Doctor of Occupational Therapy


Students helping patient

Since launching the Occupational Therapy Program in 1985, Creighton University has set new standards in the profession.

U.S. News Top Occupational Therapy ProgramWe were the nation’s first entry-level OTD program and the first innovative hybrid pathways program.

Our unique interprofessional approach to health care focuses on patient care, values-centered teaching by an exceptional faculty and a deep commitment to community service in the Omaha area.

Top 15 OT ProgramOur dedicated faculty includes 30 who hold doctoral degrees: 8 PhD’s, 2 EdD, and 20 OTDs.

They’re not only leaders in the field of occupational therapy but also innovators in various areas of research and scholarly work. Five faculty members are recognized as Fellows of the American Occupational Therapy Association. OT students working together

Creighton is a great place to start your OT career. Through a combination of academic rigor, clinical opportunities, access to affiliated health systems and a focus on career placement, a doctorate in OT puts you on the path to a challenging and rewarding profession.


Curriculum Philosophy

In the Jesuit tradition, a primary focus of the OTD curriculum is to seek the truths and values essential to human life. Our program holds the belief that the intrinsic and unique value of human beings is expressed through occupation, and that the deepest purpose of each man and woman is to create, enrich and share life through human community.

We believe we should strive for a human community of justice, respect and mutual concern. The OTD curriculum integrates these beliefs into a response to important trends in occupational therapy practice and health care. The OTD Program prepares you to become an excellent practitioner and leader who is able to translate theoretical and philosophical tenets into every-day practice and who can influence a variety of systems toward health and wellness through occupation.

Our vision is to be nationally recognized for scholarship, research, teaching and learning, and the quality and professional excellence of our graduates and faculty as ethical leaders providing occupation and evidence-based care and service for individuals and the global society.

View the OTC curriculum layout by semester.

Curriculum Themes and Threads

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. Leadership and Ignatian values are also interwoven within the curriculum. We provide you with unique professional formation development through professional trajectory coursework in emerging and specialty areas of occupational therapy.

Student Learning Outcomes

The philosophical basis of the Department of Occupational Therapy is consistent with the American Occupational Therapy Association’s philosophical base and standards. Central to the curriculum is the understanding of the value of occupation to the individual as a keystone to daily well being.

The objectives of the professional clinical doctorate in Occupation Therapy program are to graduate therapists that:

  1. Demonstrate entry-level occupational therapy clinical skills.*
  2. Develop a new program or refine an existing one that enhances occupational therapy practice.
  3. Demonstrate positive interpersonal skills and insight into one’s professional behaviors to accurately appraise one’s strengths as well as areas for improvement.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to practice educational roles for clients, peers, students and others in community and clinical settings.
  5. Influence policy, practice and education by advocating for occupational therapy services for individuals and populations.
  6. Demonstrate the aptitude and characteristics to assume leadership roles at the local, national and international levels in occupational therapy, health professions and the community.
  7. Develop essential knowledge and skills to contribute to the advancement of occupational therapy through scholarly activities.
  8. Apply principles of ethics to individual, institutional and societal issues; articulate justifiable resolutions to these issues; and act in an ethical manner.


*Assumed to be accomplished by all post-professional OTD students.


  • Level I Fieldwork: Students in the entry-level program enroll in four 3.5-week Level I Fieldwork experiences. Level I Fieldwork can be completed in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, school systems and community centers and consists of both didactic and experiential learning opportunities.
  • Level II Fieldwork: Students complete two three-month clinical Level II Fieldwork placements during the sixth and seventh semester. Level II Field work experiences are completed at supervised, approved facilities. Eligibility for Level II Fieldwork experiences is determined by the student’s mastery of the professional curriculum.
  • Entry-level Doctoral Experiential Component: Following the successful completion of the second Level II Fieldwork experience, students take part in an entry-level doctoral experiential component comprised of 16 semester hours. Doctoral experiential components offer students the opportunity to extend and refine knowledge acquired in the curriculum. Students should be able to articulate a rationale for their doctoral experiential component site choice that considers their own occupational interests and needs, the opportunities, limitations, requirements and needs of practice environments and the potential contribution a professional prepared with an OTD degree can make to such environments. Emphasis is placed on understanding the personal, communal and institutional/societal dimensions of professional development and on the importance of balancing them. After the doctoral experiential component is completed, students must complete the requirements for and participate in an on-campus capstone event for one credit hour.
  • Fieldwork Placement: Clinical education is available in a variety of practice settings and geographic locations. Some travel may be necessary outside of Omaha; students will be responsible for finding their own lodging and paying their own living expenses.

Clinical Education

Experiential learning is a fundamental strength of our program. In addition to structured laboratory activities within the classroom, students participate in community-based activities and events geared toward health promotion and prevention right after beginning the program.

Over 850 clinical sites across the country
Our program provides seven full-time professional practice experiences for a total of 43.5 weeks of experiential education. Four level 1 fieldwork experiences occur in semesters 2-5, each with a duration of one full week within the semester.  Two level 2 fieldwork experiences occur in semesters 6 and 7, with a duration of 12 weeks each (24 weeks total). The final experience is a 16 week doctoral experiential component that is designed by the student, under the mentorship and guidance of faculty. We offer hundreds of experiences across the United States, and our clinical education faculty work closely with you to determine what opportunities best fit your educational and professional goals.

You may also choose to participate in our three-week cross-cultural clinical education program in the Dominican Republic, referred to as the ILAC program. The ILAC program allows for the opportunity to explore the role of occupational therapy in an underserved global health setting.

Other opportunities include the China Honors Immersion Program (CHIP) and the Professional Directed Practice Experience. CHIP is a one-week interprofessional program in China in which students and faculty from occupational therapy, physical therapy and nursing work with rehabilitation practitioners and their patients, exchange ideas on healthcare and experience a different culture.

Financial Information


The most current tuition/fees rate is available through our financial aid website (please note that the figures available include the total cost of attendance, including estimates for books, supplies and living expenses).


A limited number of merit- and/or need-based scholarships are available for entering students. These awards are based on academic merit, involvement outside of the classroom and performance in the admission interview


Students are responsible for full-time tuition for all semesters in which they are enrolled and completing required didactic or clinical course work, including summers. No student will be allowed to pay tuition on a per-credit-hour basis without the written permission of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. University tuition, fees and/or room and board charges are payable at the time of registration and in advance for an entire semester or summer session unless arrangements are made to pay monthly installments using the University's payment plan. Participation in this plan will be limited to the unpaid balance after all financial aid credits have been applied. Folders describing payment plans and services are mailed each summer to enrolled students.

Withdrawals and Refunds

Students withdrawing before the end of a semester will be charged tuition and recurring fees on the following basis:

Withdrawals and Refunds

During the first week


During the second week


During the third week


During the fourth week


During the fifth week


Over five weeks


Program Outcomes

Developing Occupational Therapy Professionals at the Highest Level of Success

Graduation Rate

Graduation Year

Students Entering / Graduating

Graduation Rate













NBCOT Board Pass Rate for Creighton Graduates













5-year average 99.4%

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

Graduates of the 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). After successful completion of this exam, the graduate will be an occupational therapist, registered (OTR). In addition, most states require licensure to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBOT Certification Examination or attain state licensure.


Employment Rate – Twelve Months Post-Graduation







Employment Rate

95% (n=60)

98% (n=53)

100% (n=40)

95.3% (n=43)

94% (n=35)

*Employment rate at time of graduate exit survey

State Licensure Requirements

The programs in physical therapy, occupational therapy and pharmacy within the Creighton University School of Pharmacy and Health Professions meets the appropriate and relevant degree requirements for licensure for all 50 US states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.