Post Professional Doctor of Professional Studies

Through the Doctor of Professional Studies (D.P.S.) Program, students have the opportunity to advance their knowledge and critical thinking via coursework that builds a foundation of critical analysis, evidence-based practice, ethics, and theory. The D.P.S. prepares advanced, skilled occupational therapists to deliver, present, and collaborate with interdisciplinary professionals to provide high quality care. Students are offered two areas of advanced clinical specialization: pediatrics and upper quadrant.

Graduates of the program must complete 36 points of coursework and defend their professional portfolios. The program is designed for two years of full-time study. In the pediatrics specialization, students learn about the dimensions of occupational therapy practice in relation to: (1) social, cultural, and physical environments; (2) families, significant others, and caregivers; (3) and teams and their interactions. Students in the upper quadrant specialization study normal anatomy of the upper quadrant and clinical management of disorders, injuries, and illnesses of the upper quadrant.

Graduation requirements for the D.P.S. degree are (1) successful completion of 36 points of approved coursework with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00, (2) presentation and successful defense of evidence-based professional portfolio, (3) completion of all requirements for the D.P.S. within seven years. For complete descriptions of the courses listed below, see D.P.S. Courses in Occupational Therapy.

Department Core Courses (9 points)

  • Theoretical Foundations for Intervention OT-GE 2762
  • Developing a Guideline for Intervention OT-GE 2763
  • Ethics and Analytical Reasoning OT-GE 2764

Program Requirements (6 points)

  • Evidence-Based Practice OT-GE 3301
  • Advanced Assessments for the Practicing Therapist OT-GE 3306

Electives (6 points)

Students are required to complete six points of electives in related fields to support their studies. In addition to departmental selections, students may select electives from university-wide offerings. Electives are selected under Advisement. 

Clinical Specializations (12 points)

Occupational Therapy for Children specialization:
  • Contemporary Issues in Occupational Therapy: Developing Assistive Technology OT-GE 2900
  • Reframing the Meaning of Disability to Families OT-GE 2338
  • Sensory Processing Challenges and Opportunities: Focus on Autism OT-GE 2332
  • Successful Intervention in Schools OT-GE 2335
Upper Quadrant Disorder specialization:
  • Clinical Anatomy of the Upper Quadrant, Face, Neck, and Selected Cavities OT-GE 2801

Terminal Project (3 points)

  • Professional Portfolio: Advanced Practice OT-GE 3310. At the completion of the D.P.S. degree, students will defend an evidence-based professional electronic portfolio (“e-portfolio”). The e-portfolio will document how the student has integrated knowledge and skills learned in the curriculum to his/her specialty practice area.

    The e-portfolio involves three steps:
    1. First, students complete an analysis of their current practices to determine career goals consistent with their area of specialization.
    2. Second, students use their academic coursework and clinical experience to collect “artifacts” that demonstrate advancement of knowledge, skills, and abilities gained through the integrated academic and clinical work within the program.
    3. Third, students organize and catalog their artifacts. In the final course, Professional Portfolio: Advanced Practice OT-GE 3310, students present their e-portfolio to a panel of three faculty members. Faculty review the e-portfolio based on the original, professional development plan and its consistency with the evidence-based knowledge in the field of inquiry.