The entry-level Master of Science Program in Occupational Therapy (M.S.O.T.) is a 3+2 program designed to prepare professionally qualified occupational therapists who can effectively assume positions in occupational therapy to treat clients who are limited in their ability to perform developmentally appropriate tasks and roles. Occupational therapy is a health and rehabilitation profession that provides services to individuals ages whose abilities to cope with tasks of living are impaired by physical injury or illness, psychological and social disability, or developmental disabilities. The occupational therapist designs the rehabilitation process individually for each client and, through evaluation and treatment, seeks to achieve restoration or improvement of impaired functions. The goal of occupational therapy is to assist clients to achieve a maximum level of independent living by developing and enhancing the capacities that remain after disease, accident, deformity or disability.
The program in occupational therapy provides students with the knowledge, techniques and clinical reasoning skills necessary to assume entry-level positions as registered occupational therapists. The program also prepares students to be able to critically and creatively function in a variety of health-related settings and to adapt to changes in health care and to adapt to and assume nontraditional roles in the health care field.
The Occupational Therapy Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, P.O. Box 31220, Bethesda, MD 20824-1220. AOTA’s phone number is (301) 652-AOTA. Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the National Certification Examination for Occupational Therapy 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). Most states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination.
Requirements and Policies for the Occupational Therapy Program
The Department of Occupational Therapy offers an entry-level master’s degree with a minimum of 68 credits in occupational therapy courses. The department also provides a master’s degree option for individuals with a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy requiring a minimum of 34 credit hours. The program in occupational therapy recognizes the importance of the profession’s theoretical base in both the liberal arts and the sciences through the selection of the pre-professional courses.
Requirements for Admission to the Entry-Level Occupational Therapy Program
The entering class is admitted to the professional curriculum in spring. Admission to SVSU is required for, but does not guarantee, acceptance into the occupational therapy program. The program is planned to accommodate approximately 40 students each year, but this number may vary depending on available resources. Prospective students must submit an application for admission to the professional program by February 1 preceding the spring admission. The following admission criteria are required of all applicants and will be used to rank order applicants to determine acceptance into the program:
- Completion of a minimum of 80 credits prior to admission to the program.
- Achievement of a minimum cumulative 3.00 GPA (based on a 4.00 scale) for all pre-professional course work (based on all college-level work computed both at SVSU and at other schools and colleges).
- Completion of all prerequisite pre-occupational therapy undergraduate courses with a grade minimum of 2.0 for each course.
- Completion of 60 hours of verifiable work and/or volunteer experience with ill, handicapped or disadvantaged people.
- Completion of an approved background check. Results to be submitted with the application packet.
- Submission of a completed application packet.
Requirements for Admission to the Post-Baccalaureate OTR to MSOT
- An earned undergraduate degree in occupational therapy.
- A minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.00 (based on a 4.00 scale). A student with a 2.75 to 2.99 GPA may be admitted in a probationary status by the Admissions Committee of the Occupational Therapy Department. A probationary student may be considered for full admission when he/she has completed 9 hours of SVSU credit at the graduate level with a grade of “B” (3.00) or higher in each of the courses.
- Successful completion with a grade of “C” (2.00) or better for a course in statistical or research methods, its equivalent or a validation examination.
- Current registration, licensure, or eligible for initial certification by the NBCOT as an occupational therapist in the United States, or eligible for Michigan registration.
- A completed application for graduate admissions to include the $25 non-refundable application fee.
- Official copies of all undergraduate and graduate transcripts.
- A one-page personal statement of accomplishments and academic goals.
- Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate competence in English. The College accepts a score of 525 or higher on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or a passing score on an alternative test determined by the College. SVSU’s English Language Program is available for students without a TOEFL score or whose TOEFL score is below the required minimum. Successful completion of the English Language Program does not guarantee acceptance to a graduate program at SVSU.
- International students must submit Evidence of Financial Support.
Transfer students’ needs are considered on an individual basis by the Department of Occupational Therapy.
Transfer Credit and/or Credit by Examination Policies
The transfer student from another baccalaureate program in occupational therapy may be allowed to transfer up to 15 occupational therapy credits following a review process and approval by the faculty. Students transferring into the occupational therapy program with 15 hours of course work must demonstrate a GPA of 2.60 or better during the first semester in the occupational therapy degree program. Transfer student who do not meet the GPA conditions as indicated will be placed on probation for the next semester. In the event the 2.60 GPA is not achieved by the end of the probation semester, the student will not be permitted to enroll in further occupational therapy courses.
Progression and Dismissal Policy
A minimum grade of a “C” (including a 75% average on tests) is required for successful completion of each course in the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program (Entry Level program and Advanced Practice program). Any student who does not earn a minimum grade of a “C” (including a 75% average on tests) will not be allowed to continue taking courses in the program until the failed course has been successfully retaken.
Students may retake a course one time. In the event that a student does not earn a minimum grade of a “C” (including a 75% average on tests) when retaking the course, the student will be dismissed from the program.
Students who fail two courses in the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program will be dismissed from the program.
Students will also be required to pass a comprehensive written examination in order to graduate from the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program.
Withdrawal and Readmission
Those absent from the program for more than two consecutive semesters (excluding spring/summer sessions) may reenter the program only with permission of the selection committee. Professional students wishing to take a leave of absence from their studies must send written notification in advance to the program director. Lack of available space in classes may preclude readmission for any given semester.
Suspension and Dismissal for Other Than Academic Reasons
All students are expected to maintain and demonstrate professional and ethical behavior while enrolled in the Department of Occupational Therapy. The faculty reserves the right to dismiss students from the clinical areas on a daily basis when students are too ill or unprepared to benefit from the experience. Students may be suspended due to repeated physical and/or psychological difficulty exhibited over an extended period. Medical problems or emotional instability may delay or prevent students from attending internship placements.
Students may be required to seek the care of a qualified physician if demonstrating continued physical and/or psychological difficulties. Students may be placed on probation until an appropriate health professional affirms that the student’s health is stable for continued progression in the occupational therapy program.
Transportation and Fees
The student is responsible for providing transportation to and from all courses and/or clinical learning experiences. Clinical education may include observation and practice in clinical or community settings under the supervision of a registered occupational therapist or other health professional. Students also are required to enroll for 10 credits of internship course work and should be prepared to meet their own living expenses, transportation costs, and tuition throughout the internship period.
Eligibility for Certification
Upon successful completion of the two required internship experiences and all course work, the student is awarded the Master of Science degree in occupational therapy. The student is then eligible to sit for the national certification examination administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). Passing of the certification examination qualifies the student to become registered as an occupational therapist and to use the title O.T.R. (Occupational Therapist Registered).
Prerequisite Courses for Admission (see undergraduate description of the Pre-OT program)
Following successful completion of the prerequisite courses with a GPA of no less than 3.00, students may apply for admission to the professional program in occupational therapy.