Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Roxanna Bendixen, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, Division Director

The Occupational Therapy Educational program at MUSC was the first professional, graduate entry-level program in the state of South Carolina. The entry-level OTD is distinguished among the nation’s finest occupational therapy doctoral programs through its commitment to supporting health and participation in life. The program embraces the university’s core values: compassion, collaboration, respect, integrity, and innovation.

The Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) degree prepares students for lifelong and rewarding careers. Graduates are prepared to improve the quality of life for people who experience difficulties and challenges to everyday living.

Our high-quality program is provided at an academic medical center and the curriculum is rigorous and engaging. Educational technology enhances classroom learning, group work develops professional skills, and experiential learning refines practice skills.

Interprofessional education is a hallmark of the program and involves connections with other health professionals across the campus and in the community. Research shows that working in teams produces better outcomes. Teamwork supports innovation and promotes excellence.

Beginning in the second year, fieldwork experiences are an integral part of the curriculum and allow opportunities for direct observation and participation in a variety of practice settings and contexts. These experiences help integrate learning from the classroom and lab and enhance capacity for becoming a proficient occupational therapist.We are excited to offer 4 courses online: Evidence-Based Practice I (Semester 2), Population Health and Visionary Leadership (Semester 6), and Professional Seminar (Semester 8). Students should have access to personal technology such as a laptop computer, tablet, or PC throughout the duration of the program as well as a working webcam when taking the online courses.

Semesters seven and eight are two full-time 12-week fieldwork rotations at facilities throughout the state and across the country working under the direct supervision of a clinical instructor. The final semester involves a Doctoral Capstone course. The 14-credit capstone course provides an in-depth, customized experience specific to the interests, skills, and professional goals of the occupational therapy student.    


The entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program is accredited 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 www.acoteonline.org.

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).  After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). NBCOT Exam Data will be available shortly after graduating our first ELOTD class in May of 2022. Passing the NBCOT Certification Examination is necessary, but each state may have additional requirements for state licensure. You can find information about state licensure here.