Frequently Asked Questions

Besides the prerequisites, what are you looking for in an ideal candidate?
An ideal candidate will be academically prepared for the program’s challenging curriculum, possess the relevant health care experience, and demonstrate compassion for others.  The candidate will be a well-rounded individual, who can communicate effectively with others.  Demonstrating an interest in practicing in Arizona following graduation is also highly attractive for an ideal candidate.
Is the OTD Program at NAU Accredited?
The NAU entry-level doctorate degree program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education® (ACOTE). ACOTE c/o Accreditation Department, American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.®, 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449, (301) 652-6611 x2914,

Professional program graduates are eligible to apply for certification by National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc.® (NBCOT), Program results from the NBCOT can be found online at

Where is the program offered?
The OTD program is based on the 30-acre Phoenix Biomedical Campus, where students have access to cutting edge technology, facilities and labs. The Phoenix Biomedical Campus is located in downtown Phoenix, Arizona, with nearest crossroads of Van Buren and 7th Street. The urban environment presents numerous opportunities for inter-professional education with other programs on campus, including the NAU Doctor of Physical Therapy program, the Masters of Physician Assistant program, the NAU Master of Athletic Training and the University of Arizona Medical School program.
Will it ever be offered in Flagstaff?
At this time, it is not anticipated that the program will be offered in Flagstaff.
What degree will I earn?
Upon successful completion of the program requirements, students will earn a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy (OTD) degree.
What are the admissions and prerequisite course requirements for the program?

The admissions requirements can be viewed at:

The prerequisite course requirements can be viewed at:

Is the minimum 3.0 GPA required for ALL applicants?
The candidates most likely to be successful will have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above.  However, because the NAU OTD program embraces a holistic approach to education, applicants whose overall undergraduate GPA is lower than 3.0 may be considered provided there are significant reasons behind the lower GPA and provided that they earned a minimum 3.0 GPA in the last two years of undergraduate study and in the prerequisite course work for this curriculum.
Will courses from other colleges and universities be accepted to meet the prerequisites?
Yes, prerequisite courses may be taken at any US regionally accredited school, including online programs.  All courses must be completed with a grade of “C” or better to be accepted.  Grades of “C-“or lower will not be accepted.
Does the program accept online courses?
Yes, the program will accept any courses taken online at a regionally accredited institution with a grade of “C” or better.  Grades of “C-“or lower will not be accepted.  This includes both online lectures and lab courses.
Will you accept Advanced Placement credits?
Yes, the program accepts Advanced Placement credits as long as the student received a grade of “C” or better and the credit is listed on an official college transcript from a regionally accredited institution.  The transcript must also be specific in what the student is being offered Advanced Placement credits for.  As an example, to receive credit in our program for the Statistics prerequisite the official transcript with Advance Placement credits must say the student earned credit for Statistics and not just a general term like Mathematics.
How do I know if the statistics course I take will be acceptable?
Any introductory course in statistics will fulfill the requirement, and should include topics such as statistics terms, analytical statistics, measurement of the mean and variance, null hypothesis, p-values, confidence intervals, and probability.
I have graduate level coursework in Anatomy completed at another institution. Do I still need to take the Anatomy course required in this program?
Yes, all required coursework must be taken in the program.  No advanced placement/transfer credit is accepted.
What OT shadowing experience is required for the application?
Forty hours observing two different occupational therapists each practicing in a different type of settings with different age-groups (minimum of 20 hours in each setting). You are encouraged to do this no later than two months before the application deadline.
Are any service hours required for the application?
Forty hours in at least two different community settings (agencies, programs, camps, etc.) serving vulnerable, disabled or disadvantaged individuals or populations that address health, rehabilitation, disability, quality of life or community issues or sustainability initiatives.
Must the prerequisites courses be completed at the time of application?
No, applicants may apply with coursework still in progress.  However, it is recommended that applicants complete as much of the prerequisite coursework as possible before applying.  If you are admitted to the program prior to completion of all requirements, it will be a conditional admission, and subsequently denied if you do not successfully complete all admissions requirements prior to June 15th and evidence such as found in transcripts received by June 30th prior to matriculation.
Is the application process through OTCAS?
The application process is completed through OTCAS and the NAU Graduate College.  Students must complete an OTCAS application and an NAU Graduate College application to be eligible for the program.  You can find more information on the programs application process at
When and how can I apply, and when is the application due?
OTCAS opens July 15 and will close January 7, 2019 for this program year. Once the OTCAS application has been submitted, each applicant will be sent the URL for the NAU Graduate College supplemental application is also due at the same time. Without both applications, interested persons may not be interviewed.

The application process requires information about your prior education, health care experience, two letters of recommendation, your resume or CV, and official transcripts. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
Will an interview be required? If so, when will it occur?
The most qualified candidates will be invited for an interview.  Interviews will be held beginning in November with the last interview in mid-January.   The greatest likelihood of success requires early application.  Therefore, interested persons are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible.
When will you make decisions about who is accepted into the program?
We anticipate notifying applicants of their acceptance approximately 2-4 weeks after their interview.
How many will be accepted into the program?
We enroll 45 students each fall
Will there be a wait list for the program?

Yes, in addition to the individuals who will be selected for admission, other qualified applicants will be wait-listed in the event that positions in the class become available. If a student isn't selected off the wait-list for an application year, they must reapply for the following year’s application cycle.

Deferrals of acceptances are not permitted unless required for legally-covered or extraordinary reasons. 

What are fieldwork rotations and how many hours a week are required?
Fieldwork rotations are supervised clinical practice under the supervision of a preceptor who is responsible for training students.  Students will be required to complete multiple fieldwork rotations. These include three separate one week academic and service learning rotations; as well as multiple six week rotations and a residency in the final semester.  The hours required each week could be as little as four, during once week rotations, and over 40 hours in more advance fieldwork rotations or during residency.  The student is also expected to do additional studying after hours to meet the expectations of the rotation and the program.
What disciplines are covered in fieldwork rotations?
Students will work with patients from a variety of different settings learning multiple intervention techniques.  Patients will vary in age, gender and diagnoses.  Students having interest in particular areas (i.e. pediatrics, hand therapy, etc.) will be encouraged to work with the clinical fieldwork coordinator to gain more experience in their particular area of interest.  All the rotations assignments will ultimately be determined based on availability and quality of the site, and will be located in Arizona.
Can I work while I am in the program?
The program is an intensive and demanding course of study.  Students are strongly discouraged from working while attending the program.
Where will the fieldwork rotations be?

The program will be responsible for the assignment of all fieldwork rotations.  Fieldwork rotations will be available throughout Arizona, and in a variety of settings.  Students are expected to be flexible and although the program will make all reasonable attempts to accommodate student preferences, students may not always be assigned their choice of sites.  When feasible and at the students’ request, placements will be made in locations close to or within the communities where students have ties.  This is in support of the programs mission to develop healthcare providers for the underserved areas of Arizona.

Students are responsible for the cost of housing and transportation during this phase of the program.

Does the program accept transfer students?
The program will accept transfer students who have been attending an accredited program at the masters or doctoral degree level.  There are a number of standards for admission and a limited amount of credits the program can accept in transfer based on NAU Graduate College policy.  The program asks that any student interested in transfer contact the department directly at 602-827-2450 or to discuss the admissions standards and policies surrounding the acceptance of transfer students.
Does the program accept transfer credit?
The program only accepts transfer credits from those students who have been enrolled in an accredited program at the masters or doctoral degree level, have completed the application process to become a transfer student, and have subsequently been accepted into the program.  Further, students can only transfer credit for required courses in the first two semesters of the curriculum, up to a maximum of 12 semester hours total, with grades of “C” or better.
Does the program give credit for experiential learning or work experience?
The program does not give credit for experiential learning or work experience.  Students accepted to the program must complete the entire required curriculum.