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OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY PROGRAM


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 in Occupational Therapy (MS in OT) degree 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 prior to the start of the program)**
2. Completion of all prerequisite course work
          Anatomy and Physiology (8 credits) 
          Physics (4 credits)
          Life Span Development (3 credits)
          Statistics or Principles of Research (4 credits)
          Abnormal Psychology (3 credits)
          Introductory Sociology or Anthropology (3 credits)
3. A minimum grade point average of 3.0 for undergraduate studies
4. No grade of less than C in any prerequisite coursework 
5. No more than two 'C's in prerequisite coursework 
6. Evidence of 20 hours of volunteer/job shadow experience supervised by an occupational therapist (with two different populations).
7. Personal Potential Index (PPI)
8. Complete application for admission to the Occupational Therapy program and the UW-La Crosse graduate studies.

**A dual degree option allows 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 advisor early in their academic career to qualify for the dual degree.


Selection Process

Twenty-four to twenty six students are admitted each year. The deadline for application to the occupational therapy program is the first Friday in January 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 narrative, resume, and personal potential index (PPI). Specific deadlines, application materials, and weighting of application criteria are available at 4031 Health Science Center and on the Occupational Therapy Program web site www.uwlax.edu/ot/.

The graduate program in occupational therapy is eight semesters (30 months) long with extensive clinical experiences woven throughout academic coursework. The last two 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 part-time option is available on a case-by-case basis for fieldwork and students should expect to incur additional expense for tuition and fees.

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. 

Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for 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 Certificate 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 is (301) 652-AOTA.


MS in OT Professional Curriculum

(Required Coursework)
Year 1 - Summer
OT 520     Introduction to Occupational Therapy (3 credits)
OT 521     Professional Foundations of Practice (2 credits)
OT 523     Human Physiology (3 credits)
Total Credits: 8

Year 1 - Fall
OT 524     Human Anatomy (5 credits)
OT 526     Analysis of Human Movement:  Development, Learning, Control (2 credits)
OT 544     Biomechanics and Kinesiology Applications in OT (1 credit)
OT 545     Applied Biomechanics and Kinesiology Applications in OT (1 credit)
OT 550     Scholarly Practice I: Foundations of Assessment (1 credit)
OT 551     Applied Scholarly Practice I: Foundations of Assessment (1 credit)
OT 570     OT Intervention:  Group Dynamics (1 credit)
OT 571     Applied OT Intervention: Group Dynamics (1 credit)
OT 530     Occupational Performance Analysis (2 credits)
OT 531     Applied Occupational Performance Analysis (1 credit)
Total Credits: 16

Year 1 – Spring
OT 611     Applied and Pathological Physiology (2 credits)
OT 515     Neuroanatomy (3 credits)
OT 750     Scholarly Practice II: OT Research (2 credits)
OT 751     Applied Scholarly Practice II: OT Research (1 credit)
OT 660     Occupational Performance: Mental Illness (2 credits)
OT 661     Applied Occupational Performance: Mental Illness (1 credit)
OT 670     Occupational Performance: Physical Dysfunction I (2 credits)
OT 671     Applied Occupational Performance: Physical Dysfunction I (1 credit)
OT 775     Critical Analysis of Practice I (CAP) (1 credit)
OT 573     Level I Fieldwork: Mental Illness (1 credit)
Total Credits: 16


Year 2 - Summer
OT 760     Scholarly Practice III: Research Seminar (3 credits)
OT 620     Occupation in the Rural Context (2 credits)
OT 790     Level I Fieldwork: Physical Dysfunction (1 credit)
Total Credits: 6

Year 2 - Fall
OT 770     Scholarly Practice IV: Evidence-Based Practice (2 credits)
OT 778     Impact of Psychosocial Issues on Occupation (2 credits)
OT 779     Applied Impact of Psychosocial Issues on Occupation (1 credit)
OT 730     Occupational Performance: Physical Dysfunction II (2 credits)
OT 731     Applied Occupational Performance: Physical Dysfunction II (1 credit)
OT 650     Occupations and Intervention: Pediatrics I (2 credits)
OT 651     Applied Occupations and Intervention: Pediatrics I (1 credit)
OT 640     Assistive Technology (1 credit)
OT 775     Critical Analysis of Practice II (CAP) (1 credit)
OT 785     Adult Clinical Practice (1 credit)
OT 786     Applied Adult Clinical Practice (1 credit)
Total Credits: 15

Year 2 - Spring
OT 641     Health Care Systems (3 credits)
OT 780     Scholarly Practice V: Scientific Writing (1 credit)
OT 781     Applied Scholarly Practice V: Scientific Writing (1 credit)
OT 776     Occupations and Intervention: Older Adult (2 credits)
OT 777     Applied Occupations and Intervention: Older Adults (1 credit)
OT 630     Occupational Therapy Practice: Wellness Perspectives (2 credits)
OT 740     Occupations and Intervention: Pediatrics II (2 credits)
OT 741     Applied Occupations and Intervention: Pediatrics II (1 credit)
OT 726     Fieldwork Seminar (1 credit)
OT 791     Level I Fieldwork: Pediatrics (1 credit)
Total Credits: 15

Year 3 - Summer
OT 795     Level II Fieldwork (6 credits)
Total Credits: 6

Year 3 - Fall
OT 795     Level II Fieldwork (6 credits)
Total Credits: 6

Total Required Credits for the Program: 88

OT 723 (International Seminar) is an elective course taught each spring. OT 720 (Select Topics) will be taught periodically as an elective during Fall II or Spring II semesters. OT 798 (Independent Study) is taught by arrangement with occupational therapy faculty. OT 799 (Master's 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 must:
* 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