How are the ACU MSOT and OTD programs the same? 
Both the ACU MSOT and OTD degrees are designed to confer accredited professional entry-level education.*  With either degree the graduate is eligible to sit for the national registration exam and upon passing that exam apply for state licensure and engage in the full spectrum of occupational therapy practice. 

*Note. ACU is in an application period for candidacy for accreditation of the OTD degree. Accreditation decision will not occur until August 2023. 

How are the ACU MSOT and OTD programs different? 
Preparation for Occupational Therapy Practice 

The ACU MSOT program provides a generalist education in that the graduate is trained to practice across all occupational therapy populations and settings.  In addition to a generalist education the OTD offers each student the opportunity to develop a specialist focus and provides additional training in research techniques that are applicable within and without the clinical setting.  In accordance with accreditation standards the specialist focus may be in clinical practice skills, research, administration, leadership, program and policy development, advocacy, education, or theory development. 

Length of Program 

The ACU MSOT program consists of 69 credit hours completed in 24 months.The ACU OTD program consists of 85 credit hours completed in is designed for full completion in 29 months. 


The ACU MSOT and OTD programs have 65 hours of courses in common.  Beyond these OTD students  take 4 courses of doctoral seminars throughout the program, 4 additional hours in research, 2 hours of specialized professional preparation and 2 hours of leadership courses. The program concludes with  2 hours of doctoral capstone project concurrent with a 14 week doctoral capstone experience in the field. 

Can I enroll in the MSOT program and then change over to the OTD program? 

The OTD program is structured for steady progress in leadership and specialty training that begins with the first semester.  Students within and beyond their first semester in the MSOT program cannot move into the OTD program. 

What if I choose the MSOT program and later decide I want an OTD degree? 

Students within and beyond their first semester in the ACU MSOT program cannot move into the ACU OTD program.  Graduates of the ACU MSOT program are eligible to apply to post-professional OTD programs.  Post-professional OTD programs provide education beyond entry-level and are designed for practicing occupational therapists.  Typically they are designed for working practitioners using a combination of online and site visit formats.  ACU does not offer a post-professional OTD degree.  For availability of programs nationwide see AOTA’s education webpage. 

Can I enroll in the OTD program and then change over to the MSOT program? 

Under special circumstances and with approval of faculty and the MSOT and OTD program directors students may request a shift from the OTD into the MSOT program.