Shenandoah University’s 107-Credit Doctor of Occupational Therapy Is Delivered In A Flexible, Hybrid Format, With A Combination Of Online And Face-To-Face Learning Opportunities In The Classroom And Community.
Shenandoah University’s Division of Occupational Therapy (SUDOT) program prepares you to become a skilled and compassionate occupational therapist, serving a diverse range of patient populations in a variety of health care and community-based settings.
Upon graduation, all students from the Shenandoah University’s Division of Occupational Therapy (SUDOT), will receive an Entry Level Doctor of Occupational Therapy. The Entry Level Doctorate is currently in the application process for candidacy with the Accreditation Council of Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).
Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the National Certification Examination for the Occupational Therapist administered by the NBCOT.
The SUDOT Entry Level Doctorate program is located at the health professions building in Winchester Virginia. The Health professions building is located within the campus of Valley Health. This is a hybrid program with over 50% of the content delivered online.
Program pending approval from the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and Shenandoah’s curriculum committee.
Meet Shenandoah's Occupational Therapy Director Cathy Shanholtz
The director of Shenandoah University’s occupational therapy program, Cathy Shanholtz, O.T.D., describes how the university’s hybrid doctorate program in occupational therapy is unique and filled with plenty of hands-on opportunities for experiential learning.
Occupational Therapy at Shenandoah University
Welcome to Shenandoah University’s Division of Occupational Therapy. We offer three distinct programs in unique hybrid and online curriculum models to meet the needs of diverse learners. Our students graduate prepared to be a leader in the field of occupational therapy and make a difference locally, nationally, and abroad.
The Shenandoah Occupational Therapy program offers students the opportunity to learn all the skills they will need as an entry-level occupational therapists. These skills include evaluation of clients, treatment planning, being an evidence-based practitioner, and specific treatment interventions such as adaptations to the client’s environment, splinting and mobility skills.
The majority of coursework in the Shenandoah University occupational therapy programs is based on a hybrid model with over 50% of the content delivered online. Under this model students will attend class face to face one day a week and complete additional work online for the rest of the week. Online work includes recorded lectures, readings, and various interactive online assignments.
What is Occupational Therapy?
What is Occupational Therapy and what does an OT do?
Occupational therapy is a health profession that helps people across the lifespan engage in meaningful tasks that provide their life with purpose. From a holistic approach, occupational therapists use evidence based therapeutic activities to address the needs and goals of individuals and groups.
Career and Salary Possibilities
Occupational Therapy Rankings
- The current U.S. News and World Report ranked Occupational Therapists as #11 in Best Health Care Jobs and #13 in 100 Best Jobs in January 2019.
- Glassdoor ranked Occupational Therapists at #4 for their 50 Best Jobs in America in January 2019.
Occupational Therapy Salary Projections
The current US News and World Report indicated that occupational therapists made a median salary of $83,000 in 2017 and that the profession is expected to grow by 24% from 2016-2026.
Recent reporting from alumni indicate that a majority of starting salaries was between $60,000-80,000 with over 20% of graduates making above $80,000. (Sample size 15 respondents from 2017)
- 13.3% | 40,000 – 60,000
- 60% | 60,000 – 80,000
- 20% | 80,000 – 100,000
- 6.7% | 100,000 – 120,000
Occupational Therapy Employment Projections
Recent alumni obtained entry level positions in:
- early intervention
- home health
- long term care/skilled nursing facility
- mental health
- hospital (non-mental health)
Data from 2017 indicates that all reporting recent graduates of our program were employed in OT or OT related positions within 6 months of graduating.
Shenandoah University’s 107-credit Doctorate In Occupational Therapy is delivered in a flexible, hybrid format, with over 50% of the content delivered online.
As part of the hybrid curriculum, our students engage in weekly face to face learning with their peers and faculty members. These experiences are well planned and executed to maximize learning outcomes to supplement online materials. Examples include students working in small groups to analyze the systems of a homeless shelter to order to make health promotion recommendations, students working in pairs with children to increase balance, posture, coordination and sequencing at an equine assisted therapy ranch, and students working alone with community members to understand their client’s self-perceptions of performances in everyday activities.
|Semester 1 (Summer)|
|Foundations of Occupational Therapy||3|
|Experiential Learning and Professionalism||1|
|OT Framework and Activity Analysis||3|
|Functional Anatomy and Movement||4|
|Introduction to Research in OT*||2|
|Semester 2 (Fall)|
|Level I Experience Group Dynamics||1|
|Communication and Documentation*||2|
|Occupation, Health, Participation||3|
|Research in OT Quantitative Methods||3|
|Neurological Occupational Performance||4|
|Semester 3 (Spring)|
|Devices, Technology, Accessibility||3|
|Level I Experience Community||1|
|Research in OT Qualitative Methods||2|
|Research in OT Project Introduction||1|
|Service Delivery and Systems in OT||3|
|Semester 4 (Summer)|
|Assessments in OT||3|
|Level I Experience Assessments||1|
|Traditional and Emerging Practice Areas||3|
|Research in OT Project Design||2|
|Doctoral Capstone Development Seminar*||2|
|Semester 5 (Fall)|
|Research in OT Project Implementation||2|
|Occupational Performance Mental Health||3|
|Level I Experience Mental Health||1|
|Leadership and Management in OT||3|
|Occupational Performance Pediatrics||3|
|Level I Experience Pediatrics||1|
|Teaching and Learning*||2|
|Semester 6 (Spring)|
|Research in OT Project Completion||2|
|Occupational Performance Adults||3|
|Level I Experience Adults||1|
|Professional and Scholarly Practice||3|
|Health Policy and Advocacy*||2|
|Doctoral Capstone Project Design||3|
|Semester 7 (Summer)|
|Level II Fieldwork Experience I||6|
|Semester 8 (Fall)|
|Level II Fieldwork Experience II||6|
|Semester 9 (Spring)|
|Doctoral Capstone Experience||8|
|Doctoral Capstone Dissemination||3|
|Level I Experience Specialization||1|
|Total Credits 107|
*This course is all online.
National Certification Examination for the Occupational Therapist (NBCOT)
Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the National Certification Examination for the Occupational Therapist administered by the NBCOT. After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be a registered occupational therapist. Most states require licensure to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT certification examination. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure. In addition, fieldwork placements may be limited or unattainable in out of state locations due to varying state restrictions.
The SUDOT entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy program is in the process of obtaining candidacy status. We are seeking accreditation status and have received a tentative schedule of the accreditation process.
The SUDOT Master’s Program is currently accredited by the Accreditation Council of Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). ACOTE is recognized as the accrediting agency for occupational therapy education by both the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
Shenandoah’s Occupational Therapy Program is Accredited Through AOTA.
American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200
Bethesda, MD 20814-3449
(301) 652-2682 or 301-652-AOTA
National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc.
12 S. Summit Ave., Suite 100
Gaithersburg, MD 20877-4150
Phone (301)990-7979 Fax (301)869-8492
SUDOT requires potential students to go through OTCAS for the application process. This is an online centralized application service located at www.otcas.org which has a thorough and accurate list of all required documents and prerequisites for the program. For a list of the prerequisites, please go to Shenandoah University that can be found on the list of participating programs located on OTCAS.
|Start Term||Application Opens||Application Deadline|
|Summer 2020||July 2019||October 15, 2019 | 11:59 pm EST|
Who can apply to the Entry Level Doctoral Program?
- Applicants that hold a Bachelor’s Degree or higher
- Students who have a Bachelor’s Degree from an Accredited College must have an overall cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.
- Shenandoah undergraduate juniors who are guaranteed accepted to SUDOT as a freshman
- Early Assurance Undergraduate Shenandoah University students must have an overall cumulative GPA of at least 3.2.
All students must have completed the following courses with grades of “C” or better:
- 3 credits: General Psychology
- 3 credits: Abnormal Psychology, 200 level or above.
- 3 credits: Statistics Course content must include the descriptive and inferential statistics
- a minimum of 6 credits: Two sequential courses in Human Anatomy & Physiology. No online only courses. Content must include lecture and laboratory sections to include human structure and function, including the musculoskeletal system and an overview of the nervous system
- 3 credits: Entry level Sociology
- 3 credits: 200-level or above advanced course in Sociology or Anthropology.
- A minimum of 3 credits: Courses to cover Life Span Human Growth and Development from infancy to the elderly. **students may have to take more than one course to meet this requirement.
- 3 credits: Medical Terminology course. In class and online courses are accepted with evidence of completion. (CEU courses/certificates are not accepted)
Recommended Prerequisites (these may be required for future application cycles)
- Biomechanics/Kinesiology (3.0 Credits)
- Public Speaking (3.0 Credits)
- Composition/English Writing Course (3.0 Credits)
- Students must complete a minimum of 40 shadowing hours under a licensed occupational therapist and these must be completed at time of application.
- Students are required to have 2 different letters of recommendation from the following: an employer, licensed OT you shadowed, or an academic professor.
*No more than 9 outstanding prerequisite course credits are permitted at time of application and a plan for taking the outstanding credits must be indicated on the application
*GPA is calculated at time of application
Students must also complete all required application materials as listed on OTCAS to be considered for application.
Our university and programs pride ourselves on our international opportunities for experiential learning. We regularly engage in interprofessional and intraprofessional abroad trips to Haiti and Morocco for course credit. We are always open to new opportunities for expanding our collaborations abroad.
Entry Level Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) – Winchester Campus
This program is for individuals who have a bachelor’s degree.
This program is for occupational therapists who have a master’s degree and are interested in obtaining an OTD.
Entry Level Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) – Leesburg Campus
This program is for individuals who have bachelor’s degree and are interested in obtaining a master’s degree in Occupational therapy.
COTA Associates to Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) – Leesburg Campus
This program is for Occupational Therapy Assistants who have an Associate’s degree or higher and are interested in becoming an occupational therapist.
Early Assurance Entry Level Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) – Winchester Campus
This program is for high school students who are interested in becoming an occupational therapist by attending Shenandoah University Undergraduate 3 years and then transitioning to the Entry Level Doctorate Program.
This articulation agreements provides a simplified, guaranteed admissions process for a limited number of undergraduate students from Shenandoah University.
This articulation agreements provides a simplified, guaranteed admissions process for a limited number of undergraduate students from NOVA Community College.