Occupational therapy

University of Missouri-Columbia
Doctor of occupational therapy, post-professional
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Mizzou’s online post-professional doctorate in occupational therapy provides a new option for practicing occupational therapists that wish to advance their formal education while continuing to work full time. This advanced degree provides an opportunity for professionals to gain in-depth knowledge and skills — positioning them to move into new roles with additional responsibilities and authority. 

The Department of Occupational Therapy’s on-campus occupational therapy graduate program ranked in the top 18% of all occupational therapy programs in the country, according to the U.S News and World Report. This online program features the same course work and is taught by the same faculty as the on-campus program.

Read more about faculty in the Department of Occupational Therapy

With this online program, students can tailor course work to fit their career goals:

  • Students who aspire to become faculty in OT and OT assistant programs can emphasize leadership and education in their OTD program to become prepared for these positions. Students who want to be influencers within community organizations might emphasize leadership and service in their OTD program. Their capstone project could focus on community solutions to demonstrate their competencies. 
  • Students who want to contribute to applied-science evidence to support complex practice options can emphasize research and service in course work and in the capstone project to provide the necessary background to be competitive for grant and research-focused programs.
  • Students who want to continue in their practice setting, and focus on being a mentor for new hires to ensure high standards for contemporary practice, might emphasize research and service focused on specific populations and may collaborate with research-focused faculty to achieve their goals.

Quick facts

Official name

Doctor of occupational therapy


University of Missouri-Columbia

Program type


Academic home

College of Health Sciences | Department of Occupational Therapy

Delivery mode

100% online


Higher Learning Commission

BOT to DOT credit hours


BOT to DOT estimated cost


MOT to DOT credit hours


MOT to DOT estimated cost


*This cost is for illustrative purposes only. Your hours and costs will differ, depending on your transfer hours, your course choices and your academic progress. See more about tuition and financial aid.

Hands of an occupational therapist helping a young child use some sensory toys.

Career prospects

Potential positions that this degree could lead to:

  • Clinical instructor
  • Assistant professor
  • Academic fieldwork coordinator
  • Capstone coordinator
  • Manager/director of therapy services or related fields
Burning Glass Technologies. 2021. Salary numbers and employment growth numbers are based on models that consider advertised job posting salary, Bureau of Labor Statistics data and other proprietary and public sources of information for multiple occupations.
employment growth
Burning Glass Technologies. 2021. Salary numbers and employment growth numbers are based on models that consider advertised job posting salary, Bureau of Labor Statistics data and other proprietary and public sources of information for multiple occupations.
median salary

Program structure

The online doctorate in occupational therapy is 100% online.

Courses are semester-based. Time to complete the program varies, depending on the number of credit hours needed.

Students are required to attend campus for a summit, scheduled bi-annually. Attendance at only one event is required. In the event that attendance is a hardship, alternatives will be explored.

Course work includes

  • Advanced evidence-based practice
  • Practice analysis
  • Population health
  • Professional leadership and development
  • Advanced occupation-based practice
  • Instructional design and application
  • Instructional design practicum


100% online

Calendar system


Typical program length


Typical course load



The University of Missouri is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States.

Faculty spotlight

Winnie Dunn

Dr. Winnie Dunn is a distinguished professor with nearly 50 years of professional and academic experience. Her research involves identifying people’s distinct sensory patterns, and linking these patterns to behaviors within everyday life in the general population and in people who have conditions such as autism and schizophrenia. She designed the assessment, Sensory Profile, which is used internationally in practice and research. Additionally, she studies coaching practices and has shown the significant positive impact of quality coaching on parent’s sense of competence and children’s participation. She has published hundreds of papers, chapters and books. Her book for the public, "Living Sensationally: Understanding Your Senses," has been translated into many languages.

Winnie Dunn, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Distinguished Professor
Tim Wolf

Timothy J. Wolf is a professor in and chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy, and has been selected to serve as associate dean for research starting Oct. 1, 2021. He is the director of the Performance, Participation and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory. The goal of the lab is to guide intervention aimed at improving participation in work and community activities post- neurological injury, with current research focusing on individuals with stroke and cancer-related cognitive impairment. The two primary objectives of this research are: (1) to identify and manage functional cognitive deficits to improve participation; and (2) to investigate the efficacy of self-management education and cognitive-strategy training based interventions to improve health and participation outcomes. He has published multiple clinical studies using CO-OP with adults with neurological injury, is CO-OP certified and also is a certified CO-OP trainer. His current NIH-R01 funded study is evaluating the use of CO-OP to improve occupational performance in individuals with sub-acute stroke.

Timothy Wolf, OTR/L, FAOTA, OTD, PhD
Department Chair, Professor
Dr. Whitney Henderson

Dr. Whitney Henderson earned a master’s in occupational therapy in 2008 from the University of Missouri-Columbia (Mizzou) and a clinical doctorate in occupational therapy in 2017 from Creighton University. She currently teaches a wide variety of entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) classes related to adult evaluation and intervention. She supervises students in the adult outpatient clinic. In addition, she teaches in the post-professional OTD program and provides mentorship in teaching practicum and capstone projects. Whitney researches neurological conditions, such as stroke, Parkinson's disease and concussion and topics on advancing the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Dr. Whitney Henderson, PhD, OTD, MOT, OTR/L
Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy
Dr. Tiffany Bolton

Dr. Tiffany Bolton has eight years of teaching experience and 10 years of clinical experience. Dr. Bolton is involved in leadership activities at the national and school level, specifically related to children and youth, as well as curriculum development. She has developed multiple community partnerships centered around pediatric mental and behavioral health, preschool social-emotional development and kindergarten readiness. Along with her co-creator, she has developed the Just Write! handwriting assessment for preschool children and the A Way Forward initiative focused on helping vulnerable families with children with mental and behavioral health concerns. Dr. Bolton engages in teaching, clinical practice and research in pediatric neurological and complex medical conditions, well-being, pediatric mental and behavioral health and case-based learning.

Dr. Tiffany Bolton, PhD
Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy

Learn more about this program

This program is administered by the Department of Occupational Therapy