Why Choose JWU for OTD?

JWU’s entry-level Occupational Therapy Doctorate program, the first in the state, is poised to take the lead in the community.

The program is housed in an active educational district in the heart of Providence. While the building may be historic, the labs and classroom spaces are state-of-the-art and dedicated solely for occupational therapy student use.


Our Mission

Through its innovative curriculum design, JWU’s OTD program is committed to provide an exceptional education that inspires successful professional occupational therapy clinicians, advocates, and leaders of the profession, who value and pursue lifelong learning experiences, while integrating the core philosophy of the profession: “Participation in meaningful occupation is a determinant of health” (AOTA, 2017a).

Our program’s holistic approach addresses the vital importance of people’s physical, psychological and emotional needs. A distinguishing feature is our direct collaboration with JWU’s world-renowned College of Culinary Arts, where you’ll focus on the impact of culture, food and cooking in contributing to the health, wellness and care of individuals, communities and populations you’ll serve.

Learn by Doing

Our curriculum takes you on a transformative journey in which you’ll explore occupational therapy through multiple contexts in a changing world. The journey inspires you to become an occupational therapist of the future, helping to meet society’s occupational needs through practice, research, education and advocacy.

You’ll learn to service individuals, groups, communities and populations, while also developing programs that offer a preventative focus and influence a broader scope of the population. Then apply and practice what you learned in class through course fieldwork in mental health, aging, physical disabilities and pediatrics.

In your final semester, you’ll participate in a Doctoral Specialty Experience (DSE), which may revolve around clinical practice skills, research skills, administration, leadership, program and policy development, advocacy, education, or theory development.

Through mentorship with our experienced faculty, you’ll set personal goals that influence your professional growth and complete a culminating project ready for publication, presentation and implementation by the time you graduate.

In JWU’s OTD, you’ll gain the practical and research skills needed to become a highly competent clinical practitioner.

Our Customized OTD Lab

Devise adaptive ways for clients to connect with their environment and complete the work, recreational and self-care tasks they need to succeed in our new occupations lab in JWU’s Academic Center.

The lab features

  • modified home setup of a living room, kitchen and bathroom
  • driving simulator
  • high-tech visual assessment and training equipment
  • vestibular testing device for balance assessment
  • 3D printer for the production of splints and adapted equipment
  • hospital bed area for practice interactions with an artificial intelligence patient
  • OTD students can also access JWU’s physician assistant program cadaver lab