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Occupational Therapy (Entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy)

Looking to make a positive impact on the well-being of all you serve in a program that combines academics with experiential learning? Since launching the Occupational Therapy Program in 1985, Creighton University has set new standards in the profession.

We were the nation’s first entry-level OTD program and the first to offer innovative hybrid pathways. Today, you can choose to learn on campus in Omaha or opt for a hybrid pathway in Anchorage, Denver or Phoenix. Our interprofessional approach to healthcare focuses on patient care, values-centered teaching by an exceptional faculty and a deep commitment to service.

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Program Details

Program Goals

As a Doctor of Occupational Therapy student, you’ll learn:

  • To demonstrate entry-level occupational therapy clinical skills
  • How to develop a new program or refine an existing one that enhances occupational therapy practice
  • Ways to influence policy, practice and education by advocating for occupational therapy services for individuals and populations
  • How to apply principles of ethics to individual, institutional and societal issues; articulate justifiable resolutions to these issues; and act in an ethical manner


Our curriculum encompasses three primary themes: occupation, professional practice and professional identity. The curriculum is built around the nesting of these themes so you begin engaging in them as soon as you enter the program and continue to build on them throughout the curriculum. Learn more about the curriculum.


Creighton University offers four pathways within the OTD program:

  • Omaha Pathway. Here, students earn their degree with innovative study in a full-time, traditional campus setting.
  • Alaska Hybrid Pathway. In 2008, we began our University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) – Creighton University Distance Initiative. This entry-level program includes asynchronous and synchronous teaching and learning in a unique hybrid model.
  • Regis Hybrid Pathway. In 2015, we began an exciting collaboration with Regis University in Denver, Colorado. This pathway follows the hybrid model.
  • Phoenix Hybrid Pathway. In 2021, we welcomed the inaugural class of occupational therapy students at the Creighton University Health Sciences Campus – Phoenix. Students can learn in a new state-of-the-art, seven-story facility in the heart of the Phoenix Medical Quarter.


ACOTE logo

The entry-level program in occupational therapy is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. (AOTA) located at:

AOTA logo

7501 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 510
E Bethesda, MD 20814
Phone: 301.652.2682

The Creighton entry-level program is accredited until the 2030-31 academic year. The next accreditation site visit is scheduled for 2030-2031.


OTD Program Outcomes

Graduation Rate

  • 2023: Students Entering/Graduating: 115/107
    • Graduation Rate: 93.0%
  • 2022: Students Entering/Graduating: 116/114
    • Graduation Rate: 98.28%
  • 2021: Students Entering/Graduating: 117/112
    • Graduation Rate: 95.70%
  • Three year total: Students Entering/Graduating: 348/333
    • Graduation Rate: 95.68%

NBCOT Board Pass Rate for Creighton Graduates

  • For NBCOT licensure pass rates, please visit the NBCOT website.

Admissions Requirements


Entrance into the Doctor of Occupational Therapy program requires a minimum of 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours of prerequisite coursework.

Prerequisite courses may be completed at any regionally accredited institution and must be completed with a grade of C or better (a C- grade is not acceptable). All prerequisite coursework must be completed by August 1 of the desired year of entry. Learn more about prerequisites.

Admissions Requirements

To apply, applicants must submit all of the following materials through OTCAS, the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service:

  • An official transcript from each institution the applicant has attended and/or is currently attending
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Observation in an OT setting by a licensed occupational therapist
  • International applicants must submit a foreign transcript evaluation to OTCAS through an evaluation service such as World Education Services (WES) or Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE)

Personal interviews are required in the admissions process. Qualified applicants will be notified via email if they are selected for an interview. See full requirements.

Dates & Deadlines

July 21, 2023: OTCAS Launch Date
October 1, 2023: Preferred Deadline
October 1, 2023: Creighton Undergraduate Deadline
December 2023-January 2024: OTCAS Academic Update

  • Update Summer/Fall 2023 grades through OTCAS

May 1, 2024: EXTENDED Final Application Deadline

The Creighton University Doctor of Occupational Therapy program operates on a rolling admission basis, meaning that qualified applicants are invited to interview and offered admission on a first-come, first-served basis. In the past three admission cycles, all available interview dates were full by early November. Applicants are encouraged to apply early. Learn more.

Cost of Attendance, Tuition & Financial Aid

The Doctor of Occupational Therapy tuition and fees varies over the 3-years of the program and the Alaska pathway will have an altered amount agreed and set by the partner university. See a breakdown of tuition.

Financial Aid

All admired students are considered for scholarships, and scholarship award ranges up to $60,000 for the duration and is divided throughout the three years of the program. The Office of Admission awards the top 25% of the incoming class at minimum. Learn more about scholarships.

Sarah White
“I have found the professors and staff to be very welcoming and truly caring about my education, personal well-being and mental health. I enjoy the hybrid style format, too. It lets me fit academic work into my daily schedule.”
— Sarah White, Occupational Therapy Student
Erin Sullivan
“Creighton has helped me explore everything I can do as an OT through their clubs and fieldwork opportunities. Because Creighton has distance campuses and an established reputation, my fieldwork has led me from Montana to Alaska.”
— Erin Sullivan, Occupational Therapy Student
Angela Patterson
“Occupational therapy faculty impart knowledge and, importantly, values. We call it the Creighton difference. Our students become innovative and reflective practitioners who achieve their professional goals.”
— Angela Patterson, OTD, OTR/L, Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy
OT student in international location

International Opportunities

At Creighton University School of Pharmacy and Health Professions, you’ll have the opportunity to share your knowledge and experience in healthcare with individuals in international locations.

For more than 10 years, 200+ students have traveled outside of the United States to places such as China, Chile, Dominica Republic, and South Korea for clinical rotations.

Frequently Asked Questions

A GRE is NOT required as part of the application process for Creighton’s OTD.

Three years. Each OTD cohort starts in August and graduates in May, just shy of three years later. OTD candidates complete eight semesters in total, including two summer terms throughout the three years of the program.

No! Students can apply for the OTD program with outstanding prerequisites. If you are admitted, you will have to finish all prerequisites before August 1 of the year of matriculation.

While observation hours are required, there is no set minimum. The more shadowing experiences you complete, the greater your understanding of occupational therapy as a profession will be. Observation hours help inform applicant responses during the application and interview process.

In total, Creighton OTD students complete 43.5 weeks of clinical rotations that start in the second semester of the program. Level I fieldwork experiences are completed across 3.5 weeks during the first two professional years of the program. In the final three semesters of the program, students complete longer and more in-depth Level II fieldwork experiences and conclude their OTD education with a 16-week Doctoral Capstone Experience (DCE). For more information, check out our clinical education information. For some of the rotations, students can travel nationally and internationally to complete their clinical requirements. To select your site, you will work with our clinical education team to select your top 10 choices, and Creighton will match you based on availability at those sites.

Creighton University was the first institution to offer a hybrid OTD pathway. Our Phoenix, Regis and Anchorage pathways all utilize a hybrid format. A hybrid pathway streams your lectures live from our Omaha campus and then records each lecture for you to review later. You can participate live or watch the recording later depending on what works for you. Exams are also completed online with an online proctor via Examity. Students then come to their campus (Phoenix, Regis or Anchorage) a few days a week for in-person labs. The number of days on campus each week is dependent upon the pathway and current semester of enrollment.

Clinical Education

Clinical education is critical to professional development and competency in the discipline of occupational therapy. Creighton University’s occupational therapy program partners with practitioners from around the globe to provide a wide variety of learning experiences. We believe our clinical preceptors bring invaluable practice skills, support and guidance for our students, richly enhancing our program.

Take the next steps toward your doctor of occupational therapy degree

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