Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT)

Area of Occupational Therapy

Updated Fall 2013

The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy degree program supports the following goals of Milligan College:

The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy degree program promotes integration and utilization of theory and practice in the art and science of occupational therapy and prepares students to meet the entry-level standards of the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).

The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy degree program is designed for students who have an earned bachelor’s degree and who have completed the prerequisite requirements for admission to the program. Baccalaureate degrees can be in a variety of academic areas, some of which include human performance and exercise science, human development, sociology, biology, and psychology.

Program Goals

The following goals are expected upon completion of the professional curriculum and arise directly from the missions of the college and the professional program and from the program’s philosophy.

By the time of graduation from this curriculum, the student should:

  1. Demonstrate professional-level knowledge and competencies necessary for practice as an occupational therapist in health care and human service delivery systems, particularly in underserved areas;
  2. Engage in critical evaluation and application of research, resourceful thinking, and problem-solving skills in practice;
  3. Exhibit the administrative skills necessary for the service delivery of occupational therapy;
  4. Model excellence in social, personal and professional ethics;
  5. Participate as a servant-leader in the field of occupational therapy.

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT)

Required courses for the degree:

Total number of required hours: 79

Curriculum and Course Sequence

The 79-hour curriculum includes coursework in three essential components: basic skills, the occupational therapy process, and capstone experiences.

Component I: Basic Skills
The basic skills component represents subject matter which serves as the foundation for the professional theories and practice methods. This component includes applied science courses, research methods and design, and an introduction to the profession of occupational therapy.

Component II: The Occupational Therapy Process
The core of this curriculum, the occupational therapy process, includes the study of occupation, typical life span development, and wellness with integration of the major theories and practice methods of occupational therapy. A developmental sequence (i.e., from pediatrics to geriatrics) is utilized to facilitate continuity and consistency from one course to another. Major topics dealing with disease processes, the physical and psychosocial impact of dysfunction, wellness, assessment, intervention, adaptation, compensation, and emerging practice areas are incorporated. This sequence of courses promotes the development of critical thinking skills. An introduction to clinical experiences through Level I Fieldwork is included.

Component III: Capstone Experiences
The capstone component of the curriculum is designed to move the student further toward the objective of integrated critical thinking in order to become an entry-level occupational therapist. Topics covered in these courses include: administration and leadership, professional development, directed research, and Level II Fieldwork. At the end of this component of the curriculum, the student should be prepared to sit for the NBCOT certification examination for the occupational therapist.

In addition, the student is expected to complete either an original graduate or research project.

The courses and the clinical experiences are designed to develop the knowledge and skills of the highest national standards. The teaching faculty members are nationally recognized professionals prepared to offer applied science and skills courses at the advanced level.


The occupational therapy program at Milligan College is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its Web address is

After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). In addition, most states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. (Applicants should note that previous conviction of a felony may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain licensure.) One hundred percent of graduates from Milligan College’s M.S.O.T. program have found employment in the field of occupational therapy or an occupational therapy-related position.


The P. H. Welshimer Memorial Library is a vital gathering place for studying and learning. In addition to its collection of print and media resources that support all the college’s academic programs, the Library’s website serves as a portal to a wide array of high quality electronic information resources, accessible on- or off-campus, 24 hours a day/7 days a week. Some key journal databases that Occupational Therapy students have access to through the Library website include AOTA’s OT Search, CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature), and PubMed Central. Qualified librarians are available to assist you with your resource and research needs through in-person consults, telephone, or online reference services.

The Library is a participating member in the shared online catalog of the Appalachian College Association’s (ACA) Bowen Central Library of Appalachia. The Library also subscribes to WorldCat, an online catalog that gives Milligan students access, through our interlibrary loan service, to books, journal articles, and media from thousands of libraries worldwide.

Professional Resource Center

The Professional Resource Center (PRC) houses an extensive collection of assessment instruments, DVDs, and intervention equipment. A computer cluster and workspace where students can explore internet resources, perform data analysis for research projects, and produce multimedia presentations are part of the PRC. The PRC is available to therapists in the community as well as the students of the program.