Frequently Asked Questions

Three OTD students in the lab

Have questions about JWU’s OTD program? We have answers! And if you don’t find the specific information you’re looking for, our contact info is at the bottom of the page — so don’t hesitate to ask us directly!


Do you offer rolling admissions? Yes, we offer rolling admissions from July until the class fills.

What is the timeline for interviews and application decisions? Interviews for qualified candidates will begin in November, and continue on a monthly basis until the class fills or March, whichever occurs first.

Is a bachelor’s degree required for admissions? Yes, a bachelor’s degree in any field is required prior to matriculation.

May I still have prerequisite courses in progress at time of application? Yes, you may still have prerequisite courses in progress when you apply, but all courses must be completed prior to the program start in June.

How do I know that a course I took fulfills a prerequisite? After your application has been verified by OTCAS, the OTD Admissions Committee may request a course syllabus to determine if a class fulfills a prerequisite.

Is the GRE required? GRE scores are no longer required for admission.

May I take the prerequisite courses at a community college or online? Yes, community college and online course credit from an accredited institution are acceptable.

What is the minimum GPA for the program? The minimum GPA for acceptance into the program is a 3.0.

Where can I find information on tuition and financial aid? You can find tuition costs here. The JWU Financial Planning Team can be reached here.

Do you accept transfer students or credits? We do not accept transfer students into the program, nor do we accept transfer credits.

Who should I contact if I have questions about the admissions process? Contact JWU Graduate Admissions at 1-401-598-1015 or

Program Delivery & Academics

When does the entry-level OTD program begin? JWU’s entry-level OTD program begins in the summer semester (June).

Is the program full-time? Yes, the program is an accelerated 3-year, year-round, full-time program (on campus). Scheduling is set to ensure a work-life balance to both the students and faculty.

What is the difference between an Entry Level OTD and a Master’s Program? Like entry-level master’s programs, entry-level doctoral programs prepare graduates to enter the profession as new practitioners. The doctoral degree offers additional semesters of study focusing on clinical practice skills, research skills, administration, leadership, program and policy development, advocacy, education, and theory development.

According to ACOTE Standards, all doctoral programs must require their applicants to hold a baccalaureate degree or higher prior to admission, whereas that is not a requirement for the master’s programs.

Entry-level doctoral programs require a 24 weeks of Level II fieldwork experiences, as well as an additional experiential Capstone component (14 weeks) and culminating project. The experiential Capstone component facilitates the development of advanced skills beyond the generalist level in one or more of the following areas: administration, leadership, program and policy development, advocacy, education, and theory development. (AOTA Commission on Education, 2015)

What is the added value of the entry-level OTD as compared to the entry-level Master of Science (MS) degree? There are greater expectations for entry-level doctoral student outcomes related to technology; program development; staff development; synthesis and practice of advanced knowledge; and demonstrated competency in clinical practice skills, research skills, administration, leadership, program and policy development, advocacy, education, or theory development. (AOTA Commission on Education, 2015)

What is the difference between an entry-level doctoral program and a post-professional doctoral program? An entry-level doctoral program is for those students who have a baccalaureate degree in any area of study and want to pursue further education to become an occupational therapist. A post-professional doctoral program is for occupational therapists who want to advance their skills.

Unique Features

What is unique about JWU’s entry-level OTD program? JWU’s entry-level OTD program has many unique features. They include:

  • A focus on examining the needs of individuals and populations within the community and emphasizes its valuable connections with the Physician Assistant, Culinary, Equine, Design and Engineering programs to best serve societal needs in an interprofessional manner.
  • Level I Fieldwork and lab experiences directly in the community surrounding the historic building that houses the OTD program and within emerging practice areas in the state of Rhode Island.
  • Experienced and nationally recognized faculty teaching in a state-of-the-art facility that creates a stimulating environment for student learning.
  • Coursework and Doctoral Capstone components which are integrated into a curriculum that’s focused on interprofessional aspects of occupational therapy that bring the student outside the realm of health care and into a community rich with opportunity.
  • Our Fieldwork program matches students with a variety of placements both within RI and throughout the nation. Each student is assessed individually and placed based on strengths, interests, and geographical choice. Fieldwork sites are NOT selected with a lottery system and students should expect to be placed in at least one setting of their choice.

More information on our unique events can be found by following JWUOTD on Facebook or Instagram.

Are there any additional costs to the program? JWU utilizes student fees to cover many components of the program including student malpractice insurance, criminal investigation checks, lab items, and an NBCOT Certification preparation course.* Students should anticipate paying for textbooks (online and paper), housing, travel, and health insurance, which is required for fieldwork placement.

*Subject to change.


If I apply, will I be graduating from a fully accredited program? The JWU OTD program has been granted candidacy status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is 301-652-AOTA and its Web address is

In addition to holding Candidacy Status (December 2018), the program must complete a Pre-accreditation Review (March 2021), an On-Site Evaluation (October-November 2021), and be granted Accreditation Status (December 2021) prior to the graduation of the first class of students (May 2022), to secure student eligibility to sit for the National Certification Examination, which is administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT).

More information can also be found here (PDF).

Contact Info

Who should I contact if I have additional questions? Contact JWU Graduate Admissions at 401-598-1015 or, or the Occupational Therapy Doctorate Program at 401-598-1352 or