University of Nebraska Medical Center

Occupational Therapy

An occupational therapy doctoral degree prepares you for a meaningful career that combines science with compassion.

Why Study Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapists help patients develop, regain and improve the skills they need to take part in daily activities and function more effectively in home, work and social activities. They work with individuals, small groups and large organizations in schools, businesses, hospitals and a variety of social and behavioral health settings. Occupational therapists enable people of all ages to live life to its fullest by helping them promote health, and prevent—or live better with—injury, illness, or disability.

Occupational therapy is a rewarding career with strong demand and high salaries. Seeing your patients make progress and celebrate their victories is extremely gratifying. Occupational therapists enjoy employment security, fulfillment, plenty of employment opportunities and flexibility. What is an Occupational Therapist?

New Financial Support Award

As of Sep 10, 2023, the UNMC Occupational Therapy Program has a new financial support award opportunity for non-resident students. This award ensures that non-residents will pay the equivalent of the resident tuition rate for the duration of the program, by covering the differential between the non-resident and resident rates.

Why Study Occupational Therapy at UNMC?

One Program - Two Campuses

The UNMC OTD program offers one program to one cohort across two campuses via distance technology. Students choose a campus for the duration of their education based on personal preference for their on-campus lab and community experiences.

Integrated Approach

UNMC offers an integrated educational program, a blend of in-person, hands-on active learning, experiential community-based experiences, lab competencies, and distance components. The doctoral capstone offers in-depth focused learning opportunities to make a difference in your community and acquire expertise to grow as a professional.

Unique Environment

Students thrive working with faculty on both campuses in our unique environment of innovation, teamwork, excellence, accountability, courage, and healing. These are our UNMC values, enabling you to grow and flourish as a student and future colleague. Come explore with us. We look forward to hearing from you.

OT Faculty


The entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program has been granted Preaccreditation status 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.

ACOTE Website

Program Snapshot

Course Load
3 years (8 semesters)
Kearney & Omaha
Start Date
Fall semester begins in August

Program Highlights

Community Experience

Community experiences begin in the second semester of the program. Fieldwork and capstone components of the curriculum provide students with opportunities to apply occupational therapy theories and techniques acquired during classroom instruction.

Overview & Degree Requirements

Mission & Goals

The mission of the Occupational Therapy Education Division is to advance health through meaningful participation in everyday living for all people and communities.



Occupational therapy is a fast-growing profession. Emerging niches and non-traditional practice mean new and exciting opportunities for occupational therapy practitioners. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the job outlook for occupational therapists will grow 16 percent from 2019 to 2029. Nebraska's aging population and increased prevalence of chronic conditions are expected to continue to drive workforce demand.

Job Titles:

  • Occupational Therapist
  • Manager
  • Entrepreneur
  • Educator
  • Researcher
  • Advocate
  • Consultant

What Can Occupational Therapy Do For You?

What is occupational therapy and what can it do for you?