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Russell Sage College Offers First Accredited Entry-Level Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program in New York State

Russell Sage College's doctoral program in Occupational Therapy received full accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education of the American Occupational Therapy Association in April.

It is the first accredited entry level OTD program in New York state.

The program previously met the requirements for candidacy status, the first step toward full accreditation, in fall 2020. Sage will award its first OTD degrees in summer 2022.

A doctorate is the highest level of academic preparation for entry-level occupational therapists, and ideal for individuals who would like to pursue leadership roles in health care practices, policy organizations or higher education, as well as work with patients.

The doctorate includes the academic, clinical and research courses and fieldwork experiences that are part of Sage’s accredited Occupational Therapy master’s degree curriculum, and include courses in leadership and a doctoral-level capstone project.

Sage’s master’s and doctoral program in occupational therapy both prepare graduates for the certification exam administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, which leads to national certification and eligibility for state licensure.

Full-time OTD students can earn their doctorate in three years, including summers. Sage also offers opportunities for undergraduate students to earn a bachelor's degree and an OTD on a six-year accelerated schedule, or a seven-year traditional schedule.

“I am proud of our OT faculty, staff and students for their work to establish a high-quality doctoral program,” said Debra Collette, OTD, OTR/L, associate professor and occupational therapy program director. “This accreditation is an important external validation of all we do to provide a great education, including mentoring, research and fieldwork experiences, for OT master’s and doctoral students.”

For more information about the Occupational Therapy program at Russell Sage College, visit

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