Yeshiva University’s OTD program is based on the belief that people are occupational beings and have the potential to change, and therefore can influence their own health status. Occupational engagement and occupation-based interventions are therefore the central theme of the curriculum.


The philosophy of the OTD program reflects the mission statement and values of Yeshiva University, the values of the occupational therapy profession, and the mission and values of the faculty of the OTD program. Some of the themes evident in these entities are student-centrality, commitment to the communities served, innovation and creativity, and the efficient use of resources. The curriculum incorporates beliefs about health and well-being, occupation, and teaching and learning.





Yeshiva University's Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) program has been granted Candidacy Status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814 3449. Upon receiving full accreditation, this program's graduates will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT), Inc. An individual will be considered an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR) following successful completion of the abovementioned exam. Though most states require licensure in order to practice, the state licenses are usually contingent on successful passage of the NBCOT Certification Examination. A felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination as well as eligibility to obtain state licensure. For further questions, one may reach ACOTE by phone c/o AOTA, at (301) 652 AOTA. The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) can be reached at www.nbcot.org.

Program Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of the program the Occupational Therapy Doctorate students will be able to:

  • Develop and implement client centered care that is inclusive of cultural values, beliefs and needs.
  • Demonstrate effective communication skills to function effectively as a member of an interprofessional health care team.
  • Apply critical analysis of evidence during the occupational therapy process and participate to increase the body of knowledge of the profession through the preparation and dissemination of scholarship.
  • Design and implement interventions with a central focus on occupation as the means and end of therapeutic process, in line with the profession’s philosophy.
  • Integrate health promotion and wellness in interventions with individuals, communities and populations.
  • Model leadership and advocacy for occupational therapy in the full range of service areas.

Health and Well-being

The program embraces the definition of health by the World Health Organization: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing—not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” This holistic view of health, focusing on quality of life, is achieved through the aspects of occupational therapy’s domain as described in the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain and Process (AOTA, 2017). All the aspects of the domain support engagement, participation, and health: Areas of human occupation, client factors, performance skills, and context and environment. The program is committed to providing academic and practical experiences focused on health promotion, restoration of health, health maintenance, and compensation and adaptation.

The overarching statement of the Domain of Occupational Therapy is what connects the profession with health and well-being: “Supporting health and participation in life through engagement in occupation.” (AOTA, 2008) The defining contribution of the profession is the application of knowledge, professional attitudes and values to assist clients in engaging in everyday meaningful activities or occupations, i.e. the things people need and want to do. The OTD program will educate students to evaluate the aspects of the occupational therapy domain and apply this knowledge to the intervention process as they work to support the health and participation of their clients and communities. It further highlights the profession’s “positive relationship between occupation and health and its view of people as occupational beings.” (AOTA, 2008, p. 625) In operationalizing the curriculum, the core values of the profession will be made clear:

  • All people should be able to participate to their fullest in the occupations they want or need to do.
  • All people should be able to experience independence and interdependence.
  • All people have the right to be treated equally.
  • All people have the right to feel secure.
  • All people have the right to be well and have access to health care.

Occupation and Community

Occupation is defined by Law, et al. (1989), as “activities people do every day to occupy themselves in order to look after themselves, enjoy their lives and contribute” to the social and economic fabric of their communities.” The program thus centers its curriculum on the value and meaning of occupation as performed by human beings through the stages of human development. For occupational therapists to provide occupation-based interventions requires a client-centered approach. The value of this approach will be mirrored and reinforced through the university’s student-centered commitment to education. The process of occupational therapy education will require that students develop critical and clinical reasoning skills, problem-solving skills, creativity, abstract thinking, a capacity for empathy, and an understanding of diversity and the perspectives of all stakeholders. This focus on occupation-based practice will give students the critical experience of the profession’s uniqueness, establish society’s view of the profession, and develop a strong professional identity within the student. Occupation-based practice can be seen as a major curricular thread in the course design, fieldwork and the student’s learning experiences. A major focus of the program will be community health and well-being: Combining occupation-based practice with community practice. Through fieldwork experiences and scholarly activities, students will provide interventions, develop and evaluate community programs, perform needs assessments, and improve occupational engagement in a variety of nontraditional and emerging practice settings through the lifespan.

Statistical Data and Outcomes

Graduates from the Occupational Therapy Doctorate program are eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). Graduation and NBCOT Pass Rates for the program can be found here: NBCOT Graduation and Pass Rates.

Graduate Employment

NBCOT National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy NBCOT Certification data for the program is available at NBCOT School Pass Rate.

Graduates from the Occupational Therapy Doctorate program are eligible to take the national certification examination for the occupational therapist. This examination is administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this examination, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). Most states require licensure to practice, and state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination.

Please note that in order to take the national certification examination the following questions will be asked:

  • Have you ever been charged with or convicted of a felony? (Note: Applicants must answer affirmatively if records, charges or convictions have been pardoned, expunged, released or sealed).
  • Have you had any professional license, registration or certification revoked or subject to probationary conditions by a registry authority or certification board?
  • Have you ever been found by any court, administrative or disciplinary proceedings to have committed negligence, malpractice, recklessness, or willful or intentional misconduct which resulted in harm to another?