eOTD Curriculum

Woman wearing glasses with a book open and looking at a laptop.

The Entry-Level Occupational Therapy Doctorate (eOTD) curriculum consists of 107 credits of coursework over eight consecutive semesters. The curriculum includes a total of 33 courses and one required elective. Courses in each semester build on the previous semester. The courses are categorized based on the following content: Foundational Sciences, Basic Occupational Therapy Foundations, Clinical Interventions, Professional Issues and Systems, Fieldwork, Research, and Doctoral Experience. 

The eOTD curriculum focuses on creating a community of learners who will co-construct learning experiences with other students, faculty, and community partners. The themes include an emphasis on reflective learning, critical listening and thinking for clinical decision-making, connecting systems to enact social change, and promoting justice, equity, diversity and inclusion within the profession and society. The eOTD curricular threads provide a distinct quality and identity for the GW OT graduate includes becoming a reflective practitioner, and examining OTs' capacity for systems thinking and advocacy.

The curriculum features extensive hands-on opportunities during six fieldwork experiences and a culminating Doctoral Experience. Students will gain clinical effectiveness and responsiveness with increasing complexity throughout the program engaging with diverse people and communities from across the lifespan.

 Total Coursework: 107 credit hours

Program of Study

Year 1 Fall

OT 8000 Neuroscience for Rehabilitation

This course will provide the student with basic understanding of neurobehavioral structures and functions to understand how humans perform activities and occupations. You will examine nervous system anatomy and function to analyze neurobehavioral performance. You will analyze and synthesize neuroscience perspectives with human occupation and occupational therapy practice. (4 credits)

OT 8101 Human Occupation

The course analyzes the nature of human occupation, the conceptual foundations and history for occupational therapy, and the models for an in-depth evaluation of human occupation. In this course, you will analyze human behaviors, routines, and patterns that determine a person’s occupational choices and value how everyday activities for health change over time. You will examine and apply the conceptual theoretical models and frameworks guiding occupational performance. (4 credits)

OT 8110 Group Dynamics

This course will examine the theoretical foundations and practical applications of group-based interventions across populations and models of OT practice. You will examine and apply interpersonal and communication skills and group dynamics for 1) building therapeutic and professional relationships, 2) applying therapeutic groups to occupational therapy models of practice, and 3) developing and implementing group interventions for occupational therapy practice. (3 credits)

OT 8010 Human Conditions

This course will analyze the effects of disease processes on occupational performance across the lifespan. This course will evaluate the influence of disease, illness, injury, and disability on occupational performance. This course prepares you to understand health and medical diagnostic and prognostic information commonly treated in occupational therapy. You will study human conditions impacting occupational performance.  You will develop clinical occupational therapy and scientific decision making using guided worksheets to discover information, and problem-solving clinical case scenarios. (2 credits)

OT 8111 Social Population Conditions

This course will evaluate the effects of social and structural conditions, culture, genomics, and population health on occupational performance of individuals across the lifespan.  This course prepares you to apply core concepts of population health may influence occupational health and engagement. You will explore the social conditions including structure, systems, and stakeholder bias.  Throughout this course you are introduced to key concepts and apply their understanding to case studies. The information will also explore the social contexts of health and medical conditions. The course content will be presented within the context of population health, clinical occupational therapy and scientific decision-making using problem-based learning techniques.  You will participate in field trips during face-to-face experiences to reinforce mastery of content. (2 credits)

Year 1 Spring

OT 8001 Movement Science

This course will study the anatomical structures, and neuromotor and kinesiological functions in the context of occupational performance. You will do an in-depth study of each anatomical region of the body. You will apply methods and tools for measuring human movement of each anatomical region of the body. You will analyze how humans use and adapt movement patterns for occupational performance and how movement science concepts are integrated into occupational therapy practice. (6 credits)

OT 8501 Research in OT Practice I

This course will introduce literature appraisal and evidenced-informed decision making for a variety of clinical situations. You will apply evidenced-based decision making for clinical occupational therapy. You will appraise the current literature for occupational therapy including developing a Patient, Intervention, Comparison, Outcome (PICO) question, evaluating existing clinical guidelines, critically analyzing and synthesizing research articles, and integrating evidence into practice. (3 credits)

OT 8002 Human Development and Behavior

This course will examine human occupational development and behaviors, and their relationship to occupational performance across the lifespan. A study of sensory, physical, cognitive, emotional and socio-cultural aspects of human occupational development and behavior is emphasized to analyze occupational performance. You will analyze and synthesize developmental behaviors with occupational therapy practice during laboratory experiences. (3 credits)

OT 8102 Human Occupation II

The course will analyze how humans engage in activities and occupations. You will analyze the theories guiding occupational therapy practice. You will apply theoretical construction to analyzing occupational therapy clinical decision making across medical, educational, and community settings for clients, populations, and organizations. You will analyze activities, activity adaptations, and apply performance patterns within occupational contexts. (4 credits)

OT 8401 Fieldwork IA

This experiential fieldwork course applies the concepts of professional behavior, to develop clinical observational and record review skills, and to apply client-centered principles to the field experience. (1 credit)

Year 1 Summer

OT 8201 Occupational Therapy for Mental Health

This course applies theories, assessments, and interventions and the occupational therapy practitioner’s roles related to mental health and psychosocial practice across the lifespan. You will analyze the occupational therapy practitioner’s role as an individual, group, and consultative service provider, and as advocate for mental health and psychosocial issues. (6 credits)

OT 8502 Research in OT Practice II

The course will introduce qualitative methods used in the generation and analysis of data relevant to occupational therapists. The course will introduce qualitative methods used in the generation and analysis of data relevant to occupational therapy practice. The philosophical underpinnings of qualitative research will be reviewed. You will be introduced to a variety of methods for data generation and analysis in preparation for your doctoral experience. You will learn how to critically evaluate published qualitative research studies and how to integrate such research into evidence-based decision making for occupational therapy evaluation and intervention. Finally, you will implement elements of a beginning level research project to better understand the research process and the ethical issues involved in conducting a qualitative research study. You will begin to evaluate the relevant qualitative research methods for your doctoral experience. (3 credits)

OT 8211 Case Analysis I

This is a small group seminar class designed for students to apply occupational therapy models to mental health evaluation, goal writing and interventions. This is a small group seminar class designed to prepare you to apply occupational therapy models of practice to mental health evaluation, goal writing and interventions.  An emphasis is placed on creating evidence-informed practice by navigating biopsychosocial barriers to occupational engagement. Additionally, you will consider contextual and external factors such as cultural context, spirituality, and the influence of payment models. (1 credit)

OT 8310 Systems and Advocacy

This course evaluates the socioeconomic, political, geographic, and demographic factors on the delivery of occupational therapy services. The student will use data to advocate for occupational therapy practice to key stakeholders and systems. This course introduces you to systems thinking and application of this model to understanding the profession of occupational therapy across the continuum of care. Through interactive classroom activities, you will be asked to identify, analyze, and evaluate complex contextual factors including current policy issues, socioeconomic, political, geographic, and demographics on the delivery of occupational therapy services. You will apply your understanding of systems thinking to reach the above stated goal.  During on-campus sessions you will engage in community-based field trips and interact with occupational therapy policy leaders. (3 credits)

OT 8402 Fieldwork IB

This fieldwork builds on clinical observational skills from Fieldwork IA. Students will begin applying the occupational therapy process for individuals, groups, and populations. Students will address psychosocial needs of individuals and groups. (1 credit)

Year 2 Fall

OT 8202 Occupational Therapy for Children and Youth

This course applies theories, assessments, and interventions and the occupational therapy practitioner’s roles related to children and youth in medical, educational, and community practice settings. You will develop skills to create an evidenced and occupation-based evaluation and intervention plan for children and youth. You will examine how to evaluate the needs of children and youth using a child and family centered model, measure occupational performance using a variety of standardized and non-standardized assessments, and create intervention plans for medical, educational, and community settings. (6 credits)

OT 8503 Research in OT Practice III

The course is designed to provide an introduction to quantitative methods used in the generation and analysis of data relevant to occupational therapists. The course is designed to introduce you to quantitative methods used in the generation and analysis of data relevant to occupational therapists. In this course you will gain knowledge and skills in applying and interpreting quantitative study designs and data analysis methods. Using problem-based case scenarios, class discussion, classroom activities, and fieldwork experiences) you will focus on applying quantitative methods to real world occupation-focused study questions. You will apply the concept of occupational justice and how quantitative study designs can inform occupational therapy practice. By employing critical analysis and problem solving, you will learn how to align study design with their research question. You will learn about data analysis and interpretation and apply this information by presenting the results to various stakeholders. (3 credits)

OT 8212 Case Analysis II

This is a small group seminar class designed for students to apply occupational therapy models to child and youth evaluation, goal writing and interventions. This is a small group seminar class designed to prepare you to apply occupational therapy models of practice to child and youth evaluation, goal writing and interventions.  An emphasis is placed on creating evidence-informed practice by navigating biopsychosocial barriers to occupational engagement. Additionally, you will consider contextual and external factors such as cultural context, spirituality, and the influence of payment models. (1 credit)

OT 8311 Leadership and Management

This course evaluates the service, management, legislative, and leadership systems interfacing with the delivery of occupational therapy in a variety of practice settings. You will apply the principles of organizing, planning, directing, controlling, budgeting and communicating occupational therapy services within the service systems where occupational therapists work. You will examine the legislative influences on services. You will create a personal leadership plan to impact the profession of occupational therapy, the legislative and social policies influencing occupational therapy. (3 credits)

OT 8403 Fieldwork IC

This fieldwork builds on clinical skills from Fieldwork IB. Students will apply the occupational therapy process with children and youth in individual and group formats. Student are supervised by an occupational therapy practitioner. (1 credit)

Elective

An elective in an area of the student’s interest to broaden their knowledge and application of occupational therapy. Courses in health science, clinical research and leadership, public health, as well as other courses at the university. (3 credits)

Year 2 Spring

OT 8203 Occupational Therapy for Adult Rehabilitation

This course applies theories, assessments, and interventions and the occupational therapy practitioner’s roles related to adults and physical rehabilitation practice.  You will learn theories for designing occupation-based evaluation and treatment plans for adults with physical dysfunction. You will develop communication skills for interfacing with multiple stakeholders including the client and family, healthcare professionals, and third-party payors. You will analyze activities, select models and theories to evaluation and treat clients. The course requires specific content prior to the on-site weeks so you can focus on experiential learning components aligned with didactic content from previous weeks. (6 credits)

OT 8204 Occupational Therapy and Technology

This course applies theories, assessments, and interventions and the occupational therapy practitioner’s roles in using technology and adapting environments across the lifespan. You will develop evaluation, intervention and outcome plans using assistive technology and environmental adaptations. You will also evaluate technology procurement, legislation, funding, and payer sourcing, and the leveraging of collaboration with other disciplines in developing ways to positively impact persons with disabilities. Content will focus on the examination, modification, appraisal, and skill development on interventions relevant to people with disabilities in areas such as low vision, communication, mobility, learning, positioning, and environmental access. You will develop hands-on skills during face-to-face lab sessions through interactions with subject matter practitioners and experts, problem-based case studies, and collaboration with students from other disciplines at the university. During weekly intensives you will evaluate community needs and generate solutions to these needs. (5 credits)

OT 8213 Case Analysis III

This is a small group seminar class designed for students to apply occupational therapy models to adult rehabilitation evaluation, goal writing and interventions. This is a small group seminar class designed to prepare you to apply occupational therapy models of practice for adult rehabilitation evaluation, goal writing and interventions.  An emphasis is placed on creating evidence-informed practice by navigating biopsychosocial barriers to occupational engagement. Additionally, you will consider contextual and external factors such as cultural context, spirituality, and the influence of payment models. (1 credit)

OT 8601 Doctoral Experience I

This is the first course in the four course doctoral experience series. The student will propose a doctoral experience project.  The doctoral experience is a four-course series culminating in implementation and dissemination of outcomes of your doctoral project. The doctoral experience provides an in-depth exposure to one or more of the following: clinical practice skills, research skills, administration, leadership, program and policy development, advocacy, education, and theory development. This is the first course in the series. You will complete a literature review, needs assessment, and begin to consider a project issue or question to address. You will begin to draft the background and rationale for a doctoral project, the aims and goals, and a project design with potential evaluation measures. (4 credits)

OT 8404 Fieldwork ID

This fieldwork builds on clinical skills from Fieldwork IC. Students will apply the occupational therapy process with adults in individual and group formats. Student are supervised by an occupational therapy practitioner. (1 credit)

Year 2 Summer

OT 8405 Fieldwork IIA

This fieldwork is part 1 of a comprehensive full-time clinical experience to integrate the cumulative knowledge, skills, and values of the occupational therapy domains and processes. Students are supervised by a licensed occupational therapist. (6 credits)

OT 8214 Case Analysis IV

Students will present and in-depth case studies based on occupational therapy clients they are working with on fieldwork.  Students are required to adhere to all presentation guidelines and with all HIPPA regulations. This is a small group seminar class designed to reflect on the breadth and depth of occupational therapy since your exposure to this diversity may have been limited by the clientele or nature of your fieldwork experience. In small groups, you will present an in-depth case from your fieldwork experience.  An emphasis is placed on creating evidence-informed practice by navigating biopsychosocial barriers to occupational engagement. (1 credit)

OT 8602 Doctoral Experience

This is the second course in the four course doctoral experience series. The student will examine the human, material, and financial resources related to the doctoral project. The doctoral experience is a four-course series culminating in implementation and dissemination of outcomes of your doctoral experience. The doctoral experience provides an in-depth exposure to one or more of the following: clinical practice skills, research skills, administration, leadership, program and policy development, advocacy, education, and theory development. This is the second course in the series. You will finalize the doctoral project proposal and introduce resourcing for project development including funding and budgeting management. (2 credits)

Year 3 Fall

OT 8406 Fieldwork IIB

This fieldwork is part 2 of a comprehensive full-time clinical experience to integrate the cumulative knowledge, skills, and values of the occupational therapy domains and processes. Students are supervised by a licensed occupational therapist. (6 credits)

OT 8312 Reflective Practitioner

The course will refine the student’s skill for reflective practice examining self-awareness, therapeutic use of self, the intentional therapeutic relationship, and leadership skills for practice through their curricular and fieldwork experiences. This course integrates the art and science of becoming an occupational therapy (OT) practitioner. You will develop reflective practice by cultivating holistic development and integration of the mind, body, and spirit. You will refine skills for reflective practice through examination of your curricular and fieldwork experiences. You will reflect on your strengths and challenges of your academic and clinical development, how you engaged in therapeutic use of self, your leadership capacities, your professional development, and develop an action plan for continued development and learning. (1 credit)

OT 8603 Doctoral Experience III

This is the third course in the four course doctoral experience series. The student will present their doctoral experience proposal for peer, stakeholder, and faculty review, and make final adjustments prior to implementation. The doctoral experience is a four-course series culminating in implementation and dissemination of outcomes of your doctoral experience. The doctoral experience provides an in-depth exposure to one or more of the following: clinical practice skills, research skills, administration, leadership, program and policy development, advocacy, education, and theory development. In Course 1, you assessed the needs and proposed a project design In Course 2, you explored human, material, and financial resources for the proposed project. This is the third course in the series. You will present your doctoral project proposal for peer review and make final adjustments prior to implementation. (2 credits)

Year 3 Spring

OT 8604 Doctoral Experience IV

This is the final course in the four course doctoral experience series. The student will implement their approved doctoral project proposal over 14-weeks. Upon completion of the project, the student will present the outcomes of the project. The doctoral experience is a four-course series culminating in implementation and dissemination of outcomes of your doctoral experience. The doctoral experience provides an in-depth exposure to one or more of the following: clinical practice skills, research skills, administration, leadership, program and policy development, advocacy, education, and theory development. In Course 1, you assessed the needs and proposed a project design In Course 2, you explored human, material, and financial resources for the proposed project. In Course 3, you presented and finalized your proposal. This is the final course in the series. You will implement an individual 14-week doctoral experience project and disseminate the outcome of the project. The doctoral experience is a minimum of 560 hours of direct activities related to the doctoral experience project. (7 credits)

OT 8313 Professional Development

This course examines the professional transition from student to practicing professional. A comprehensive evaluation of clinical knowledge and competencies, professional development plan, and legal and ethical responsibilities for practice. This is an intensive 2-week course. You will review curriculum and clinical content for the national board exam. You will examine the legal and ethical requirements for practice including licensure, certification, and continuing competency. You will develop a professional development plan that defines your future professional identity. A comprehensive examination will be administered. This is an intensive 2-week course that will meet daily following completion of the Doctoral Experience. Week 1 is online with 3 hours of daily instructional activities, and Week 2 is on-campus for 3 hours daily. (2 credits)


Doctoral Experience

Students are required to complete a culminating Doctoral Experience that serves as the eOTD program capstone.

Students will complete a 3-course Research series (Research in OT Practice I-III) gaining knowledge and exposure to quantitative and qualitative research design and analyses. Using the skills acquired from the research course series, students will take a 4-course Doctoral Experience series to to design, implement, evaluate, and measure outcomes of a doctoral project. The Doctoral Experience will culminate in a 14-week experience implementing, measuring outcomes, and disseminating results of the project.