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Stay Ahead of the Curve

With a focus on engaging occupational therapists in both clinical and academic settings, the GW OTD program offers coursework in higher education teaching, leadership, team science, health care quality, and research. Occupational therapy scholars are trained to engage in a multidirectional and interprofessional integration of basic research, client-oriented research, population-based research, and policy. Graduates are able to measure and improve health conditions affecting our society, especially in the clinical area of post-acute and chronic care. Graduates will also learn to contribute to the evidence base across the translational spectrum regarding cost-effectiveness and quality care for individuals following hospitalization, and learn to work with stakeholders across the broad spectrum of research, practice, and policy.

Connecting Research, Practice and Policy in Post-Acute Care

GW is a premier research institution focused on the nexus between education, research, technology, health policy, and person-centered care. GW’s OTD faculty are experts in technology-enhanced higher education, measurement, post-acute care, translational research, team science, and health services research.

GW’s OTD program enables graduates to transition from the level of generalist to that of a translational occupational therapy clinical scholar. After obtaining this degree, graduates will be able develop, evaluate, and promote new occupational therapy approaches to assessment and treatment in post-acute and chronic care that are grounded in neuroscience and reflect a transdisciplinary perspective.

What Will I Learn?

The GW OTD program prepares graduates with the knowledge and skills needed to demonstrate to individuals how to accomplish daily tasks using therapeutic activities. Occupational Therapists employ a holistic perspective when advising clients to perform activities — the environment is adapted to fit the needs of the person, where the person is the essential component. 

Graduates of the GW OTD program are equipped to demonstrate understanding of the following knowledge domains:

1. Transdisciplinary Practice and Research

  • Provide leadership in transdisciplinary teams
  • Utilize critical thinking, analytic, and communication skills in order to define and resolve occupational performance issues

2. Scholarship in Occupational Therapy

  • Utilize research methodologies from three paradigms (quantitative, qualitative and mixed) to develop and improve occupational therapy practice and programs
  • Apply empirical knowledge and the scientific method to address occupational performance issues

3.  Advanced Concepts in Function and Learning

  • Implement and contribute to evidence-based occupational therapy in post-acute settings
  • Apply knowledge bi-directionally so that basic science, practice, and policy inform and are informed by one another
  • Integrate scholarly activities with everyday practice

Online Education

GW’s OTD program uses an online learning format. The online courses use a dynamic media for self-disciplined and self-directed students to pursue a clinical doctorate while preparing for professional advancement. For more information about online education at GW, visit the Online Education page.


GW recognizes the importance of maintaining accreditation by appropriate academic and professional agencies and organizations. We believe that ongoing accreditation of the University, its schools, departments, and programs enhances our reputation as a center of academic excellence and as a trusted provider of educational and professional preparation. This is important to prospective and current students, as well as to our alumni.

The George Washington University is:

  • Accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, the regional accrediting agency
  • On the approved list of the American Association of University Women
  • Member of the College Board

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