MS in Occupational Therapy
The length of the program follows the typical progression and pattern of graduate course work for entry-level occupational therapy education in order to meet standards for graduate education and to meet the expected outcomes of our graduates. In addition, the length of the program is comparable to other institutions with graduate, entry-level occupational therapy programs.
All students are admitted to the occupational therapy program on a full-time basis. Completion of all degree requirements on a full-time basis will take a minimum of two and one-half years. In exceptional cases, part-time status may be granted by the program director. Part-time students must complete all degree requirements within a period defined by the program director and faculty council of the occupational therapy program. This time period must not exceed five years. Students must complete Level II fieldwork within 24 months following completion of the didactic portion of the program.
Developmental Course Sequence
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, 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. 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.
The Occupational Therapy Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). ACOTE's address and telephone number are ACOTE c/o AOTA, P.O. BOX 31220, BETHESDA, MD 20824-1220, (301) 652-2682. 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). In addition, most states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. A felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.