Admission and Program Requirements for the MS Professional Program in Occupational Therapy
Applying to the Master's Program in Occupational Therapy:
Application Deadline for Occupational Therapy MS Program is January 15th. However, we encourage application to be submitted to the graduate school by the end of December to ensure that all applications are complete in time for review. We also encuourage applicants to periodically review their application status on the graduate school website, and to contact the graduate school if any items are missing.
Applicants need a minimum overall grade point average of 3.0 in undergraduate coursework to apply. The following prerequisite courses must be completed prior to beginning the program:
- 2 courses in human anatomy and physiology with labs
- neurology or neuroanatomy with a lab
- abnormal psychology
- child and adult human development
Students must complete and submit the Pre-requisite Verification Form with their application.
Three letters of reference must accompany the application. Two of these must address the applicant’s educational abilities/performance. One letter must address the applicant’s interpersonal/communications skills as observed in a volunteer or paid-employment setting.
Advanced-standing Professional Master’s Degree Students
Students who have completed a baccalaureate degree in occupational therapy at UNH as part of a combined B.S./M.S. program will take the first year of the two-year professional master’s program as part of their senior year B.S. degree requirements. These students will be identified as advanced-standing students in the professional master’s program and will need to complete three additional semesters of coursework, which includes fieldwork, to meet the M.S. degree requirements. Students in the combined B.S./M.S. program must apply for admission to the Graduate School to enter into the professional master’s degree program. An overall minimum grade point of 3.0 and a grade of B- or better in all senior level OT courses is required for admission in the master’s degree program.
The master’s degree requires the completion of 74 graduate-level credits, (55 for advanced standing students who are awarded 19 credits as part of their BS degree) which includes 18 credits of fieldwork. The program consists of 2.5 years (five semesters) of professional coursework. Spring semester of the second year extends into the 3rd week of June in order to complete Level II fieldwork requirements. There are no core program requirements that are taken in the summer, and Graduation is in December of Year 3. Required OT courses include: 741/841, 710/810, 751/851, 752/852, 752L/852L, 792/892 (J-term), 771/871, 771L/871L, 730/830, 730L/830L, 785/885, 760/860, 760L/860L, 745/845, 862, 862L, 863,863L, 846, 854, 855, 856, 857, 875, 886, 865.
Students must earn a minimum of B- in all required courses and receive a passing criterion score on the American Occupational Therapy Association Fieldwork Evaluation for the Occupational Therapist for fieldwork courses. Students must also meet Departmental Professional Behavioral Competencies, maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 or better, and not receive more than 8 credits of B- coursework. Specific requirements are delineated in the OT Department Policy and Procedure Manual that is distributed to all new students. Curriculum review and revision is undertaken annually. The Department of Occupational Therapy works closely with students during academic advising sessions and throughout the academic year. Students are also expected to take an active role in verifying expectations and should check with their departmental advisers each September for updated policies and requirements.
Fieldwork experiences are scheduled in centers that are approved by the department. Students are responsible for transportation to off-campus fieldwork sites and other community learning experiences and must purchase personal liability insurance for coverage for the practical components of the curriculum. Students are responsible for meeting the health clearances established by their fieldwork sites. Proof of immunizations such as poliomyelitis, rubella, and hepatitis B may also be required. For level II fieldwork, health insurance and a physical examination, including a tuberculin test, are required. After completing both level II fieldwork requirements, graduates will be eligible to sit for the certification examination as described above. Consistent with NBCOT expectations, students must sit for the certification examination within two years of completion of coursework and field work. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination and/or obtain licensure.
Graduates from an accredited program are eligible to sit for the Certification Examination for the Occupational Therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be a certified occupational therapist, (OTR). Most states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). ACOTE is located at the American Occupational Therapy Association, 4720 Montgomery Lane, P.O. Box 31220, Bethesda, MD 20824-1220. ACOTE’s telephone number is (301) 652-2682
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