Doctor of Occupational Therapy

Healing through holistic care

Helping people live well

The mission of Des Moines University’s Doctor of Occupational Therapy program is to support the health, wellbeing, and occupational engagement of all people, communities, and populations by preparing compassionate and competent leaders of occupational therapy practice.

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.


Be a part of history

As the inaugural class in West Des Moines

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.

Transforming health sciences from the ground up

For the last two years, DMU has been planning the medical and health sciences university of the future. The new campus, located on 88 acres in West Des Moines, will advance the educational transformation the University envisions.

Diversity at DMU: Your culture creates ours

Cultural competency and humility 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

Welcome to campus: See for yourself what we're all about

DMU offers opportunities to get involved in experiences outside the classroom. We are committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for all our students.

Living in Greater Des Moines: Your new favorite place

Besides being a great place to live and work, the greater Des Moines metro is a vibrant area with communities from all walks of life. Ethnic grocery stores, restaurants and year-round events ensure that there’s always something for everyone.

Living in Des Moines
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