Occupational Therapy — O.T.D. (Entry Level)

Program director
Heather A. Javaherian-Dysinger

Capstone coordinator
Praveen Injeti

Academic fieldwork coordinator
Heather Roese

Transforming lives through occupation, service, and whole-person care.

The Department of Occupational Therapy's mission is to educate future practitioners who:

  • Are compassionate, mission-focused, servant leaders who demonstrate excellence and integrity.
  • Expand knowledge and practice through research and innovative programming.
  • Provide client-centered, occupation-based whole-person care to promote health, wellness, lifestyle, and service at individual, community, and societal levels.

Curricular threads:

  • Occupation-based practice.
  • Evidence-based practice and research.
  • Health, lifestyle, and wellness.
  • Mission-focused community engagement and service.
  • Advocacy and leadership.

Clinical experience

Aligning with the unique mission of Loma Linda University, students in the Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program have the opportunity to experience fieldwork in community practices and emerging areas as well as traditional sites. Students participate in three Level I fieldwork experiences, exposing them to different areas of practice to observe and begin building an understanding of occupational therapy practice. In addition, students take part in community-engagement experiences throughout the program, building their sense of service and using their skills to serve and collaborate with community partners.

Each student completes two Level II fieldwork experiences. The fieldwork coordinator works with the student to arrange the fieldwork sites in different settings. The program culminates with the doctoral capstone, which is a 14-week (560 hours) individual experience where the student gains advanced skills in a specific area. Students are responsible for their own transportation and must complete the fieldwork within twenty-four months of the didactic coursework. Students must also complete a background check and any specific facility requirements prior to beginning fieldwork.

CPR certification

Students are required to have current adult and child cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification for all scheduled clinical experience. All CPR certifications must be completed at a health-care provider level and accredited through the American Heart Association. Classes are available on campus at Life Support Education, University Arts building, 24887 Taylor Street, Suite 102.


For all scheduled fieldwork experience, students are required to have immunizations for MMR, TDAP, hepatitis B series, varicella, as well as a yearly tuberculosis test.

Program goals

Students will:

  1. Become competent occupational therapy practitioners who are equipped to pass the certification exam and practice in various settings.
  2. Become experts in the use of their occupation to create innovative programs and services to meet local and societal needs. 
  3. Use research to guide their practice and scholarly contributions to the profession.
  4. Reflect values of service, faith, and wellness in their personal and professional lives. 

Program learning outcomes

By the end of this program, the graduate should be able to:

  1. Utilize occupation-based practice to promote life participation, meaning, and health.
  2. Embrace values of health, lifestyle, and wellness in interventions and service delivery to promote whole-person care.
  3. Utilize evidence-based practice to guide and inform intervention and occupational therapy services.
  4. Demonstrate mission-focused community engagement and service.
  5. Engage in leadership and advocacy to serve others at the local community, regional, national, and international levels with values of compassion, faith, and occupational justice.

Professional registration and certification

Upon satisfactory completion of the occupational therapy entry-level O.T.D. degree—including completion of Level II fieldwork within 24 months of completing academic preparation, completion of the doctoral capstone, and upon recommendation of the faculty, the graduate is eligible to take the national certification examination administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). The board offers computerized examinations on demand throughout the year. After successful completion of this examination, the individual will be a registered occupational therapist (OTR).

Many states require licensure in order to practice. The student should consult the Occupational Therapy Board for the state in which they plan to practice. The American Occupational Therapy Association provides recognition essential to the practice of occupational therapy in the United States and most foreign countries.

When graduates apply to write the certification examination with NBCOT, they will be asked to answer questions related to the topic of felonies. Felony convictions may affect a candidate's ability to sit for the national certification examination or obtain state licensure. For further information on these limitations, contact NBCOT at: 1 Bank Street, Suite 300, Gaithersburg, MD 20878; telephone: 301/990-7979; website: nbcot.org. Graduates practicing in the state of California must acquire licensure from the California Board of Occupational Therapy. For further information, contact CBOT at 916/263-2294; email: cbot@dca.ca.gov. The office address is: 1610 Arden Way, Suite 121, Sacramento, CA 95815.

The Entry-level Occupational Therapy Doctoral degree program has applied for accreditation and has been granted Candidacy Status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). The program must have a pre-accreditation review, complete an on-site evaluation, and be granted Accreditation Status before its graduates 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).

The Master of Occupational Therapy Program is on inactive status with ACOTE as the program is transitioning to the entry-level Doctor of Occupation Therapy. 

The Master of Occupational Therapy Program was re-accredited in May 2013, with a full 10-year accreditation status through May 2023, by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE), c/o Accreditation Department, American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929; telephone: 301/652-AOTA; website: www.acoteonline.org.

The program is currently in an inactive status, is closed to admissions, and is in a teach-out mode. 

Admission is based on a selective process.  In addition to Loma Linda University and School of Allied Health Professions admissions requirements, the applicant must also complete the following requirements:

  • Earned a prior bachelor's degree in any major from an accredited college or university.
  • A minimum science prerequisite G.P.A. of 3.20, and a minimum cumulative G.P.A. of 3.20.
  • Complete program prerequisites no later than December of the year prior to submission of an application.
  • Complete observation experience—a minimum of 40 hours of documented observation in occupational therapy settings is required before application will be considered for admission.


The applicant must complete the following subject requirements at an accredited college or university:

Human anatomy*
Human physiology*
Human lifespan development
Medical terminology

* Courses must have been taken within 5 years prior to application to our program.

First Year
Summer QuarterUnits
AHCJ 510Human Gross Anatomy9
OCTH 501Professional Foundations I3
OCTH 505Occupation-Based Activity Analysis3
OCTH 701Service in Occupational Therapy Practice1
Autumn Quarter
AHCJ 524Pharmacology1
OCTH 502Professional Foundations II: Human Occupation3
OCTH 510Functional Kinesiology1
OCTH 513Professional Foundations III: Documentation1
OCTH 514Conditions in Occupational Therapy: Behavioral Health4
OCTH 522Analysis and Intervention: Behavioral Health3
Winter Quarter
AHCJ 705Infectious Disease and the Health Care Provider1
OCTH 506Functional Neuroscience3
OCTH 508Splinting1
OCTH 511Conditions in Occupational Therapy: Orthopedic4
OCTH 521Analysis and Intervention I: Orthopedic3
RELR 776Christian Spirituality and the Health Professional2
Spring Quarter
OCTH 507Trends in Neuroscience2
OCTH 512Conditions in Occupational Therapy: Neuroscience4
OCTH 523Analysis and Intervention: Neuroscience3
OCTH 530Introduction to Neuro Theories and Techniques1
OCTH 570Critical Inquiry and Evidence-Based Practice I1
OCTH 712Level I Fieldwork1
Second Year
Summer Quarter
OCTH 504Professional Foundations IV1
OCTH 509Design and Technology2
OCTH 574Critical Inquiry and Evidence-Based Practice II3
RELE 707Ethics for Allied Health Professionals3
Autumn Quarter
OCTH 515Conditions in Occupational Therapy: Infants, Children, Youth4
OCTH 524Analysis and Intervention: Infants, Children, Youth3
OCTH 534Introduction to Sensory Processing1
OCTH 545Current Trends in Occupational Therapy Practice2
OCTH 551Occupation and Wellness2
Winter Quarter
OCTH 516Conditions in Occupational Therapy: General Medicine4
OCTH 517Introduction to Physical Agent Modalities1
OCTH 527Analysis and Intervention: General Medicine3
OCTH 575Critical Inquiry and Evidence-based Practice III2
OCTH 713Level I Fieldwork1
Spring Quarter
OCTH 580Capstone Planning I1
OCTH 721Level II Fieldwork Experience 18
Third Year
Summer Quarter
OCTH 552Professional Transition3
OCTH 560Occupational Therapy Advocacy and Leadership3
OCTH 576Critical Inquiry and Evidence-based Practice IV3
OCTH 581Capstone Planning II: Proposal1
RELT 740World Religions and Human Health3
Autumn Quarter
OCTH 722Level II Fieldwork Experience 28
Winter Quarter
OCTH 582Capstone Experience & Project I3
OCTH 585Teaching and Learning Lab1
OCTH 586Business & Entrepreneurship2
OCTH 605Education for Health Professionals3
Spring Quarter
OCTH 583Capstone Experience & Project II6
 Total Units: 133

Fulfills service learning requirement

A minimum G.P.A. of 3.00 is required quarterly as well as cumulatively throughout the program.

Normal time to complete the program

Three (3) years (10 academic quarters); full-time enrollment required