Feb 06, 2023  
2022-2023 Graduate Bulletin 
2022-2023 Graduate Bulletin

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT)

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Graduate Studies  >> College of Nursing and Health Professions  


75 Credit hours

The occupational therapist is the professional-level practitioner who provides services that include evaluating, developing, improving, sustaining, or restoring skills in ADL, IADL, work, school, play, leisure, education, sleep, and social participation as well as lifestyle redesign. 

The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) program is an entry-level professional program designed for students who have earned a baccalaureate degree. The MSOT program does not have a preference as to the major for the applicant’s bachelor’s degree as long as the nine required prerequisites courses or their equivalent are completed (CRITICAL: contact the OT program for equivalency information). The best undergraduate major is one in an area in which the student would enjoy working after obtaining the undergraduate degree and should be selected based on the student’s interests. The MSOT program consists of six semesters, including summers. The structure of the program is designed such that the academic and fieldwork components of the curriculum are full-time educational experiences. 

At the University of Southern Indiana, the occupational therapy program promotes academic and professional excellence by preparing students, distinguished for their high level of professionalism and strong clinical skills, to become credentialed occupational therapy practitioners at the entry level. 

The occupational therapy program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE’s phone number is 301-652-6611 ext 2042 and its web address is www.acoteonline.org.

Graduates of the program 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). NBCOT’s phone number is 301-990-7979 and the web address is www.nbcot.org. After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). In addition, all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico require licensure in order to practice. License agencies require verification of the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction and/or ethical violations may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure. NBCOT provides early determination review upon request (www.nbcot.org/Student/Services#EarlyDetermination).

In addition, most 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.

Program Objectives

USI’s MSOT program will prepare students to:

  • Demonstrate the entry-level proficiencies of an occupational therapist, with an ability to practice in dynamic services delivery systems addressing the needs of individuals, populations, and other entities.
  • Recognize and value the role played by occupation and related concepts in influencing an individual’s health and wellness.
  • Know, value, and capably apply elements of theoretical approaches, frameworks, and practice models during evaluations, interventions, and when establishing and evaluating outcomes.
  • Recognize, understand, and utilize the synergy of person, occupations, and contexts in facilitating occupational performance with individuals of diverse lifespans, cultures, ethnicities, and/or other diversities.
  • Engage in active learning—understanding, valuing, and utilizing appropriate ways of knowing and reasoning
  • Recognize the impact of pathology on an individual’s structure and/or functions, and recognize how related impairment might contribute to activity limitations and/or participation restrictions.
  • Know, value, and practice behaviors of professional integrity encompassing the ethical standards and practice standards of the profession.
  • Understand and value the roles and contribution of the various professionals and other individuals with whom an OT may collaborate in varying setting.
  • Embrace the dynamics of person, occupations, and contexts interactions (Law et al., 1996) as applied to an individual developing the personal and professional aptitudes of an occupational therapy practitioner—understanding, developing, and utilizing the needed skills, potential occupations, and contextual elements influencing effective, ethical practice.

Graduate Studies Admission Criteria and Application Process

Refer to the Admission  section of the bulletin for information about Graduate Studies admission criteria and the online application process.

MSOT Program Admission Requirements

The MSOT application will be available January 15-February 15 of year planning to be admitted to the fall class (students may apply during the last spring semester of their undergraduate degree). To apply, students must:

  • Complete a bachelor’s degree by the end of USI’s spring semester.
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in MSOT prerequisite requirements and undergraduate coursework.
  • Complete the required prerequisite courses* or equivalent courses (check with the OT program for equivalents) with a grade of C or better by the end of USI’s spring semester:
    • BIOL 121: Anatomy and Physiology 1
    • BIOL 122: Anatomy and Physiology 2
    • PSY 201: Introduction to Psychology
    • PSY 261: Lifespan Developmental Psychology
    • PSY 322: Abnormal Psychology
    • HP 115: Medical Terminology
    • HP 225: Pharmacology & Therapeutics
    • EXSC 383: Kinesiology
    • HP 302: Biostatistics
  • Submit two letters of recommendations: one professional letter from a previous employer or from a practicing occupational therapist and one academic letter from a professor or advisor in the applicant’s undergraduate degree.

Weighting consists of 60% MSOT prerequisite GPA, 40% undergraduate degree GPA, and appraisal of recommendation letters.

Applicants must show capability of fulfilling clinical practice requirements, eligibility for occupational therapy prac­titioner credentialing, and evidence of satisfactory health sta­tus. Note: A felony conviction (this includes documentation of driving under the influence—DUI) may negatively impact a prospective student’s eligibility to sit for the NBCOT certifica­tion examination or attain state practice credentials; contact the program for further information. 

*Students are responsible for the coursework covered in the required MSOT prerequisite courses. It is highly recommended that students keep their textbooks from these classes for future courses and NBCOT exam preparation.

Curriculum (75 hours)

The MSOT curriculum prepares students for practice as a generalist in the occupational therapy profession. Didactic and clinical education are integrated into the curriculum. Students participate in various courses including 24 weeks of full-time level II field work in which they are supervised by a currently licensed or credentialed occupational therapist that may be located across the United States.

Second Year-Spring Semester (8 hours)

Second Year-Summer Session (6 hours)

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