Making a difference by helping people thrive.

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, client-centered and designed to meet the diverse needs of the communities we serve.

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.

For additional questions, please email: OTprogram@pacific.edu or call 916.520.7496

32-month accelerated program

Interdisciplinary courses and simulation labs

Biopsychosocial curriculum model

About the program

Pacific's innovative Doctor of Occupational Therapy program prepares students to help people of all ages live their best lives by working through injury, disability and illness and practicing overall wellness and vitality in their daily routines. Instruction is delivered in an accelerated format offering interdisciplinary courses via innovative learning strategies, classroom meetings and simulation labs. Program graduates will be prepared to promote integrated health and wellness behaviors across the life-span for individuals and diverse communities.

Program length

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. The Entry-Level Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (OTD) is awarded upon completion of Level II Fieldwork and Capstone requirements and within four years of  initial matriculation.

 


By completing this form, you are consenting to receive communication from Pacific.
 
 

 

 

Please visit the OTCAS website for more information and to apply.

students outside on sacramento campus
Why choose OT at Pacific?

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 in the School of Health Sciences

About the Occupational Therapy Program

“I chose Pacific OT because of the location and small campus environment. I enjoy volunteering and working at the various hospitals and clinics in the Sacramento community. Therefore, I would love to serve back to the Sacramento community as an occupational therapist."

- Hannah Yanica Gantuangco, Class of 2023

“I chose Pacific OT because I appreciated the sincerity of all the staff that spoke at open houses and their willingness to answer my many questions. The campus is beautiful and as a bonus, conveniently located close to my family. What stands out about this OT program is its psycho-social model. I fully believe in integrated care and cooperation across providers for every patient. I like being part of a team working towards the best possible outcome.”

- Naima Reddick (she/her), Class of 2023

“I chose Pacific Occupational Therapy for its community of talented and knowledgeable professors, who I believe will be great mentors in my career.  They encourage the students, to mindfully ask themselves, ‘what matters to you?’.”

- Genica Po, Class of 2023

Designed to integrate University of the Pacific’s values and mission of ‘preparing individuals for lasting achievement and responsible leadership in their careers and communities,’ the curriculum prepares learners to be competent socially conscious practitioners who embody the professional identity of serving the occupational needs of their communities. Courses are built upon the biopsychosocial model and the following concepts are integrated throughout the curriculum:

  • Active learning by doing 
  • Advocacy 
  • Altruism 
  • Client-centered practice 
  • Humanism 
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration 
  • Integrated health 
  • Cultural sensitivity 
  • Whole-person concept 
  • Reflective, evidence-based practice

Through the eight-trimester sequence, students learn to become general practitioners. However, with the doctoral level program, students will have the opportunity to focus on specialty areas of practice such as clinical research skills, administration, leadership, program and policy development, advocacy, education and theory development.
 

Our Mission

The mission of the Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program at University of the Pacific is to prepare students to become competent, socially conscious practitioners in the use of occupation as a therapeutic measure for individuals and diverse communities. The student-centered curriculum aims to optimize student understanding of the value of occupation from various perspectives across the lifespan, including biological, psychological and social to promote a compassionate, client-centered, science-driven, and interdisciplinary team approach in the delivery of care.

Program Vision

To become one of the leading entry-level occupational therapy doctoral programs in Northern California that is focused on community integrated health and serving diverse communities. 

Department Vision

Develop and educate socially conscious global leaders that promote occupational justice in the field of occupational therapy. Cultivate an inclusive environment with team leadership that encompasses a diversity of perspectives. Promote and foster open dialogue that leads to a stronger community.

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.

Student Outcomes

The inaugural OTD cohort class started in January 2021 and will graduate in fall of 2023. Graduation data will be updated in 2023, please visit our website.

OTD students gain hands-on clinical skills through the following:     

  • 960 hours of clinical practice.     
  • 560 hours of specialized capstone practice/research area

Upon certification from NBCOT, students will begin careers in 2024.

2023 graduates will be eligible to sit for the NBCOT exam in late 2023.

students sitting around table talking
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.

OT Admissions

Read our Admissions information for everything you need to know about prerequisites, how to apply, and more.

student with child in clinic
OT student helping man in car
Path from admission to practice

The University of the Pacific Entry-Level Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) program prepares students to become socially conscious occupational therapists who promote well-being, health, and advocacy in a global society. Our 32 month innovative accelerated program includes 5 didactic on-campus trimesters, two trimesters of Level II fieldwork, and a 14-week Doctoral Capstone. The curriculum is designed to provide a superior education for students to work as generalist occupational therapists in non-traditional and traditional settings.
 

The University of the Pacific Entry-Level OTD program is designed for full-time study. During the on-campus trimesters, students participate in an Interprofessional Learning Seminar that includes 9 School of Health Science programs. Our students participate in extracurricular activities, volunteer locally and abroad, and engage in leadership roles. The occupational therapy department offers peer and academic mentoring to guide students throughout the program.

All admitted students must:

  • Maintain an overall course grade of 70% or higher in course work (students may not repeat more than two courses, and no course may be repeated more than once).
  • Maintain a minimum GPA of 3.00.
  • Demonstrate appropriate professional behaviors as described in the Occupational Therapy Student Handbook
  • Maintain graduate school admissions requirements

Students graduate after successful completion of:

  • Coursework with minimum 3.00 GPA.
  • 28 weeks of supervised Level II Fieldwork and 14-weeks of Doctoral Capstone within 24 months after finishing didactic coursework.
  • 120-units in a minimum of 32 months. Must complete all requirements within five years of initial matriculation.
  • Demonstrate competency of OT generalist practice skills including fundamentals of practice, basic tenets of OT, evaluation and screening, intervention, management of OT services, communication, and professional behavior.

Once the entry-level OTD program receives accreditation status from ACOTE, graduates of the University of the Pacific will be eligible to sit for the National Certification Examination administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). Upon successfully completing the exam, the graduate will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). Most states require licensure to practice. However, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination.

NBCOT Eligibility

The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) may disqualify students with felony convictions/charges from becoming certified. The Qualifications Review Committee (QRC) will review the qualifications of examination candidates who have been convicted of or charged with a felony to determine if the circumstances appear to relate directly to the safe, proficient, and/or competent practice of occupational therapy. For students entering an OT program, the QRC may give an early determination for approval to take the certification exam. For more information, please contact the NBCOT directly.
 

State Licensure Requirements

For more information regarding state requirements, please visit the AOTA State Licensure Requirements website.

Employment Resources and Opportunities

Pacific’s OT faculty are at the top of their field and are here to guide you.

Attend an event
Are you interested in learning more?
Take the next step

We take a hands on approach with our students. This means we want to get to know you throughout your discovery and application process. Help us connect with you by taking the next step. 

Non-Discrimination Disclosure

The Program is an equal opportunity institution of higher learning and is firmly committed to nondiscrimination in its delivery of educational services and employment practices. In compliance with all applicable federal and state laws, such decisions will be made irrespective of the individual's race, color, religion, religious creed, ancestry, national origin, age (except for minors), sex, marital status, citizenship status, military service status, sexual orientation, medical condition (cancer-related or genetic condition), disability and/or any other status protected by law. For further information, please see the University’s policy

Contact Us

Contact Image
Occupational Therapy

3200 5th Ave.
Sacramento, CA 95817