The purpose of this study was to compare the professional outcomes of two entry-level occupational therapy degrees: the Master of Science (MSOT) and occupational therapy doctorate (OTD). This was a quantitative, exploratory study using a survey method. An online survey was sent to graduates from one occupational therapy program with known email addresses (N = 711). The survey included items relating to professional outcomes, such as job title, salary, and engagement with evidence-based practice, leadership, research, and interprofessional practice. Descriptive statistics and Mann-Whitney U tests were used to describe and to compare groups. The survey yielded 208 responses eligible for analysis. The sample consisted of 146 MSOT graduates (70%) and 62 OTD graduates (30%). MSOT graduates were significantly more likely to be clinicians (z = -3.57, p < .05) and OTD graduates were significantly more likely to be educators (z = -4.24, p < .05). OTD graduates were significantly more likely to use evidence-based practice (z = -2.29, p < .05) and conduct research (z = -4.19, p < .05). There were no significant differences between the two groups in job titles, starting and current salaries, and perceived preparation for interprofessional coordination. These results contribute to understanding the impact of the two degrees for the profession, graduates, and future occupational therapy students.
Stacy Smallfield, DrOT, OTR/L, BCG, FAOTA, is Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy and Medicine and Assistant Director, Occupational Therapy Entry-Level Professional Programs, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO.
Laura Flanigan, MSOT and Anna Sherman, MSOT were graduate students in the Program in Occupational Therapy, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO at the time of this writing.
Declaration of Interest
The authors report no declarations of interest.
Smallfield, S., Flanigan, L., & Sherman, A. (2019). Comparing Outcomes of Entry-Level Degrees from One Occupational Therapy Program. Journal of Occupational Therapy Education, 3 (1). https://doi.org/10.26681/jote.2019.030107
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