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Doctor of Occupational Therapy

Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program (OTD)

Credits Required: 105 Credits

This program offers an accelerated two-year, hybrid, entry-level doctorate in the field of occupational therapy (OTD). The OTD prepares graduates with the skills necessary to meet the complex needs of healthcare and society. Using a hybrid-learning model, the curriculum combines online learning activities and interaction, hands-on laboratory immersion sessions, experiential fieldwork education, and a culminating capstone experience and project. Students learn from one another, occupational therapy educators, occupational therapy practitioners, interprofessional colleagues, and diverse members of the community. The OTD program delivers a contemporary and evidence-based curriculum grounded in the core values of Hawaii Pacific University and the Hawaiian culture

Occupational Therapy Doctoral Program Mission Statement:

The Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program's mission is to develop globally responsive, diverse occupational therapy leaders who use their expertise to address the complex needs of people and society through occupation while embodying the values of Aloha, Pono, Kuleana, Kōkua, and Laulima.

Program Prerequisites:

  • Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II with Laboratory (8 semester hours/12 quarter hours)

  • Statistics (3 semester hours/ 4 quarter hours)

  • Child Development or Lifespan Psychology (3 semester hours/4 quarter hours)

  • Abnormal Psychology (3 semester hours/4 quarter hours)

  • Biology with Laboratory - recommended

  • Medical Terminology - recommended

Program Admission Requirements:

HPU’s OTD program admissions process is centered around holistic admissions. The program is dedicated to reducing barriers to the occupational therapy profession. HPU’s OTD program values diversity in our student body, and our faculty supports every student’s academic and career success. The program seeks students of diverse backgrounds with demonstrated potential to navigate the academic rigors of an accelerated and hybrid model OTD education.

  • Complete a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 or greater on a 4.00 scale prior to starting the program. Admission may be granted pending completion of the degree.

    • If cumulative GPA is less than 3.00 on a 4.00 scale, an applicant may still be eligible for admission if a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or greater has been achieved over the last 60 semester hours or 90 quarter-hour credits of coursework. 

  • Complete all required pre-requisite courses with a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) and pre-requisite course GPA of 3.00 or greater on a 4.00 scale. 

    • Grades Below "C" in prerequisite courses will not be accepted 

    • All prerequisite courses are required to be completed at a regionally accredited higher education institution entering the program (AP credits are not accepted). 

    • The majority of prerequisite courses (over 50%), including at least one science, should be completed at time of application. Not all prerequisite courses are required to be completed at time of application. 

    • Applicants must complete Anatomy and Physiology courses within the last five years, prior to application, or demonstrate ongoing work experiences that have kept this knowledge current.

    • Prerequisite courses can be completed in an on-campus, hybrid, or online format.

  • Recommend a minimum of 30 hours of observation in at least two different settings or exploration into occupational therapy as a profession.

    • Occupational therapy professional exploration activities examples can include attending in-services by occupational therapy professionals, actively reading journal articles, pre-occupational therapy student association club member, etc.

  • Ability to fulfill the Technical Standards for Admission 

  • Submission of personal essay on OTCAS 

  • Submission of two letters of recommendation.   

    • Letters of recommendation should reflect the potential for success in the program and/or commitment to Occupational Therapy.

    • Letters of recommendation from an academic, volunteer, supervisor, occupational therapist, or other health care professional will be accepted.

    • Letters from family, friends, or co-workers will not be accepted

  • Successful completion of an admission interview. Applicants are selected for interviews based on a holistic evaluation of their application and supporting materials. 

  • Complete an approved Background Check before matriculation  

  • Currently, we can only accept U.S. Permanent Residents and U.S. Citizens. For all applicants for whom English is not their first language or those who have completed a degree and pre-requisite courses in a foreign country, demonstration of English language proficiency is required through completion of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam or its equivalent.


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 7501 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 510E Bethesda, MD 20814. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its web address is 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.

Graduates of the Hawai`i Pacific University – Honolulu Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program will:


  • Formulate a leadership identity consistent with the spirit of Aloha so as to advance the occupational therapy profession forward in a global society.  

  • Prepare as global learners and cultivate a commitment to lifelong learning and building capacity as an occupational therapy practitioner.  


  • Create innovative approaches to address health disparities and occupational injustice.  

  • Design evidence-based practice strategies to critically problem solve and address practice challenges.  


  • Model ethical and moral behavior and uphold the Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics.  

  • Construct culturally responsive and reciprocal relationships within the community in which they live, learn, and practice.  


  • Lead as compassionate, empathetic, reflective, and client-centered practitioners in a therapeutic environment of non-judgment and unconditional positive regard.  

  • Validate human diversity and facilitate therapeutic use of self to acknowledge the lived experience of the client.  


  • Collaborate as integral members of the interprofessional team and articulate the unique value occupational therapy offers to diverse practice settings.  

  • Build and sustain partnerships between occupational therapy and the community to enhance the lives of others.