Jun 16, 2024  
2020 - 2021 Catalog 
2020 - 2021 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Occupational Therapy, O.T.D.

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Occupational therapy makes it possible for people to achieve independence and to enjoy life to its fullest. The Occupational Therapy Doctorate program at the University of Mary prepares students to be competent, caring, ethical, compassionate occupational therapy practitioners who are able to meet the diverse occupational needs of individuals, groups, and communities. Graduates of the doctorate program in occupational therapy will have the skills and training necessary to practice in a variety of professional roles and settings.

Upon successful completion of your doctorate degree in occupational therapy, you will be eligible to take the certification examination for the occupational therapist, administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). The doctorate in Occupational Therapy is offered at the University of Mary’s main campus in Bismarck, ND, along with satellite locations in Billings, MT and Fargo, ND. The Bismarck and Fargo locations offer the program through live video conferencing or Polycom, with students on either campus, having lectures provided through Polycom and labs held separately. The Billings locations does not use interactive video conferencing.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the doctorate of occupational therapy degree at the University of Mary, the graduate will:

  • Function autonomously in a variety of roles and practice settings using effective clinical reasoning based on best evidence
  • Effectively communicate and work interprofessionally to provide valuable healthcare services
  • Use servant leadership skills to make ethical decisions and effect change through skilled communication, therapeutic use of self, advocacy, and scholarship
  • Meet the unique needs of individuals, communities, and populations through the application of knowledge in delivery models, policies, and systems in current and emerging practice settings

Admissions Requirements for the Occupational Therapy Doctoral Degree

The University of Mary Occupational Therapy Program is a member of the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS), available at www.otcas.org. Students should submit their applications to OTCAS and indicate the University of Mary is their choice. OTCAS will send the documentation to the Department of Occupational Therapy Admission Committee for consideration.

After receipt of application through OTCAS, the Admission Committee selects candidates eligible for the required personal interview. The final class is selected based on an objective point system based on cumulative GPA, GPA in Prerequisite courses, completion of volunteer hours, professional references, and the interview. The deadline for submission of the application to OTCAS is December of the year prior to the June start date. Interviews are conducted in mid-January to early February. The following are the program admission requirements and minimum criteria for admission to the professional Occupational Therapy Program:

Course Requirements

  • Anatomy & Physiology I with lab
  • Anatomy & Physiology II with lab
  • General Chemistry with lab OR Physics with lab
  • General Psychology
  • Developmental or Lifespan psychology
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Statistics (from math or psychology department)
  • Medical terminology or passing grade on competency exam

Other Requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree in any field completed prior to beginning the University of Mary Doctorate of Occupational Therapy Program.
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and a minimum of a “C” in all Prerequisite coursework. Students may retake Prerequisite coursework one time. A GPA of 3.0 in Prerequisite coursework is required. Of the Prerequisite courses, a student may only retake a total of 3 of the 7 classes.
  • Three (3) letters of reference addressing moral and ethical behavior, academic abilities, and work ethic. One of these references must be completed by a previous or current work supervisor OR from the occupational therapist supervising the volunteer hours.
  • Twenty (20) volunteer hours with an occupational therapist: additional volunteer hours with nonprofit organizations which provide services to people is highly recommended.
  • International students need to provide a copy of the score sheet from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Applicants much achieve a minimum TOEFL score of 89 or 90 on the Internet-based test (iBT).  The Occupational Therapy Doctorate Program also requires a minimum TOEFL iBT Speaking subscale of 26, TOEFL iBT Writing subscale score of 24, TOEFL iBT Reading subscale score of 21, and iBT Listening subscale score of 18.  All exams are valid for two years.
  • Foreign Transcripts: the University of Mary Doctorate of Occupational Therapy Program only accepts prerequisite coursework taken at an accredited US institution.  Coursework completed in Canada should be submitted to OTCAS for evaluation. 

Rolling Admissions

If the class number does not reach the desired class size, rolling admissions will go into effect. Students must meet all criteria previously outlined and participate in the formal interview process. Rolling admissions are considered until the first day of class in the fall. Applicants will be reviewed based on the time of submission of a completed application.

Academic Transcript Evaluation

Certified copies of all academic records are required at the time of application. Certified copies include transcripts or school certificates and subjects for which the applicant was enrolled or is presently enrolled. If the applicant has attended a university outside of the United States, the University of Mary requires the applicant to provide a course-by-course transcript evaluation.

The evaluation must include transcript authenticity, GPA calculation, U.S. degree equivalency, and is sent directly from the evaluation service. Transcript evaluation must be performed by the World Education Services (WES), Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE), or from an agency that is a current member of the National Associations of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES).

Official transcripts must be sent directly to:

Graduate Admissions
University of Mary
7500 University Drive
Bismarck, ND 58504

Early Assurance

A selected group of high school seniors may apply for early enrollment into the program. The number is determined on a yearly basis. Applicants for early enrollment must be outstanding in their own high school; having at least a composite score of 24 on the ACT or a GPA of 3.5. A member of the OT faculty interviews these students prior to their early acceptance. Students accepted for this program sign an agreement detailing specific requirements.


The Occupational Therapy Program at the University of Mary has been granted Candidacy status from the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. ACOTE’s phone number, C/O AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its web address is www.acoteonline.org.

The program is now eligible to proceed to Step 2 of the Initial Accreditation Process (the Initial Review), with the submission of the Self-Study Report due on March 2, 2020. The program would then participate in an Onsite Accreditation Team Visit, with the goal to receive formal accreditation before the first cohort of students graduate from the program.

Program Requirements

Total: 117 Semester Credits

Program length: 3 years / 9 semesters / 144 weeks

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