Master of Science in Occupational Therapy
The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) program prepares individuals for the entry-level master’s degree. The 2.5 year program consists of 74 credit hours. Upon completion, graduates will demonstrate competency to work with persons of all ages to achieve their highest level of independent functioning. Occupational therapists may use “hands on” techniques, creative solutions, technology, and resources to assist individuals in overcoming physical and mental challenges, to promote wellness and to live a productive lifestyle. The program design provides graduates with critical thinking skills and the integration of theory and practice with an emphasis in clinical and community practice, research, administration, and consumer education. Academic coursework and practical skills are synergistically integrated into the curriculum and includes core courses on the study of the following: occupation, theories, assessments and interventions, methods of practice, fieldwork experiences, and a capstone research project.
The mission of the occupational therapy program is to graduate individuals who are clinically, professionally, and culturally competent in occupational therapy. Graduates will provide evidence-based services in a variety of settings, contributing to the quality of life for all individuals and communities.
The Department of Occupational Therapy at WSSU endeavors to create a supportive and challenging environment, while providing excellent educational opportunities. Graduates of the Occupational Therapy program will:
- Incorporate occupation-based frames of reference and theoretical models in the delivery of therapeutic services that ensure the best possible health outcomes for consumers.
- Devise and implement client-centered, evidence-based, and culturally relevant assessments and interventions required of an entry-level practitioner.
- Demonstrate ability to manage resources and to provide services in diverse and emerging arenas of practice.
- Apply principles of evidence-based research in scholarship and practice that contribute to the profession’s body of scientific knowledge.
- Act as an advocate to educate the public, to promote consumer health and wellness, and to provide community and professional leadership and service.
- Demonstrate skill that shows effective communication and appreciation for diversity, cultural differences, occupational differences, and backgrounds of individuals.
- Employ technology in teaching, learning and adaptation of the environment.
- Engage in ethical behaviors and attitudes that demonstrate responsibility in adhering to the Code of Ethics and professional standards.
Applicants who wish to have an early review of their application must submit by the deadline of January 15th. Applications for admissions for must be completed through the Centralized Application Service for Occupational Therapy (OTCAS). The OT Department will process application only when verified by OTCAS. Admission decisions will officially be communicated through Winston-salem State University Office of Graduate Enrollment. Visit the program’s website for information on how to access OTCAS. NOTE: A seat fee is required for students offered admission to the program.
Subject to approval and review of transcript, up to six (6) hours of graduate transfer credits may be applied toward the MSOT. Transfer credits will only be considered for graduate level courses completed with a grade of “B” or higher within the last five (5) years. No transfer credits will be accepted for intervention courses.Due to the nature of the curriculum, treatment courses and research courses are not eligible for transfer or substitution. Please note that work experience is not acceptable as credit or partial credit for coursework.
Graduates earn an entry-level masters degree in this 2.5-year curriculum by completing the required 74 semester hours of coursework. This coursework includes twenty-four (24) weeks of full time fieldwork under the supervision of a registered occupational therapist. All students are required to maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher throughout the program and successfully complete academic coursework, and Levels I and II Fieldwork experience prior to graduation.
Time Limits for Completion
The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) program can be completed within 2.5 years of full-time study. A student may not take longer than four years to complete the curriculum.
Student’s progress and academic standing are monitored regularly by the program faculty, faculty advisors, and the Chair. Student progression is assessed though semester reviews of performance on competencies, examinations, projects, assignments, grades, and the student grade point average. In order to progress;
- Students are required to maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA or higher in order to graduate from the program.
- Students whose cumulative GPA falls below 3.0 for one semester will be placed on academic probation for the following semester. Students must improve cumulative GPA to 3.0 by the end of the following semester in order to remain in the program.
- Student’s must pass all curses with a grade of “C” or higher.
- A student receiving three marginal grades of “C” will not be allowed to progress.
- Level II Fieldwork must be completed within 24 months following the completion of didactic coursework. Failure of one Level II FW is allowed, a second failure will result in dismissal from the program.
- Students on academic or non-academic probation during the last semester of the academic coursework will not be allowed to proceed to Level II Fieldwork until this status is removed.
- A remediation plan may be required for both Level I or Level II FW, academic ad non-academic, and professional behavior issues (See Remediation Guidelines under Retention Policies to aid in student progression.
Recommended Electives (Not required for degree)
Health and Other Requirements
The following health related documentations must be provided to the Department of Occupational Therapy and WSSU Student Health Services. These must be kept current throughout the entire program. Any student who allows these requirements to expire is subject to being withdrawn from fieldwork courses, participation in community or clinical aspect of a course, and/or the program.
Students accepted for admission must submit proof of the following prior to starting the program:
- CPR Certification in American Heart Association Health Care Provider, BLS (2 years)
- Current and complete physical examination (within the past 6 months)
- Immunization records required by WSSU as well as (3) Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (DPT) doses or (3) Tetanus-Diphtheria (TD) doses. One (TD) must be administered within the past 10 years prior to admission into the occupational therapy program.
- Proof of one Rubella dose or adequate titer (not required for 50 years or older); and one Rubella (measles) dose or adequate titer (not required for students born prior to 1957).
- Verification of having had chicken pox or vaccine.
- Tuberculin skin test or chest x-ray (within the past 6 months)
- Documentation of completion of Hepatitis B vaccine series or waiver
- Criminal background checks (at the student’s expense)
- Drug screens (may be required at the student’s expense)
- Proof of professional liability.
- Uniforms may be required in some settings
The MSOT program offers several types of fieldwork experiences integrated throughout the curriculum designed to provide students with the opportunity for carrying out professional responsibilities under appropriate supervision and professional role modeling. All fieldwork experiences are graded on a pass/fail basis. There are six fieldwork experiences offered in the curriculum: Four formal Level I Fieldwork courses and two-Level II Fieldwork courses.
Level I fieldwork are designed to be complement associated didactic coursework and fundamental concepts. After successful completion, students enroll in two sequential Level II fieldwork experiences lasting six months. The expectation is that student’s need to perform as competent entry-level occupational therapists by the end of each of the Level II Fieldwork experiences. Level II Fieldwork must be passed successfully in order to receive the MSOT degree and to sit for the National Certification Examination.
Due to the competition for fieldwork sites, occupational therapy students within this program must be prepared to relocate, possibly out of state, during Level I and II fieldwork experiences. A criminal background and/or drug screen check may be required by facilities prior to beginning fieldwork. All fieldwork must be completed in no more than 24 months following the completion of academic coursework and prior to graduation.
Fieldwork Related Expenses
Students are typically not paid during fieldwork experiences and may be responsible for related expenses, particularly if required to relocate. Some facilities may require extra fees such as lab coat, parking, specific health tests, etc. Stipends, transportation and housing are not typically provided or arranged for students during fieldwork. Due to the time commitment of Level II fieldwork, a student should not plan to work in additional employment.
- Students will have to provide their own transportation to and from course experiences, clinical and fieldwork sites. Parking fees maybe applicable. Students are responsible for arranging their own housing during clinical experiences.
- Student will need malpractice/liability insurance prior to beginning clinical and fieldwork experiences (obtained annually through WSSU).
- Students are required to present proof of their own health insurance coverage. At this time, this coverage is not included in student fees and is an additional cost, but is available through the University if needed. Additional coverage may be required.
If a criminal background check or drug test is necessary, due to the requirements of a fieldwork site (if the site cannot accept the one done upon admission to the MSOT program), it will be the student’s responsibility to obtain and pay for these items unless the facility covers these tests. Other expenses may be necessary due to the requirements of fieldwork sites.
Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association.
4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200
Bethesda, MD 20819-3449
Telephone (301) 652-2682
Certification and Licensure
Graduates of the program will be eligible to take the national certification examination for occupational therapists administered by the National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapy. Successful completion of this exam will enable the individual to be designated an Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR). Most states require license to practice. Please note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to take the NBCOT certification examination or to attain state licensure. Persons with concerns should contact:
National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy
The Eugene B. Casey Building
800 South Frederick Avenue, Suite 200
Gaithersburg, MD 20877-4150
Telephone (301) 990-7979
Students seeking admission into the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy Program must have:
- A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university
- A cumulative GPA of 3.00
- Graduate Record Exam within five (5) years of applying for admission
- Completed application through Occupational Therapy Centralized Application System (OTCAS) www.otcas.org
- Complete WSSU Supplemental Questions and pay requested application fee
- Minimum of forty (40) hours of volunteer or work experience in the field of occupational therapy
- Three letters of references (one letter must be completed by the occupational therapy supervisor where student volunteered or worked)
- Written essay
- Grade of “C” or higher in the prerequisites courses
Human Anatomy & Physiology with Lab (2 courses) - 6-8 credits
Lifespan Human Growth & Development or Developmental Psychology - 3 credits
Abnormal Psychology - 3 credits
Statistics - 3 credits
Sociology or Anthropology - 3 credits
Medical Terminology - 1 credit
Dorothy P. Bethea, Ed.D, OTR-L
Professor and Chair of Occupational Therapy
B.S. Occupational Therapy, University of Alabama
M.P.A. Political Science, University of North Carolina-Greensboro
Ed.D. Curriculum and Instruction, Argosy University
Cynthia S. Bell, PhD, OTR/L
Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy
B.A. Psychology, Miami University
M.S. Occupational Therapy, Western Michigan University
Ph.D Occupational Therapy, Nova Southeastern University
Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy
B.A., American Studies, Sociology Teaching Certificate, Secondary, University of Tennessee
MOT Occupational Therapy, Western Michigan University
Ph.D Educational Leadership, Touro International University
Megan E. Edwards, Ph.D, MS OT, OTR/L
Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy
BS Occupational Therapy, Western Michigan University
MS Occupational Therapy, Wayne State University
Ph.D Education and Human Resource Studies, Colorado State University
Elizabeth Fain, EdS, MHS,OTR/L
Instructor of Occupational Therapy
BS Occupational Therapy, Medical College of Georgia
MHS Health Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina
EdS, Education Specialist, Appalachian State University
Judith Melvin, PhD,OTR/L
Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy
BS Occupational Therapy, Ohio State University
MA Occupational Therapy -Specialization in Mental Health, New York University
Ph.D Education Policy, University of Maryland at College Park
Darlene J. Perez-Brown, Ph.D. ,OTR/L
Clinical Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy
B.S. University of Puerto Rico
M.A. Ph.D., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Chinyu Wu, PhD,OTR/L
Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy
BS, MA and Ph.D. in Occupational Therapy Occupational Therapy
New York University