Students from Sage's graduate occupational therapy programs in an OT lab.

Program Highlights

Find all of all of the following distinctions at an institution recognized for its Health Sciences programs, giving you lots of interaction with other health care fields, which you will ultimately engage with as a professional who make a difference in your community.

  • Leadership-focused: In addition to working with patients, individuals with a doctorate in Occupational Therapy are prepared to eventually pursue leadership roles in health care practices or educational settings.
  • Fieldwork Opportunities: We include more Level-I fieldwork than other programs, so you’ll begin making connections between courses and professional practice almost immediately.
  • Professional Preparation: Four physical rehab courses, mental health throughout fieldwork, and two types of placements for Level-II fieldwork will help you become a highly marketable professional, with a lifespan approach to OT practice.
  • Support: Our academic fieldwork coordinator will help match you with fieldwork, and our low student-to-faculty ratio means professors get to know you, and serve as mentors throughout your education and even as you start your career.
  • Accredited: Russell Sage College’s entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program was the first of its kind in New York state, and it is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education of the American Occupational Therapy Association.
  • Expert Faculty: Several professors hold advanced certification in pediatrics, neurodevelopmental treatment, physical rehabilitation, hand therapy, or other areas.

Course Requirements

Credits and Completion

View the 100 credit entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program at Russell Sage College course details, fieldwork requirements, and doctoral capstone experience information.

The Russell Sage College entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its web address is Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). In addition, all states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.  

Graduation Rate

The Occupational Therapy Doctoral Program at Russell Sage College, which is accredited by the American Occupational Therapy Association (ACOTE), achieved a 100 percent pass rate on the National Certification Exam in 2022 for its first graduating class, according to the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy. The Program’s overall pass rate for the 2022 graduating cohort is posted below. Program results from the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) are posted online at

Graduating cohorts of the Doctor of Occupational Therapy program, beginning in 2022, will be reported on as a percentage of students who progressed to graduation (the number of students graduating divided by the number of students in program). While the majority of students enroll in the program full-time, some choose a part-time track.*

Graduation YearStudents Entering/GraduatingGraduation Rate

* Some students who entered the program part-time in these years are still working toward their degrees.

The Russell Sage College Occupational Therapy program encourages students to be self-directed and engaged actively in their learning. The program provides opportunities for reflective practice and critical inquiry with vibrant problem solving. We emphasize experiential learning that builds occupation-based clinical reasoning practices explicitly linking the person, environment and occupation. Our graduates will occupy diverse workforce roles and contribute to the health and well-being of individuals, populations and society.

The occupational therapy curriculum emphasizes the person, environment and occupation relationship and incorporates an experiential approach that focuses on students engaging as active learners. Foundation and upper level clinical courses promote an understanding of the dynamic relationship between health, well-being and occupational engagement for a person’s ability to participate in valued life activities and roles. Students are immersed in learning opportunities to both promote clinical reasoning skills and develop a systemic view of health and service delivery systems.

Russell Sage College’s 100-credit doctoral program in Occupational Therapy prepares occupational therapists with advanced skills via classes, fieldwork and a capstone experience centered around the foundations of occupational therapy; therapeutic evaluations and interventions; professional identity and responsibility and leadership. The program prepares students for the certification exam administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT), which leads to national certification and eligibility for state licensure as an occupational therapist.

Admission Requirements

Apply by June 1 and start in the fall semester.

Applicants should have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.25, and should have completed the following prerequisite courses:

  • Anatomy & Physiology I and II, with labs. Note that a 3.0 average in Anatomy & Physiology I and II is required for admission.
  • Introduction to Psychology/General Psychology
  • Human Development/Lifespan Development
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Statistics
  • 3 credits of Sociology or Anthropology
  • Medical Terminology
  • Physics recommended

Additionally, students should complete and document a minimum of 40 hours of clinical observation under the supervision of an occupational therapist prior to beginning the professional program.

Application Requirements

  • Official transcripts from all the post-secondary institutions attended
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A one- to two-page essay identifying your area of interest for the OTD capstone experience
  • A current resume
  • Documentation of at least 40 hours of clinical observation under the supervision of an occupational therapist
  • Academic Standards Form
  • Prerequisite Form
  • OTD Admission: Students with a bachelor’s degree who have fulfilled the prerequisites for our OTD program should submit an RSC graduate school application and supporting materials by February 1. View OTD Admission requirements and application instructions.
  • OTD Preferred Admission: We have agreements with several undergraduate colleges, to offer preferred acceptance to qualified students who wish to pursue an OTD at Sage. Please review our articulation agreements with partner colleges to learn more about OTD preferred admissions.

Students from Sage's graduate occupational therapy programs in an OT lab.

Your Future Career with a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy

Upon completing your Occupational Therapy doctoral degree, you’ll be eligible to take the certification exam administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, which leads to national certification and eligibility for state licensure.

Alumni of our Occupational Therapy graduate programs hold clinical and leadership roles in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, schools, private practice and community agencies across New York state and around the country. Recent employers include Albany Medical Center, St. Peter’s Health Partners, Capital District Beginnings, Anderson Center for Autism, United Health Services, and Metro Therapy.

Learning Experiences

As a student in our doctorate program in Occupational Therapy, you’ll learn in well-equipped OT labs on campus, work with real people with real medical issues in the community and complete a doctoral-level capstone experience.

Fieldwork and Capstone Experience

As an Occupational Therapy doctoral degree candidate, you will work therapeutically with clients under the supervision of licensed occupational therapists during five fieldwork experiences: three multi-week placements in clinical and simulated settings connected with your first and second-year coursework, and two full-time, 12-week fieldwork experiences with responsibilities leading to those of an entry-level occupational therapist.

More than 400 clinical sites throughout the country host our Occupational Therapy students for fieldwork experiences.

You will also design and complete a 14-week doctoral capstone experience that combines experiential learning, scholarship, and professional service in one or more of the following areas: clinical practice skills, research skills, administration, leadership, program and policy development, advocacy, education or theory development.

Professional Development

Sage’s Health Sciences programs stress interprofessional education and create opportunities for future occupational and physical therapists, nurses, dietitians, mental health professionals and others to learn together, in preparation for roles on interprofessional health care teams. Our department has a leadership role in three interprofessional conferences each year, which attract hundreds of health sciences students from Sage and other colleges.

We also have an award-winning chapter of Pi Theta Epsilon, the national honor society for Occupational Therapy students.

Spotlights Pattern

OTD Tuition and Fees

Cost of Attendance Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program AY 2024-2026
Year 1Total Yr 1Year 2Total Yr 2Year 3Total Yr 3Program total
# Credits1716.014179.057994
Cost per semester165751560013650458251657587754875302256825877515600$ 91,650
Student Fees/yr850850850$ 2,550
Supplies & Book/yr750750750$ 2,250
Total Cost$ 47,425$ 31,825$ 17,200$ 96,450
*Cost of Attendance is subject to change.

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