Virginia Commonwealth University

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is an "OTD" degree?
The Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree, or OTD, is a post-baccalaureate professional degree launched online by Virginia Commonwealth University in 2006. The VCU OTD is a leadership-based degree that emphasizes the development of theory and practical application of leadership skills.

2. Is this distance learning degree any different from the degrees that are earned on campus?
No. There is no distinction between degrees earned online and those earned on-campus.

3. Are there any on-campus requirements?
Yes, students are required to come to campus for face to face class meetings in August and January for 2-3 days.

4. What is the difference between an entry-level OTD and a post-professional OTD degree?
Only NBCOT certified or certification-eligible occupational therapists are qualified to enroll in post-professional OTD programs. Students can earn an entry-level OTD without having taken the national registry exam. The program at VCU is a post-professional OTD.

5. How long is the program?
The program can be completed in 6-8 semesters, depending on course availability, when you take your electives, and the number of courses you take each semester.

6. How many credits and courses do I take each semester?
You will enroll in two courses each semester. Electives can be taken any semester, including summer.

7. How much does the program cost?
Tuition and fees vary; check www.graduate.vcu.edu/community/financing/tuition.html for up to date information.

8. May I transfer credits into the program?
Students may submit a course description and syllabus for review of courses they feel are compatible with those in the post-professional OTD degree program. Students must identify the course in the VCU curriculum they think is compatible. The decision to waive a course will be individualized.

If you are a VCU MSOT graduate, you may receive some credit for courses taken within the past 5 years. Please contact Dr. Shelly Lane.

9. When do I start the program?
You may enter the program in either fall or spring semester, although fall is strongly recommended.

10. Will I learn from my classmates?
Yes, constantly, students and faculty are amazed at the connections and information shared with classmates online. When the on campus weekend occurs, students who are meeting for the first time already feel a connection to their fellow classmates.

11. Who do I talk to if I have more questions or if I want to apply?
Contact Dr. Shelly J Lane, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA at sjlane@vcu.edu, 804-828-6523 or Ms. Lawrencine Smith at lsmith@vcu.edu, 804-828-2220

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