There are two occupational therapy (OT) entry-level programs; one is a five-year combined BS/MS program and the other is a three-year MS program.
The BS/MS curriculum begins with a strong liberal arts and sciences curriculum, which provides students with a general knowledge base and the opportunity to develop analytical abilities that are the foundation for excellence as an entry-level professional in OT. Students in the BS/MS program also declare and complete a structured minor. Students enroll in the liberal arts and science courses and the courses for the declared minor throughout the 5-year curriculum but most of these are completed within the first few years. The OT-specific courses begin in the first year with one course each semester; the number of OT-specific courses within each semester increases each year.
The MS degree in OT is an entry-level degree specifically created for people who have a B.A. or B.S. degree in another area of study and who meet the admission criteria. The curriculum is comprised of OT-specific courses throughout the 3-year span.
Throughout both the BS/MS and the MS programs, faculty provide consistent guidance and support to students to foster professional development prior to, during, and after clinical placements. Students complete six months of fieldwork (typically full-time) at a variety of settings across the country. In addition to the strong academic and clinical preparation, students are expected to complete a master’s project involving research and dissemination of a Critically Appraised Topic.
A student-centered approach, in combination with the curriculum’s academic, clinical, and research components, provides thorough preparation for graduates to develop leadership and service in a variety of health care, educational, and community settings, and to be successful in practice.