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Occupational Therapy Doctorate

  • Occupational Therapy Doctorate
  • Ruskin, Florida
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  • Program Overview

    The entry-level Occupational Therapy Doctorate is a Bachelor’s to Doctorate program that offers opportunities for in-depth study of, and clinical experiences with, clients of all ages who have limited capacity to perform to their expectations in their everyday lives or are at risk of developing a limiting condition. The goal of occupational therapy is to assist individuals to achieve their maximum level of independent living and quality of life through remediation of, adaptation to, or prevention of physical, cognitive, perceptual or mental health functional limitations. Occupational therapy utilizes the consultative process in addition to direct intervention and works with populations and systems as well as individuals.

    Program Director: Dianna Lunsford OTD MEd. OTRL CHT | 813-658-4906 |

    What Makes Us Different

    • Our program's nationally-recognized faculty presents a wealth of knowledge and experience.
    • Students will receive guidance and support from a professional mentor, upper-level peer mentor, and faculty advisor.
    • Experiential-learning facets are fulfilled throughout each course in the program.
    • Our program requires all students to submit scholarly work for presentation or publication.
    • Our program provides multiple service-learning opportunities which develop a stronger community both within and outside the University.


    Featuring students outside the Ruskin campus and in the classroom performing labs.

    ACOTE accreditation was received in 2018. More information can be found at

    The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) pass rates can be seen here.

    View Program Fact Sheet


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    The University of Tampa has partnered with Gannon University to offer eligible UT graduates direct pathways to graduate-level health profession programs offered at Gannon’s location in Ruskin, FL. Learn more.

  • Financial Aid Awards

    All applicants to the OTD program at the Ruskin, Florida campus for the Summer 2024 semester will be automatically considered for financial aid awards.  Admitted students will qualify for awards up to $5,250 per semester.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Develop quality entry-level occupational therapists whose practice is guided by evidence-based research, occupational science, and clinical reasoning.
  2. Create life-long learners who will contribute to the body of knowledge of the profession.
  3. Foster student attitudes and professional behaviors consistent with the missions of the university, college, and program.
  4. Assist the student in developing the skills necessary to perform leadership roles in the profession and society.
  5. Provide students with the skills and problem-solving abilities to adapt and respond proactively to changing healthcare systems and society.
  6. Provide opportunities that prepare the student to be a self-directed life-long learner and encourage evidenced-based professional practice, independent inquiry, critical thinking, clinical reasoning, self-reflection, and self-assessment.
  7. Provide an opportunity to identify an area of advanced practice that is developed and refined in the experiential, residency, and culminating project components of the curriculum.