Academic Catalog 2023-24

Occupational Therapy (MS, OTD)

Our new Occupational Therapy Doctoral program (OTD) will begin accepting students in Fall 2023. This program is for entry level students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree. The OTD program also has an accelerated BA/BS to OTD (4+2) track, in which Dominican students from various majors complete course requirements for their major in their first three years. Starting in their Senior year of undergraduate studies at Dominican, the accelerated OTD students will begin their professional OT coursework. Students in both tracks will earn a Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) degree.

Students who wish to pursue an OTD in the accelerated BA/BS to OTD program must declare the accelerated track by the end of their first semester as Freshman. Students will apply to the professional OTD program in the first semester of their Junior year and must meet the OTD admission requirements. The charter accelerated OTD cohort will begin the professional OTD program starting in Fall 2024.

The current BS/MSOT program has been discontinued, with the last Freshman class accepted into the program in Fall 2021, and into the professional portion of the program in Fall 2023. The current Entry Level MSOT program has also been discontinued. We are teaching out the last cohort of the MSOT program, who were accepted into the program in Fall 2022. OT students in both MS programs will continue through Spring 2025, at which time the programs will be fully discontinued. Current OT students in these programs should refer to the previous catalog for progression policies and degree requirements.

A new accelerated (4+1.5) Bachelor of Science (BS) in Psychology leading to a Master of Science (MS) in Occupational Therapy (BSPsych/MSOT) program will begin admitting students into the OT professional portion of the curriculum in their junior year of undergraduate studies starting in Fall 2025.

Occupational Therapy Overview

Occupational Therapy (OT) is a health and human service profession that assists people of all ages and ability levels to live with meaning and purpose after disability or age-related changes. Occupational therapists provide services to individuals and populations in hospitals, homes, schools and communities.

Occupational therapists are licensed health professionals who help people of all ages, with and without disabilities, to do the things that are important to them in their daily lives. Occupational therapists work in hospitals, clinics, schools, business, industry, and community settings, serving persons of all ages with developmental, physical, psychiatric, or behavioral disabilities. Occupational therapists also promote health and help prevent disease and disability through occupation-centered interventions and environmental adaptations.

Occupation is a universal human process with physical, social, temporal, and spiritual dimensions. Through active engagement in valued activities, humans evolve, change, and adapt to injury, illness, developmental delay, or less than optimal social conditions which may require that they modify their daily occupations to achieve satisfying lives. Occupational therapists help people regain function through occupation.

OT Vision and Mission

Vision: To empower and educate the next generation of diverse occupational therapists to advance the profession by becoming practitioners, scholars, leaders, advocates, and innovators.

Mission: The Dominican University of California’s Occupational Therapy program educates students from diverse backgrounds to become resilient occupational therapists who use occupation to advance the health and well-being of themselves, individuals, communities and populations. The OT students are co-creators of knowledge through active and experiential learning and embody the Dominican values of study, reflection, community, and service.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon graduation from the Occupational Therapy program at Dominican University of California, the student will:

  1. Develop and articulate a distinct professional identity as an occupation-centered and innovative practitioner.
  2. Demonstrate a commitment to health, well-being, and resilience of self and others.
  3. Utilize reflective practices and critical thinking skills to powerfully serve individuals, communities, and populations.
  4. Practice, lead, and advocate within diverse social, cultural, and political settings.
  5. Effectively utilize and generate evidence in practice.

Program Accreditation

The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). The MSOT program will have a re-accreditation site-visit in 2023.

The entry-level Occupational Therapy Doctoral Degree Program (OTD) must be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).

Accreditation status: Candidacy Status
Anticipated Year for Full Accreditation: 2025

Dominican University of California’s entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program has applied for accreditation and has been granted Candidacy Status 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 The program must have a pre-accreditation 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 sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.