School of Health Professions offering occupational therapy doctorate

The School of Health Professions at UT Health San Antonio is leading the way as the first state-supported educational program in Texas to offer an entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) degree.

Bridgett Piernik-Yoder, Ph.D., OTR, associate professor and chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy, said the doctoral degree replaces an existing Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) degree and provides students with stronger clinical and practice skills and additional education in leadership and management. Students also complete a mentored doctoral capstone project in either research, advanced clinical skills, or project development and outcomes measurement.

“The health care industry is very dynamic and health care professionals need to be prepared to meet the practice demands of the future. Many of our occupational therapy graduates get their first jobs in underserved areas across the state, so we have been committed to developing this new degree to prepare them as leaders in the profession,” she said.

The OTD curriculum at UT Health San Antonio is only one semester longer than the current master’s program, so students can complete their doctoral degree with minimal increase in time and tuition expense. Approximately half of the occupational therapy programs across the United States offer the doctoral program or are transitioning to it from a master’s degree, she said.

Visit or call 210-567-8881 for more information.

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