Why Pursue an OTD

Obtain the Highest Level of Professional Preparation

The Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) is a professional (or clinical) doctorate – the highest level of academic preparation that an entry-level occupational therapist can obtain. 

Preparation at the doctoral entry-level goes well beyond that of the entry-level master’s degree. OTD students complete additional preparation in leadership, policy analysis, advocacy, theory and research, as well as an additional mentored advanced doctoral experience.

With an OTD you are better prepared to address the challenges of today's complex and ever-changing health care and education settings.

The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Position Statement on Entry-Level Degree for the Occupational Therapist

Evolving changes in health care, higher education and the occupational therapy profession itself have led to a profession-wide dialogue regarding entry-level education for occupational therapists.  On April 30th 2014, the American Occupational Therapy Association issued a position statement on the entry level degree for occupational therapists.  It is the position of AOTA that the profession should "take action to transition toward a doctoral level single point of entry for occupational therapists with a target date of 2025." Read the full position statement and rationale.

Shape the Future of Occupational Therapy

The American Occupational Therapy Association has put forth a Centennial Vision which states,

"We envision that by 2017 occupational therapy is a powerful, widely recognized science driven and evidence-based profession with a globally connected and diverse workforce meeting society's occupational needs." (

In order to actualize this vision, the profession needs to recruit future leaders who are able to influence best practice through research evidence, and deliver compassionate, collaborative care. In addition, the MGH Institute is committed to training clinicians who value interprofessional collaboration, providing students with opportunities to learn with and from students and clinicians in other healthcare disciplines.

Our program is designed for those who want to contribute to this vision, who value the opportunity for interprofessional education, and who have the drive to make a difference in occupational therapy and in society.

The entry-level OTD program provides an opportunity to move directly into the profession at the doctoral level, starting you on your professional career trajectory.

Request information to learn more about the entry-level OTD program at the MGH institute.