Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University
Jefferson College of Health Professions
Department of Occupational Therapy


Director's Message

Susan Toth-Cohen, PhD, OTR/L

Susan Toth-Cohen, PhD, OTR/L | Director, PP-OTD Program

Thank you for your interest in the Jefferson Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate (PP-OTD) program. Our mission is to create opportunities for advanced practitioners to take leadership roles across diverse areas of practice. After completing the Program, you will have the skills and knowledge to work in many different arenas to promote participation using occupational science in combination with knowledge from diverse fields such as business, management, leadership, epidemiology, rehabilitation, public health and neuroscience.

Our Program reflects the mission of Thomas Jefferson University, which is to educate qualified students as physicians, nurses, biomedical scientists and health personnel, to use research to expand our understanding of human beings and their environments and to provide and promote health and human services. As a graduate of the Thomas Jefferson University PP-OTD program, you will be poised to serve as a leader in the clinical community, assume leadership positions in health care, and conduct clinical research that translates basic science into evidence-based, exemplary patient care.

I ask you to consider our PP-OTD, because:

  • We offer highly individualized planning and will help you create a career trajectory that is right for you.
  • We are seated within a nationally and internationally known Department with an excellent reputation, known for the rigor and innovativeness of its programs.
  • Our Program is designed for the busy professional, with online classes and opportunities to learn from experts on our faculty and in our clinical community according to a schedule that can work for you. We also offer credit for leadership and clinical experience.

If you think our Program may be right for you, email me with further questions or contact me to set up a meeting. Meeting formats are flexible and can take place in person, by telephone, videoconference or web chat. We hope you will consider joining us and helping us to create a new vision of our profession!

Susan Toth-Cohen, PhD, OTR/L
Director, Jefferson PP-OTD Program
Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy
130 South Ninth Street, Suite 810
Philadelphia, PA 19107 USA
Phone: 215-503-9610

Program Requirements & Length

Students with a Bachelor of Science


Minimum of 24 months and one semester full-time * 


Students with a BS in another field (and specific prerequisite credits) should apply to our Entry-Level MS Program in Occupational Therapy (EMOT) and complete a Master’s degree, then continue on to the PP-OTD program.

EMOT requires two years of entry-level and graduate coursework and two full-time Level II Fieldwork rotations (12 weeks each).

The PP-OTD requires a minimum of 46 credits for students with a Bachelor’s degree, depending on experience and whether the student enrolls full- or part-time. **

The PP-OTD requires development of a substantive Doctoral Fellowship and Capstone that must be presented and approved prior to implementation.

Students with a Master of Science


Minimum of 24 months and one semester full-time * 


Students with an MS in OT (or a BS in OT and MS in another field) and have completed an Advanced Practice Certificate at Thomas Jefferson University may apply to the PP-OTD program. (The 10-12 credits completed in the certificate program will be applied to the PP-OTD degree.)

The PP-OTD requires development of a substantive Doctoral Fellowship and Capstone that must be presented and approved prior to implementation.

* Length of program depends on pace through the program and requires successful completion of the doctoral Fellowship proposal, followed by Fellowship and Capstone courses. Must be completed within 7 years.

** Total number of credits varies because students with less than 3 years of experience at the time they begin their fellowship will take a 6-credit fellowship. All others take a 3-credit fellowship. Students take a series of PP-OTD seminars (A, B, and C) to advance their progress toward the final doctoral project.  

Online Learning

We designed our online PP-OTD program to meet the needs of busy professionals. We have on campus and virtual sessions once at the beginning of each semester (on a Saturday) and once near the end of each semester (also on a weekend day). Students may attend these sessions online or on campus. Students also complete a brief assignment for these sessions. Students unable to attend online or on campus may arrange alternate assignments as necessary.

All classes can be completed entirely online. The format is primarily asynchronous (assignments done at your own pace at a time convenient for you), with some discussions or meetings with faculty mentors using synchronous learning (online at the same time). There is an orientation session prior to your first class (held online), so that you can learn exactly how the online learning activities work. Additional support is available throughout the program.

International Students

The PP-OTD is an online program and it is available to international students as long as they are abroad and have earned their entry-level degree in occupational therapy at a WFOT-approved school. The PP-OTD is not available to international students who are in the U.S. in F or J status, due to federal regulations:

  • International students who are in the U.S. in F or J status are restricted to taking one online course per term per federal regulations
  • International students in F or J status may not enroll as part-time students

For international student admissions information, please go to the Office of Admissions website.

Other resources for international students can be found on the Office of International Affairs website.


Tuition is assessed per credit at the graduate level. Please visit the Registrar’s tuition page to view the current fees. Use the drop down menu to choose Jefferson College of Health Professions and Occupational Therapy Doctoral Program to view current per credit tuition rate. University technology and library fees are assessed each semester.

Thomas Jefferson University alumni receive a 25% tuition discount. Employers may have funds budgeted to pay for tuition, either as tuition reimbursement programs or continuing education funds. More information about how to pay tuition and a monthly payment program.

We have also started an Advanced Education Grants Program to assist those with limited or no financial assistance from employers who show strong potential as leaders and change agents for occupational therapy.

Contact Us

Susan Toth-Cohen, PhD, OTR/L
Director, PPOT Doctoral Program Professor
901 Walnut Street, 6th floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Phone: 215-503-9610

Amina Floyd-Murphy
Admissions Counselor
130 South Ninth Street
Edison Building, Suite 100
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Phone: 215-503-0236
Fax: 215-503-7241