University of Texas at El Paso Academic Catalog

Academic Catalog

Occupational Therapy

Return to: College of Health Sciences

Occupational Therapy is a dynamic profession and an integral part of modern comprehensive health care. Occupational therapy is the use of purposeful activity or interventions designed to achieve functional outcomes which promote health and prevent injury or disability, and which develop, improve, sustain, or restore the highest possible level of independence of any individual who has an injury, illness, cognitive impairment, psychosocial dysfunction, mental illness, developmental or learning disability, physical disability, or other disorder or condition. Occupational Therapy services are provided in a variety of settings, ranging from medical facilities to community health agencies, schools, and private practice.

The UTEP Occupational Therapy Program offers an Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) degree. While enrolled in the program, students complete courses in foundational and clinical sciences and general occupational therapy evaluation, treatment and evidence-based practice as well as research and occupation-based practices that incorporate cultural and contextual relevance. Clinical courses address occupational performance in the areas of mental health, pediatrics, and adult orthopedic and neurologic conditions. Most of the third year consists of fieldwork education. Prior to graduation, students complete two full-time, 12-week clinical rotations, a 14-week doctoral experience, and a Capstone project. Graduates of the program 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). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an occupational therapist, registered (OTR) and will then become eligible for licensure in any state.

Admissions Requirements

Students who are interested in admission to the Doctor of Occupational Therapy will use an external system called OTCAS. Admission requirements for this program are listed in the program tab as well as the Department of Occupational Therapy’s website.


The UTEP Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree (OTD) has received candidacy status from ACOTE. 

For more information, you can contact ACOTE at:

Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education
7501 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 510E
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 652-AOTA (2682)


Department Chair

William (Bill) Roberts
Contact Information:; 915-747-8153
Education: BS, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio; PhD, Colorado State University

Associate Professor

Jason Boyle
Contact Information:; 915-747-7239
Education: BS, Texas A&M University; MS, Texas A&M University; Ph D, Texas A&M University

Clinical Associate Professor

Stephanie Capshaw
Contact Information:; 915-747-8153
Education: BS, Texas Woman’s University; MA, Texas Woman’s University; OTD, University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences

Cecilia Fierro
Contact Information:; 915-747-7263
Education: BS, University of Texas Medical Branch; OTD, Rocky Mountain University

Clinical Assistant Professor

Grisel Contreras
Contact Information:;
Education: MOT, The University of Texas at El Paso; OTD, Baylor University

Balachandar Kathirvelu
Contact Information:; 915-747-7260
Education: MBBS, The Tamil Nadu Dr.M.G.R. Medical University; MS, Tulane University; Ph D, Tulane University

William (Bill) Roberts
Contact Information:; 915-747-8153
Education: BS, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio; Ph D, Colorado State University

Kaleigh Stevens
Contact Information:;
Education: BS, Texas Tech University; MOT, Washington University in St. Louis; OTD, A.T. Still University

Claudia Yagel
Contact Information:;
Education: OTD, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

The University of Texas at El Paso
Occupational Therapy
Mailing Address: 500 W University Ave. El Paso, Texas 79968
Physical Address: 3333 N. Mesa
El Paso, Texas 79902


Phone: 915.747.7280
Fax: 915.747.7207

Visit Department Website