. Those selected will be notified in writing with instructions for submission of a video essay. An invitation to complete the video essay should not be construed by the applicant as evidence of acceptance. Notice of acceptance or other action by the Committee on Admissions will be on a "rolling" or periodic schedule. 
  • Character Review/Early Determination
    • Graduates of the Nova Southeastern University entry-level  Doctor   of Occupational Therapy Program are eligible to apply to take the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy Board Exam ® (NBCOT). Applicants should be aware that a character review is part of the certification process .  Prospective or enrolled   students who have a disciplinary record with law enforcement are encouraged to utilize the Early Determination review to learn if they will be eligible to sit for the exam once they have completed all other   eligibility requirements. Please go to   NBCOT Early Determination Review  for more information on how to request a review.  A felony conviction/charge may affect a  graduate’s eligibility to sit for the NBCOT exam and/or apply for state licensure.   

Policy of Non-Discrimination

Nova Southeastern University admits students of any race, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, non-disqualifying disability, religion, or national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school, and does not discriminate in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

The entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy (O.T.D.)   Program  selects students based on grade point average (GPA), Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, a written essay, letters of recommendation, and an interview. 

All applicants must:

  1. Complete an undergraduate or graduate degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  2. Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale for each of the last two years of study.
  3. Have a grade of 2.0 or better in prerequisite courses.  Furthermore, applicants must have a Social Sciences, Humanities, Math and Med Terminology combined prerequisite course GPA of 3.0 or better and a combined Natural Science prerequisite course GPA of 2.75 or higher.
    COURSE PREREQUISITE NAME/SUBJECT SEMESTER
    HOURS
    LAB REQUIRED ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
    Biology with lab (introduction, general, or principles of) 3-4 Yes  
    Human Anatomy and Physiology with lab
    OR Human Anatomy with lab
    AND Physiology with lab
    4

    3-4
    Yes If Anatomy taken  separately from Physiology, Anatomy with lab should be 4 credits & Physiology with   lab  will be 3-4 credits (must have been taken within last 5 years*)
    Physics with lab (general, college) OR Kinesiology 3-4 Yes for Physics,
    No for Kinesiology
    Psychology 6 No Must include 3 credits of Introduction to Psychology and 3 credits of an upper-level psychology course—Abnormal Psychology, Social Psychology, Substance Abuse, etc.
    Human Growth and Development OR Developmental Psychology 3 No Must cover infancy through aging (must have been taken within last 5 years*)
    Other Social Sciences 3 No Examples are ethnic studies, anthropology, sociology, ethics
    English Composition 6 No  
    Other humanities 9 No Examples are art, communications, literature, foreign language, history, philosophy, logic, or humanities
    Statistics 3 No
    Medical terminology (college) 1 No Minimum of 1 credit, college level

    *5 year time limit is waived for COTA applicants

    RECOMMENDED COURSES - NOT REQUIRED SEMESTER
    HOURS
    Ethics 3
    Public Speaking 3
    Theories of Personality 3
    Intensive Writing Course 3
    Logic/Philosophy 3
  4. Submit official GRE scores that are less than five years old for all three areas of the general test (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing).  There is no required minimum GRE score. The GRE is considered along with all other application requirements. Scores should be sent to OTCAS using the OTCAS GRE code for Nova Southeastern University, 2022.
  5. Complete a minimum of 40 observation hours in at least two different occupational therapy settings that provide services related to children and youth, work and industry, rehabilitation, health and wellness, mental health, productive aging, or another specified facility (or graduation from an accredited occupational therapy assistant program).  Applicants will enter the observation hours completed in the OTCAS application.
  6. Submit a personal statement in the OTCAS system.
  7. Submit three letters of recommendation in OTCAS.  At least one of them must be from a licensed Occupational Therapist.
  8. Have completed the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or Pearson Test of English-Academic (PTE-Academic), if applicable.

Still have courses or requirements in progress?  Prospective students who have not yet met all admissions requirements can apply and  may be  reviewed pending completion of some of these requirements.  Individuals in this situation must have submitted official GRE scores and have no more than two prerequisite courses in progress during the Spring semester.  Additionally, all coursework, observation hours, and other admission requirements must be completed prior to the start of the Summer semester.

Throughout the program, students must have access to and use computer skills such as word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation software. It is recommended that students have coursework or self-study to meet these needs. 

*Given the pandemic impact, Nova Southeastern University's O.T.D. program has provided information on mechanisms that may be helpful to applicants in satisfying requirements: 

  • Official GRE Scores: We will accept the "GRE General Test at Home" option that ETS currently provides
  • Official TOEFL Scores (If applicable): We will accept the "TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition" option that ETS currently provides
  • Observation/Volunteer Hours Requirement: If you have not fully completed your volunteer hours, we have developed an alternative, virtual mechanism to help you satisfy this requirement. For additional information, please go to the "Program Materials" section of your OTCAS application, select Nova Southeastern University, and click on the "Documents" tab
  • Letter of Recommendation from an Occupational Therapist: Recommendation letters should minimally state how the person knows you (relationship), how long they have known you and direct contact time the person has had with you. If you are unable to obtain a letter of recommendation from an Occupational Therapist due to the impact of COVID-19, a letter of recommendation from the following sources may be substituted:
    • Professor within your undergraduate degree program
    • Lab Instructor from a course within your undergraduate degree program
    • Employer or supervisor for whom you have worked for
    • Representative from an organization for whom you completed volunteer work with

Additional Information

If you have any questions about NSU's entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy (O.T.D.) program or application process, please contact:

O.T.D.  Fort Lauderdale  - Renee San Giacomo at (239) 274-6952 or rs1152@nova.edu

O.T.D. Tampa Bay   - Jason Barshay at (813) 574-5286 or barshay@nova.edu

First Year Courses

Course #

Course Title

Credit Hours

Summer Semester

 

 

OTDF 8121

Introduction to Didactic, Clinical & Research Experiences

3

OTDF 8122

Development of Occupation and Participation throughout the Lifespan

3

OTDF 8111

Movement in Occupation

3

OTDF 8111L

Movement in Occupation Lab

2

TOTAL

 

11

Fall Semester

 

 

OTDF 8123

Theoretical Foundations of Occupational Therapy Practice

4

OTDF 8132

Occupational & Contextual Analysis

2

OTDF 8132L

Occupational & Contextual Analysis Lab

1

OTDF 8141

Effects of Human Conditions on Occupation I

4

OTDF 8152

Quantitative Evidence in Occupational Therapy

3

TOTAL

 

14

Winter Semester

 

 

OTDF 8142

Effects of Human Conditions on Occupation II

4

OTDF 8133

Therapeutic Use of Self in Human Interactions

3

OTDF 8112

Neuroscience and Occupation

2

OTDF 8112L

Neuroscience and Occupation Lab

1

OTD 8151

Qualitative Evidence in Occupational Therapy

3

TOTAL

 

13

Second Year Courses

Course #

Course Title

Credit Hours

Summer Semester

 

 

OTDF 8243

Occupational Therapy Interventions I: Mental Health, Wellness, & Community

6

OTDF 8243L

Occupational Therapy Interventions I: Mental Health, Wellness, & Community Lab

2

OTDF 8271

Level I Fieldwork, Mental Health, Wellness, & Community

1

OTDF 8234

Innovations and Technology as it Relates to Context & Environment

2

OTDF 8234L

Innovations and Technology as it Relates to Context & Environment Lab

1

OTDF 8253

Research Proposal & IRB

2

TOTAL

 

14

Fall Semester

 

 

OTDF 8244

Occupational Therapy Interventions, Children & Youth

6

OTDF 8244L

Occupational Therapy Interventions, Children & Youth Lab

2

OTDF 8272

Level I Fieldwork, Occupational Therapy Interventions, Children & Youth

1

OTDF 8254

Research Implementation –Data Collection

2

OTDF 8261

Business of Practice & Management

3

TOTAL

 

14

Winter Semester

 

 

OTDF 8245

Occupational Therapy Interventions, Adults

6

OTDF 8245

Occupational Therapy Interventions, Adults Lab

2

OTDF 8273

Level I Fieldwork, Occupational Therapy Interventions, Adults

1

OTDF 8262

Professional Leadership

3

OTDF 8255

Research Implementation, Data Analysis & Interpretation

2

TOTAL

 

14

Third Year Courses

Course #

Course Title

Credit Hours

Summer Semester

 

 

OTDF 8371

Level II Fieldwork Experience A

9

TOTAL

 

9

Fall Semester

 

 

OTDF 8372

Doctoral Certification & Introduction to Doctoral Capstone

3

OTDF 8382

or

OTDF 8383

Occupational Science

or

Wellness in Occupational Therapy

3

OTDF 8384

or

OTDF 8385

Applying Measurement Theory to Evaluation

or

Sensory Processing Basis of Occupational Performance

3

OTDF 8386

Topics in Contemporary and Emerging Practice

3

OTDF 8356

Research Dissemination

2

TOTAL

 

14

Winter Semester

 

 

OTDF 8373

Level II Fieldwork Experience B

9

TOTAL

 

9

Fourth Year Courses

Course #

Course Title

Credit Hours

Summer Semester

 

 

OTDF 8474

Doctoral Capstone Experience, Reflections & Exit Colloquium

10

TOTAL

 

10

Students must complete 24 weeks of Level II fieldwork as well as an individual 16-week capstone experience within 24 months following the completion of the didactic portion of the program. The doctoral capstone experience must be started after completion of all coursework and Level II fieldwork as well as completion of preparatory activities defined in 2018 ACOTE OTD Standard D.1.3.

The following course sequences weave into the curriculum for the entry level Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program designed to meet current standards for doctoral occupational therapy education, and provide consistency throughout the curriculum. These curriculum sequences are:

  • Basic Sciences
  • Foundations in Occupation
  • Occupation Science & Technology
  • Occupational Interventions
  • Evidence Base & Exploration
  • Leadership & Globalization
  • Clinical Competence
  • Doctoral Transformation

 

First Year Courses

Course # Course Title Credit Hours
Summer Semester    
ANAT 5420 Anatomy 5
OTD 8101 Introduction to Didactic, Clinical and Research Experiences 3
OTD 8102 Foundations of Occupational Therapy 3
OTD 8141 Development of Occupation Across the Lifespan 3
TOTAL   14
Fall Semester    
OTD 8103 Kinesiology in Occupations 4
OTD 8142 Occupational and Contextual Analysis 3
OTD 8151 Human Conditions and Occupations I 3
OTD 8161 Evidence in Occupational Therapy Practice/Qualitative Design 3
TOTAL   13
Winter Semester    
ANAT 5423 Neuroanatomy 3
OTD 8152 Human Conditions and Occupations II 3
OTD 8143 Therapeutic Use of Self 3
OTD 8262 Research Design, Quantitative (Proposal) 3
TOTAL   12

Second Year Courses

Course # Course Title Credit Hours
Summer Semester    
OTD 8271 Occupational Therapy Interventions I: Psychosocial & Community 6
OTD 8291 Level I Fieldwork Experience, Occupational Therapy Interventions I, Psychosocial and Community 2
OTD 8244 Innovations and Technology in Occupational Therapy 3
OTD 8262L Research Design Lab, (IRB) 1
TOTAL   12
Fall Semester    
OTD 8272 Occupational Therapy Interventions II Children & Youth 8
OTD 8292 Level I Fieldwork Experience, Occupational Therapy Interventions II, Children and Youth 2
OTD 8263 Research Project I - Implementation 1
OTD 8281 Business of Practice and Management 3
TOTAL   14
Winter Semester    
OTD 8273 Occupational Therapy Interventions III, Physical Disabilities 8
OTD 8293 Level I Fieldwork Experience, Occupational Therapy Interventions III, Physical Disabilities 2
OTD 8282 Professional Leadership 3
OTD 8263L Research Project I - Lab - Analysis, Interpretation & Paper 1
TOTAL   14

Third Year Courses

Course # Course Title Credit Hours
Summer Semester    
OTD 8391 Level II Fieldwork Experience 9
TOTAL   9
Fall Semester    

OTD 8392

Doctoral Certification & Capstone

2

OTD 8311

or

OTD 8312

Doctoral Seminar: Occupational Science

or

Doctoral Seminar: Wellness in Occupational Therapy

3

OTD 8313

or

OTD 8314

Doctoral Seminar: Applying Measurement Theory to Evaluation

or

Doctoral Seminar: Sensory Processing Basis of Occupational Performance

3
OTD 8315 Doctoral Seminar: Topics in Contemporary and Emerging Practice 3
OTD 8364 Research Project II - Dissemination 2
TOTAL   13
Winter Semester    
OTD 8393 Level II Fieldwork Experience II 9
TOTAL   9

Fourth Year Courses

Course # Course Title Credit Hours
Winter/Summer Semester    
OTD 8494 Doctoral Capstone, Reflections & Exit Colloquium 12
TOTAL   12

Students must complete 24 weeks of Level II fieldwork as well as an individual 16-week capstone experience within 24 months following the completion of the didactic portion of the program. The doctoral capstone experience must be started after completion of all coursework and Level II fieldwork as well as completion of preparatory activities defined in 2018 ACOTE OTD Standard D.1.3.

  • Tuition for 2021-2022 is $36,771. All tuition and fees are subject to change by the Board of Trustees without notice.
  • Acceptance Fee is $400. This fee is required to reserve the accepted applicant's place in the entering first year class. This advance payment will be deduced from the tuition payment due on registration day, but is not refundable in the event of a withdrawal. It is payable within two weeks of an applicant's acceptance.
  • Pre-registration Fee is $600. This fee is due eight weeks after acceptance or by April 15, whichever comes first, under the same terms as the Acceptance Fee.
  • A Health Professions Division General Access Fee of $145 is required each year. An NSU student services fee of $1500 is also required annually.

The first semester's tuition and fees, less the $1000 previously paid, are due on or before registration day. Tuition for each subsequent semester is due on or before the appropriate registration day. Students will not be admitted until their financial obligations have been met.

The financial ability of applicants to complete their training at the university is important because of the limited number of positions available in each class. Applicants should have specific plan for financing three and a half years of professional education. This should include tuition, living expenses, book equipment, fieldwork, residency, travel, and miscellaneous expenses.

NSU requires all students to carry adequate health insurance coverage. Therefore, students will automatically be enrolled in the NSU Student Health Insurance Plan, and their student accounts will be charged when they register for classes. Students who already have health insurance must opt out of the NSU Student Health Insurance Plan each academic year by the given waiver deadline for their program. For detailed information, including waiver deadlines, access to the online waiver, NSU Student Health Insurance Plan features, costs, and more, students should visit the Bursar’s website.

For more information, please call (954) 262-1101 or 877-640-0218.

Undergraduate and graduate course work taken at a foreign institution must be evaluated for U.S. institution equivalency. You should contact one of the services below for foreign course work evaluation.

It is the applicant's responsibility to have this course work evaluated in a course by course formatted document. This official evaluation must be sent to the Office of Admissions.

OTD Program Information


OTD Tampa Bay Program Overview
(6 minutes)

OTD Information Session Recording
(1 hour)

OTD Information Session Recording
(1 hour)

Learn more about the program from OTD Tampa Bay faculty, staff, and current students during a virtual information session. Hear from other prospective students and their questions about the program.

OTD Virtual Backstage Pass Recording
(19 minutes)

Take a virtual tour of the OTD program at the Tampa Bay Regional Campus.

Topics and Trends in Occupational Therapy

In this series of presentations we highlight key topics and trends in the occupational therapy field, gain insight from O.T.D. Tampa Bay faculty members and current students, and explore how the NSU Edge can help you gain a competitive advantage in your career, your community, and your life.

Community Practice & Mental Health
(1 hour 17 minutes)

Clinical Experiences/Fieldwork
(1 hour 7 minutes)

Learning to Treat Humans as Occupational Beings
(1 hour 2 minutes)

OT & Sensory Integration
(1 hour)

Hand & Upper Extremity Rehabilitation
(1 hour)

NSU O.T.D. Alumni Perspectives
(34 minutes)

NSU's entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy program in Tampa Bay is accredited 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.  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 complete academic fieldwork requirements as well as sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure. Program performance on the NBCOT certification exam is provided by state and program, please visit https://www.nbcot.org/en/Educators/Home#SchoolPerformance to learn more about the excellent  pass rates for the Tampa Bay OTD program.

NSU's entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy program in Fort Lauderdale is in application status for accreditation 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 be granted Candidacy Status, 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 academic fieldwork requirements as well as sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.

Professional Licensure Disclosure Statement
Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences
Doctor of Occupational Therapy (O.T.D) Program - Tampa Bay

Degree Title

Level

Degree

Doctor of Occupational Therapy

Professional

O.T.D.

Professional Licensure Disclosure Statement :  Nova Southeastern University, Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences, Doctor of Occupational Therapy program in Tampa Bay is an Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education ( ACOTE®) accredited program of study. Graduation from an ACOTE accredited program is required in order to take the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy examination.  At this time, we have determined that the Doctor of Occupational Therapy program meets the educational degree completion requirements for licensure in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the US protectorates, as defined in 34 CFR §600.2.   

It is nonetheless strongly encouraged that students determine any additional requirements for licensure in the state in which they seek to be licensed. Students should refer to their state licensing bodies, for requirements for licensure. For licensing board contact information and approval status, please see NBCOT State Contact List.

If you need assistance or have any questions, please contact Dr. Ricardo Carrasco, at (813) 574-5429 or rc1265@nova.edu.

Download Resources

Download

Handbook

Take the Next Step