Occupational Therapy, OTD

Chairperson: Christine O'Neill, OTD, MHMS, OTR/L, CBIS
Department of Occupational Therapy website


The Department of Occupational Therapy at Marquette University will cultivate ethical, visionary leaders in health care and human services who will transform occupational therapy practice.   


Consistent with the missions of Marquette University and the College of Health Sciences, the mission of the Department of Occupational Therapy is, to provide a transformational education within the Jesuit tradition designed to prepare future leaders of a collaborative and culturally responsive workforce. In doing so, we seek to develop occupational therapists who are grounded in faith and service for and with others and committed to the utility of meaningful and purposeful occupation in the promotion of justice. Marquette occupational therapy graduates will be competent and conscientious practitioner-scholars dedicated to the human community through care for the whole person. To accomplish this mission, we embrace Ignatian values as a way to promote a culture of learning and respect, which is integral to the tradition we serve.


It is the philosophy of Marquette Occupational Therapy that human beings are occupational beings, interconnected with the context of their environments and transformed through engagement in chosen occupations, or everyday life activities. The diverse nature of the human lived experience and the ability to engage in ongoing occupation, as a determinant of health, empowers individuals, communities and societies. As such, equal opportunities to pursue participation in a variety of valued and meaningful occupations, as an innate need, is a fundamental human right. To this end, we embrace the Jesuit value of Men and Women for and with Others as the embodiment of service for and with the under-served, the marginalized and those in need, in pursuit of occupational justice on behalf of all persons. Given this philosophy, and led by the Marquette Guiding Values and Jesuit values, we commit to Academic Excellence in the education of occupational therapists through the delivery of a curriculum that embraces occupational justice and the science of occupation as fundamental, promotes a spirit and culture of ethical and critical curiosity to espouse cura personalis and Contemplatives in Action, commits to Unity of Heart and Mind in fostering an appreciation for engaged, whole-person education for future whole-person practice and instills the habit of discernment of the greater good in a given situation. We strive for this to better serve God, and ultimately, others.

Expected Student Outcomes

Marquette Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) graduates will have:

Practice Competence

  • the knowledge, skills, attitudes and abilities necessary for valued occupational therapy practice; 

Professional Identity

  • a solid understanding of self as a professional.

Marquette OTD graduates will be:

Servant Leaders

  • committed to lifelong self-development in the service of others; 

Critically Curious

  • imaginative, with the capacity to reflect on and process information for sound critical thinking toward action.


Admission to the OTD program is on a competitive basis through one of three pathways:

Direct Admission Pathway

The MU OTD department is very excited to be offering a new direct admittance pathway into the OTD program starting with the incoming 2024 freshman class. This direct admit pathway allows high school seniors applying to Marquette as an incoming freshman to also apply for direct admission into the OTD program. Once you apply, the OTD department will review your transcripts plus the additional essays outlining your desire to become an occupational therapist. If accepted, you can complete your OTD degree in just six short years as long as you maintain program requirements! 

3+3 Transfer Admission Pathway

The 3+3 transfer admission pathway is for current Marquette students to apply to enter the OTD program in their senior year, prior to completion of their bachelor's degree. The 3+3 pathway provides an opportunity for current MU students who may have been undecided or declared a different major upon admission to MU to still be able to take advantage of this accelerated degree program. Applications are received and reviewed in the student's junior year as long as all other major and prerequisite requirements are complete by the end of the student's junior year. This allows entrance into the OTD program in the student's senior year with completion of the OTD degree in six short years!


  • The 3+3 early admission program is not restricted to specific majors at Marquette University. Within the College of Health Sciences, the majors of Exercise Physiology (EXPH) and Biomedical Sciences (BISC) have defined pathways to allow for application and admission to the 3+3 program for senior year, please consults with your adviser and/or the EXPH or BISC major section of this bulletin. Undergraduate students in any other major at Marquette University may be eligible to apply if they are on track to complete all Marquette Core Curriculum (MCC) and college/major/minor requirements, such that no greater than 34 total elective credits remain to complete the undergraduate degree upon entering the OTD program in the senior year.

  • The human anatomy and human physiology prerequisites must be completed at Marquette University. 

  • A maximum of two prerequisites may be in progress at time of application. 

  • Undergraduates who transfer to Marquette University from another institution must have a minimum of 30 total credit hours (2 terms) completed at Marquette University and meet all other 3+3 eligibility requirements listed above.


Applications for the 3+3 program are available on the OTD website and are due in early spring term of the junior year. Applications for this program are NOT accepted through OTCAS. In addition to meeting the eligibility requirements and prerequisite as outlined above, additional application requirements include:

  • Three letters of recommendation, suggested authors include:

    • ​Academic adviser or professor who can comment on academic ability and preparation for graduate level studies

    • Work supervisor or manager who can comment on work ethic and related behaviors such as reliability, timeliness and accountability

    • An individual (not a relative) who can speak to your nature, character, goals, etc.

  • Observation of an occupational therapist or experience(s) illustrating an understanding of and commitment to the occupational therapy profession. While a set number of observation hours is not required, applicants should consider gaining experience in a variety of practice settings over time and across the lifespan. Observations must be completed at time of application. Exposure to occupational therapy can be gained in one of the following two ways:

    • ​Volunteering, observation and/or work experience within an organization or setting where occupational therapy services are provided.

    • Completing a series of online Occupational Therapy Exploration Modules. Applicants choosing this option may request access to the modules by sending an email to marquetteOT@marquette.edu

  • Refer to the Application Review and Acceptance section for additional requirements for acceptance to the OTD Program.

Traditional Pathway

The traditional pathway is for students who will have a completed bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution prior to matriculation to the OTD program (includes current seniors). 


  • Completed baccalaureate degree from a regionally-accredited institution (any major) prior to matriculation to the OTD program (includes current college seniors)

  • A maximum of two outstanding prerequisites, except for anatomy and physiology (A&P), are allowed at time of application submission  

  • Prerequisite and cumulative minimum GPA of 3.000 (4.000 scale) as calculated by OTCAS


The OTD admission cycle for traditional applicants opens mid-July for matriculation the following year in the fall term. Detailed admission information can be found on the OTD program webpage. Click the Admissions tab at the top of that webpage. Applications must be submitted through OTCAS (Occupational Therapist Centralized Application Service). Marquette OTD admission is on a rolling basis, which means that completed applications are reviewed once received, and review is ongoing until the class is filled.

The OTCAS verification process can take up to 6 weeks to complete, so early application is highly recommended. A verified application includes the following material submitted directly to OTCAS:

  • Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions

  • Three letters of recommendation - suggested authors include:  

    • Academic adviser or professor who can comment on academic ability and preparation for graduate-level studies

    • Work supervisor or manager who can comment on work ethic and related behaviors such as reliability, timeliness and accountability

    • An individual (not a relative) who can speak to your nature, character, goals, etc.

  • Observation of an occupational therapist or experience(s) illustrating an understanding of and commitment to the occupational therapy profession. While a set number of observation hours is not required, applicants should consider gaining experience in a variety of practice settings over time and across the lifespan. Observations must be completed at time of application. Exposure to occupational therapy can be gained in one of the following two ways:

    • Volunteering, observation and/or work experience within an organization or setting where occupational therapy services are provided

    • Completing a series of online Occupational Therapy Exploration Modules. Applicants choosing this option may request access to the modules by sending an email to marquetteOT@marquette.edu

      • Applicants must complete and upload the “Assignment and Reflection Documentation Packet” to their CAS portal. Packet are found within the online modules under, “Welcome!” 

  • Refer to the Application Review and Acceptance section for additional requirements for acceptance to the OTD Program

Prerequisite Course Work

All prerequisite courses must be taken from a regionally-accredited institution and completed within the 7 years prior to application, with the exception of Anatomy and Physiology courses which MUST be completed within 5 years prior to application.

Prerequisite courses must be completed with a C grade or higher. Note: A C- grade is not accepted and pass/fail grades are scored at a 2.000 value (4.000 scale) for admissions calculations. Pass/fail grades are accepted as fulfillment of no more than four prerequisite courses taken in the spring/summer/fall 2020 terms. Human Anatomy and Human Physiology MUST be taken for a grade. Test credits (AP/IB) do not meet prerequisite requirements.

One course each (minimum 3 credits unless specified otherwise):

  • Human Anatomy (must be completed in a classroom setting)

    • Marquette University course options include BISC 1035 Principles of Human Anatomy or BISC 3135 Clinical Human Anatomy

  • Human Physiology (a combined A&P I, A&P II or separate courses, at least one w/ lab, may substitute for Human Anatomy and Human Physiology)

    • Marquette University course options include EXPH 2045 Principles of Human PhysiologyBISC 4145 Human Physiology, or BIOL 4701 Human Physiology

  • Biological Science: A general biology that includes cell function; acceptable alternatives are cell biology, genetics or biochemistry.

  • Lifespan Psychology or Developmental Psychology (or a combination of courses with content covering the lifespan)

    • Marquette University course options include PSYC 2101 Introduction to Life-Span Developmental Psychology for the Health Professions or both PSYC 3101 Developmental Psychology: Conception Through Adolescence and PSYC 3120 Developmental Psychology: Adulthood and Aging

  • Abnormal Psychology (acceptable alternatives are psychopathology or clinical psychology)

  • Statistics (social science, educational or mathematical; business statistics does not meet the requirement)

  • Social Science (e.g., Sociology, Public Health, Economics, Urban Studies, Social Welfare, Anthropology, etc.)

  • Humanities (e.g., Theology, Philosophy or Ethics, for example)

  • Medical Terminology (1 credit minimum, can be taken for credit or certificate)

Occasionally, a course not closely matched to a specified prerequisite course does demonstrate alignment with prerequisite course content. As such, applicants may request and submit a prerequisite substitution form. This formal request seeks to offer the prospective student an opportunity to substitute a completed course for a designated prerequisite.

Application and Acceptance

  • All applications are reviewed on a competitive basis. Qualified applicants are invited to an interview consisting of a series of program interactions, individual interviews and a writing sample.

  • International applicants and those who graduated from a non-US college or university may have additional requirements.

  • In addition to academic requirements, accepted students must be able to carry out the basic duties and essential functions of a generalist occupational therapist with or without reasonable accommodation(s). Accepted students must complete additional requisites for admission prior to matriculation, including:

    • Health and immunization records, screens, forms completed

    • Drug test

    • Caregiver Background and Criminal History Check 

      • The State of Wisconsin, Department of Health and Family Services mandates that all persons who seek to be employed and/or licensed in the caregiver industry must fulfill the Caregiver and Background Check. Occupational therapy students are required to complete a background and criminal history check prior to matriculation and must abide by the university and state regulations pertaining to the findings. Background results may not prevent admission to the OTD program; however, some findings may limit options for placement in fieldwork rotations and/or restrict options for other experiential learning. Failure to complete this state-mandated requirement renders the student unable to fulfill requirements for graduation from the OTD program.

    • Technical standards

Technical Standards

Marquette University’s Department of Occupational Therapy prepares students to be competent and professional general practitioners. The technical standards identified herein are functional abilities fundamental to the provision of safe and effective care. Therefore, preparation for a professional role as an Occupational Therapist includes the expectation that an applicant/ student must independently demonstrate competence in such abilities, with or without reasonable accommodation and must meet and maintain such technical standards in order to progress in the program.

Sensorimotor Skills

A student is expected to have functional use of sensory systems (tactile, visual, auditory, olfactory, proprioception and vestibular) in order to accurately observe, perceive, perceive, synthesize and exchange sensory information within their environment. A student must be able to recognize pressure, temperature, position in space, vibration, pain and movement in order to discriminate between safe and unsafe environments and between therapeutic and non-therapeutic contexts.

Psychomotor Skills

A student is expected to demonstrate adequate fine and gross motor movements, neuromuscular control, motor planning, strength, eye-hand/foot coordination and endurance necessary for the safe learning and practice of Occupational Therapy. Examples of examination and treatment interventions using psychomotor skills include, but are not limited to: obtaining and monitoring client vitals, assessing range of motion, manual muscle testing, functional mobility and transfers, work hardening, client and caregiver education, splint fabrication, use of adaptive equipment, manipulation of objects/materials, computer usage, environmental modification, application of physical agent modalities and performing CPR when necessary. A student must be able to appropriately navigate the environment which may require periods of physical and mental exertion needed to move, balance, stand, sit, bend, squat, kneel and reach in the provision of safe client care. A student is expected to lift up to 50 pounds, including loads from the floor and overhead. A student should be able to maintain equilibrium and move consciously and satisfactorily in urgent situations.

Communication Skills

A student must be able to effectively and professionally communicate with clients, patients, caregivers, clinical supervisors, faculty members and other health care team members. Such communication ability includes verbal, non-verbal, written, using sign language and/or using communication devices to obtain factual information and relay factual information to others. Each student is expected to have the ability to hear, comprehend, speak and write the English language when facilitating and producing accurate communication including written information related to education, professional documentation, record maintenance, instruction and presentation of information.

Cognitive Skills

A student must be able to demonstrate problem solving and critical thinking abilities in order to effectively and safely perform observations, administer evaluations, carry out interventions and develop programming for clients and other stakeholders. The critical skill of problem solving includes the capability to identify the problem, comprehend, measure, analyze, reason, synthesize and conduct outcome evaluation that is timely and clinically sound. Higher-level cognitive functions, including sound judgement, flexibility and shift are essential to Occupational Therapy practice. A student is expected to retain, retrieve, apply and integrate previously learned information with new knowledge in order to make appropriate decisions in classroom, laboratory, fieldwork settings, practice and scholarship.

Behavioral and Social Skills

A student must demonstrate self-awareness, be emotionally stable and able to effectively utilize intellectual capacity in attending to all responsibilities associated with the safe and effective practice of Occupational Therapy. A student must manage internal and external stressors and balance commitments. A student is expected to adapt to dynamic practice environments and demonstrate flexibility in managing change. A student must be an effectual member of a team that may include patients, clients, caregivers, clinical supervisors, health care team members, faculty and fellow students and must be able to develop effective collaborative, working relationships with such team members as appropriate. A student must be able to provide, accept and integrate constructive feedback. A student must utilize intellectual skills to successfully complete classroom and clinical responsibilities within given timelines. A student is expected to dress appropriately per context and maintain acceptable personal hygiene. Compassion, maturity, cultural, sensitivity, motivation, integrity and respect in interactions with others are abilities expected of a care provider and are assessed during the admissions process and throughout the course of study.


An applicant/candidate with a disability shall not, on the basis of their disability, except those which would preclude the essential skills outlined above, be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, nor be subjected to discrimination in the program. Marquette University, in accordance with its Jesuit tradition and Guiding Values, is committed to fostering a diverse community of outstanding faculty, staff and students, as well as ensuring equal educational opportunity, employment and access to services, programs and activities, without regard to an individual’s race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, sex, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristic or military status.

All OTD students must be able to perform the essential functions of a student occupational therapist. Reasonable accommodations are afforded to students with disabilities as required under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Sec. 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and applicable state laws. Marquette University may require that the applicant/student undergo a physical examination and/or an occupational skills evaluation. A student who can no longer perform the essential functions of a student occupational therapist must report this to their program chairperson. If reasonable accommodations cannot be made, the student is not able to remain in the OTD program.

These standards are expected to be adequately met in the classroom, lab, community and fieldwork settings. Inability to meet these standards could result in dismissal from the program. 

Technical Standards and Progression in the OTD Program 

Successful participation in the Occupational Therapy Doctoral Program requires that a student must independently, with or without reasonable accommodation, meet and maintain the technical standards for progression throughout the program. Students unable to meet these technical standards are not able to complete the program.  

If a student has a change in health status while enrolled in the program, the student is required to inform the department chairperson and their program adviser and provide an updated technical standards form. Where applicable, the program may require submission of supporting documentation from appropriate providers qualified to judge the student’s ability to meet or exceed the aforementioned requirements. Significant health status changes may include surgery, time missed greater than two days, or decreased ability to perform critical functional demands associated with courses, including clinical education.  

Any evidence of a possible violation of the safety and technical standards may be cause for further evaluation at the university’s discretion and/or dismissal from the OTD program. Evidence of possible violation may be obtained from the application materials, interviews or visual observations. Further evaluation may entail an interview or a physical examination by a physician or other provider of the university’s choice.

Admission Policies: Credits for Previous Study and/or Work Experience

It is the policy of the College of Heath Sciences that transfer credits for students in Health Sciences Professional programs are considered only for fulfillment of basic science requirements. Transfer credits are not accepted for any required 7000-level courses. Therefore, transfer credits for course work completed outside of that content matching OTD admissions-required, prerequisite course content is not accepted for credit for any required courses in the OTD program. Students accepted into the program must satisfactorily complete all required occupational therapy courses. Advanced placement in the OTD program is not granted for any reason, including prior academic studies or professional experience.

Ability to Benefit

The OTD program does not admit students based on the ability to benefit.


Students in the Department of Occupational Therapy are participants in a professional training program whose graduates assume positions of high responsibility as providers of health care. Students must have academic and clinical skills but also must demonstrate interpersonal skills, reliability, professional appearance and conduct. Deficiencies in any of these areas is brought to the students’ attention. Continued deficiencies may result in disciplinary actions including dismissal.

Mandatory attendance is required in all OCTH didactic as well as fieldwork/clinical and doctoral experiential course activities in order to meet competencies necessary for the practice of occupational therapy. Like the work environment where attendance and timeliness is expected, we have modeled an identical expectation for learning. Due to the rigor of course work and clinical activities in this professional program, all students are held to this attendance standard.

Anticipated absences from full-time clinic must be approved in advance by the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator at Marquette University and the center coordinator of clinical education at the clinical fieldwork site. Unapproved absences are not acceptable and may lead to dismissal from the clinical site. Emergency absences, illness, etc., are considered circumstantial and are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Academic Regulations

A student is expected to remain a full-time student and complete the OTD program in 3 calendar years. OTD courses are sequential and offered once a year. The sequence of courses is fixed and all classes must be passed (C or above, S, or P) in a term in order to progress to the next term. If extenuating circumstances occur, a student may be allowed to extend their studies with permission of the department chairperson. Students are allowed a maximum of 3 total attempts to complete Fieldwork Level II. Students have a maximum time frame of 5 years from date of matriculation to complete the didactic, fieldwork and doctoral experiential components of the program. Failure to complete the OTD program requirements within the 5-year time limit results in dismissal from the program.

During the professional phase of the program, a student is considered in good academic standing if they comply with the program’s academic standards and standards for professional behavior. Failure to meet the progression requirements results in dismissal from the program. To achieve satisfactory academic progress leading to promotion in and graduation from the OTD program, the student must:

  • Achieve a GPA of at least 3.000 each term, maintaining an overall minimum GPA of 3.000 throughout the program.  

  • Receive no final grade of less than a C, S (satisfactory – fieldwork courses), or P (pass - IPED courses) for courses required for the OTD degree.

  • Complete a minimum of 115 graduate-level credits from courses numbered OCTH 7010 - OCTH 7997 and BISC 7130 Human Gross Anatomy. Note: OCTH 7956 Advanced Research in Occupational Therapy is an optional course and not required for completion of the entry-level OTD degree.

  • Successful completion of all didactic and Level I Fieldwork course credits before progression to Level II Fieldwork.
  • Successful completion of all course work including a minimum 24-weeks, full-time Level II Fieldwork (A and B), and completion of preparatory activities (as defined by ACOTE standard D.1.3) before progression to the 14-week Doctoral Capstone Experience.
  • Successful completion of the 2-part Doctoral Capstone (capstone project and capstone experience).
  • Meet Technical Standards

  • Demonstrate appropriate professional behaviors as described in the Occupational Therapy Doctoral Student Handbook

Warning Letter

A warning is a written letter to students for unacceptable academic progress during the term (usually at mid-term). A warning may come from the course instructor or the department chairperson on behalf of the course instructor. The purpose of the warning letter is to make students aware of impending academic jeopardy. Warnings are reported to the chairperson and faculty adviser. Students may also be placed on College Academic Alert (CAA) upon receipt of the warning letter.

Evaluation of Academic Standing

The OT Department Progress and Promotion Committee conducts evaluations of academic progression at the end of each term to determine if each student meets program progression standards. Grievances about academic judgments are reviewed by the College of Health Sciences Administration and the OT Department Progress and Promotion Committee, which then delineates the specific appeal process for the student to follow.

Academic Censure (Dismissal/Probation/Academic Alert)


There are certain categories of student performance problems that can lead to some form of censure. These problems may be identified at any point during the academic year, though a systematic review of all students' course grades is also conducted at the end of each academic term. The review of other, non-course grade problems is typically conducted on an individual basis as issues arise. A finding of significant problems in any of these areas can result in probation, suspension or dismissal, depending on the nature and severity of the problems identified. All of these statuses are maintained permanently on the student's academic record; only dismissal, however, appears permanently on Marquette University's official transcript. If a student is reinstated following a dismissal, that notation also permanently appears on the student's official transcript. Refer to the "Transcripts-Official' section of the Health Science Professional policies for statuses that appear permanently on the transcript.

Academic Dismissal – Required to Withdraw for Academic Reasons (RWAR)

Health Science Professional students (HESP) who have completed their undergraduate degree must maintain a GPA of at least 3.000 for each term. The OTD program considers a grade below C to represent unsatisfactory academic progress. Students earning a final grade of C minus (C-) or below, or an unsatisfactory grade (U, UNC, ADW, WF, WA) in a course or in a clinical experience may be dismissed from the OTD program. The Office of the Registrar (OTR) and the Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) monitor the program academic requirements at the end of each term (fall, spring and summer). A student who does not meet these academic requirements is academically dismissed by the college (coded as RWAR by OTR) and their record coded as failure to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) by OSFA.

An undergraduate student in the Occupational Therapy program must also meet the requirements listed above to continue in the Doctor of Occupational Therapy program. A student who is dismissed from the Occupational Therapy program, but remains in good standing at the university as an undergraduate student, is allowed to continue with their undergraduate degree course of study.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP): there are other SAP conditions for which the student is responsible and is applied to all students in the program, both professional and undergraduate. Refer to the complete SAP policy on the OSFA website.

RWAR/SAP Appeal Process

An RWAR/SAP student must appeal both RWAR/SAP by sending one form, which addresses both RWAR and SAP issues. This is done via the Academic Censure form located on the Marquette Central academic forms website. The form includes all of the required information the student must submit in order to have their appeal reviewed.

  • The form is submitted to Marquette Central (see bottom of form for methods of submission). The department chairperson, in consultation with the Academic Standards Committee, has the final decision on all RWAR/SAP appeals. The Academic Standards Committee may require a hearing with the student. See appeal hearing procedures in the Occupational Therapy Student Handbook.

  • If the appeal is approved, the student is 'Reinstated on Probation' and the Academic Standards Committee establishes an academic probation plan for the student to regain their satisfactory academic and degree progress standing, and the student’s eligibility for financial aid is restored.

  • The plan must be measurable and ensure that the student is able to meet Marquette's SAP standards by a specific point in time. Plans should include courses to be taken, expected grades and a time frame to complete the outlined objectives.

  • The plan is monitored by the department (Academic Standards Committee).

  • Should the student not fulfill all of their academic obligations as outlined in the academic probation plan, the student’s performance is evaluated by the committee and a determination is made as to whether the College Academic Alert (see below) process is instituted; however, the student is again coded with SAP for that term.

Occupational Therapy Probation and College Academic Alert (CAA)

  • Automatic probation based on GPA – A student in the Occupational Therapy program is allowed one instance of automatic probation for a single term grade point average (GPA) between 2.800 and 3.000 if all required courses are completed with a grade of C or above. To return to good academic standing, the average GPA of the term resulting in automatic probation and the next graded term must be equal to or greater than 3.000.

  • Conditions of probation may be prescribed in writing at the time of the student’s hearing. Conditions may also be prescribed in writing in the case of a student whose course performance or failure to follow academic advice warrants such action at any time during the program. All students where conditions of probation have been established is subject to committee review and possible CAA action should they fail to fulfill the specific terms. 

Failure to meet the requirements of probation may lead to dismissal. Any instance of failing to meet academic standards may result in a College Academic Alert (CAA) action.

A student placed on College Academic Alert cannot register for subsequent courses in the Occupational Therapy program and may be removed from any such classes for future terms in which they are registered. Students are notified by letter or email of the committee’s decision and of the appeal process. Undergraduate students that are not allowed to continue in the Occupational Therapy program, but remain in good standing at the university, are allowed to continue in their undergraduate degree course of study.

It is possible that a student is barred from registration for academic reasons even though the student’s cumulative GPA exceeds 3.000.

Academic Dismissal – Professional Integrity           

Students may be dismissed from the Occupational Therapy program for failure to maintain professional integrity standards, which may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Failure to comply with the American Occupational Therapy Association Code of Ethics
  2. Failure to comply with learning objectives set forth in a professional behavior learning contract between the student and the program.
  3. Failure to complete their undergraduate degree by the end of the spring term of year 5.
  4. Professional misconduct, including, but not limited to:
    1. Conduct that constitutes harassment, threats or abuse of, or discrimination against peers, faculty, patients or others.
    2. Provision of Occupational therapy services, including laboratory experiences in courses, while under the influence of an illegal substance and/or alcohol.
    3. Breach of patient/client confidentiality.
    4. Failure to comply with the policies and procedures of the clinical facility during a clinical fieldwork experience.
    5. Failure to comply with the Occupational Therapy Act for the state in which an internship experience is located.
    6. Failure to comply with the Marquette University Honor Code

Violations of the professional integrity requirements results in a hearing with the Academic Standards Committee. Findings of misconduct to self, faculty, the university clinical placements and/or patient may result in failure in the assignment, failure in the course or dismissal from the program. For instances of dismissal from the program, a notation of “Required to Withdraw for Professional Integrity Reasons” appears on the student’s permanent academic record and transcript.

Academic Dismissal - Academic Misconduct

Dismissal for academic misconduct (RWAM) is determined per the Academic Misconduct policy found in the Health Science Professional policies. Once this determination has been made, the student is dismissed from the university. This action results in ineligibility to register at Marquette. Reinstatement criteria for the student who is dismissed, if applicable, is outlined in the dismissal notice. If the student is allowed to return to the university, a permanent notation of ‘Reinstated to the University’ appears on the student’s academic record and Marquette’s official transcript.

Remediation for OTD Students (OCTH Courses)

Within a course, an instructor may use several evaluation tools to determine a course grade. Within this framework, a student may perform below the required academic standards in certain content areas. In such circumstances, specific content areas may require remediation.

Remediation occurs whenever a student achieves less than a C grade on any summative or performance-based assessment. The student must contact the course instructor and inquire about remediation within 48 hours of release of the exam grade if a grade of less than C is achieved, as stated in the course syllabus and OTD student handbook. Failure to contact the professor or instructor within this time frame results in a mandatory meeting with the Progress and Promotion Committee. Remediation content, format, and timeline are determined by the course instructor.

Successful remediation of assessments does not alter the original grade, nor does it improve the term grade. Remediation is required to ensure that the course objectives and general content knowledge are demonstrated by the student prior to beginning the clinical year. All remediation outcomes are also reported to the department Progress and Promotion Committee.

Information specific to the remediation process within each OCTH course can be found in the OTD student handbook.

Failed Remediation

A student failing a first remediation assignment (<70%), is required to meet with the Progress and Promotion Committee and the student may be placed on College Academic Alert (CAA). (See conditions of academic probation below). Students must pass a second remediation assessment of the failed material or be given a zero for the grade on the initial assessment. Subsequent failed remediation (<70%) of future assessments in that course results in a zero for each assessment. Any student who fails to complete a remediation assignment receives a zero regardless if it is the first remediation of the course or term.

Total Remediation within the Term

A student is allowed to remediate up to three aggregate assessments within the didactic term for OCTH courses. If four remediations occur, the student is required to meet with the Progress and Promotion Committee and is placed on College Academic Alert (CAA). (See conditions of academic probation below.) Subsequent failed assessments (<70%) in the term result in a zero for that assessment. At the conclusion of the term, the student may be dismissed, decelerated or promoted on conditional academic probation.

Conditions of Promotion on Academic Probation:

  • Must pass any pending remediation. Remediation content, format and timeline are determined by the course instructor. If the remediation is not successful (70% or greater) the student is immediately dismissed. 

  • Must maintain a term and cumulative GPA of 3.000 or higher at the conclusion of the term.

  • Must pass all courses with grade of C or better.

If conditionally promoted to the following term:

  1. The student is allowed one failed assessment (<70%) and one remediation in each course.  
  2.  All remediation must be successful, and if not, the student is immediately dismissed.
  3. Students on academic probation are allowed one remediation in each OCTH course, not to exceed three total remediations within the term. If any additional assessment grade earned is less than 70%, beyond the three allowed in the term, or one per each course, the student is immediately dismissed. 

Once remediation is required for an assessment, it is encouraged that the student discuss study strategies with the course director and academic adviser. Such a student may be required to create an Academic Success Plan. Additional academic resources are available in the Office of Student Educational Services.

Credit/No Credit (CR/NC) Grade Options

University guidelines allow junior and senior students to elect one course per term (to a maximum of four courses) for which a CR or NC grade is assigned, given certain requirements are met. Refer to the CR/NC grade option in the university section of this bulletin for the specific requirements. However, this CR/NC option is not available for any course that is part of the prerequisite courses for the OTD program or any course required in the professional phase of the program.


A student who misses a final examination risks the loss of credit and the possibility of not being able to enroll in subsequent OCTH courses. All such cases are judged by the department chairperson.



The entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its web address is www.acoteonline.org. Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). In addition, all states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.

State Licensure/Certification Disclosure

ACOTE® accredited occupational therapy and occupational therapy assistant educational programs satisfy the states’ educational requirements in all states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Students graduating from an ACOTE® accredited occupational therapy and occupational therapy assistant educational program are eligible to take the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) certification exam and apply for licensure in all states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. For more information regarding state qualifications and licensure requirements, please refer to the AOTA State Licensure webpage.

States/Territories where no determination has been made: American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and US Virgin Islands

Health and Safety Regulations

Students are responsible for maintaining current immunization/immunity status and are required to follow program health and clinical guidelines based on the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Guidelines for Healthcare Workers. Designated requirements must be completed (or initiated in certain cases) prior to the beginning matriculation and must remain current to throughout the course of study. It is the student’s responsibility to update all health information and health-related requirements annually, or more frequently if necessary and as required by clinical sites. Failure to provide updated documentation of immunization and screening requirements may result in withdrawal from courses and may affect the student’s ability to graduate on time.

American Heart Association (AHA) Basic Life Support for Health Care Providers certification is required prior to matriculation and must be maintained by each student for the duration of the professional program. Certification in basic life support (BLS) includes child, infant and both one- and two-person adult CPR along with AED (automatic external defibrillator) training. Failure to maintain and/or present current certification may jeopardize enrollment in OCTH courses including any experiential learning courses. Note: BLS certification must be completed through the AHA and not through a provider offering the equivalent or one that follows AHA guidelines. American Red Cross certification is not acceptable.

Emergency Care and Safety

All clinical sites provide the students with safety information including emergency procedures. There may be potential health risks at a clinical site. Students are required to complete yearly OSHA training. Students are not employees of the facility and are not covered by workman’s compensation. Students provide proof of health insurance, but should also be aware that they are responsible for the cost of any emergency care, unless the injury or illness was due to negligence on the part of the facility. In non-emergency situations, students should expect to be responsible for their own medical care while off campus.

All OTD students are required to attend and provide documentation of completion of yearly OSHA training sessions, which assure that they have received training on OSHA guidelines for blood borne pathogens and universal precautions. Failure to complete or maintain such requirements as indicated may prevent student participation in clinical or other experiential learning programming, possibly impacting progression in a course and thus in the program. Students may also be required to complete OSHA and HIPAA training as requested by clinical or community partners.

Liability Insurance

Even though the university has liability insurance on students while they are in clinical practice situations, some facilities require the student to have an additional liability policy. This type of insurance can be obtained through the insurance company used by the American Occupational Therapy Association by student members of the association.

Patient Right to Refuse

Clinical Contracts state that patients have the risk-free-right to refuse to participate in clinical education and patients/clients provide informed consent to being involved in the clinical education experience.

Policy for Students Requesting Accommodations

It is the responsibility of the student to contact the Office of Disability Services to identify and request reasonable accommodations for the classroom or laboratory. Students are encouraged to be proactive in addressing their learning needs and to discuss their needs with their instructors as early as possible at the beginning of each term. Additional information can be found on their website.  

Tuition/Financial Aid for Professional Phase

Students granted early admission to the OTD program are charged the higher professional phase tuition rate in the 3-year professional phase. First year professional students who are in their senior year of undergraduate study, are still eligible for undergraduate financial aid and scholarships available to Marquette undergraduate students. When Occupational Therapy students complete their undergraduate degree, they can no longer be considered for undergraduate sources of financial aid.

Withdrawal from the Occupational Therapy Program

Withdrawal from the Program 

Withdrawal from the program (temporary or permanent) is achieved through a written request submitted to the chairperson of the Department of Occupational Therapy. Students considering withdrawing from the occupational therapy program are encouraged to meet with the chairperson of the Department of Occupational Therapy or their adviser prior to making a final decision. A temporary withdrawal may be granted under unique circumstances but shall not extend longer than one calendar year. The committee may require students to repeat course work after an extended absence. 

Re-Entry Policy

Students who are granted a temporary withdrawal draw from the OTD program may reenter at that level only with concurrence of the Progression and Promotion Committee and the chairperson/program director, on a space-available and case-by-case basis.

Withdrawal from the program is achieved through a written request submitted to the chairperson of the Department of Occupational Therapy. Any student considering withdrawing from the Occupational Therapy program is encouraged to meet with the chairperson of the Department of Occupational Therapy or their adviser prior to making a final decision.

For additional information on other College of Health Sciences policies, see the College Academic Policies.