About

Students sitting together on the Duke Quad

The Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) program at Duke University offers innovative education, research, and collaborative opportunities that affirm the vital role of occupation in human flourishing and health.

At Duke OTD, we empower students to: practice with authenticity, compassion, and care by integrating who they are as persons with what they do as professionals; address, through skillful practice and scholarship, the complex transactions that limit and enable people’s access to and participation in meaningful, health-supporting occupations; serve as ethical, visionary leaders who anticipate the evolving occupational needs of diverse populations, communities, and individuals; who proactively and creatively address those needs through innovation and scholarship, and contribute in diverse ways to the growth of occupational therapy locally and globally.

Our unique learning community is marked by the following core commitments: enabling occupation as the core competence of occupational therapists; occupation-centered research, education, and practice; educational excellence through diversity and community-centeredness; integrity and authenticity; innovation and excellence in meeting real-world needs; and intellectual humility and open inquiry to advance understanding.

Highlights of the Duke OTD include the following:
• Active learning and engagement in the local community of Durham, NC
• Commitment to eliminating human suffering caused by barriers to occupation
• Holistic admissions process
• Innovative experiences of real-world simulation and practice throughout the program 
• Intentional integration between the personal and the professional
• Faculty position focused on minority recruitment and retention
• Focus on justice work at the heart of occupational therapy 
• Occupation-centered curriculum developed by a team of diverse educators, entrepreneurs, and practitioners
• One-of-a-kind opportunities for research and formation in partnership with the Bass Connections program, Duke Divinity School, Duke Eye Center, and Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering.

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