An accelerated way to earn your doctorate

Alvernia University’s post-professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) is the highest level of formal education available to entry-level occupational therapists. The doctorate, which focuses on program development, prepares therapists to address the occupational needs of people of all ages with a broad exposure to traditional and community-based practice settings and areas.

This OTD program is designed for students who have earned a master's degree in Occupational Therapy and have completed all prerequisites. The six-semester track requires 18 months of study, including foundational, professional and fieldwork. It follows a year-round curriculum sequence: fall, spring, summer, fall, spring.

Getting Started

Where You Can Get a Degree

The post-professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy program is available at the following Alvernia University campuses:

Admissions Requirements
  • Graduate of an ACOTE accredited Master’s OT program. Students may apply before their program is completed
  • Cumulative GPA of at least a 3.00 in MOT or MSOT degree, and a “B” or higher in all graduate Occupational Therapy courses
  • Must have received initial NBCOT certification to begin coursework
  • Eligible for occupational therapy license in state of residence
  • Admissions Essay Students are expected to identify their idea for program innovation or development
  • No GRE or interview required


At the conclusion of the Post-professional OTD students will:

  • Have implemented a new service or program
  • Collected outcome data to support the efficacy of the new service or program

Disseminated information about the program to:

  • The service setting
  • An audience of health care professionals
Application Instructions

Through a rolling admission process, prospective students may apply to Alvernia at any time. Multiple start dates throughout the year allow accepted students to begin a program of study at an accommodating time. We continually review applications and accept students for each of the six term starts (August, October, February, March, May, and July).

Keeping on track is important throughout the process. We encourage you to work with an admission team member to submit all materials and meet all deadlines. Our dedicated team will work directly with you to identify the best options that work for you and your unique situation.

Once your application is complete, you will not have to wait long for a decision. We continually review applications and notify students as soon as a decision has been made.

To get started, visit our Adult Education Application page for a list of instructions and documents needed.

Financing Your Education

There are options to assist in financing your education and making the tuition affordable. Visit our financial aid page for a detailed overview of the process, including a link to complete the FAFSA application, as well as more information about the tuition payment plan and the tuition deferment program we offer. Alvernia’s Title IV code for the FAFSA is 003233. The Office of Student Financial Services is available to help with any questions you may have. Call 610-796-8201 or email

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Success Stories

Regina Rossi Senior Scholar Golden Guide Ambassador MSOT
Regina Rossi '24
A recipient of the Senior Scholar Award, the MSOT standout and Golden Guide Ambassador aims to advance the use of 3-D prosthetic hands.
Joey Burgess, OT student, and former president of SOTA.
Joey Burgess ’22
The former Student Occupational Therapy Association president is a testament of what Alvernia's OT program has to offer.
Erin McAleer, native of Wantagh, Long Island, graduate of Alvernia's MSOT program.
Erin McAleer '19
“My time at Alvernia helped me to grow exponentially in so many ways," said McAleer, who maintained a hectic schedule while remaining on the Dean’s List for 10 consecutive semesters.

Program Overview

Why Alvernia?
  • Alvernia University is a nationally ranked comprehensive regional university that has been a leader in adult education for over 35 years.
  • Flexible scheduling with evening classes and in-person, hybrid and online formats meets the needs of the busy adult learner.
  • Programs are offered at a growing number of convenient locations in Reading, Pottsville, and Philadelphia.
  • With world-class facilities and resources and a dedicated advisor team to help you balance your studies, family, financial and work demands, Alvernia is the ideal choice for your personal and educational comeback.

Note: Alvernia schedules 6 mods over a 12-month period.

Mod 1+2- Fall

  • OTD 602 Understanding Contexts: Service Delivery Systems (Non-profit, private practice, NGO, education/school, etc.)
  • OTD 604 Healthcare Policy and Advocacy: Ethics, professional values, & occupational Justice
  • OTD 606 Capstone Development I

Mod 3+4 - Spring

  • OTD 608 Using Evidence to support Program Development
  • OTD 612 Leading Change and Entrepreneurship
  • OTD 614 Capstone Development II

Mod 5+6 - Summer

  • OTD 702 Needs Assessment: meeting the needs of diverse populations
  • OTD 704 Funding programs/Grant Writing/Service Delivery Finance
  • OTD 706 Capstone Development III

Mod 1+2 – Fall

  • OTD 712 Program Outreach: Promoting and marketing to connect with audiences
  • OTD 714 Measuring Success: Outcomes measures and program assessment
  • OTD 716 Capstone Development IV - IRB Application Submitted

Mod 3 & 4-Spring

  • OTD 802 Capstone Implementation
  • OTD 804 Capstone Report & Dissemination
Experiential Learning Opportunities
  • Community-based fieldwork includes partnerships with:
    • Hannah's Hope
    • Hope Rescue Mission
    • IM Able
    • BOG Turtle Farm
    • Abilities in Motion
    • Opportunity House
    • All Abilities Fitness Center
    • Paramount Recovery House
    • Rock Steady Boxing program with Tower Health and Body Zone
    • Reading Housing Authority
    • Olivet Boys and Girls Club
    • Dayspring Homes
    • Liberty High School - Trauma Informed Care Program
  • Students have completed Level II fieldwork in countries such as Ecuador, Belize, Haiti, Uganda and the Dominican Republic.
  • Students create prosthetics using a 3-D printer and send them to those in need across the globe. Alvernia students have connected with patients in Indonesia, Canada and the U.S. through e-Nable, an online global community of “Digital Humanitarian” volunteers.
Program Accreditation
Career Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of occupational therapists is projected to grow 14 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations. The median annual wage for occupational therapists in 2021 was $85,570.

  • Clinical Director
  • Faculty Specialist
  • Assistant or Associate Professor
  • Fieldwork Coordinator
  • Clinical Assistant Professor
  • Doctoral Capstone Coordinator
  • Program Chair

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