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 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 to certification, most states require licensure in order to practice. 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
    Medical Terminology1
  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. Completed application for admission to the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS)
  7. Completion of admissions interview

Selection process

Twenty-six students are admitted each year. The deadline for application to the occupational therapy program is mid-December 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 OTCAS application. 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)

80 credits

OT 520Introduction to Occupational Therapy2
OT 523Human Physiology4
OT 524Human Anatomy3
OT 526Foundations of Movement3
OT 545Clinical Applications of Movement1
OT 550Scholarly Practice I: Occupational Therapy Research2
OT 570Occupational Therapy Intervention: Group Dynamics1
OT 571Applied Occupational Therapy Intervention: Group Dynamics1
OT 530Occupational Performance Analysis1
OT 531Applied Occupational Performance Analysis1
OT 751Scholarly Practice II: Research Methodology2
OT 625Community Mental Health Promotion3
OT 670Occupational Performance: Physical Dysfunction I2
OT 671Applied Occupational Performance: Physical Dysfunction I1
OT 650Occupations and Interventions: Pediatrics I2
OT 651Applied Occupations and Interventions: Pediatrics I1
OT 611Occupational Therapy in Acute Care Settings2
OT 515Functional Neuroanatomy3
OT 700Physical Agent Modalities1
OT 640Assistive Technology2
OT 790Level I Fieldwork: Physical Dysfunction1
OT 775Critical Analysis of Practice1
OT 760Scholarly Practice III: Evidence-Based Practice and Research3
OT 730Occupational Performance: Physical Dysfunction II2
OT 731Applied Occupational Performance: Physical Dysfunction II1
OT 776Occupations and Interventions: Older Adult2
OT 777Applied Occupations and Interventions: Older Adult1
OT 740Occupations and Interventions: Pediatrics II2
OT 741Applied Occupational and Interventions: Pediatrics II1
OT 780Program Development3
OT 791Level I Fieldwork: Pediatrics1
OT 641Health Care Systems3
OT 770Scholarly Practice IV: Analysis and Scholarly Dissemination2
OT 726Professional Seminar2
OT 785Adult Clinical Practice1
OT 786Applied Adult Clinical Practice1
OT 787Pediatric Clinical Practice1
OT 788Applied Pediatric Clinical Practice1
OT 782Level I Fieldwork: Community Mental Health & Wellness1
OT 795Level II Fieldwork (taken twice)12
Total Credits80

Optional electives

  • 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 an 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

University 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, with the exception of students enrolled in the Student Affairs Administration and Leadership Ed.D. (SAA Ed.D.) graduate program. SAA Ed.D. students must complete all degree requirements within ten years from the time of initial enrollment in the graduate program.
  3. Earn a minimum of 30 credits for a master's degree; 54 credits for a doctorate or post-master's degree. Earn at least one-half of the minimum number of credits required in the program in graduate-only level courses (700, 800, 900, and non-slash 600 level courses). Some UWL graduate programs require more than 30 graduate credits. Please review the individual program requirements listed in the catalog for the exact number of credits required.
  4. Earn a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00.
  5. Satisfy dissertation, thesis, seminar paper, terminal/graduate projects and internships, or comprehensive examination, where applicable. A dissertation or thesis approved by the committee must be submitted to Graduate & Extended Learning for editorial review and approval by the Dean of Graduate & Extended Learning. The recommended initial submission date for review is two weeks before commencement. Ordinarily, a seminar paper or project report does not have to be approved by the Dean of Graduate & Extended Learning. 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 dissertation/thesis requiring approval from the Dean of Graduate & Extended Learning. For further research/dissertation/thesis guidelines, see Graduate & Extended Learning.
  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 5202OT 5243 OT 7512
OT 5234OT 5263 OT 6253
 OT 5451 OT 6702
 OT 5502 OT 6711
 OT 5701 OT 6502
 OT 5711 OT 6511
 OT 5301 OT 6112
 OT 5311  
 6 13   13
Year 2
OT 5153OT 7751OT 7911OT 6413
OT 7001OT 7603 OT 7702
OT 6402OT 7302 OT 7262
OT 7901OT 7311 OT 7851
 OT 7762 OT 7861
 OT 7771 OT 7871
 OT 7402 OT 7881
 OT 7411 OT 7821
 OT 7803  
 7 16 1 12
Year 3
OT 7956OT 7956  
 6 6    
Total Credits: 80

Optional electives

  • OT 720 Selected Topics in Occupational Therapy is 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 an elective and may be started in Fall II and would be repeated each semester until thesis is completed (minimum four - maximum six credits).