Doctor of Occupational Therapy

IMPORTANT:  Rocky Mountain College OTD Program is currently admitting students for our next class beginning in January 2020.  Applicants are admitted on a rolling basis. Apply early!


Breaking News

  • Taylor Clark and Makayla Cain were selected as the RMC OTD Class Student Representatives for the duration of the program.  Congratulations, Makayla and Taylor!
  • Rocky Mountain College OTD Program began classes on January 4, 2019 on the top floor of the newly constructed Charles Morledge Science Building. The class is comprised of 30 students from Montana and all over the United States. Welcome RMC Inaugural Class of 2022!
  • On January 1, 2019 Dr. Kirchen began her 3-year appointment on the Montana OT Board and began her term on the ACOTE Roster of Academic Evaluators (RAE) in August 2018.
  • Dr. Briggs has been named the Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA) Advisor.  Congratulations to our newly elected SOTA Leaders:
  • President: Carly Swartz
  • Vice President: Marissa Maddalena
  • Treasurer: Lizzy Simon
  • Secretary: Megan Joerger
  • Community Service Chair: Danyela Farrar
  • Social Media Chair: Sienna Saechao
  • Fundraising Chair: Meg Thees
  • Newsletter editor: Kendra Joyce
  • Activities Chair: Rachael Dorton
  • Professional Development Chair: Kristen Jensen
  • Public Relations Chair: Makia Talley
  • Dr. Kirchen and Dr. Briggs are headed to AOTA Conference in New Orleans in April 2019! Congratulations to Dr. Briggs who will be presenting a short course on: Stroke Rehabilitation through the use of Telehealth. Dr. Kirchen will graduate from the Academic Leadership Institute and be awarded a credential in Academic Leadership. Both Dr. Briggs and Dr. Kirchen will be participating in a variety of other conference events to include: Panels, Conversations that Matter Presentations, and poster presentations.
  • RMC OTD Program welcomed Dr. Delisha Patel, Director of Research, in January 2019.
  • Just a Reminder: Rocky Mountain College (RMC) OTD Program received Candidacy Status approval from ACOTE on August 14, 2018. The RMC OTD Program ACOTE reviewers cited no areas of concern and identified the following strengths of the RMC OTD Program:
    • The program director and academic fieldwork coordinator have qualifications and expertise consistent with the demands of their roles.
    • The staffing plan and available classroom, lab, equipment, supplies, and technology demonstrate administrative support of the development process of the program.
    • The mission and curriculum design of the program are reflective of the community, with courses that align with the agricultural economy of the area.

The 2019-2020 OTCAS WebAdmit cycle is now open! We admit students on a rolling basis. Applicants are encouraged to apply early. Reminder: OTCAS conducts an annual maintenance period that occurs from approximately mid-June through mid-July. We encourage applicants to complete their application in OTCAS prior to or after the OTCAS maintenance cycle. We are incredibly excited about the 100% face-to-face learning opportunities our program offers. OT is about doing, and if you are a hands-on learner, this program is for you! Apply today!  Feel free to contact Anne Irish at if you have additional questions.

The Rocky Mountain College Occupational Doctorate Program is one of the first Montana-based occupational therapy doctorate programs in the state of Montana. As a post-baccalaureate, entry-level professional doctoral degree, applicants must complete all the requirements for a bachelor’s degree prior to matriculation into the program. The total length of the program is 115 credit hours, 3.0 years (nine semesters). The curriculum includes two 12-week fieldwork experiences and one 14-week doctoral experience.

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy practitioners ask What matters to you? not What's the matter with you?

In its simplest terms, occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants help people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). 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 (

RMC OTD Mission Statement

The Rocky Mountain College Doctorate in Occupational Therapy Program prepares clinicians, educators, researchers and future leaders in the profession through engaged, experiential and evidence-based educational opportunities to expand knowledge about the health benefits of occupation and translate that knowledge to various therapeutic settings.

We accomplish this mission through enacting our core values:

  1. valuing interdisciplinary therapeutic approaches (Thread 1)
  2. embracing diversity and community engagement (Thread 2)
  3. promoting life-long, evidence-based learning (Thread 3)
  4. advocating for the fundamental value of occupation-based, client-centered service delivery to enhance patient health, well-being and quality of life (Thread 4)

Founding Program Director

I am passionate about the profession of occupational therapy. I have practiced in both pediatrics and geriatrics in North Carolina, Texas, Kansas and Virginia. For the past four years, I have been the OT Program Director at James Madison University in Virginia. After 30 years, it is time to come home. I am so pleased to be working with Rocky Mountain College to offer a clinical doctorate in occupational therapy.

Twylla M. Kirchen, Ph.D., OTR/L

RMC OTD Program, Founding Director
Curriculum Vitae