The depth and breadth of the curriculum is designed to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required of a generalist occupational therapist who has had a broad exposure to current practice settings and emerging practice areas. Students are educated in the use of occupation to provide therapeutic intervention for individuals and groups of all ages through in-depth exploration of evidence-based literature. In addition, the doctorally prepared practitioner has demonstrated the ability to synthesize advanced knowledge in a practice area through completion of the Experiential Component.
Starting in the spring of the first year, students begin the first of three Level I fieldwork experiences. Students engage in directed observation and participate at clinical fieldwork sites where they can begin to apply principles taught in previous and concurrent coursework. Through completion of a series of courses related to scholarship, students work together collaboratively to develop and complete a culminating research project. Upon completion of all of their academic work, students then enter the community to apply their knowledge, skills and abilities through completion of their Level II Fieldworks. Belmont has established over 800 clinical sites in occupational therapy across the United States. In the final semester students complete their Experiential Component. Successful completion of this experience depends on their ability to integrate the four curricular themes of Clinical Excellence, Scholarship, Service and Leadership to affect a positive social change. Students must successfully complete all Level II Fieldwork assignments and the experiential component of the program within 24 months following the completion of the didactic portion of the OTD degree program. In all cases, all graduation requirements including didactic academic coursework, fieldwork and the experiential component, must be completed within 6 years (72 months) of starting the OTD Program.