Become an Occupational Therapist

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT)

Become an Occupational Therapist

Exciting News! We are in the early stages of the accreditation process for a new Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) program. In September 2016, we declared our intent to develop a new MSOT program to meet the growing demand for qualified occupational therapists. We are currently recognized as an “applicant program” with the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE ®) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).

We will be applying for “candidacy status” later this year and once achieved, GMercyU will be able to admit students into our new MS in Occupational Therapy program as early as May of 2018! We are committed to a positive accreditation review  prior to the time our first class would be ready to graduate in 2020. Once accreditation is granted, our graduates would be eligible to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT®) exam.  Upon successful passing of the NBCOT® exam, you would become an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR®), and could then apply for state occupational therapy licensure in the state where you wish to practice. You can learn more about our current status as an “Applicant program” and the accreditation process below.

There are two pathways for entry into our proposed entry-level MSOT program. 

 

 

3+2 BHS in Occupational Science/MS in Occupational Therapy

Once GMercyU’s proposed Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program achieves “candidacy status” by ACOTE ®, qualified students who are enrolled in our newly introduced Bachelor of Health Science (BHS) in Occupational Science program will be able to pursue both their BHS in Occupational Science and their Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) at GMercyU. 

The first three years of this 3+2 program will be dedicated to completing pre-professional undergraduate courses as an Occupational Science major. Provided you meet  eligibility requirements for entry into the MSOT program, you will continue on to the MSOT curriculum as a dual major in Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy beginning the summer of your junior year. By the end of the spring semester of your senior year, you will earn your BHS in Occupational Science.  At the end of year 5, you will earn your Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT). 

We anticipate a positive accreditation review of our new MSOT program by 2020, just in time for our first graduating class! 

More details on the accreditation process and GMercyU’s current status can be found on ACOTE’s website. ACOTE®/AOTA is located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449, and is reachable by phone at 301-652-AOTA.

Post- Baccalaureate Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

We are hard at work developing an exciting new post-baccalaureate Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) program. Upon approval of candidacy status from ACOTE® of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), we will be permitted to admit our first cohort of post-baccalaureate Occupational Therapy students for a MSOT program start as early as May 2018! We are committed to a favorable ACOTE® accreditation review of our new Occupational Therapy program prior to the first class that is projected to graduate in August 2020. 

More details on the accreditation process and GMercyU’s current status can be found on ACOTE’s website. ACOTE®/AOTA is located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449, and is reachable by phone at 301-652-AOTA.

The GMercyU Difference

GMercyU’s proposed Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) program will be dedicated to preparing rehabilitative services professionals who are capable of making a real difference in the everyday lives of their clients. Read more about the accreditation process.

Offered through the Frances M. Maguire School of Nursing and Health Professions, which has been providing quality education and training in nursing and other health professions for more than 50 years, our MS in Occupational Therapy program will provide a holistic approach to meeting the needs of people with physical or mental impairments or disabilities. 

Other benefits of choosing GMercyU include:

  • More than 60 years of experience preparing our Distinctive Mercy Graduates who become leaders in their chosen professions
  • Fulfilling and exciting learning experiences with the personal attention you need to achieve your goals
  • Courses taught by experienced faculty who take the time to mentor and engage their students

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy - Applicant Program

This entry-level occupational therapy master’s degree program has applied for accreditation 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 20814-3449. ACOTE®’s telephone number c/o AOTA is 301-652-AOTA and its web address is www.acoteonline.org. This program must be granted Candidacy Status, have a pre-accreditation review, complete an onsite evaluation, and be granted Accreditation Status before its graduates will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist 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®). In addition, all states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT® Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT® certification examination or attain state licensure. 

NOTE: In addition to the above statements, the program must have a documented and published policy to ensure that students complete all graduation and fieldwork requirements in a timely manner. This must include a statement that all Level II fieldwork be completed within the timeframe established by the program.  More details on the accreditation process and GMercyU’s current status can be found on ACOTE’s website.

Curriculum

Students in our planned 3+2 Bachelor of Health Science (BHS) in Occupational Science/Master of Science (MS) in Occupational Therapy and Post-Baccalaureate MS in Occupational Therapy programs will complete an occupational therapy course and fieldwork curriculum that will prepare them for entry-level practice. 3+2 BHS in Occupational Science/MS in Occupational Therapy students will begin the professional phase of the curriculum in the summer of junior year.  Post-baccalaureate MS Occupational Therapy students will complete the professional phase of the curriculum over a two-year period. All course work and fieldwork must be completed within 24 months following the didactic portion of the MSOT program in order to graduate.

MSOT Prerequisite Courses (for Post-Baccalaureate MSOT students)

The following courses are required for Post-Baccalaureate MSOT applicants. A grade of “C” or better is required of each course. 

  • General Psychology
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Anatomy and Physiology (with Lab I and II)
  • Statistics

Occupational Therapy Observation Requirement
All students seeking entry into the professional phase of the MSOT program need to have completed and documented 50 hours of observation of occupational therapy practice. 


Credit Requirement 

Our 3+2 BHS in Occupational Science/MS in Occupational Therapy students must complete 75 professional phase credits and our post-Baccalaureate MS Occupational Therapy students must complete 77 professional phase credits to earn a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy degree. 

Career Outcomes

What Does an Occupational Therapist Do?

Occupational therapists focus on improving a person’s ability to complete everyday tasks and activities – from childhood to older adulthood.  As an occupational therapist, you might: 

  • Enable young children with a developmental delay to improve their ability to play or participate in school and other social activities
  • Assist an adult with an orthopedic injury to regain use of his or her hand and arm, allowing him or her to perform daily activities more independently
  • Help older adults who have suffered a stroke or traumatic brain injury perform self-care and household activities so they can return home safely from the hospital or skilled nursing facility
  • Provide strategies to adolescents with severe mental illness to aid them in finding and securing employment in order to live on their own

A developmental delay or other type of disability can alter one’s ability to perform meaningful daily activities.  A registered occupational therapist helps people to cope and manage their daily activities, as well as adapt to environments in a way that best supports their safety and independence.

Occupational Therapy Career Opportunities

Job growth in the field of occupational therapy is expected to grow by 29% over the next 8-10 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  This makes occupational therapy one of the top 10 fastest growing careers in the United States. Even better, Pennsylvania is ranked as a 2016 TOP 10 state (number 7) for career opportunities in the Occupational Therapy field, according to Advanced Healthcare Network.