Two doctoral programs. An unflagging commitment to advancing the profession.

At the MGH Institute, we educate doctorally prepared practitioners who shape the future of occupational therapy practice. Our graduates contribute to the health and wellness of society through leadership in patient care, interprofessional collaborative practice, cutting edge research, and community engagement.


Welcome from our Chair

Welcome to the MGH Institute's Department of Occupational Therapy. In our community of learners, occupational therapy education is conducted in an interprofessional graduate academic setting where innovative curriculum, research labs, and state of the art facilities support intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, and lifelong learning. You will learn from faculty who are major contributors to professional and academic communities. We look forward to collaborating and discovering with you.

Regina F. Doherty, OTD, OT, OTR, FAOTA, FNAP
Chair, Occupational Therapy

Dr. Regina Doherty is an occupational therapist with 30 years of experience in occupational therapy and interprofessional collaborative practice. She is an internationally recognized speaker and the author of numerous peer-reviewed texts, articles, and book chapters.

regina wears a cap sleeve navy top and has curly brown hair

Occupational Therapy Programs

The Department houses two academic programs – the Entry-Level Doctor of Occupational Therapy and the Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy. Both programs are conducted in an interprofessional graduate academic setting where innovative educational methods and modern technology are incorporated in an environment that encourages integrity, creativity, independent thinking, intellectual curiosity, community service, and self-reflection.

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Shape the future of occupational therapy

The practice of occupational therapy involves the therapeutic use of everyday life activities (occupations). Occupations are goal-directed pursuits that typically extend over time and meet human needs for self-care, enjoyment, and participation in society. Examples of these life activities include bathing and dressing, cooking, driving, computer use, participation in school, play and work tasks, leisure pursuits, and engaging in one’s community.

Occupational therapists believe that health and participation are supported through engagement in occupation. They work with individuals and families throughout their lifespan, from infancy to older adulthood. Occupational therapists help clients perform, modify, or adapt tasks so that they succeed in activities they need or want to do despite injury, illness, functional limitation, or disability.

Occupational therapists work in a variety of settings including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, school systems, private practices, community health centers, client’s homes, and industry. An occupational therapist assumes many roles, such as a practitioner, scholar, administrator, educator, advocate, and researcher. Many also consult with organizations and industries to promote health and wellness for individuals and populations.

Employment of occupational therapists is projected to grow 14 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations. According to the 2021 U.S. News and World Report ranking of the top 100 jobs, occupational therapy ranks 19th.

According to the 2021 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report, the median annual earnings for occupational therapists were $85,570.

The increasing elderly population and the need for integrated services for school-age children with disabilities are two major factors driving growth in the OT profession.

Graduates of the OTD program will find employment in various practice areas. These include traditional medical and rehabilitation settings, skilled nursing facilities, outpatient practices, school systems, community health programs, private practice, and work and industry. Changes in the healthcare environment, coupled with AOTA's Centennial Vision for the profession, have led to emerging practice areas in health and wellness, productive aging, and disability and participation.

Furthermore, being doctorally trained, you will be well-positioned to define and shape the future of occupational therapy practice.

For more information about occupational therapy careers, please visit the job outlook section on the AOTA website.

Occupational therapists are a vital part of the healthcare team. As a graduate of the Institute’s OTD program, your skills will be in high demand.

Graduates of the EL-OTD program 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). Learn more about NBCOT.

To practice as an occupational therapist you must also be licensed in the state where you intend to practice. Requirements vary from state to state, however, state licensure is usually based on the results of the NBCOT certification exam.

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 healthcare and education settings.

Top 6%

ranked OT program in the nation by U.S. News & World Report

Ranked 4th

top healthcare job by U.S. News & World Report

14% growth

expected in employment between 2021-2031

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The Department houses two academic programs – the Entry-Level Doctor of Occupational Therapy and the Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy.