Academics, Fieldwork & Capstone


JWU’s Occupational Therapy Doctorate curriculum, which culminates in a 14-week community-based doctoral capstone experience and related project, is designed to transform students into professional practitioners able to blend evidence, creativity and ingenuity into practice.

Through mentorship with our experienced faculty, you will set personal goals that enhance your professional growth. In JWU’s program, you will gain the practical and research skills needed to become a highly competent clinical practitioner.

Catalog & Course Listing

Explore the full catalog course listing:

JWU Catalog: OTD

Explore curriculum, course descriptions and course credits:

JWU Catalog: OTD Courses


Fieldwork experiences provide opportunities to apply classroom knowledge about evaluation, direct treatment, advocacy, and research to real-life settings. Engagement in fieldwork experiences encourage students to exemplify the professional values and behaviors of leadership, integrity, and social consciousness that comply with the program’s goals.

Throughout fieldwork, refine skills of observation, evaluation, implementation, communication and leadership while demonstrating the professionalism required of all entry-level doctorate students in the program.

Level I Fieldwork
JWU’s Level I fieldwork experiences provide an introduction to mental health, pediatric, adult and older adult populations. Some fieldwork experiences represent current practice, while others offer a glimpse into designing programs for the future of health care in community and population related work.

Gain the practical and research skills needed to become a highly competent clinical practitioner.

Level II Fieldwork
JWU’s Level II, 12-week experiences, allow students to enhance and develop skills until they emerge as an entry-level therapist.

The Academic Fieldwork Coordinator is responsible for all aspects of Level I and Level II Fieldwork.

JWU’s experienced team is led by Rebecca Simon, who has almost two decades of experience with fieldwork. At the regional and national level, she has led several fieldwork related committees; she has also served as American Occupational Therapy Association’s Academic Education Fieldwork Subsection coordinator for three years. In 2019, she was honored with an AOTA Fellowship and was named by the selection committee “an enthusiastic leader and ambassador for fieldwork education.”

You can be expected to be matched with a setting that both highlights their skills and challenges you to become a better professional and practitioner.

While Level I placements will be local to JWU, Level II placements can be found in and around Rhode Island and New England, but students can be placed nationwide in a variety of emerging and traditional settings.

The flexibility offered through the university’s summer and fall Level II placements will allow for inter- and intraprofessional experiences and placements that support creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. Students will find JWU’s fieldwork experiences to be unique, challenging, and creative, all integrated within a supportive environment with expert faculty and small cohort size.


The doctoral capstone provides students opportunity to relate theory to practice and demonstrate synthesis of advanced knowledge in a practice area of student interest through completion of 14 weeks of community-based, full-time, on-site placement, as well as a culminating project.

In preparing for your doctoral capstone, you will complete as series of introductory and competency capstone tasks as well as work closely with your capstone faculty mentor to define a problem that relates to occupational therapy and develop a plan to address it.

While some students may publish the findings of their capstone project, all students will present their capstone projects at a JWU research symposium at the completion of the doctoral capstone.

A doctoral capstone may take place at sites such as zoos, outpatient mental health clinics, community gardens, homeless shelters, on campus, and at transportation centers, to name just a few. At JWU, we take a personalized approach in working closely with you to identify and place you at a site that best addresses your area of focus and most effectively serves as a catalyst to address your capstone project.