431professionalssupportingDual Degree

The School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences offers several dual degree programs that allow students to combine doctoral degrees. Students interested in a dual degree program apply simultaneously to the professional program and the Health and Rehabilitation Sciences PhD program.  Students accepted into a dual degree program complete specified Health and Rehabilitation Sciences PhD courses while in their professional programs.  In addition, specific research-oriented professional degree courses count toward the PhD degree.  These dual degree programs are designed for entering students who are interested in careers in academia or research within their respective health professions.  They offer early exposure to research and allow students to hone their research skills over an extended period of time.  Students who are interested in learning more about the application process for the dual degree programs should contact the HRS graduate advisor at HRSGraduateStudentServices@osumc.edu.

OTD PhD Degree

Although the Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) prepares students to practice occupational therapy, as a professional graduate degree, it does not prepare students for research or academic careers. Students who are interested in becoming a researcher or a faculty member prepare for these careers by completing a PhD degree program.  At Ohio State University, students can combine the OTD program with the Health and Rehabilitation Science PhD program through entry into the dual degree program. The primary goal of this dual degree program is to prepare students for academic positions in Occupational Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences programs at research-centered universities. Therefore, in addition to the professional training, the program emphasizes higher education teaching, research, and writing grants. 


Advantages of the OTD PhD program

Students accepted into the OTD/PhD program complete PhD courses while they are in the OTD program. By overlapping the programs, the length of the PhD program can be shorter. In addition, certain courses may be applied to each degree. Students who apply to the dual degree program are also eligible for certain University and College fellowships. Strong applicants for this track have GRE scores at or above the 75 percentile, have a GPA at or above 3.6, may have previous research experience as an undergraduate student, and have strong interest in academia.

Application to the OTD PhD program

Students who are interested must first apply, be accepted into, and enroll in the OTD program. Students apply to the OTD program through OTCAS. Students can apply to the PhD portion of this dual program at any point during their OTD program. This PhD application requires 3 letters of recommendation and a second personal statement that describes a student’s interest in a PhD degree, describes past leadership or scholarship, and explains career goals. In addition, students must request a letter of support from one of the OT faculty. It is recommended that a potential applicant meet with one of the OT faculty to discuss his or her interests and ask for the letter. The application will be reviewed by the SHRS PhD Committee.

A graduate school application is required to enter the PhD portion of the program after beginning the OTD program. Students can decide to pursue only the OTD degree after entering the dual degree program. There is no penalty for this decision.

Description of the OTD PhD program

Students accepted into the dual OTD/PhD program complete all of the OTD courses in the order and sequence of their cohort. The student completes additional courses to gain research exposure and experience. Students will incorporate research practicum into their schedules with an OT faculty they've identified. Through these practica, students complete a research specialization of their choice in an area of research that aligns with the expertise of an OT faculty member. OTD/PhD students receive full-time funding when they become a full-time PhD student. Students continue to take the PhD core courses and teach an OTD or undergraduate course. In the second year of the PhD portion of the program, students complete the core courses with the goal of taking the candidacy examination by the summer term. After passing the candidacy examination, students propose their dissertation and focus on completing the dissertation full time for the remainder of the program. For more information, contact the Director of the OT program, Amy Darragh at Amy.Darragh@osumc.edu.‚Äč

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