2016-17 Catalog

Publication date June 2016

Occupational Therapy - Master of Science

The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy Program 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.


  1. Earned undergraduate degree (or degree completed prior to the start of the program)
  2. Completion of all prerequisite course work
    Anatomy and Physiology8
    Life Span Development3
    Statistics or Principles of Research4
    Abnormal Psychology3
    Introductory Sociology or Anthropology3
  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. Personal Potential Index (PPI)
  7. Complete application for admission to the Occupational Therapy Program and UW-La Crosse Graduate Studies

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 with the Occupational Therapy Program.


Required coursework (in order of enrollment)

88 credits

OT 520Introduction to Occupational Therapy3
OT 521Professional Foundations of Practice2
OT 523Human Physiology3
OT 524Human Anatomy5
OT 526Critical Analysis of Human Movement: Development, Learning and Control2
OT 544Biomechanics and Kinesiology Applications in Occupational Therapy1
OT 545Applied Biomechanics and Kinesiology in Occupational Therapy1
OT 550Scholarly Practice I: Assessment1
OT 551Applied Scholarly Practice I: Assessment1
OT 570Occupational Therapy Intervention: Group Dynamics1
OT 571Applied Occupational Therapy Intervention: Group Dynamics1
OT 530Occupational Performance Analysis2
OT 531Applied Occupational Performance Analysis1
OT 611Pathophysiology2
OT 515Functional Neuroanatomy3
OT 750Scholarly Practice II: Occupational Therapy Research2
OT 751Applied Scholarly Practice II: Occupational Therapy Research1
OT 660Occupational Performance: Mental Illness2
OT 661Applied Occupational Performance: Mental Illness1
OT 670Occupational Performance: Physical Dysfunction I2
OT 671Applied Occupational Performance: Physical Dysfunction I1
OT 775Critical Analysis of Practice1
OT 573Level 1 Fieldwork: Mental Illness1
OT 760Scholarly Practice III: Research Seminar3
OT 700Physical Agent Modalities1
OT 790Level I Fieldwork: Physical Dysfunction1
OT 770Scholarly Practice IV: Evidence-Based Practice2
OT 778Impact of Psychosocial Issues on Occupation2
OT 779Applied Impact of Psychosocial Issues on Occupation1
OT 730Occupational Performance: Physical Dysfunction II2
OT 731Applied Occupational Performance: Physical Dysfunction II1
OT 650Occupations and Interventions: Pediatrics I2
OT 651Applied Occupations and Interventions: Pediatrics I1
OT 640Therapeutic Adaptations in Occupational Therapy1
OT 775Critical Analysis of Practice1
OT 776Occupations and Interventions: Older Adult2
OT 777Applied Occupations and Interventions: Older Adult1
OT 791Level I Fieldwork: Pediatrics1
OT 641Health Care Systems3
OT 780Scholarly Practice V: Scientific Writing1
OT 781Applied Scholarly Practice V: Scientific Writing1
OT 785Adult Clinical Practice1
OT 786Applied Adult Clinical Practice1
OT 630Occupational Therapy Practice: Wellness Perspectives2
OT 740Occupations and Interventions: Pediatrics II3
OT 741Applied Occupational and Interventions: Pediatrics II1
OT 726Fieldwork Seminar1
OT 795Level II Fieldwork (taken twice)12
Total Credits88

Optional electives

OT 723 International Perspectives in Occupational Therapy is an elective course taught each spring. OT 720 Selected Topics in Occupational Therapy will be taught periodically as an elective during Fall II or Spring II semesters. OT 798 Independent Study in Occupational Therapy is taught by arrangement with occupational therapy faculty. OT 799 Research: Master's Thesis is elective and may be started in Fall II and would be repeated each semester until thesis is completed (minimum four – maximum six 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

Graduate degree requirements

After being admitted to the program of one's choice, candidates for a graduate degree must:

  1. Complete any preliminary course work and deficiencies.
  2. Complete all courses and other program requirements, including residence requirements prescribed for the degree desired in the respective school or college within a seven-year period from the date of initial enrollment.
  3. Earn at least one-half of the minimum number of credits required in the program in graduate-only level courses (non-slash courses).
  4. Earn a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00.
  5. Satisfy thesis, seminar paper, terminal/graduate projects, or comprehensive examination, where applicable. A thesis approved by the committee must be submitted to the Director of Graduate Studies for approval at least two weeks before commencement. Ordinarily, a seminar paper or project report does not have to be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies. However, if the seminar paper or project report is to be archived in Murphy Library, the student must follow the same rules as they apply to the thesis requiring approval from the Director of Graduate Studies. For further research/thesis guidelines, see the Office of Graduate Studies.
  6. File a completed "Intent to Graduate" form online via the WINGS Student Center immediately following registration for the final semester or summer term in residence. December graduates and winter intersession should file by May 1. May and summer graduates should file by December 1.
  7. Pay the graduation fee and remove all other indebtedness to the university. Payment of graduation fees does not imply readiness for graduation and does not take the place of applying for graduation.
  8. Complete all requirements within 30 days after the official ending date of a term in order for a degree to be awarded for that term. (See #5 above for separate deadline for written capstone experience.)
Year 1
SummerCreditsFallCredits SpringCredits
OT 5203OT 5245 OT 6112
OT 5212OT 5262 OT 5153
OT 5233OT 5441 OT 7502
 OT 5451 OT 7511
 OT 5501 OT 6602
 OT 5511 OT 6611
 OT 5701 OT 6702
 OT 5711 OT 6711
 OT 5302 OT 7751
 OT 5311 OT 5731
 8 16   16
Year 2
OT 7603OT 7702OT 7911OT 6413
OT 7001OT 7782 OT 7801
OT 7901OT 7791 OT 7811
 OT 7302 OT 7851
 OT 7311 OT 7861
 OT 6502 OT 6302
 OT 6511 OT 7403
 OT 6401 OT 7411
 OT 7751 OT 7261
 OT 7762  
 OT 7771  
 5 16 1 14
Year 3
OT 7956OT 7956  
 6 6    
Total Credits: 88
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