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An M.S.O.T. student in the Cook-DeVos Center for Health Science on Grand Valley's Health Campus.

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.

Visit the program website for more information.

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Job Growth by 2024
Grand Valley's Ranking as West Michigan Talent Provider
Median Annual Salary

Source: EMSI, 2020

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.
  • Programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda MD 20852-4929. Phone: (301) 652-AOTA. Web:


The entry-level master's degree 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 telephone number, c/o AOTA, is (301) 652-AOTA 

Web address is

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.



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

Skills Employers Want

The M.S.O.T. program at GVSU will develop the skills you need to land the job you want. Whether the skills are advanced or general, you will build a resume of qualifications that are sure to attract employers. The following skills correlate with those pulled from actual job postings in the occupational therapy field.

  • Occupational Therapy
  • Rehabilitation
  • Treatment Planning
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
  • Basic Life Support
  • Nursing
  • Home Care
  • Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)
  • Caregiving
  • Geriatrics

Application Deadline

Application information is available at Deadline for fall semester is January 15. The $30 application fee is waived if the applicant has previously applied to GVSU.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the M.S.O.T. program requires:

  • Completion of the Grand Valley State University graduate application, regardless of previous college attended.
  • All prerequisite courses completed and a bachelor's degree earned prior to entering the program. There will be no waivers or exceptions to this policy.
  • Completed applications and all application forms should be submitted and verified in OTCAS by January 15 for both the traditional program and the OT hybrid program.

Visit the OT website for detailed requirement information.

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


“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.”



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