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.
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 Occupational Therapy program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE®). 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
North 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
One Bank Street
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
Telephone (301) 990-7979
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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
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.
Human Anatomy & Physiology with Lab (2 courses), or one Anatomy and one Physiology course with Lab
Lifespan Human Growth & Development or Developmental Psychology
Sociology or Anthropology
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 documentation must be provided to the Department of Occupational Therapy. These requirements 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 aspects 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. A booster must be kept current within the past 10 years.
• MMR (Measles, mumps, rubella vaccines) or titers.
• Varicella Vaccine or Positive Blood Test Titer. History of Disease is not accepted for documentation
• Quantiferon Gold Blood TB/PPD test OR 2-step TB test with at least 1-3 weeks between each full test period within the year prior to admission to the program. For positive TB test, an X-ray will be required.
• Hepatitis B vaccine series or signed waiver
• Flu shot is required each Fall and must be kept current each year.
• COVID-19 vaccine is highly recommended (and may be required for certain fieldwork sites)
• Documentation of current Health Insurance
• CPR: Certification in American Heart Association Healthcare Provider BLS (2 year)
• Verification of Professional Liability Insurance (will purchase at the beginning of the semester from the University
• Criminal Background Check (CBC) [applicant must purchase and complete from provided vendor prior to the start of the program]
• Drug Screen [applicant must purchase and complete from provided vendor prior to the start of the program]
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.