Why UM-Flint

The UM-Flint entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program has been granted Candidacy Status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), allowing students to be admitted to the program. Next in the process for a new program, is Accreditation Status. The program must have a preaccreditation review, complete an on-site evaluation, and be granted Accreditation Status before its graduates will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). The University of Michigan-Flint fully expects to be granted Accreditation Status prior to our first graduating class.


The University of Michigan-Flint is proud to have the first entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) in the state of Michigan. The OTD program is a professional (or clinical) doctorate, which is the highest level of academic preparation that an entry-level occupational therapist can obtain. Our program preparation for the entry-level OTD exceeds that of an entry-level master’s degree. Being on the forefront of this professional movement allows our students to be among the most coveted graduates regionally and nationally. 


The OTD program at UM-Flint utilizes a learner-centered teaching approach. Incorporating authentic educational activities and experiences, students build their confidence through active hands-on learning. Students also benefit from inter-professional education opportunities with our prestigious Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) and other health professional programs. Occupational therapy students are able to hone their patient-centered health care practices across disciplines by utilizing the vast experiences in labs, clinics, and community settings. 


The College of Health Sciences (CHS) at UM-Flint has a valuable partnership with Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor. This connection allows our students access and opportunities with highly skilled occupational therapy clinicians, and researchers. Guest lectures, clinical placements, and work-shops give our students the skills they need to specialize in areas such as spinal cord injuries, stroke, amputations, lymphedema, complications of cancer treatment, and many more. 


Classes are structured so that students have a variety of ways to learn. Traditional classroom styles feature faculty and guest lectures, state-of-the-art lab work, and collaborative group activities.


Students will complete a capstone experience and project in collaboration with clinical and community partners. The capstone project includes an in-depth experience in one or more of the following areas of focus:

  • Administration
  • Advocacy
  • Clinical practice skills
  • Education
  • Leadership
  • Program and policy development
  • Research skills
  • Theory development

The OTD program’s goal is to prepare culturally competent, evidence-based practitioners to be visionaries and leaders in the profession of Occupational Therapy both locally and abroad.




A 3.0 or higher GPA is required prior to beginning Level II Fieldwork courses, and must be maintained in all subsequent courses.
A student must maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher throughout the program. Students must earn a minimum of C (2.0) in a course. However if a student receives 3 course grades below a B during the academic portion of the program they will be dismissed from the program.

Year One

Fall (15 credits)

BIO 634 - Human Anatomy (6)
OTP 611 - Kinesiology and Applied Anatomy (4)
OTP 620 - Introduction to Occupational Therapy (2)
OTP 630 - Occupational Therapy Theory (3)

Winter (16 credits)

OTP 612 - Clinical Neuroscience (3)
OTP 635 - Therapeutic Relationships and Group Dynamics (1)
OTP 640 - Development Across the Life Course I (3)
OTP 650 - Conditions and Occupations I (4)
OTP 655 - Clinical Application I – Children and Adolescents (2)
OTP 670 - Assessments and Interventions I (3)

Spring (9 credits)

OTP 660 - Professional Ethics (1)
OTP 665 - Evidence Based Practice (3)
OTP 680 - Scientific Inquiry I:  Research Methods (3)
OTP 690 - Capstone Project Design I (2)

Year Two

Fall (16 credits)

OTP 735 - Therapeutic Relationships and Cultural Competency (1)
OTP 740 - Development Across the Life Course II (3)
OTP 750 - Conditions and Occupations II (4)
OTP 755 - Clinical Application II - Adults (2)
OTP 770 - Assessments and Interventions II (4)
OTP 780 - Scientific Inquiry II:  Research Design (2)

Winter (17 credits)

OTP 745 - Occupational Science (2)
OPT 757 - Clinical Application III - Older Adults (2)
OTP 759 - Conditions and Occupations III (4)
OTP 775 - Assessments and Interventions III (4)
OTP 785 - Innovations and Technology (3)
OTP 790 - Capstone Project Design II (2)

Spring (11 credits)

OTP 787 - Leadership and Management (3)
OTP 795 - Capstone Project Design III (2)
OTP 797 - Practice Integration (3)

One from:

OTP 695 – Independent Study in Occupational Therapy for OTD Students (3)
OTP 799 – Special Topics in Occupational Therapy (3)

Year Three

Fall (8 credits)

OTP 850 – Introduction to Level II Fieldwork (2)
OTP 855 - Level II Fieldwork I (6)

Winter (8 credits)

OTP 865 - Level II Fieldwork II (6)
OTP 870 – Doctoral Certification and Introduction to Residency (2)

Spring (10 credits)

OTP 875 - Doctoral Residency (8)
OTP 880 – Doctoral Capstone Project (2)

Additional details listed in the catalog.


*Students can gain conditional admission with courses in progress

The OTD admissions process uses the OTCAS centralized application service.  The most competitive applicants demonstrate knowledge of the depth and breadth of the profession, as well as consistent academic performance, maturity, and values associated with health care professionals.


  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 3.0 overall
  • Completion of the following prerequisite courses at a regionally accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 3.0 overall, minimum GPA of 2.75 in science courses, and no grade lower than a C (2.0):
  • Prerequisite Courses
    • 4 credits in biology with laboratory, to exclude botany
    • 4 credits in physics with laboratory
    • 4 credits in human anatomy with laboratory**
    • 4 credits in human physiology with laboratory**
    • 3 credits in political science (American national government and politics)
    • 9 credits in psychology
    • 3 credits in statistics
    • 1 credit in medical terminology (in a letter-graded course)
    • 3 credits in biomechanics (some kinesiology courses will be considered if biomechanics was a component of it)
    • 1 credit introduction to health careers
      • The OTD prerequisite courses cannot be satisfied via experiential learning or advanced placement. 

**If a 5-6 credit combination of anatomy and physiology class is taken, the course content must be reviewed.

  • Prerequisite courses should be completed within 7 years of applying to the program; prerequisite courses taken more than 7 years prior will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Updated First Aid and CPR certification: CPR certification must include infant, child, adult CPR with AED training for Healthcare Providers. In order to receive certification, actual hand on experience with mannequins is required (online coursework only is not accepted). This will need to be kept updated for each year in the program. Certification should be through the American Heart Association class “Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Providers” or through the American Red Cross class “CPR/AED for Professional Rescuers and Health Care Providers."
  • 60 or more hours of observation of occupational therapists in two or more types of clinical settings; 125 or more hours in four or more settings recommended.  Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the UM-Flint OTD program has decided to place a temporary moratorium on volunteer/observation hour requirements for this application cycle. While observation hours are still beneficial and we recommend including them on your application if you have them, they are not required for this year's application. Any supplemental virtual webinars, instructional videos, etc. are beneficial and can be included in your OTCAS application. 
    • Must be documented on facility letterhead. Signed by supervising therapist with their license number. 
  • Demonstration of computer and word processing competency to include, but not limited to, internet navigation, utilization of software and learning management systems (i.e., Blackboard), e-correspondence, and database exploration.

Applicants admitted to the OTD program must demonstrate that they possess the attributes necessary to succeed in a challenging curriculum as well as perform in the practice of occupational therapy. Essential and technical standards are the cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and physical abilities required for satisfactory completion of the OTD curriculum and development of professional attributes required of all students at graduation. While an applicant is not required to disclose the specifics of any disability, it is the applicant's responsibility to request reasonable accommodation if they cannot demonstrate these Essential and Technical Standards without accommodation.


For the Fall 2021 admission period, the University of Michigan-Flint will use the Occupational Therapist Centralized Application Service (OTCAS).  The application will be available July 16, 2020 through March 1, 2021. 

  • Up to forty students will be admitted once per year in the fall semester.
  • The UM-Flint Occupational Therapy program operates on a rolling-admission basis; we encourage you to apply early.
  • The deadline to submit all your documents to OTCAS is March 1 to ensure full consideration of your application.  It can take up to six weeks for OTCAS to send UM-Flint all of your documents after you have submitted them to OTCAS.
  • If you do not submit all OTCAS materials to OTCAS by March 1, the materials may arrive to UM-Flint late and could take your application out of consideration.
  • While March 1 is the application deadline, applicants have longer to be verified by OTCAS.

Submit the following to OTCAS by March 1, 2021:

  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities you have attended in the United States (foreign transcripts are to be sent to the Office of Graduate Programs, not OTCAS)
  • Three letters of reference submitted to OTCAS
  • Observation of Occupational Therapist Hours
    • 60 or more hours of observation of occupational therapists in two or more types of clinical settings are required.
    • 125 or more hours in four or more settings is recommended.
    • Observation hours must be verified by submitting a letter (on facility letterhead) from the supervising therapist indicating the hours and dates student observed. Signature and license number of therapist must be included.
    • Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the UM-Flint OTD program has decided to place a temporary moratorium on volunteer/observation hour requirements for this application cycle. While observation hours are still beneficial and we recommend including them on your application if you have them, they are not required for this year's application. Any supplemental virtual webinars, instructional videos, etc. are beneficial and can be included in your OTCAS application. 
  • Essay question specific to the OTD program at the University of Michigan-Flint through OTCAS

Submit the following directly to UM-Flint by March 1, 2021:

  • $55 UM-Flint Supplemental Application Fee (paid online)
  • Transcripts and diplomas or certificates of graduation from any colleges and universities you have attended from outside the United States (do not send to OTCAS)
  • Additional Documentation if your native language is not English or you are an international student seeking a student visa. Visit the International Students page for details.

The application process for the Fall 2021 cohort includes an interview with OT faculty and OT clinical practitioners. The qualifying applicants will receive an invitation for this interview to be conducted in person or via teleconference call.