Jul 18, 2024  
2019-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2019-2021 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Occupational Therapy - MSOT

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Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) program prepares individuals for the entry-level master 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 produce graduates who are clinically, professionally, and culturally competent in occupational therapy. Graduates will engage in evidence-based scholarship and service to promote equitable care that contributes to the quality of life for individuals and communities.

Learning Objectives

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 to diverse populations, inclusive of health disparate environments 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.


The Department of Occupational Therapy entry-level master’s program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). The next accreditation self-study and onsite visit are scheduled in 2026/2027.

The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE)
6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200
Bethesda, MD 20852-4929
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 (NBCOT). Successful completion of this exam will enable the individual to be designated an Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR). Most states require a 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

Application Deadlines

Applications must be submitted by the deadline of January 15th. Applications for admission must be completed through the Centralized Application Service for Occupational Therapy (OTCAS).  NOTE: Due to the OTCAS verification process, it is recommended that the application be submitted as early as possible. There is a fee for OTCAS that is separate from WSSU.  The OT Department will process application only when verified by OTCAS. Visit the program’s website for information on how to access OTCAS to complete an application.  NOTE: A seat fee is required for students offered and accepting admission to the program.

Transfer Credits

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.

Degree Requirements

Graduates earn an entry-level master’s degree in this 2.5-year curriculum by completing the required 74 semester hours of coursework. This coursework includes twenty-four (24) weeks of fulltime 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.

Progression Requirements

Students’ 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.
  • Students must pass all courses 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.
  • A student may fail and remediate only one Level II Fieldwork; a second failure will result in dismissal from the program.
  • A student may fail and remediate only one Level I Fieldwork; 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.
  • Students must pass the comprehensive E-portfiolio project prior to going out to Level II fieldwork.

Required Courses

OCC 5104   Level I Fieldwork-Occupation                           

OCC 5117   Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics Lab                                     

OCC 5112    Neurological Basis of Occupation Lab

OCC 5119    Level I Fieldwork-Pediatrics

OCC 5212    Conducting Occupation-Based Research                        

OCC 5302    Evidence-Based Practice

OCC 5307    Assistive Technology

OCC 5308     Therapeutic Interaction

OCC 5309     Movement Components of Occupation

OCC 5311    Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics

OCC 5312     Neurological Basis of Occupation

OCC 5313     Methods of Inquiry

OCC 5230    Musculoskeletal Fundamentals for Occupational Therapy Lab

OCC 5325    Neurological Fundamentals for Occupational Therapy

OCC 5415    Foundations and Analysis of Occupational Therapy

OCC 6112    Level I Fieldwork-Adults

OCC 6113     Occupational Therapy Adult Practice I Lab

OCC 6117    Specialized and Emerging Practice Lab

OCC 6118     Level I Fieldwork-Community

OCC 6215     Research Writing and Dissemination

OCC 6300    Professional Practice, Administration and Policy

OCC 6306    Advanced Topics

OCC 6315     Occupational Therapy Life Span Interventions

OCC 6308     Psychosocial Basis of Occupation

OCC 6313     Occupational Therapy Adult Practice 1

OCC 6315    Occupational Therapy Life Span Interventions

OCC 6217     Specialized and Emerging Practice

OCC 6319     Professional Seminar

OCC 6601   Fieldwork Level II-A

OCC 6602     Fieldwork Level II-B

Electives (Not required for degree)

OCC 5214     Intercultural Fieldwork Practicum

OCC 6104     Independent Study in Occupational Therapy

OCC 6120     Selected Topics in OT

Admission Requirements

Students seeking admission into the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy Program must have:

  • A minimum of a bachelor degree from an accredited college or university.
  • A bachelor’s or master’s degree GPA of 3.00 (minimum to apply)
  • A Graduate Record Exam within five (5) years of applying for admission
  • A completed application through Occupational Therapy Centralized Application System (OTCAS) www.otcas.org, Note: Submit the WSSU application fee by January 15th.
  • A minimum of forty (40) hours of volunteer or work experience in the field of occupational therapy
  • Three recommendations (one must be completed by the occupational therapy supervisor where student volunteered or worked)
  • A written essay
  • A grade of “C” or higher in all prerequisite courses. Must have completed at least four of the seven prerequisite courses by the application deadline.                                                                                             

Prerequisite Courses

Human Anatomy & Physiology with Lab (2 courses), or one Anatomy and one Physiology course with Lab

6-8 credits

Lifespan Human Growth & Development or Developmental Psychology

3 credits

Abnormal Psychology

3 credits


3 credits

Sociology or Anthropology

3 credits

Medical Terminology

1 credit


Early Assurance Program (EAP)

The WSSU MSOT program offers an early assurance program (EAP) option for current WSSU undergraduate students.  Please contact the Occupational Therapy program for the specific minimum requirements and procedures.

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:

  • Current and yearly physical exam
  • Immunization records
    • DPT (Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis) or T-DAP Booster.
    • MMR (Measles, mumps, rubella vaccines) or titers.
    • Documented history of Chicken Pox or Varicella Vaccine
  • TB/PPD tests, second TB/PPD test must be done within 12 months of starting the MSOT program.  For positive TB test, an X-ray will be required.
  • Hepatitis B vaccine series or signed waiver

OTHER Requirements:

  • Certification in American Heart Association Healthcare Provider BLS (2 year)
  • Verification of Professional Liability Insurance
  • Criminal Background Check (CBC)
  • Drug Screen



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. 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. All fieldwork must be completed in no more than 24 months following the completion of academic coursework.

Departmental Links



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