Occupational therapists promote the ability to thrive and live the best life possible by enabling people to engage in the occupations that are personally meaningful to them. At Pacific, occupational therapy academic coursework and fieldwork are integrated into a curriculum that is founded on a biopsychosocial model, which is client centered and designed to meet the diverse needs of the communities we serve.

The Pacific Advantage

Students in the entry-level Doctor of Occupational therapy program have close interactions and personal attention from our faculty. Many classes are small seminar style with larger lecture groups having about 40 students.

  • Faculty have extensive clinical experience, specialty certifications, research experience, and are passionate about teaching students and OT.
  • Hands-on practical experiences throughout curriculum
  • Biopsychosocial modeled curriculum
  • Community engagement and volunteering experiences
  • Faculty and peer mentoring
  • Interprofessional collaboration of professions in the School of Health Sciences


The mission of the OTD program is to prepare students to become competent socially conscious practitioners in the use of occupation as a therapeutic measure through compassionate, client-centered, humanistic, science-driven, interdisciplinary collaboration to promote integrated health and wellness behaviors across the lifespan of populations and diverse communities.  The curriculum aims to optimize a student-centered approach to understand the value of occupation in various life roles through biological, social, and psychological variables. 

Graduate Program

The cohort-based, 120-unit program consists of eight trimesters (32 months). Students will start with foundational coursework then advance to learning intervention strategies for specific age groups and life challenges. Program graduates will be prepared to promote integrated health and wellness behaviors across the lifespan for individuals and diverse communities.

Note: Although there have been changes to our Occupational Therapy Doctoral (OTD) program admission policies due to COVID-19, we are planning to start our charter class as scheduled in January 2021.

For information about recent changes to the OTD program admission requirements in response to COVID-19, we recommend attending one of our online information sessions.

Courses taken to fulfill prerequisites may be taken at any accredited university or college (including community colleges and accredited online programs) online or in-person, a minimum of “C” is required and must have a minimum of 3 credit hours.

All application materials must be sent directly to the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS) and received/completed by midnight Eastern Standard Time on the admission deadline. Applicants should confirm their status as verified on OTCAS.

Please note: We require applicants to complete all prerequisite courses by end of summer of the application cycle (i.e., by September of year prior to start of class in January). Students apply for admission through Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS). Applications from students with more than two courses in progress or not yet completed will not be considered for admission.

All application materials must be sent directly to the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS) and received/completed by midnight Eastern Standard Time on the admission deadline. Applicants should confirm their status as verified on OTCAS.

The OTCAS application includes four sections: Personal Information, Academic History, Supporting Information and Program Materials. The OTCAS Application Help Center is a helpful tool for application troubleshooting.

Doctor of Occupational Therapy Tuition and Fees, and check out our Student Aid Calculator!

Doctor of Occupational Therapy Courses

Answering your questions about the Doctor of Occupational Therapy program.

Applicants to the program are strongly encouraged to attend one of the department's graduate admission information sessions to assist in making an informed decision about a graduate program that will best suit your needs. Each information session will be hosted by the department and will provide an overview of the program, tours of the classrooms and clinic facilities, and opportunities for individual questions.

In response to COVID-19 we have cancelled individual and group meetings with students. We hope you are well and this crisis passes quickly. If you have any further questions, please contact the department at OTProgram@pacific.edu or call 916.325.4602.

Interested in learning more about the Doctor of Occupational Therapy program?

Values and Commitment

At the University of Pacific, it is our belief that diversity and inclusion are essential to the fulfillment of our institutional mission. Our faculty is committed to promoting full engagement in occupations across the lifespan, and acknowledge that multiple systemic, environmental, and personal barriers limit successful engagement for some individuals, especially those who identify as members of  underrepresented racial and ethnic, disability, economically disadvantaged, and/or LGBTQIA+ communities. We are dedicated to preparing generalist clinicians that advocate for all individuals, are committed to social justice, and create inclusive strategies for those we serve.

occupational therapy session
Accreditation Status

The entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program has applied for accreditation and has been granted Candidacy Status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its Web address is www.acoteonline.org.

The program must have a preaccreditation review, complete an on-site evaluation, and be granted Accreditation Status before its graduates will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). In addition, all states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.

Contact Us

a student working with a patient
School of Health Sciences

Administrative Building, Room 100
3200 Fifth Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95817