OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY
Program Requirements

Related Links:
La Crosse Medical Health Science Consortium

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) prepares competent entry level occupational therapist leaders who are committed to providing excellent occupation-centered, client-centered, evidence-based occupational therapy.  

Admission Criteria
1.  Earned undergraduate degree (or degree completed by May 30th of application year)*
2.  Completion of all prerequisite course work                                    Credits

Anatomy and Physiology 6-8
Physics 4
Life Span Development 3
Statistics or Principles of Research 4
Abnormal Psychology** 3
Introductory Sociology or Anthropology** 3

3.  A minimum grade point average of 3.0 for undergraduate studies
4.  All prerequisite coursework completed with a grade of C or better; no more than two “C”s may be used
5.  Evidence of 10 hours of volunteer/job shadow experience supervised by an occupational therapist.
6.  Complete application for admission to the Occupational Therapy program and the UW-La Crosse graduate studies.

*A dual degree option allows UW-L psychology students to apply for admission to the Masters of Science program before completion of their psychology degree. Students seeking this option must consult an adviser early in their academic career to qualify for the dual degree.
**Effective for students admitted in 2011.

Selection Process
Twenty-four students are admitted each year.  The deadline for application to the occupational therapy program is January 15th for classes beginning the following May. Factors considered in the admission process are academic success (GPA), commitment to the profession of occupational therapy, and professional abilities as demonstrated in the written application, writing sample, and letters of recommendation. Specific deadlines, application materials, and weighting of application criteria are available at 4031 Health Science Center and on the Occupational Therapy Program website: www.uwlax.edu/ot/.

Overview
The graduate program in occupational therapy is eight semesters (30 months) long with extensive clinical experiences woven throughout academic coursework. The last 2 semesters of the program are spent in full-time Level II fieldwork. Students should expect to incur additional expenses for books, course fees, housing and travel during clinical fieldwork.

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 the OT 795: Level II Fieldwork until completion of the thesis. All level II fieldwork must be completed within 24 months after the completion of academic coursework.

Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapy 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, most states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licensure is usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.

Accredited Occupational Therapy Program
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, P.O. Box 31220, Bethesda, MD  20824-1220.  ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA.  The program is 30 months long and includes 6 months of full-time Level II fieldwork.  Students must complete Level II fieldwork within 24 months of the completion of the didactic portion of the curriculum in order to graduate. Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapy 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, most states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination.  A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure. 

Professional Curriculum
(Required course work)
Year 1 - Summer Session Credits
O-T 520 Introduction to Occupational Therapy    3
O-T 521 Professional Foundations of Practice 2
O-T 523 Human Physiology 3
Total Credits 8
     
Year 1 - Fall Credits
O-T 524 Human Anatomy  4
O-T 526 Human Movement 2
O-T 530 Occupational Performance Analysis 3
O-T 544 Biomechanics and Kinesiology Applications in O-T 2
O-T 550 Scholarly Practice I: Foundations of Assessment 2
O-T 572 OT Intervention: Group Dynamics 2
Total Credits  15
   
Year 1 – Spring Credits
O-T 515 Neuroanatomy 3
O-T 611 Applied and Pathological Physiology 2
O-T 573 Level I Fieldwork: Mental Illness 1
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 (CAP)   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 574 Occupations and Intervention: Pediatrics I 3
O-T 640 Assistive Technology 1
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 Disabilities 1
  Total Credits     14
     
Year 2 - Spring    Credits
O-T 630 OT Practice: Wellness Perspectives  2
O-T 641 Health Care Systems   2
O-T 726 Fieldwork Seminar 1
O-T 774 Occupations and Intervention: Pediatrics II 3
O-T 776 Occupations and Intervention: Older Adult 3
O-T 780 Scholarly Practice IV: Writing Scientific Writing 2
O-T 785 Advanced Concepts in OT 2
O-T 791 Level I Fieldwork: Pediatrics  1
  Total Credits 16
     
Year 3-Summer  Credits
O-T 795 Level II Fieldwork 6
  Total Credits   6
     
Year 3 - Fall   Credit
O-T 795 Level II Fieldwork 6
  Total Credits 6
     
Total required credits for program  86

O-T 723 (International Seminar) is an elective course taught each spring. O-T 720 (Select Topics) will be taught periodically as an elective during Fall II or Spring II semesters. O-T 798 (Independent Study) is taught by arrangement with occupational therapy faculty. O-T 799 (Masters Thesis) is elective and may be started in Fall II and would be repeated each semester until thesis is completed (minimum 4 – maximum 6 credits).

Degree Completion Requirements
Prior to granting the degree students will be expected to:
·          Maintain a 3.0 GPA throughout the professional graduate program.
·
         
Successfully complete (grade of “C” or better) all didactic coursework requirements
·          Successfully complete (grade of “pass”) two level II fieldwork placements (total of 24 weeks).
·          Finish all level II fieldwork within 24 months of completion of academic portion of the program.
·          Fulfill all university masters degree requirements.