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Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

MSOT studentsPictured | (l-r) Brittin Thomas | M.S. Occupational Therapy | B.S. Special Education, IU South Bend | Mishawaka, Indiana (hometown)
Kristine Magorien | M.S. Occupational Therapy | B.S. Kinesiology, California State University–East Bay | Camarillo, California (hometown)
Photo provided by the Vera Z. Dwyer College of Health Sciences


Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy graduate program is designed for students who do not have a degree in occupational therapy, but have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution, and are seeking an entry-level graduate program in occupational therapy.

The purpose of the degree is to provide entry-level occupational therapy education for individuals who (upon completion of didactic courses and fieldwork) will be eligible to take the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT).

Occupational therapists provide science-driven, evidence-based practices addressing everyday occupations at home, work, school, daily life and self-care to maximize health, well-being and quality of life for individuals, groups and populations. The Master of Science in occupational therapy degree program consists of didactic coursework and required fieldwork experiences designed to educate students to achieve competence as an entry-level generalist occupational therapy practitioner. As an MSOT graduate student, you will study concepts, theories and clinical practice of occupational therapy with highly experienced faculty and support from community occupational therapy practitioners.


Accreditation

The Indiana University South Bend entry-level occupational therapy master’s degree program has applied for accreditation and has been granted Candidacy Status 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 and its web address is www.acoteonline.org. The program must have a pre-accreditation review, complete an on-site evaluation, and be granted Accreditation Status before its graduates will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist 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, all states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.


Length of program.

The program is designed as a cohort-based, full-time program. Seven consecutive academic semesters, (75 graduate credit hours) of graduate professional course work and fieldwork starting in August of each year. Courses must be taken sequentially throughout the program.

Students must complete 24 weeks of Level II fieldwork within 18 months following completion of the didactic portion of the program. This program is designed to allow this progression.


Curriculum

The design of the IU South Bend MSOT curriculum represents the values, beliefs and professional behaviors, and scholarship in occupational science and therapy. Didactic coursework and fieldwork experiences are integrated into a curriculum that is organized around five curricular themes:

  • Culturally-aware, occupation-based practice | Occupational is the focus of all that we do, and the inherent meaning of occupations come from the cultural context the individual comes from. The confident expression of the value and centricity of occupation to health must guide practice as we look to the future (Cohen, 2019).
  • Knowledge translation | Knowledge translation is crucial to the success of the profession to ensure that occupational therapy personnel use evidence appropriately to inform their practice (Lencucha, et al., 2007).
  • Professionalism, leadership and advocacy | The formation of one’s professional identify is an ongoing process that integrates internal and external factors throughout one’s life (Jebril, 2008). 
  • Interprofessional practice and education | As healthcare and educational systems change over time, health profession students will need to be able to practice as part of a team of specialists and be able to articulate the role of occupational therapy in these settings (Hinyard, Pole, Toomey & Bendaly, 2017; Reeves, et al., 2013).
  • Social Entrepreneurism in Healthcare, Community, and Educational Settings | To deliver on the distinct value of occupational therapy, occupational therapists must embrace an entrepreneurial spirit to seek viable opportunities that meet the occupational needs for individuals, communities and society (Lamb, 2017).

Program Outcomes

The graduate of the MSOT degree program will demonstrate professional reasoning, communication, and reflection for entry-level, generalist practice (Schön, 1983) through the following:

  • Being mindful, reflective, ethical and critical thinking (reasoning) healthcare practitioners.
  • Anticipating, analyzing, and addressing occupational needs (occupation-based interventions).
  • Advocating, communicating and contributing to our discipline in existing and emerging practice areas.
  • Using technologies to inform practice, education, and research.
  • Valuing and demonstrating civic engagement, professional engagement and community participation.
  • Becoming role models, partners and collaborators attentive to minority and underserved populations.
  • Discerning entry-level positions that reflect their skills, interests, and abilities in a variety of practice settings.
  • Valuing and committing to life-long learning through continuing competence, professional development, specialty certification, and/or doctoral education.
  • Participating effectively within interprofessional team-based care to deliver the highest quality of care.

Admission Cycle

The admission cycle is schedule once a calendar year with the usual scheduled application cycle begins mid-July and closes at the end of October.


Credit Retake Hours

Students are approved to retake up to 15 credit hours of prerequisite courses, and the higher grade will be used to calculate the prerequisite GPA. Each prerequisite course can only be retaken twice. Cumulative GPA will include each course completed according to the institutional repeat policy where the course(s) were repeated.


Credit for Previous Courses and/or Previous Work Experience

Because of the unique nature of each graduate occupational therapy curriculum, graduate courses from other programs will not be accepted. Additionally, previous work experience in an occupational therapy paid position will not be accepted.


Previous enrollment in an occupational therapy program

Applicants who previously enrolled in any occupational therapy graduate program are not eligible for admission into the IUSB MSOT program.


Advanced Placement (AP) Credit/Dual Credit

High School Advance Placement (AP) credit appearing on official college transcripts is accepted if score is 3 or higher. If the AP credit is for a prerequisite course, the course is omitted from the prerequisite GPA. For dual credit courses, the course title must appear on an official college transcript with letter grade.


Satisfactory/Pass Grades

Acceptance of a Satisfactory grade for prerequisite courses completed in spring 2020. The preference would be for all applicants to earn a letter grade. If an applicant’s school has transitioned to a Satisfactory/Fail or Pass/Fail grading option, grades would be accepted as follows:  For students in the Indiana University system, a Satisfactory grade would be accepted although a Passing grade would not be accepted. For applicants from universities other than Indiana University, either Satisfactory or Passing grades will be accepted, though Satisfactory is preferred if both S and P grades are an option.


Admission Requirements

Admission to the IU South Bend Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program is competitive and selective; therefore, completion of the prerequisites and submission of an application does not guarantee admission to the program.


Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

(GRE) is not required to apply to this graduate program. If you submit your GRE scores in your OTCAS application, it will not be reviewed.

Clinical observation hours

Clinical observation hours are NOT required; however, are recommended for the applicant to begin to understand the scope of the profession.  We recommend seeking observation in a minimum of 2 different practice settings (e.g. hospital, pediatric clinic) and 2 different populations (e.g. children, older adult)


Centralized application system (OTCAS)

TheIU South Bend MSOT program uses the Occupational Therapist Centralized Application System (OTCAS). Website: https://otcas.liaisoncas.com/applicant-ux/#/login

Applicants must meet the following criteria by the OTCAS application deadline:

  • Complete a baccalaureate degree prior to the start of the graduate program from a regionally accredited institution. The program will not have a preference as to the background or type of bachelor’s degree as long as the prerequisite courses are complete.
  • Applicants who have not yet completed their baccalaureate degree at time of application, but expect to have it completed by the start of the occupational therapy program must complete a Declaration of Intent to Complete Degree Requirements Form
  • A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, and a minimum prerequisite GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (all prerequisites must be completed with a minimum grade of C). All undergraduate and graduate course work is included in cumulative grade point average calculations.

Both prequisite and cumulative grade point averages will be calculated by OTCAS

  • Completed all prerequisites or no more than two (2) outstanding by the application deadline. The outstanding prerequisite courses must be completed before start of the program in fall with a grade of ‘C’ or higher while maintaining at least the required 3.0 admission cumulative GPA. Final transcripts accounting for any outstanding prerequisite coursework must be received prior to matriculation into the program.
  • Indiana University Graduate Application–The IU Graduate application does not need to be completed when applying to the IU South Bend MSOT program, only the OT CAS application is needed. An applicant that is accepted in the IUSB MSOT program will be required to complete the IU Graduate application at that time.
  • Submitted OTCAS application which must in “complete” status by the application deadline.

International applicants where English is not the primary language. Test of English Proficiency (TOEFL) For applicants whose native language is not English, submission of a TOEFL score which meets or exceeds the minimum passing scores by NBCOT, is required. NBCOT Minimum passing scores  TOEFL iBT® (Internet-based Test) Total Score: 89 - Speaking: 26

International applicants, or applicants with foreign transcripts, must meet additional requirements as determined by the IU South Bend Office of International Student Services (OISS) (https://admissions.iusb.edu/oiss/admissions/index.html).  


Required OTCAS Application Materials.
  • OTCAS application—provide information as requested on the portal. Follow instructions for sending official university/college transcripts
  • Indiana University Graduate Application—the IU Graduate application does not need to be completed when applying to the IU South Bend MSOT program, only the OT CAS application is needed. An applicant that is accepted in the IUSB MSOT program will be required to complete the IU Graduate application at that time.
  • For all applicants—you must complete the prerequisite course completion form, then submit as a document upload into OTCAS.
  • If you have not yet completed your bachelor’s degree, but intend to before matriculation into the next graduate cohort, you will need to complete the “Declaration of intent to complete degree requirements” form submit as a document upload into OTCAS. This document requires a signature from an official representative (e.g., advisor).
  • Personal Statement (required by the OTCAS application process)

IU South Bend Admissions Guidelines and Required Application
  • Completion of an undergraduate degree (such as psychology, kinesiology, exercise science) from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Recommended grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • An applicant that is accepted in the IU South Bend MSOT program will be required to complete the IU Graduate application at that time.

Applicants who have submitted all required materials by the application cycle deadline and who have met all the admission requirements will be ranked on overall cumulative and prerequisite grade point averages. The top ranked applicants, as determined by the academic criteria, will be invited to continue in the essay and interview process. Candidates outside of Indiana for whom travelling would be a hardship will be allowed to interview virtually.

Up to twenty (20) applicants are admitted each year. A non-refundable of $100.00 is required at the time the applicant student accepts admission into the MSOT graduate program. The deposit will be credited to the student’s first semester tuition and fees if the student matriculates into the program.


Degree Requirements >>

Academic Bulletins

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2022-2023 Campus Bulletin
2021-2022 Campus Bulletin
2020-2021 Campus Bulletin
2019-2020 Campus Bulletin
2018-2019 Campus Bulletin
2017-2018 Campus Bulletin
2016-2017 Campus Bulletin
2015-2016 Campus Bulletin
2014-2015 Campus Bulletin

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