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Occupational Therapy

Doctor of Occupational Therapy

We are excited that you are considering a career in occupational therapy. Our distinguished faculty, top-notch curriculum, and new facilities designed just for you make us a stand out program.


Degree Offered: Entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)
Program Length: 8 consecutive semesters (including summers)
Total Number of Credits: 125
Cohort Size: 36
Program Start: One start per year in the Fall semester                                                     
Accreditation Status: Accredited


OTD Mission Statement

The mission of the Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program at Wingate University is to develop knowledgeable and ethical occupational therapists who are committed to the health, well-being, and quality of life of all persons, groups, and populations through a solid education founded upon principles of occupational performance, critical thinking/professional reasoning, servant leadership, evidence-based practice/ scholarship, and occupational justice.

OTD Vision Statement

The vision of the Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program at Wingate University is to be a leading educator of occupational therapists who are practice-ready leaders and clinical scholars committed to the pursuit of meaningful occupational performance for all persons, groups, and populations.


Tuition and Fees

Direct Costs (per year)*

  • Tuition: $33,030 ($11,010 per term)
  • Health & Wellness Fee: $100
  • Parking Fee: $130 per year
  • OTD Program Fee: $450 ($150 per semester)
  • Graduation Fee: $135 (one-time fee assessed in the year of graduation)
  • Estimated Total Direct Program Cost (3 years/8 semesters): $89,125

Indirect Costs (per year)*

  • Room & Board: $14,400
  • Books: $1,250
  • Transportation: $5,400
  • Personal & Miscellaneous: $1,440
  • Loan Fees – Unsubsidized: $406
  • Health Insurance: $2,246
  • Estimated Total Indirect Program Cost (3 years/8 semesters): $67,032

Estimated Total Cost of Attendance (3 years/8 semesters): $156,157
*Tuition and fees are subject to change

The student is responsible for any and all costs associated with coursework, including those involving clinical education experiences. Costs to each student may include transportation, room and board, purchase of personal laptop, criminal background checks, drug screens, uniforms, health insurance, and other expenses. Additionally, students may be offered opportunities to earn advanced certifications or attend enrichment workshops (e.g., NBCOT examination preparation workshop) that may include added personal expenses outside of tuition costs.

Wingate University OTD students are eligible to receive financial assistance to help cover the cost of tuition and living expenses. Federal loans are available for those who meet certain criteria and the FELS program is available for qualifying NC residents. Please see the Wingate University Financial Aid page for more information.

Students must obtain written approval from the Department of Occupational Therapy to withdraw from occupational therapy courses.

*Students are not eligible for any tuition refund after the first day of classes. This policy applies to all circumstances of course discontinuance, including by student’s own volition or due to academic disqualification.

OTD Program Philosophy

Within the Doctor of Occupational Therapy program at Wingate University, we believe that occupational performance is central to a healthy and satisfying life. Our distinct combinations of preferred occupations make us who we are; they form our identities. We believe in the principle of occupational justice. That is, all human beings, regardless of socioeconomic status, race, culture, or other factors, have the right to engage in meaningful occupations from birth to death (AOTA, 2017). Furthermore, we believe that humans are healthiest and happiest when they are able to participate in the activities that are most meaningful to them (AOTA, 2014). By employing critical thinking/professional reasoning skills, occupational therapists address factors including personal and contextual barriers that limit one’s occupational engagement in a client-centered manner. Occupational therapists serve as facilitators to ensuring optimal engagement in life by using occupation, the core subject of our profession, as both the therapeutic medium and the outcome of the therapeutic process (AOTA, 2017).

In alignment with the Transformative Learning Theory, we believe that adults learn best through critical reflection and dialogue that allows them to build upon existing knowledge and attain new knowledge to facilitate autonomous thinking (Mezirow, 1997). This is accomplished through a student-centered approach in which the educators design learning opportunities that consider students’ learning styles, learning needs, and learning objectives, which has been proven to elicit higher student motivation and participation (Bradford, Mowder, & Bohte, 2016; Stefaniak & Tracey, 2015). Furthermore, we value the construct of competency-based education which allows students to demonstrate proficiency in necessary skills for occupational therapy practice through real world applications and simulations (Jung et al., 2015). As such, professors do not merely lecture to students, but instead facilitate the construction of knowledge in a personal, active, engaging, and practical manner. This approach to teaching and learning builds knowledgeable evidence-based practice scholars who are committed to lifelong learning.

The Doctor of Occupational Therapy program is built upon a foundation of servant leadership. Servant leaders put followers’ needs before their own and take the time to nurture, strengthen, develop, and empower followers (Northouse, 2013). As educators, we follow these principles by assessing student needs, modeling desired behaviors, attentively listening, and demonstrating empathy and care for students. Similarly, we believe that all occupational therapists are leaders by the nature of their roles that require them to lead their clients through the process of habilitation or rehabilitation. We strive to teach our students to honor the principles of servant leadership as they serve their clients, their colleagues, and their profession.

*References available upon request by contacting


The Doctor of Occupational Therapy facilities are located in the Burnside-Dalton and Hayes buildings on the Wingate, NC campus.  The Burnside-Dalton building is shared with the Doctor of Physical Therapy program. The OTD program will primarily encompass the first floors of each building, and includes several labs, a classroom, private study rooms, and faculty offices. Our facilities also boast a state of the art cadaver lab and a student lounge for decompressing between or after classes. We have carefully designed every detail so that we can provide our students with the optimal environment conducive to hands-on learning experiences. 

"When I came to Wingate for the first time, for my interview, I was amazed. It was small and intimate and felt like home. They were friendly and inviting and made me feel hopeful. Also, I was excited to know that it was a doctoral program instead of a master’s. Studying at Wingate has been a blessing. I have enjoyed myself."

Jalynn Parnell
Class of 2022

Occupational Therapy Overview


Dr. Melissa Sweetman
(704) 233-8972

Free OT Clinic