Transforming lives through occupation, advocacy, and service

Welcome to Loma Linda University. The faculty and staff in the Department of Occupational Therapy appreciate the opportunity to share our program with you.

Occupational therapy has been an exciting career for many of us and as healthcare continues to evolve, our profession is encouraged to "think outside of the box " leading to exciting opportunities and growth. Our courses are woven with threads of service, occupation-based practice, evidence-based practice and health. Students at Loma Linda University have a unique opportunity to participate in community-based fieldwork, service-learning, and health promotion supporting the mission of our University.

Master of Occupational Therapy program

MOT Update:  

The M.O.T program is now closed to admission. The last MOT cohort will enter the program in June 2021.

Entry-level Occupational Therapy Doctorate (EOTD)

Program Admission begins mid-July 2021 through OTCAS.

The Entry-level Occupational Therapy Doctoral degree program has applied for accreditation and as of December 2020, has been granted Candidacy 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

We will accept applications for the Entry-level O.T.D beginning July 2021 for the first entry-level O.T.D cohort which will begin in June 2022.

The program must have a pre-accreditation review, complete an on-site evaluation, and be granted Accreditation Status before its graduates 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).

Students must complete 24 weeks of Level II fieldwork as well as an individual 14-week capstone experience within 6 months following the completion of the didactic portion of the program. The doctoral capstone experience must be started after completion of all coursework and Level II fieldwork as well as completion of preparatory activities defined in 2018 ACOTE OTD Standard D.1.3

After successful completion of the NBCOT 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.

The Post Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program

Our Department is also proud to offer a post professional Online Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program. This degree is rich in deep level learning and research preparing practitioners for futures in leadership, health promotion, and academia. Visit our Post Professional OTD page for more information on this program.

The LLU Advantage

We are often asked what sets us apart from other programs and universities. We have outlined below what we feel are our program strengths and given advantages to attending our program.

  • Loma Linda University's Occupational Therapy program earned a 10-year accreditation for its excellence in educating in the field of Occupational Therapy. 
  • Supportive Christian campus and learning environment.
  • Prospective students are able to make an appointment with our program advisor and meet one to one to learn more about the program, get assistance with admissions, and to have questions answered.
  • Specific classes in service-learning providing opportunity for students to practice their skills while meeting a need of a community partner.
  • We do not require GRE exam score for entry into our master's program.
  • The opportunity to participate in innovative community-based settings.
  • Students are encouraged to embrace "wholeness", healthy living, social connections, spiritual exploration, and exercise regularly at our state-of-the-art health wellness facility.
  • Loma Linda University is a Health Science Institution with opportunity to collaborate with other healthcare professionals.
  • Loma Linda University accepts students from many backgrounds and religious affiliations and offers a rich diversity within our student body.
  • Students have opportunity to collaborate with international OT students teaching them the latest techniques we use in the United States.
  • Opportunity to participate in mission trips to other countries through the School of Allied Health Professions and University.
  • Faculty mentor students during the program and prep students for board exams and future employment as OT practitioners.
  • Advanced science courses in anatomy, neuroanatomy and kinesiology are taught by experienced rehabilitation specialists.
  • Second year MOT students may apply to work as Teaching Assistants in Gross Anatomy lab during their second year.

Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment and/or task to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team. It is an evidence-based practice deeply rooted in science.

Occupational therapy is the only profession that helps people across the lifespan to do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities (occupations). Occupational therapy practitioners 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.

Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes. Occupational therapy is skilled treatment that helps individuals achieve independence in all facets of their lives. It gives people the "skills for the job of living" necessary for independent and satisfying lives. Services typically include:

  • Customized treatment programs to improve one's health and ability to engage in meaningful daily activities
  • Comprehensive home and job site evaluations with adaptation recommendations
  • Performance skills assessments and treatment
  • Adaptive equipment recommendations and usage training
  • Patient and family education

"Occupational therapy practitioners are skilled professionals whose education includes the study of human growth and development with specific emphasis on the social, emotional, and physiological effects of illness and injury."

An occupational therapist enters the profession with a master's degree. Applicants must complete prerequisites prior to admission to the program, as well as to meet the program admission requirements.   Students must complete supervised clinical internships in a variety of healthcare settings and pass a national examination. Most states also regulate occupational therapy practice. 

Occupational therapists may be employed in a variety of settings including school systems, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, long-term care facilities, behavioral health clinics, pediatric practices, and community- based organizations.

Occupational therapists may also be self-employed in private practice. These practitioners see clients for a variety of conditions and services including coaching, telehealth, and consulting.

Occupational therapists need patience and strong interpersonal skills to inspire trust and respect in their clients. Ingenuity and imagination in adapting activities to individual needs are assets. Those working within the community must be able to adapt to a variety of settings and have strong leadership skills and innovation.

U.S. News & World Report  says OT is No. 17 on the Best Health Care Jobs list. The profile article on OT features AOTA member Samia Rafeedie.