Occupational Therapy, Post-Professional (PPOTD)

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Occupational Therapy, Post-Professional (PPOTD) Overview

This 100% online program is designed for domestic and international OT professionals seeking leadership roles in academia, healthcare, and advocacy as well as those looking to transition to teaching. Students earn their doctorate in 16 months by taking just two classes at a time and travel to campus is not required, making this one of the fastest-to-degree programs in the marketplace and allowing students to save time and money.

Chatham graduates are recognized for their commitment to scholarship and many have authored or contributed to peer-reviewed literature. Plus, all AOTA members receive a 20% reduction in tuition costs for the duration of the program.

Learn more by registering for a virtual session, which always feature live faculty and alumni perspectives and an open forum to ask your questions. All upcoming sessions are listed here.

Degrees Offered
  • Doctorate
  • OT
Program School
Track Options


Flexible curriculum and diverse faculty help you tailor the program to your unique interests.

Did You Know?

Bridge Program

The Bachelor-to-OTD Bridge program is open for enrollment through fall 2022. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply now. Learn more below.


30 Credits / 16 Months

Our 100% online program is 30 credits and is completed over 16 months / 4 terms. Students can start in the fall or spring, and travel to campus is not required.

Cost Per Credit


Per-credit cost is $865 after the 20% tuition reduction Chatham offers for all members of AOTA and several state occupational therapy associations.

Explore the Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy Degree:

Admission Requirements:

  • Free, online application
    • Please list former last or maiden names that may appear on transcripts
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended sent directly from the institutions to Chatham University by emailing Admissions or sending by mail to this address:
    • Chatham University
      Graduate Admissions
      1 Woodland Road
      Pittsburgh, PA 15232
  • Current resume
  • Copy of OT license
  • Admissions Essay
    • In 500 words or less, explain your understanding of evidence-based practice versus research, and then describe an area of interest and/or potential problem you are interested in focusing your evidence-based capstone project on. Include why you are interested in this area and why it is relevant for occupational therapy practice. Note: The essay will help us understand your interests related to the capstone project, but in no way represents a firm commitment to any ideas that you share. Students are guided to confirm their capstone topics in the first semester of the program. 

To be considered for admission review, please note that either a master’s degree or undergraduate degree in occupational therapy is required. The GRE is not required.

International Applicants

International Applicants must submit additional documentation to the Office of Admissions. A list of these documents can be found on the International Admission web page.

Application Deadline (Fall & Spring):

We are always accepting applications for our fall and spring terms, but recommend submitting by August 1 for the fall term, and November 1 for the spring term. Submitting a complete application as soon as possible is helpful, as space in our cohort program is limited. 

All OTD students take the same courses in the same sequence. Here's what it looks like: 

OTD742 (3)
7 weeks
OTD751 (3)
14 weeks 
OTD752 (3)
7 weeks
OTD740 (3)
14 weeks
OTD741 (3)
14 weeks
OTD766 (3)
14 weeks
OTD761 (1)
14 weeks
OTD772 (5)
14 weeks
OTD760 (3)
6 weeks
  OTD750 (3)
7 weeks


OTD742 (3)
7 weeks
 OTD751 (3)
14 weeks
OTD752 (3)
7 weeks
OTD740 (3)
14 weeks
OTD741 (3)
14 weeks
OTD766 (3)
14 weeks
OTD761 (1)
14 weeks
OTD772 (5)
14 weeks
OTD760 (3)
6 weeks
OTD750 (3)
7 weeks

Full course descriptions are available here: 

View Full Curriculum

The post-professional OTD curriculum allows students to explore their own area of professional interest and then directly apply their learning through the design and implementation of an evidence-based capstone project in their work setting. Students become a true community of learners, working together for the future of better healthcare.

—SHARON NOVALIS, Ph.D., program director 

Photo of students in a lecture hall with a professor at the front of the class

Study On Your Own Schedule

"I work full-time as an occupational therapist, and I have a family with three busy teenagers. This program really fit in: it's completely online, you're working around your schedule. So to do it as a working, full-time mother, it's very feasible."
—Christine Daeschner, PPOTD '22

Our Faculty

Chatham’s OTD faculty members bring a wealth of clinical experience as well as teaching experience in a range of practice settings.

Full Faculty
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Capstone Projects and Publications

Over the four semesters of the program, each student designs and implements an evidence-based capstone project on a topic of interest. Projects can be completed in a work setting, community site, or emerging practice area. The project culminates with a formal presentation as well as drafting of a conference proposal and a peer-reviewed journal article. Chatham graduates have successfully published their work in peer-reviewed journals and been accepted for conference presentations post-graduation.

View Student Works : Checkerboard 1 - Capstone Projects and Publications
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100% Online

In an effort to save students time and money, Chatham’s PPOTD program is now fully online with no travel requirements. In place of former campus onsites, faculty have carefully designed meaningful virtual immersive experiences where students share capstone projects and posters with their peer community. These virtual immersive experiences started in April 2020, and student feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. 

Photo of a smiling woman in front of a poster presentation, speaking with two women facing her

Bachelor-to-OTD Bridge Program

This program is designed for experienced occupational therapists who hold a bachelor's degree in occupational therapy and is only open for enrollment through fall 2022. The Bridge Program is 39 credits and starts in fall terms. It is completed over 20 months / 5 terms. The small size of each cohort allows for deep discussion and interaction.

Bachelor-to-OTD Bridge Program : Checkerboard 4 - Bachelor-to-OTD Bridge Program
Photo of students wearing masks, sitting around a room

Interprofessional Education (IPE)

Interprofessional education involves students from two or more health professions learning together during their training. The goal of IPE is to enhance communication and decision-making, allowing various domains of knowledge to complement each other.

Learn About IPE : Checkerboard 5 - Interprofessional Education (IPE)
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AOTA Conference

Each year Chatham faculty, students, and alumni make a significant impact at the AOTA annual conference and expo, where we come together to network and catch up. Click here to view the accepted list of presentations by Chatham faculty, students, and alumni for the 2020 conference.

Photo of four female Chatham University students smiling in a lecture hall, with their laptops open in front of them

Funding Options

Chatham offers a generous tuition reduction for members of AOTA and several state occupational therapy associations, as well as full-time employees of companies participating in our Corporate & Strategic Partner Program. This benefit reduces the per-credit tuition rate by 20% for the duration of the program and makes our post-professional OTD one of the most affordable options.

View Funding Opportunities : Checkerboard 7 - Funding Options
Circle photo of a smiling woman in a graduation cap, on top of a purple slide reading Alumni Profile

Alumna Profile: Jillian Hamilton OTD '18

Jillian Hamilton’s journey through our Occupational Therapy Program started with the encouragement of a friend, and along the way, the camaraderie she felt with her classmates and the mentorship of faculty members saw her through to the finish line. Now, Hamilton is using learnings from her OT capstone project to improve the lives of children with developmental delays.

Circle photo of a smiling Black man, with a backdrop of trees and greenery. The photo is on top of a purple slide that reads Alumni Profile.

Anderston St. Germain, OTD ‘17

“I thought it was very good,” he says “Especially Dr. Jennifer Lape. She was very consistent, very insightful. I even emailed her once to ask how she was able to give such good insight on all of our projects when they were so different! I always felt like her feedback was like ‘Wow, that’s exactly what I needed to hear’ to guide me in what I was doing. The other professors and classes were really good too – very flexible, very helpful, very positive.”