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 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.



Program Details

The Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program at the University of Michigan-Flint is expected to be granted candidacy status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) in the summer of 2018. Once full candidacy has been granted, we can begin to accept applications for the Fall 2019 semester. 

The OTD admissions process uses the OTCAS centralized application service. 

The UM-Flint Occupational Therapy program, leading to a Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) degree, is a 110-credit program requiring 9 semesters (3 calendar years) completed on a full-time basis.  It includes didactic and laboratory coursework, fieldwork experiences, and a residency/capstone project.  Courses are offered on campus, with some taught in mixed mode using a flipped-classroom methodology.

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.  The College of Health Sciences does not accept credit for undergraduate experiential learning or advanced placement.  

Admission requirements include:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, with a minimum GPA of 3.0 overall
  • Completion of the following prerequisite courses at an accredited institution no more than 7 years* prior to application, with a minimum GPA of 3.0overall, minimum GPA of 2.75 in science courses, and no grade lower than a C (2.0):

-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
-1 credit introduction to health careers

*Prerequisite courses completed more than 7 years prior to application are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
**If a 5-6 credit combination of anatomy and physiology class is taken, the course content must be reviewed.

  • Current first aid and CPR (adult, child and infant) certification
  • 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   Volunteer Opportunities can be found HERE
  • 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 to 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 he or she cannot demonstrate these essential and technical standards without accommodation.

Essential Functions for the Occupational Therapy Student


The Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program at the University of Michigan-Flint is expected to be granted candidacy status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) in the summer of 2018. Once full candidacy has been granted, we can begin to accept applications for the Fall 2019 semester. 

Applications will be submitted through the Occupational Therapist Centralized Application Service (OTCAS) beginning in summer 2018.

Forty students will be admitted once per year in the fall semester (fall 2019 is the first and next available semester).

Admission for Fall 2019 will be on a rolling basis. 


The Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program at the University of Michigan-Flint is expected to be granted candidacy status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) in the summer of 2018. Once full candidacy has been granted, we can begin to accept applications for the Fall 2019 semester. 

A 3.0 or higher GPA is required prior to beginning Level II Fieldwork courses, and must be maintained in all subsequent courses.

Students must complete Level II Fieldwork and experiential requirements within 24 months following completion of the didactic portion of the program.  

Year One

Fall (15 credits)

BIO 634 - Human Anatomy (6)
OTP 611 - Kinesiology & 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 Cultural Competency I (1)
OTP 640 - Development across the Life Course I (3)
OTP 650 - Conditions & Occupations I (4)
OTP 655 - Level I Experience I – Children/Adolescents (2)
OTP 670 - Assessments & 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 II (1)
OTP 740 - Development across the Life Course II (3)
OTP 750 - Conditions & Occupations II (4)
OTP 755 - Level I Experience II (2)
OTP 770 - Assessments & Interventions II (4)
OTP 780 - Scientific Inquiry II:  Research Design (2)

Winter (17 credits)

OTP 745 - Occupational Science (2)
OPT 757 - Level I Experience III (2)
OTP 759 - Conditions & Occupations III (4)
OTP 775 - Assessments & Interventions III (4)
OTP 785 - Innovations & Technology (3)
OTP 790 - Capstone Project Design I (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 (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 & Introduction to Residency (2)

Spring (10 credits)

OTP 875 - Doctoral Residency (8)
OTP 800 – Doctoral Capstone Project (2)