ECU to offer only OT doctorate in UNC System

The College of Allied Health Sciences is set to offer a doctoral degree program in occupational therapy — the first at any public university in the state.

“Occupational therapy is a diverse field that enables those with disabilities to engage in the activities of daily living, which improves quality of life in so many ways,” said Robert Orlikoff, dean of the college. “This doctoral program will allow us to not only provide our OT students with a greater depth of knowledge and an expanded skill set, but to prepare the next generation of leaders in this important discipline.”

Occupational therapy uses assessment and intervention to assist people who live with physical, sensory or cognitive challenges, aiming to help them regain independence in all areas of their lives and address barriers that affect their emotional, social and physical needs.

ECU offers a master’s degree in occupational therapy; the entry-level doctoral degree will add another option for students pursuing graduate work in the discipline. Both programs will include intensive hands-on clinical experiences.

Students who have entered ECU’s fall 2023 occupational therapy program will be the first to have the opportunity to apply for the OTD program. Applications to the programs were accepted through Oct. 15.