The Master of Science Program in Occupational Therapy (M.S.O.T.) is an entry-level Master’s 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 of all 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, Suite 200, 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. Many fulltime students are able to complete the prerequisite coursework for the MSOT program in 3 years. Upon acceptance to the MSOT program, students complete an additional two and a half years of full-time coursework and fieldwork.
Requirements for Admission into the Entry-Level Occupational Therapy Program
The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) program is a competitive admissionsprogram that will accept students to begin MSOT coursework each Spring term. In order to apply to the MSOT program, students must meet the following minimal standards:
1. Completion of a minimum of 83 credits prior to admission to the program.
2. Achievement of a minimum cumulative 3.00 GPA (based on a 4.00 scale) for all preprofessional course work (based on all college-level work computed both at SVSU and at other schools and colleges).
3. Completion of all prerequisite pre-occupational therapy undergraduate courses with a grade minimum of 2.0 for each course (see undergraduate description of the Pre-OT program).
4. Completion of 60 hours of verifiable work and/or volunteer experience with ill, handicapped or disadvantaged people.
5. Completion of an approved background check. Results to be submitted with the application packet.
6. Submission of a completed application packet.
All MSOT program prerequisites and general education undergraduate courses must be completed prior to starting the MSOT program (Spring term).
Admission to the program is based on overall GPA in all college coursework, GPA in MSOT prerequisite courses (minimum 3.0 GPA), and a writing sample completed on-campus and evaluated on the basis of content, use of conventions of standard written English (grammar and mechanics), organization of ideas, and overall style. At the discretion of the Admissions Committee, applicants may undergo an evaluation of professional behavior and/or be asked to complete an on-campus interview.
Students apply to the MSOT program during the Winter semester. GPAs will be calculated based upon the grades in coursework that has already been completed. Students admitted to the program will be admitted on a provisional basis; students who demonstrate a drop in overall GPA to below 3.0 (based upon their final Winter semester grades) will be subject to review of Winter semester course grades, and may have their admission status revoked.
Admission to SVSU is required for, but does not guarantee, acceptance into the MSOT program.
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
All students are admitted to the MSOT program on a full-time basis. Completion of all degree requirements on a full-time basis will take a minimum of 2.5 years. In exceptional cases, parttime status may be granted by the Program Chair. Part-time students must complete all degree requirements within a period defined by the Program Chair. The time period must not exceed four years from the date of initial acceptance into the MSOT program. To ensure continuity of academic concepts, all fieldwork shall be completed by all students (both full- and part- time) within 24 months following completion of academic preparation.
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). Coursework in the MSOT program is sequential, with subsequent courses building upon knowledge, critical thinking, and clinical reasoning skills mastered in previous coursework. Failure of a course will prohibit progression in the major until the failed course has been successfully completed. Because courses are only offered once a year, students who fail a course in the MSOT program will be provided with an alternative educational plan which will involve a modified course schedule outlining the semesters when remaining coursework will be completed, in a manner that is consistent with the sequential nature of coursework in the program. The plan, which will also include an individualized remediation plan, will be designed by the Program Chair with input from faculty and staff in the MSOT program.
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 who have been dismissed from the program will not be allowed to apply for readmission to the program at a future date.
Students will also be required to pass a comprehensive written examination in order to graduate from the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program.
Leave of Absence, Withdrawal and Readmission
Students may be granted a leave of absence in cases of illness or other extenuating circumstances. Students may apply for a leave of absence only after they have been successfully engaged in coursework in the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program. Students are required to submit to the Department Chair a letter detailing the length of leave requested and the reason for the request. The letter will be reviewed by the Department Chair and faculty. The student will be informed of the status of their request within 15 days. If a leave of absence is granted, faculty will work with the student to determine any remedial work that must be completed prior to the student being allowed to re-start in the MSOT program.
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
Attainment of the MSOT degree is not sufficient to practice as an occupational therapist. Students must complete the degree program to be eligible to take the national certification examination.
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).
A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination, attain state licensure, or obtain employment as an occupational therapist. It may also affect a student’s assignment to clinical learning facilities for completion of the program. Therefore, students are required to submit the results of a criminal background check at the time of application to the MSOT program. They are also required to indicate any changes from their original criminal background check on a yearly basis. Students whose background checks reveal convictions, pending charges, or other recorded events shall be advised by the Program Director as to how their background may impact their ability to enter or complete the program, obtain field experience placement, become licensed and/or certified, and obtain employment in the field.