Get a Backstage Pass and Inside Scoop!

We do not require the GRE and have streamlined our admissions requirements to make the application process as easy as possible. Click on the Admissions Requirements link to the right for more details. 

Do you want to learn more about the Doctor of Occupational Therapy (O.T.D.) – Tampa Bay program? Join us for an on-campus or virtual event.

Backstage Pass

Ask an OT Student

Join us for a tour of our campus and O.T. lab facilities hosted by an O.T. faculty member and one of our current O.T.D. students. Includes optional classroom observation opportunity. Hear firsthand from a current OT Student! Join us for this virtual, monthly series where we will highlight and feature different groups of students in our O.T.D. – Tampa Bay program.
Click here to RSVP to either session!


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.

Our Blended Format

Class Format Blended (approx. 70% online and 30% on-campus)
On-Campus Requirement Monthly 4-day institute
Location Clearwater, 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.

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


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

Start Dates
Classes start each May.
Visit the Tuition and Fees page for more information.
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)


Home health care services


Offices of physical, occupational and speech therapists, and audiologists


Hospitals; state, local, and private


Elementary and secondary schools; state, local, and private


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

Doctor of Occupational Therapy: Program Details

OTCAS Application Deadline April 15

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.

  • OTCAS Application 
    • 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.
  • Interview
    • Upon receipt of the verified application packet from OTCAS, the Committee on Admissions will review the applicant's file and select applicants for an interview. Those selected will be notified in writing with details regarding the interview process. An invitation to interview 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-levelDoctor 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.

The entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy (O.T.D.) program selects students based on a number of admission requirements, as described below, as well as an interview for qualified candidates.

Please note that the GRE is not required.

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 the last two years of study.
  3. Applicants must have a grade of 2.0 (C) or better in all prerequisite courses, EXCEPT a minimum grade of 2.75 in Human Anatomy and Physiology and a combined GPA of 3.0 or better in all other pre-requisite coursework.

    Human Anatomy and Physiology 
    Human Anatomy AND Human Physiology

    3 or 6

    If enrolled in separate anatomy and physiology courses, 6 semester hours will be required.
    Psychology 6

    Human Growth and Development
    Developmental Psychology

    Other Social Sciences 3
    English Composition 6
    Other Humanities 9
    Mathematics 3 Statistics or any other math course college algebra or higher.
    Medical Terminology 0-1 This requirement may be completed as a certificate course or as a 1 semester hour college course.
  4. Observation Hours: Though we do not require observation hours, we encourage prospective applicants to have exposure to and familiarity with the profession of occupational therapy and the various populations with which OTs work, so that they are prepared to effectively articulate their interest in the field. This can be achieved by shadowing OTs, research and readings, prior occupational therapy college coursework, or personal experience.
  5. Submit a personal statement in the OTCAS system.
  6. Submit three letters of recommendation in OTCAS.
  7. Official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Scores (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 no more than two prerequisite courses in progress during the Spring semester and must be in compliance with all other admissions requirements at the time of application. Additionally, all outstanding coursework must be completed with acceptable academic standards prior to the start of the Summer semester.

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

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:

Jason Barshay at (813) 574-5286 or 


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

The OTD curriculum model illustrates didactic-to-clinical experiences designed for the Nova Southeastern University Tampa doctoral student. Review our model here.

First Year Courses

Course # Course Title Credit Hours
Summer Semester    
OTD 8100 Functional Anatomy for Occupational Therapy 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    
OTD 8104 Neuroscience of Occupational Therapy 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
Fall Semester    

OTD 8392

Doctoral Certification & Capstone


OTD 8311


OTD 8312

Doctoral Seminar: Occupational Science


Doctoral Seminar: Wellness in Occupational Therapy


OTD 8313


OTD 8314

Doctoral Seminar: Applying Measurement Theory to Evaluation


Doctoral Seminar: Sensory Processing Basis of Occupational Performance

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

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.

  • Visit the Tuition and Fees page for more information.
  • A Health Professions Division General Access Fee of $145 is required each year. An NSU student services fee of $1800 is also required annually.
  • 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 deducted 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.

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.

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.

Undergraduate and graduate course work taken at a foreign institution must be evaluated for U.S. institution equivalency. Please refer to the OTCAS Foreign and French-Canadian Transcripts page for more information.

OTD Program Information

OTD Tampa Bay Program Overview
(5 minutes)



OTD Information Session Recording
(42 minutes)

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.


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)

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 7501 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 510E, Bethesda, MD 20814. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its web address is  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 to learn more about the excellent  pass rates for the Tampa Bay OTD program.

The total number of graduates from Nova Southeastern University's Tampa Bay Regional Campus Doctor of Occupational Therapy (O.T.D.) program during the 3-year period of 2020 - 2022 was 94, with an overall graduate rate of 98%.

Graduating Year

# Students Entering

# Students Graduating

Graduation Rate

Class of 2020*




Class of 2021




Class of 2022




Class of 2023




*Class of 2020 delayed graduating by one term due to Covid-19, May 2021.

NBCOT - Test Score Pass Rates Report

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

Degree Title



Doctor of Occupational Therapy



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

Download Resources


OTD Tampa Bay Info Sheet

Curriculum Overview

Program Policies

Essential Functions

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