Occupational Therapy

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Graduate programs

Master of Occupational Therapy

Sapna Chakraborty, Department Head and Program Director
O'Reilly Clinical Health Sciences Building, Room 203B
Phone: 417-836-8749

Program description

The Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) entry-level curriculum prepares students to be reflective occupational therapy practitioners in traditional and emerging areas of practice. Occupational therapists work with people across the lifespan to promote and facilitate participation in all aspects of daily life through the therapeutic use of occupations (life activities). The program prepares graduates to practice in a variety of settings such as hospitals, homes, private practices, rehabilitation facilities, schools, community and governmental agencies, industry, and education or research centers.


The entry-level occupational therapy master’s degree program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association, located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is 301-652-AOTA and its Web address is www.acoteonline.org. 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, all states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to sit for the NBCOT Certification Examination or attain state licensure.

The students must complete all graduation and fieldwork requirements in a timely manner. All Level II fieldwork must be completed within 24 months following completion of the didactic portion of the program.

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to the Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) Program, a prospective student must apply to the MSU Master of Occupational Therapy Program via the Occupational Therapist Centralized Application Services (OTCAS) ( www.otcas.org). Only applicants accepted into the MOT Program will be required to apply to the MSU Graduate College.

Admission to the MOT Program is competitive; not all that apply will be admitted. Students who are not accepted into the program may apply for the next application deadline. Complete applications will be reviewed by the MOT Program Admissions Committee. A select number of applicants will be invited for a personal interview. Video-conference interviews may be permitted for students living more than 100 miles from Springfield, MO. Prospective applicants must contact the MOT Program to request this accommodation. On-campus interviews are preferred; however, interview location will not affect the student's application.

Selection for an interview and final admission decisions will be based on the following:

  1. Submission of an application to the OTCAS that must include a personal statement (following OTCAS requirements); two letters of recommendation that include one letter from an academic source (advisor, instructor, etc.), and one letter from a licensed occupational therapist, documented evidence of a minimum of 20 hours of observation of occupational therapy. Observation in at least two different areas of practice is encouraged;
  2. Attainment of a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of no less than 3.00 on a 4.00 scale;
  3. For international applicants, submission of proof of English proficiency. Refer to both Graduate College and International Services websites ( https://graduate.missouristate.edu/ or https://international.missouristate.edu/services/).
  4. Possession of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution prior to matriculation. The undergraduate degree may be in any field, but students must complete the following prerequisites (or their equivalents) listed below with a "C" or higher prior to entering the program:
    • English: 6 hrs ( ENG 110 and ENG 210 (GEC 105)
    • College Algebra or higher: 3 hrs ( MTH 134 or higher)
    • Statistics: 3 hrs ( MTH 340, MTH 545, QBA 237, PSY 200, SOC 302, BIO 550)
    • Introductory Chemistry with lab: 4-5 hrs ( CHM 116 and CHM 117 or CHM 160 and CHM 161)
    • Introductory Psychology: 3 hrs ( PSY 121)
    • Abnormal Psychology: 3 hrs ( PSY 304)
    • Human Development over the Lifespan: 3 hrs ( CFD 155; may be met by completing sequence of courses covering development across the lifespan in Psychology – PSY 331, PSY 350, and PSY 441)
    • General Biology/Biomedical Sciences with lab: 4-5 hrs ( BIO 121, or BMS 110 and BMS 111)
    • Human Anatomy with lab: 4 hrs ( BMS 307)**
    • Human Physiology with lab: 4 hrs ( BMS 308)**
      **If students take a combined course, it must be taken across two semesters for a total of at least 8 credit hours to meet admission criteria; a single combined anatomy and physiology course WILL NOT be accepted.
    • Introductory Sociology or Cultural Anthropology: 3 hrs ( SOC 150, ANT 125)
    • Medical Terminology: 1-3 hrs ( LLT 102)
    • U.S. Government or U.S. History: 3 hrs ( PLS 101, HST 121, HST 122)

Once accepted to the MOT Program, all students must provide the following:

  1. A non-refundable confirmation deposit of $500 to the MOT Program to reserve a seat in the incoming class. Upon matriculation into the MOT Program, this fee will be applied to the fall session tuition.
  2. Current CPR and AED certification.
  3. Evidence of current physical examination indicating good physical health, a TB skin test or chest X-ray and up--to-date immunizations (MMR, tetanus, and a complete Hepatitis B Series).
  4. A signed acknowledgement of the capacity to meet technical standards and tasks required of an occupational therapist.
  5. Ongoing security checks and annual drug screening required by clinical agencies. Students must submit drug screening test and criminal record check and receive response that the student has not been convicted of any crime according to Section 660.317 RSMO or other disqualifications that would prohibit licensure as a Registered Occupational Therapist.*
    *Students who fail these checks or procedures will be subject to further review by the MOT Program Admissions Committee. This may result in dismissal from the MOT Program.
  6. Evidence of professional association memberships, liability insurance and health insurance.
  7. Signed acknowledgement of full understanding of The American Occupational Therapy Association's Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics and Ethics Standards to which all MOT students will adhere.

MOT Transfer of Credit Policy

On a case-by-case basis, the MOT Admissions Committee may accept graduate credit earned at a regionally accredited entry-level Master of Occupational Therapy Program. Acceptance of transfer credits on a graduate degree program occurs through recommendation of the student's major advisor at the institution of program of study, the MOT Admissions Committee, and approval of the MSU Graduate College. Transfer hours may count for up to 30% of the Program of Study. Transfer credits must have been earned within five-years of the time of admission to the MOT Program. Grades on transfer courses accepted in the degree program are included in the overall graduate grade point average.

A student requesting transfer credit is responsible for providing an official course syllabus from the school from which the student received the academic credit. The syllabus will be reviewed in terms of the 2011 OT Master’s Level Standards assigned to the MSU course. If the objectives are directly aligned with the MSU OT objectives for the course and the student earned a B or higher, transfer credit may be granted for an MSU MOT course.

MOT Experiential Learning/Work Experience Related Policy

Work experience will not be awarded credits required to graduate from the MOT program. The MOT admission committee and the program director will determine if previous work experience may be counted as the observation or volunteer hours needed for admission to the program.

MOT Advance Placement Policy

Advanced (accelerated) course placement in the MOT Program is not offered. This does not refer to high school advanced placement (AP) credits, which may or may not be applied toward MOT Program prerequisites: https://www.missouristate.edu/admissions/advancedplacement.htm

Retention requirements

After admission into the MOT Program, a student must achieve the following for retention in the program:

  1. Maintain a GPA of 3.00, with no more than 9 semester hours of graduate work below a grade of "B", and no hours of graduate work below a "C".
  2. Demonstrate acceptable levels of maturity and integrity, as well as behaviors and attitudes normally expected of healthcare professionals.
  3. Demonstrate acceptable professional progression in application of skills and knowledge.
  4. Maintain current health and liability insurance.
  5. Maintain current CPR and AED certification.
  6. Must complete Level II Fieldwork and experiential requirements within 24 months following completion of the didactic portion of the program.

Students who fail to meet the retention criteria may:

  1. Be placed on academic, professional, or clinical probation in the MOT Program.
  2. Be dismissed from the MOT Program, based on the judgment of the Program Director and MOT Factuly Retention Commitee.

Students who fail to meet the probationary criteria or are dismissed from the program are not eligible for readmission into the MOT Program. Students have the right to follow the University's appeal process on any disciplinary sanction received. Students should refer to the Missouri State University Occupational Therapy Student Handbook for additional policies and procedures.

Degree requirements

Academic Advisor. After admission to the graduate program, the student will be assigned an academic advisor who will supervise the student's graduate program and determine the plan of study to progress through the program.

Core Courses (78 hours)

Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
OTE 610 Foundations and Theory in Occupational Therapy 4 hrs
OTE 612 Occupational Development Through the Lifespan 3 hrs
OTE 615 Professional Communication and Documentation 2 hrs
OTE 620 Psychosocial Perspectives in Occupational Therapy Practice 3 hrs
OTE 640 Evidence-Based Practice 2 hrs
OTE 645 Clinical Gross Anatomy 5 hrs
OTE 646 Neuroscience 4 hrs
OTE 650 Clinical Biomechanics in Human Performance 3 hrs
OTE 720 Cognitions and Occupations Through the Lifespan 3 hrs
OTE 725 Environmental Adaptations and Assistive Technology 2 hrs
OTE 730 Enablers and Barriers: Adult Occupations 4 hrs
OTE 731 Essentials of Research Methods 2 hrs
OTE 732 Applied Research Methods in Healthcare 1 hr
OTE 745 Therapeutic Skills I: Adult Practice 4 hrs
OTE 746 Management and Policy in Occupational Therapy Practice 3 hrs
OTE 749 Enablers and Barriers: Pediatric Occupations 4 hrs
OTE 750 Therapeutic Skills II: Pediatric Practice 4 hrs
OTE 760 Specialty Topics 4 (1 hr each)
OTE 761 Level I Fieldwork Seminar 6 (2 hr each)
OTE 765 Community and Health Practice in Occupational Therapy 3 hrs
OTE 780 Fieldwork Level II-Part 1 6 hrs
OTE 790 Fieldwork Level II- Part 2 6 hrs

Elective Courses. Students are not required to complete any elective courses but are welcome to work directly with their advisor and committee to determine if elective courses should be completed to strengthen their plan of study.

Research Requirement. Students will complete the research requirement as part of OTE 731, OTE 732 and OTE 765.

Comprehensive Examination. Students must pass a comprehensive exam which is implemented in the curriculum as computer-based competency testing.