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Occupational Therapy, M.S.

The occupational therapy (OT) profession is based on the belief that purposeful and meaningful activities, called "occupations," are the primary tools used for human development (AOTA, 1979). Occupational therapists work with clients of all ages who have physical, mental, or developmental disabilities, to improve performance of daily activities.

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Program Overview

Two curriculum options: traditional full-time, two year program or the hybrid full-time, three year program (for students who must maintain employment throughout the program due to life commitments.) Both lead to an entry-level Master of Science in occupational therapy. Completion of all prerequisite coursework; a minimum of 50 hours of work, volunteer, and/or job shadow experience with a licensed OT; and the previous attainment of a bachelor's degree are required before starting either program.

Why Study Occupational Therapy at Grand Valley?

  • OT is considered one of the top careers for the future with a growth rate of 26% in the next eight years
  • Over the past three years, GVSU's occupational therapy program has had an overall pass rate of 100% on the NBCOT Board Exam.
  • The Occupational Therapy Department at GVSU focuses on critical thinking and the use of occupation in treatment, and supports a client-centered approach to treatment.
  • Occupational therapy program graduates have opportunities for leadership roles in practice and education.
  • GVSU's OT programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda MD 20814-3449. ACOTE phone c/o AOTA : (301) 652-2682.

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For More Information

College of Health Professions Department of Occupational Science and Therapy
500 Lafayette Ave. NE, Suite 204, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
(616) 331-5500

Graduate Admissions Office

Application Deadline

Application information is available at Deadline for fall semester is February 1. The $30 application fee is waived if the applicant has previously applied to GVSU.

Location & Format

Classes for the program are a combination of online and in-seat on the GVSU Health Campus, near the Grand Rapids Medical Mile.

Format: Hybrid


OT students study a variety of topics that include:

  • Developmental curriculum for pediatrics, adults, and older adults
  • Group intensive therapy
  • Mental health
  • Practice based research project

Career Options

OTs are employed in a variety of health care settings including:

  • Hospitals/acute care
  • School systems
  • Skilled nursing facilities
  • Mental health facilities
  • Private practice
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Vocational rehabilitation


“I think our program at GV did an excellent job at teaching us the core value of meaningful occupation. Overall, GVSU couldn't have prepared me better for thinking outside the box in some of the most challenging situations. I am so very grateful for our program.”