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Frequently Asked Questions

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Considering the Occupational Therapy Program? Here are answers to a few of the most commonly asked questions about Occupational Therapy.

What is it like to attend a Christian College?

Imagine learning in a place where you're constantly surrounded by faculty and staff who genuinely care about you and your individual goals, and who continuously pour their time and expertise into helping you succeed. As a community committed to a rich Christian heritage and God-honoring diversity, we believe the best education addresses each person in his or her entirety—as a physical, psychological, social, rational, and spiritual being.

Our students come from many different faith backgrounds and carry different religious and spiritual perspectives. As a Roberts student, you can trust and know that you are welcome, and that your thoughts, faith perspective, and/or worldview will always be respected, whatever your path at Roberts.

From time-to-time, our faculty and staff may pray for you, for your class, or even with you (if desired), especially during difficult times. You will never have to face anything alone at Roberts.

What are the advantages of earning a doctoral (OTD) degree as opposed to a master’s degree?

A master’s degree will prepare you for a generalist practice and direct care provider of occupational therapy services.  A doctoral degree also prepares you for generalist practice and has a capstone sequence that involves in-depth knowledge exposure in an area of interest which can be clinical practice, research, administration, leadership, program and policy development, advocacy, education, and theory development. 

OTD graduates are more likely to be educators, own their own business, and be involved in scholarly research and professional presentations and publications and receive awards and grants and teaching (Smallfield, Flanigan, & Sherman, 2019). As an OTD, you are prepared for professional engagement and advancement to leadership.

May I schedule a visit to campus?

We are pleased to welcome visitors to our park-like campus. Come and check out the status of our quickly finishing build out of the dedicated OTD learning labs. Please reach out to admissions coordinator, Marissa Kocher, at kocher_marissa@roberts.edu regarding on-campus visit opportunities. We would love to show you around! 

Do you offer scholarships or other financial aid?

Scholarships are not available through Roberts Wesleyan College.  Students typically fund tuition through loans or private sources. All questions concerning financial aid should be directed to our Student Financial Services department.

For questions concerning federal and state financial aid, contact the Office of Student Financial Services at studentfinancial@roberts.edu or call 585-594-6150.

How long will it take to complete the OTD program?

The OTD program is a full-time, eight-term program over three years. This includes two summers that focus on distance learning and fieldwork which can be completed outside of the Rochester area. 

What is the normal course load for a doctoral student?

Roberts Wesleyan College has a rigorous OTD curriculum which includes 18 to 19 credit hours per semester, less in the summer. The coursework requires significant time outside of class dedicated to research, projects, reading, studying, and writing.  The expectation is that there is not enough time to work a job while attending the OTD program. 

What is a typical weekly class schedule?

Classes and fieldwork experiences typically will be held Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Some evening or weekend special event may occur on a very infrequent basis.

Can I enroll as a part-time student?

Part-time enrollment is not advised. The OTD program is designed as a cohort group where students complete a series of courses full-time in sequence. The third-year allows for part-time study at no less than 50% minimum time for Fieldwork II and the capstone experiential component. Students must complete Level II fieldwork and experiential requirements within 24 months following completion of the didactic portion of the program. Part-time status would delay graduation accordingly, which would delay the graduate’s ability to take the NBCOT certification exam.  

Is a bachelor's degree required to start the OTD program?

Yes. Our OTD program is designed for students who currently hold a baccalaureate (undergraduate) degree are in the process of earning one prior to the start of OTD classes. 

What types of bachelor's degrees are acceptable for entry into the program?

Students holding bachelor’s degrees from any discipline are welcome to apply as long as they complete the specified occupational therapy prerequisites. 

Is a specific major required?

We do not require a specific major to apply for our program, as long as the prerequisites are completed.

What prerequisites are required to start the OTD program?

  • Anatomy & Physiology I with lab (4 credits)
  • Anatomy & Physiology II with lab (4 credits)
  • General Science with lab (4 credits)
  • Introduction to Psychology, Lifespan or Human Development (3 credits)
  • Anthropology or Sociology (3 credits)
  • Abnormal Psychology (3 credits)
  • Statistics (3 credits)
  • Medical Terminology (at least 1 credit)- highly recommended
  • Research Methods (3 credits) – highly recommended

Can I apply while I am in the process of completing my prerequisites?

Yes. It is common to be finishing up prerequisite courses when you apply. Students may be accepted on a provisional basis until all pre-requisites are met.   Prerequisites must be completed prior to full admission. You will need to submit your final transcripts to Roberts Wesleyan College prior to starting the OTD program to demonstrate successful completion of the prerequisites with a grade of B or better. 

How many students are accepted into the program each year?

We annually admit up to 32 students each August for a fall start. 

What about Accreditation? What will that mean for me? Can I sit for my boards? Will this affect licensure? Will we be accredited by the time I graduate?

We are excited to be one of four OTD programs in the state of New York! We currently have candidate status with ACOTE.  The next step in the process will be an on-site evaluation and pre-accreditation review in November 2022. After that date, the ACOTE accrediting body will inform us of accreditation status. It is very rare that a program does not pass, and we have not had any issues on our path. Although the accreditation demands are high, since we have had smooth sailing, we anticipate receiving full accreditation. Students would then graduate from an accredited program and be able to sit for the NBCOT board exam and apply for their OT license.

Are GRE scores required for admission?

GRE scores are no longer required, but may be submitted as part of the application.   If you submit GRE scores, they must be submitted via OTCAS by listing Roberts Wesleyan College's GRE Designated Institution (DI) Code, 2759, as a score recipient.

Why is Roberts starting with a Doctoral Program (without having a Master’s program here previously)?

  • While other programs build their doctoral program on an existing master’s program, Roberts Wesleyan has always been very forward-thinking and innovative.   The OTD is the gold standard for clinical preparation in occupational therapy.  We want to provide that kind of education for our students, giving them the flexibility and freedom to open many career doors, beyond that which a master’s degree would provide.
  • Being one of the first doctoral programs in the Finger Lakes region and one of the first four in New York State, we are excited to offer students the highest level of education in the occupational therapy profession in the Rochester area. Recently, the trend has been towards an entry-level doctorate for occupational therapy, in line with the push with other healthcare professions (such as physical therapy). Our program director has been planning this program with that end in mind for 3 years.
  • Roberts is no stranger to graduate degree programs, as we offer more than a dozen master’s programs and also a very successful PsyD program. We are excited about our inaugural OTD cohort starting this August and being one of the first entry-level programs in the region!

Is there on-campus graduate housing available?

Yes, we encourage you to reach out early as we have a limited number of on-campus graduate housing spots and find they book quickly. Contact student_life@roberts.edu or visit: https://go.roberts.edu/age-grad-housing-offer.

What is it like to live and learn in Rochester, NY? (What is the surrounding area of Chili like?)

Roberts campus is just 15-minutes west of the City of Rochester which is home to small-town accessibility with big-city services and a thriving cultural and food scene amidst some of the most beautiful scenery in the United States. Residents of the Greater Rochester Area enjoy a housing market known for great bargains, short commute times, world-class cultural and entertainment offerings, and a fast-growing innovation economy poised to thrive in the 21st century. Situated on Lake Ontario and 30-45 minutes away from the Finger Lakes and Niagara Falls, there are many opportunities to get outside and enjoy the beautiful countryside of Western, NY; however, if you want the excitement of a big city you can travel North to Toronto, Canada (2.5 hours) or South to New York City or Philadelphia (5.5 hours) to make memories you won’t forget. Whatever your interest, the Greater Rochester Area has something special for you!