OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY
Program Requirements

Occupational therapists work with people of all ages facing physical, emotional, or mental challenges. Students who choose a career in occupational therapy will be instrumental in helping people participate fully in the daily occupations of their lives. The Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy (MS in OT) degree is designed to prepare therapists who are generalists prepared to work in a variety of treatment settings with a special sensitivity to the health needs of rural citizens. Program graduates apply scholarly skills and attitudes to their clinical practice, are prepared to assume leadership roles, and are competent entry-level occupational therapy practitioners.

ADMISSION CRITERIA

  1. Earned undergraduate degree (or degree completed by May 30 of application year) *
    *A dual degree option allows UW-L psychology students to apply for admission to the occupational therapy master's degree program before completion of their bachelors' degree in psychology. Students seeking this dual degree option must consult an occupational therapy and psychology adviser early in their academic career to qualify.
  2. Completion of all prerequisite course
      Credits
      Anatomy and Physiology 8
      Physics 4
      Life Span Development 3
      Statistics or Principles of Research 4
  3. An overall minimum grade point average of 3.0 for undergraduate studies
  4. Evidence of 10 hours of clinical experience supervised by an occupational therapist.
  5. Complete application for admission to the occupational therapy program. Applicants must also apply for UW-La Crosse graduate admission.

Selection Process

Twenty-four students are admitted each year. The deadline for application to the occupational therapy program occurs in January for the classes starting the following summer. Factors considered in the admission process are academic preparation, commitment to the profession of occupational therapy, and professional abilities as demonstrated in the written application narrative, letters of recommendation, and a personal interview. Specific deadlines and application materials are available at 4031 Health Science Center and available on the occupational therapy program Web site.

Overview

The graduate program in occupational therapy is eight semesters (30 months) long with extensive clinical experiences woven throughout academic course work. The last 2 semesters of the program are spent in full-time level II fieldwork placements. Retention in the program requires that a 3.00 average or higher be obtained in all professional level courses.
A thesis option is available for students wishing to pursue independent research. Students must declare if they intend to complete the thesis option by the end of the first year in the program. Students pursuing the thesis option would delay enrollment in O-T 795: Level II Fieldwork until completion of the thesis. All level II fieldwork must be completed within 24 months after the completion of academic course work.
Students in the program should expect to incur additional expenses for books, special course fees, housing and travel during clinical fieldwork.
Students graduating from the program are eligible to sit for the national certification examination administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of the exam, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). Most states require a license to practice occupational therapy. State licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination and additional open-book testing on the state law. A felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to sit for the NBCOT certification exam or to obtain state licensure.

*A dual degree option allows UW-L psychology students to apply for admission to the occupational therapy master's degree program before completion of their bachelors' degree in psychology. Students seeking this dual degree option must consult an occupational therapy and psychology adviser early in their academic career to qualify.

The occupational therapy program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, PO Box 31220, Bethesda, MD 20824-1220. Phone: (301)652-2682

PROFESSIONAL CURRICULUM

(Required course work)
Year 1 - Summer Session Credits
O-T 420/520 Introduction to Occupational Therapy 3
O-T 421/521 Professional Foundations of Practice 2
O-T 423/523 Human Physiology 3
  Total Credits 8
 
Year 1 - Fall Credits
O-T 424/524 Human Anatomy 4
O-T 426/526 Human Movement 2
O-T 430/530 Occupational Performance Analysis 3
O-T 444/544 Biomechanics and Kinesiology Applications in O-T 2
O-T 450/550 Scholarly Practice I: Foundations of Assessment 2
O-T 472/572 OT Intervention: Group Dynamics 2
  Total Credits 15
 
Year 1 - Spring Credits
O-T 415/515 Neuroanatomy 3
O-T 473/573 Level I Fieldwork: Mental Illness 1
O-T 627 Pathophysiology 2
O-T 672 Occupational Performance: Mental Illness 3
O-T 673 Occupational Performance: Physical Dysfunction I 3
O-T 750 Scholarly Practice II: OT Research 3
O-T 775 Critical Analysis of Practice I (PBL) 1
  Total Credits 16
 
Year 2 - Summer Credits
O-T 620 Occupation in the Rural Context 2
O-T 760 Scholarly Practice III: Research Seminar 3
  Total Credits 5
 
Year 2 - Fall Credits
O-T 474/574 Occupations and Intervention: Pediatrics I 3
O-T 770 Scholarly Practice IV: Evidence-Based Practice 2
O-T 772 Impact of Psychosocial Issues on Occupation 3
O-T 773 Occupational Performance: Physical Dysfunction II 3
O-T 775 Critical Analysis of Practice II (PBL) 1
O-T 790 Level I Fieldwork: Physical Dysfunction 1
  Total Credits 13
 
Year 2 - Spring Credits
O-T 630 Perspectives on Wellness 2
O-T 641 Health Care Systems 2
O-T 774 Occupations and Intervention: Pediatrics II 3
O-T 776 Occupations and Intervention: Older Adult 3
O-T 780 Scholarly Practice IVL Writing for Publication 2
O-T 785 Advanced Concepts in OT 2
O-T 791 Level I Fieldwork: Pediatrics 1
  Total Credits 15
 
Year 3 - Summer Credits
O-T 795 Level II Fieldwork 6
  Total Credits 6
 
Year 3 - Fall Credits
O-T 795 Level II Fieldwork 6
  Total Credits 6
 
Total required credits for program 85

O-T 798 (Independent Study) is taught by arrangement with occupational therapy faculty. O-T 720 (Select Topics) will be periodically taught as an elective during Fall II or Spring II semester. O-T 799 (Master Thesis) is optional and may be started in Fall II and would be repeated each semester until the thesis is completed (minimum 4-maximum 6 credits). If the thesis option is selected, O-T 795 will be delayed and taken in Fall 3 and Spring 3.