Thank you for your interest in the new UAB Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) post-professional program. Below are answers to our Frequently Asked Questions.

I have never taken an on-line course before - how does it work?

Students log into a passcode protected course site. The site is available at all times to the student. The course content is delivered through use of narrated power point presentations and videos on specific topics. Students participate with classmates and instructors in online discussion boards to analyze cases and discuss course topics and the application to clinical practice.

Will the clinical doctorate prepare me to work in various practice settings?

There are two area of specialization in the OTD. One is low vision. Because low vision rehabilitation is a very large field, it is not possible, even with an extensive curriculum, to comprehensively address treatment intervention for both children and adults. The emphasis of the low vision curriculum is older adults, however pediatric therapists can apply the principles to their practice and complete the final project on a topic addressing pediatric vision issues. The healthcare quality and safety courses are for the working professional seeking to broaden or develop expertise in the health quality and patient safety field; information from these courses can be applied to any healthcare setting. The general track courses can be applied to an individuals’ practice settings. These courses all require integration of material into clinical practice which means almost all clinical practice areas will benefit.

Will I have an additional credential to add to my name when I complete the clinical doctorate?

Yes, the credential UAB will use is OTD.

Do I have to enroll in the clinical doctorate program or can I just take a few classes?

It is preferred that you enroll in the clinical doctorate program, but if you would like to take a few classes to see if the online format works for you that is acceptable.

How many courses will I have to take in a semester?

You can take 1 or 2 courses, depending on how soon you want to complete your degree.  Taking 2 courses a semester means you will finish in about 2 years; 1 course a semester will take 4 years.

My degree is from another country; can I be accepted into the clinical doctorate program?

Yes, as long as your degree is from a program accredited by the World Federation of Occupational Therapy (WFOT). You must provide documentation that you graduated from a school with WFOT accreditation. The Graduate School may require confirmation of degree equivalency. A transcript evaluation from World Education Services or Educational Credential Evaluators may be required.

I am a COTA. Can I enroll in the graduate certificate?

We are accepting occupational therapy assistants into the program as long as they also have a bachelor’s degree as well as the OTA credential. The focus of the BS degree can be in another field.

Can I sit for the NBCOT examination if I am a COTA and complete this degree?

No – this is a postprofessional degree and does not have the elements you would need that are included in an entry level OTD or master’s program.

Will the clinical doctorate prepare me to apply for AOTA certification in Low Vision Rehabilitation?

Yes, if you complete the low vision track. We specifically prepare our students to meet the competencies established for AOTA certification as an SCLV and mentor them through the application process. The program will also prepare you for credentialing as a CLVT.

How do I combine the low vision certificate with the post-professional clinical doctorate program?

To combine the programs, you must submit the required documents and be accepted into EACH program separately. If you are already enrolled in the certificate program, or if you completed it in the last five years (2013 – present) then your coursework will apply to the clinical doctorate.

Can I take coursework for the certificate and the clinical doctorate degree at the same time?

Yes, you can take coursework for both programs concurrently depending on your schedule.

If I decide to complete the clinical doctorate degree after I have started the low vision certificate program, can I still enroll in the clinical doctorate program?

Yes, and the credit hours completed in the certificate program will apply towards the clinical doctorate degree. However, you must meet the graduate school requirements for the clinical doctorate. Students considering this option are required to make their decision prior to the final semester of the certificate program and apply so they can meet these requirements without disrupting completion of the program. Students will have to fill out the separate application and pay the application fee through the Graduate School for the clinical doctorate even if they are already accepted into the low vision certificate program.