ALL PROGRAMS | Byrdine F. Lewis College of Nursing and Health Professions Programs
occupational therapy students

What does it cost?

Check out our cost calculator or visit student financial services for information on estimated costs.

How long will it take?

The length of the program is nine semesters, including the fieldwork and doctoral capstone component.

Where will I take classes?
Atlanta Campus

Application Timeline View Admissions Requirements

  • Fall: Does not admit
  • Spring: Does not admit
  • Summer: Single admissions cycle for Summer entry. Deadline – September 30

Occupational Therapy, O.T.D.

The occupational therapy doctorate program prepares students to improve human lives through innovations in research, community engagement and education in occupational therapy and rehabilitation in general. The rigor and demands of the program match the need for occupational therapy services in a dynamic healthcare system that is highly technological and global.

The scientific study of humans as occupational beings is a central concept of this program, a concept based on the fundamental premise that occupation is an integral part of life and a prerequisite to participation. The program embraces the American Occupational Therapy Association Vision 2025 and focuses on producing leaders who use creative and critical thinking and clinical reasoning with great effectiveness and efficiency.

Unique features of the program:

  • Flipped classroom teaching model throughout the curriculum. The material is first introduced outside of class in a flipped classroom – via videos, websites, reading materials, etc. Then, skills that would have been homework in the traditional learning environment are mastered in the classroom with the instructor’s assistance.
  • Research partnerships with local universities and other schools at Georgia State, such as Georgia State’s School of Music, Emory and Georgia Tech.
  • Community-based learning opportunities working with at-risk and underserved populations, such as refugees, homeless veterans and adults with serious mental illness.
Program Highlights

Classroom Experience
Using the flipped classroom-teaching model, students in the occupational therapy program participate in hands-on activities and discussions in the classroom. Through assignments and group projects, students gain hands-on experiences throughout the curriculum. Also, several classes allow students to directly apply knowledge with hands-on experiences working in community settings with populations across the lifespan.

Students complete three level I fieldwork experiences that allow for participation in diverse occupational therapy practice settings. Fieldwork experiences align with course content learned in didactic coursework during the corresponding semester. Following the didactic coursework, students participate in two 12 weeks long level II fieldwork experiences. Fieldwork sites are available across the United States in various settings working with populations across the lifespan.

Research courses are completed each semester throughout the didactic portion of the curriculum. The research courses promote research and scholarship skills and clinical reasoning skills to practice as an evidence-based therapist. Faculty partner with multiple disciplines at Emory, Georgia Tech and other schools at Georgia State to conduct research and allowing for an interdisciplinary exchange of ideas.

Doctoral Capstone
Students complete a fourteen-week doctoral capstone experience (DCE) following level II fieldwork. The capstone experience develops in-depth skills beyond a generalist level within a focused area. It is integral to acquiring deeper practice-scholar competencies and directly connects clinical practice with scholarship.

Community-based learning experiences
The department has many community partnerships with local non-profit organizations that serve at-risk and under-served populations. Partner examples include the Veterans Empowerment Organization, Friends of Refugees and Community Friendship, Incorporated. Occupational therapy students work with community partners to develop evidence-based programming to support the health and well-being of the populations served, and students then carry out this programming.

International opportunities
Through research projects, past Georgia State Occupational Therapy students have attended a study abroad in both Denmark and Sweden. Additional study abroad opportunities are in development, including a service-learning opportunity in Central America.

Program Details
  • The following is a list of minimum requirements for application to the program:
    A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum of a 3.0 cumulative GPA average based on a 4.0 scale for the undergraduate degree.
  • A minimum cumulative GPA average of 3.0 based on a 4.0 scale for prerequisite courses with all prerequisites within the last five years.
  • GRE within the last five years, including the quantitative, verbal and analytical writing components. A minimum score of 150 on the verbal and 140 on the quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is recommended. A minimum score of 3.5 in the analytical writing section is preferred. Georgia State’s GRE code is 0194.
  • Three letters of recommendation. At least one from an occupational therapist, one from an academic instructor and one from a work supervisor, academic adviser or other health care professional (not family). Submit contact information for each recommendation in OTCAS.
  • Documentation of a minimum of 50 hours of work or volunteer experience in at least two different delivery systems, demonstrating exposure to and understanding of the occupational therapist’s role.
  • Personal statement, no more than two pages, briefly discussing how your academic background and life experiences will contribute to your success in the Occupational Therapy program while enhancing our program and the profession of occupational therapy, submitted only in OTCAS.
  • A resume of professional and volunteer experiences.
  • International students whose native language is not English must also submit an official report of their score on the Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) taken within the last two years:
    – TOEFL with a score of 90 with no less than 20 on each subtest OR
    – IELTS with a score of 6.5 with no less than six on each band score.
  • Interview on request from Georgia State.

Note that the program does not accept AP (Advanced Placement) or CLEP (College Level Exam Progress) credits as prerequisite courses.

  • Prerequisite courses taken from a regionally accredited college or university
    Required to be completed at the time of application

1. Human Anatomy and Physiology I with lab (3 credits)
2. Human Anatomy and Physiology II with lab (3 credits)
3. Human Growth and Development or Developmental Psychology (3 credits)
4. Abnormal Psychology (3 credits)
5. Statistics (3 credits)
6. Sociology or Anthropology (3 credits)
7. Medical Terminology (1-3 credits)

The curriculum sequence includes six identifiable threads:

1. Foundational knowledge – reflects broad areas of study (for example, social, behavioral, biological and physical sciences, education and contemporary society) which serve as foundations to the basic premises of occupational therapy.

2. Understanding the rich complexities of occupation (individual, family, community, society) – addresses the reciprocal influence of lifespan development on areas of occupation and the health and wellness/illness continua. Understanding the interdependent relationship between one’s ability or inability to engage in occupation and participate in life.

3. Using occupation as a basis of assessment and intervention – focuses on performance skills, performance patterns, context, activity demands and client factors on occupational performance. At this stage, previously constructed knowledge is organized and applied to occupational therapy assessment and interventions throughout the life span. The influence of technology on occupational assessment and intervention is also applied.

4. Investigating occupation by integrating science and therapy – focuses on developing research and scholarship skills and clinical reasoning skills to practice as an evidence-based therapist.

5. Applying knowledge to practice – applies problem-solving skills to varied clinical contexts to apply knowledge and skills in diversified environments.

6. Advocacy, leadership and cultural competency – instills acceptance of self as a professional with recognition of concomitant responsibilities, duties and rewards. Integrates the end process of developing a professional and fosters a culturally competent occupational therapist who can advocate for and lead the profession.

The sequence of the OT curriculum allows students to construct their knowledge and skills at increasing levels of complexity, competence and synthesis.

For the list of courses and their sequence within the program, visit

Graduates of Georgia State’s O.T.D. program will be clinically competent occupational therapists who can work autonomously in various clinical settings, including interprofessional settings. Graduates will demonstrate ethical, compassionate and competent verbal and written communication in a variety of cultural contexts. O.T.D. graduates will be critical thinkers who can integrate, synthesize, and demonstrate their occupational therapy knowledge, applying multiple research perspectives to construct and deliver evidence-based practice. For the description of our program learning outcomes and objectives, visit



Occupational therapists work in a variety of settings with populations across the lifespan. Examples include hospitals, schools, nursing homes and outpatient clinics. According to U.S. News and World Report (2021), occupational therapy ranks as one of the top professions. The ranking is based on job outlook and salary.


Georgia State University
Department of Occupational Therapy
P.O. Box 3995
Atlanta, GA 30302-3995
Email[email protected]
Phone: 404-413-1451

Byrdine F. Lewis College of Nursing and Health Professions
Georgia State University
P.O. Box 3995
Atlanta, GA 30302-3995

Lewis College Logo140 Decatur Street SE
Atlanta, GA 30303

The information shared provides an overview of Georgia State’s offerings. For details on admissions requirements, tuition, courses and more, refer to the university catalogs.