Pre-Occupational Therapy

Musculoskeletal Lab

Program Description 

The Rockhurst University department of occupational therapy promotes the quality of health and wellbeing with all populations through active engagement in meaningful occupations. Our mission is to empower learners to become competent, reflective leaders who utilize their unique gifts to optimize function and participation in occupational roles across the lifespan.  

We currently offer a Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) degree, though Rockhurst is excited to be transitioning from a masters to a doctoral-level program. The new, entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program builds on the successes of its Master of Occupational Therapy program and is designed for students wishing to enter OT jobs with the highest level of preparation.

Our high-quality program boasts an engaging, rigorous curriculum whereby students experience interprofessional teams and engage in a variety of service-learning opportunities with community partners. The program is designed for students to develop skills in advanced practice, promote leadership skills and enhance research endeavors. Pending Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) approval, the first OTD cohort is scheduled to start in the summer semester of 2021.* Rockhurst is scheduled to graduate its last Master of Occupational Therapy cohort in May of 2022. 

*The Rockhurst University entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy program has been granted Applicant Status through the ACOTE. ACOTE is a part of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite. 200 Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE’s telephone number, c/o AOTA, is 301-652-AOTA (2682). 

Learning Outcomes 

At Rockhurst University, we are committed to preparing competent, caring occupational therapy professionals. After completing the program, you will be ready to assist individuals in the prevention or treatment of impairments due to developmental deficits, aging, physical illness or injury. 

Setting us apart from other occupational therapy schools, Rockhurst is proud to offer a Jesuit education that emphasizes excellence in teaching. We stress the importance of serving others and sharing your skills through participating in various clinically-based community service projects and/or two international service immersion and mission experiences. 

Pre-Occupational Therapy students conduct research under the guidance of a mentor and present their findings at state and national conferences. Under the faculty mentorship, learners complete student-driven, innovative capstone projects in program development, research, advocacy, advanced clinical practice or administration. 

Finally, Rockhurst occupational therapy graduates pass the NBCOT – the national OT exam – at a higher first-time pass rate than the national average.

Prospective Students 

Current Students 


  • A commitment to the Rockhurst OT values: critical and innovative thinking, ethical leadership, evidence-based processes, personalized service for all members of society and professional excellence.  
  • Select freshmen can get pre-admission into the occupational therapy program.
  • Undergraduate students at Rockhurst can join the Pre-PT/Pre-OT Club. 
  • In conjunction with Rockhurst University’s Helzberg School of Management, occupational therapy students will have the opportunity to earn both a Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree and a Master of Business Administration or Master of Arts in Management degree, pending final accreditations for OTD program. 

    The MBA includes a quantitative business curriculum while the MA in Management features a focus on management leadership. Both degrees provide the skills to practice as an occupational therapist and to effectively manage a department, your own clinic or corporation. Both degrees also include optional electives in health care leadership. Learn more about Rockhurst University dual degrees.


Common undergraduate majors for future OTD students include: 

  • Psychology 
  • Sociology 
  • Education 
  • Biology 
  • Health sciences