Master's in Occupational Therapy - Traditional & Hybrid
The occupational therapy (OT) program offers two distinct academic paths to earning an entry-level Master of Science degree: a two-year traditional curriculum or a three-year hybrid curriculum. Both programs contain the same content, but the traditional program is intended for those students who can take 15 to 16 credits per semester and is primarily in-seat, while the hybrid program is intended for students who wish to maintain full-time employment throughout the curriculum and take a reduced credit load of 7 to 11 credits per semester.
The occupational therapy graduate curriculum is built around the science of occupation as the core knowledge base, which is predicated upon the assumption that occupational therapists must operate from a common base of knowledge, skills, values, and philosophy. The curriculum is designed to produce professional practitioners and socially conscious citizens who appreciate the unique perspective of individuals and the cultures that influence them, value a democratic perspective of health care and social services delivery, and apply problem-solving, critical thinking, and lifelong learning toward meeting the needs of society.
Incoming first-year students interested in occupational therapy should begin by selecting an undergraduate major in their first year. Suggested majors include allied health sciences, biology, behavioral neuroscience, psychology, or sociology. Although these degrees provide a well-rounded background, any undergraduate major may be selected as long as the required occupational therapy prerequisite courses are completed along with the undergraduate degree before beginning the professional program. Once a selection of major has been made, students should work with the academic advisor from the College of Health Professions Student Services office at gvsu.edu/chpss to ensure that all major requirements are completed, along with the required prerequisite courses. All of these required prerequisite courses must be taken for a letter grade. Students may apply for admittance to the occupational therapy programs during the year in which they attain senior status. All students accepted into the occupational therapy programs must have a completed baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher learning prior to the beginning of the master's program coursework.
Admission to the occupational therapy graduate programs is competitive. Maximum traditional class size is 40; the maximum class size for the hybrid program is 22. For the traditional program, the candidates are ranked on a total score basis and our top 40 candidates (minus early admits from Grand Valley State University, Central Michigan University, University of Michigan, and Hope College) are sent a letter offering them seats in the program. Each alternate candidate is offered admission one-for-one in rank order if any of the original 40 candidates decline admission. For the hybrid program, candidates are also ranked on a total score basis and the top 22 candidates are sent a letter offering seats in the program. Each alternate candidate is offered admission one-for-one in rank order if any of the original 22 candidates decline admission. Admission decisions will be made in the first and second semesters of the calendar year.
All courses taken within the occupational therapy program must be taken for an earned letter grade, excluding fieldwork and research courses, unless otherwise specified by the occupational therapy department chair. Degree requirements include a final research project or thesis, three level I fieldwork assignments, and two full-time level II fieldwork assignments. The level II fieldwork assignments may be local, or they may be in other areas of the country. It is important to note that level II fieldwork assignments must be completed within 24 months of completion of the didactic curriculum.
A felony may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure. Students are required to contact NBCOT directly if this condition applies. Any student who has concern about his/her potential eligibility for the certification exam is encouraged to complete the Early Determination Review through NBCOT (www.nbcot.org/en/students/services#earlydetermination).