Doctor of Occupational Therapy

Fulfill your passion in a powerful profession.

Help People Live Well

With a Doctoral Degree from DMU

Our program prepares students with the knowledge, skills, and experience to provide occupational therapy services that improve engagement in everyday activities and promote enjoyment of life to its fullest. Our students develop the expertise to become caring and competent providers in diverse local and global communities. The curriculum prepares students to be reflective practitioners who facilitate health promotion, prevention, and wellness through occupation- and evidence-based practice, professional reasoning, scholarship, interprofessional collaboration, and innovation.

With an O.T.D. degree from Des Moines University, you can:

  • Apply after completing 60 undergraduate credits. A bachelor’s degree and GRE score are not required to apply.
  • Choose a pathway that best fits your needs. Complete the degree in-person or with a hybrid blend of online and in-person courses.
  • Engage in five integrated Level I Fieldwork experiences to connect course content with real-world practice.
  • Enjoy interprofessional interaction with faculty and students in DMU’s nine other graduate medical/health sciences degree programs.
  • Use cutting-edge technology, including telehealth instruction, on DMU’s brand-new campus in West Des Moines.

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Transforming health sciences from the ground up

DMU has been planning the medical and health sciences university of the future.
Opening in 2023, the new campus will advance the educational transformation the University envisions.

Accreditation Status

The entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program has applied for accreditation and has been granted Candidacy Status 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

The program must have a pre-accreditation review, complete an on-site evaluation, and be granted Accreditation Status before its 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). In addition, all states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.

Des Moines University submitted an application for the OTD program and was approved by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) in May 2022.

Diversity at DMU: Your culture creates ours

Cultural competency is part of the personal and professional development that happens at DMU. Our campus environment is shaped by individuals who bring cultural differences, life experiences and distinct characteristics.

Diversity and Inclusion at Des Moines University

© 2018 Des Moines University

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