Master of Science in Occupational Therapy
Department of Occupational Therapy


Jane O'Brien

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Department Website


The mission of the Occupational Therapy Department is to develop competent, compassionate occupational therapy practitioners and scholars through a dynamic, student-centered, occupation-based educational program.


Our vision is to lead the profession in the meeting society’s occupational needs by fostering excellence in occupational therapy teaching, scholarship and service.

Degree Description

Occupational therapy is a health profession whose practitioners work with clients of all ages and diagnoses.  The goal of occupational therapy intervention is to increase the ability of the person to participate in everyday activities, including feeding, dressing, bathing, leisure, work, education and social participation. 

Occupational therapy practitioners  work in  hospitals, clinics, schools, rehabilitation centers, home care programs, community health centers, psychiatric facilities, or nursing homes. With experience, the therapist might function in private practice, as a university faculty member, as an administrator, or as a consultant.

The graduate occupational therapy (OT) curriculum is designed to facilitate occupation-based, client-centered practice, critical thinking and clinical reasoning. Courses emphasize life-long learning and professional responsibilities and help students become competent practitioners. Workshops, lectures, intervention labs, small group classes and fieldwork experiences help students apply and integrate practice grounded in theory.

The graduate OT program at Westbrook College of Health Professions emphasizes inter-professional education among nursing, nurse anesthesia, athletic training, applied exercise science, physical therapy, social work, dental hygiene, physician assistant, pharmacy, public health, dental, and osteopathic medical students.



The Occupational Therapy Program was first awarded accreditation in January 1985. The OT Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20824-3449. [(301) 652-AOTA].


Graduates of the program are eligible to take 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).  NBCOT, Inc. 12 South Summit Avenue, Suite 100 Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877 Phone: 301-990-7979 Email: web:

National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT)
Most states require licensure to practice. (State licensure requires NBCOT Certification Examination results). Eligibility for the National Certification Examination requires:

  • Master's degree, with a major in occupational therapy.
  • Successful completion of an accredited occupational therapy curriculum; and
  • Successful completion of a minimum of six months of supervised fieldwork (Level II).







Human Anatomy & Physiology








Introduction to Sociology




Introduction to Psychology




Abnormal Psychology




Human Development (Lifespan)




Statistics (taught in Math, Biology or Psychology dept.)




English Composition




  • Anatomy & Physiology and Neuroscience prerequisites must have been completed within seven (7) years of matriculation (taken summer 2008 or more recently).
  • Anatomy and Physiology courses must include all body systems and be a full-year (two semester sequence) or the equivalent. Combination of courses must consist of either 4 credits of anatomy with lab and 4 credits of physiology with lab OR 8 credits of A&P I & II (both with lab). Animal Physiology and Exercise Physiology will not satisfy the physiology prerequisite.
  • All prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of “C” or better (“C-“grades are not acceptable).
  • Prerequisites can be in-progress or planned at the time of application, but must be completed by May, prior to matriculation. Please include any in-progress or planned coursework in your OTCAS application. Upon completion of the in-progress or planned coursework please submit official transcripts to UNE's Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions.
  • Courses in medical terminology, college level chemistry or physics, and introduction to occupational therapy are highly recommended


  • Successful completion of a Bachelor’s Degree, in any major, from a regionally accredited institution
  • Successful completion of all prerequisite courses (listed above)
  • Have a minimum overall cumulative GPA of 3.0 as calculated by OTCAS
  • Completion of volunteer or work experience in a health or human service related setting is highly recommended.

Note: Before matriculation, accepted applicants will be expected to meet all health immunization requirements; to obtain a physical examination with proof of up-to-date immunization status.  Please visit Student Health Care for details. 

As required by clinical training sites, students may be subject to criminal background checks and drug screens prior to matriculation, and periodically throughout the OT program.


  • Applications for admission are accepted through the Centralized Application Service for Occupational Therapy (OTCAS).
  • Applications must be submitted to OTCAS by the posted deadline.  Students are encouraged to complete and submit applications as early as possible in the cycle. The OTCAS application portal opens in early August.
  • On-campus interviews are granted to qualified applicants by invitation only and are required for admission to the program.  Admissions are rolling and acceptance offers will be made after each interview session and continue until the program starts.
  • When reviewing applicants, the Admissions Committee will consider the full OTCAS applications including student GPAs, related work or volunteer experience, personal statement and letters of reference.
  • International applicants and applicants with international degrees must have their transcripts evaluated for degree and grade equivalency to that of a regionally accredited institution in the US. See International Applicants
  • Official transcripts for in progress degrees and other in progress or planned prerequisites must be submitted to the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions prior to matriculation. (This includes all degrees/coursework in progress and planned at the time of submission of the OTCAS application.)
  • International applicants must submit the International Student Supplemental Application Form at time of acceptance to the university and not as a part of the admissions application
  • All applicants to UNE must be able to understand and communicate in English to be admitted to the university. UNE accepts several methods of English Proficiency, see International Applicants. If applicable, the TOEFL requirement must be completed and the score received by the application deadline.

For additional information on the admissions process and requirements, please access the OT Website.

Policy exceptions

The Occupational Therapy program and the OT Admission Committee reserve the right to make exceptions to the admissions criteria and to make changes or exceptions to policies and procedures, on a case by case basis, when it deems such a decision is necessary and appropriate.

Transfer Credit

Transfer Credit

Transfer credits are rarely awarded to students who transfer from another occupational therapy program. The program director will review and award transfer credits on a case-by-case basis.

Advanced Placement

There is no advanced placement.

Experiential Learning

No credit will be awarded to students for experiential learning.

Program Academic and Technical Standards

Technical Standards for the Profession of Occupational Therapy

The following abilities and skills are necessary to engage in the Occupational Therapy Program at the University of New England:

  • Cognitive abilities to analyze, synthesize, and integrate information related to anatomy, physiology, human development, psychology, sociology, kinesiology, and occupational studies in order to make clinical judgments for planning and implementing effective occupation-based interventions.
  • Critical thinking and judgment that promotes safety, optimal functional performance, remediation and adaptation.
  • Time management and organizational skills to meet demands of classroom and practice environment.
  • Interpersonal skills that include participating in classroom discussion, conducting interviews, observing body language, listening, responding, collaborative goal setting, and developing intentional relationships.
  • Evaluation of performance of self and others and making adjustments in behavior or promoting behavioral change in others to enhance occupational performance.
  • Communication skills to develop positive client relationships, complete written documentation consistent with OT practice, and participate as a health care team member.
  • Physical abilitites to perform physical examinations, such as balance, range of motion, and strength, and to accurately, safely, and efficiently use assessment tools, equipment, and other materials during occupational therapy intervention.
  • Emotional stability to handle the demands of a  practice environment. This includes acting in a professional manner, being dependable, meeting commitments, and being forthcoming about one’s own needs.
  • Ability to maintain personal appearance and hygiene conducive to working in clinical and community settings.

Standards of Professional behavior for MS OT Graduate Students - Key Areas

Communication Skills:

  • Communicate  in class, in groups and in one to one situations.
  • Accepts constructive criticism.
  • Non-verbal behavior reflects an interest in lectures, respect for guests, peers and faculty.
  • Communicate effectively (i.e., verbal, non-verbal, reading, writing and listening) for varied audiences and purposes.

Assumes Responsibility for own Learning:

  • Manage time and resources effectively to obtain maximum possible benefit.
  • Accountable for the outcomes of personal and professional actions
  • Follow through on comittments that encompass the profession within the scope of work, community and social responsibilities
  • Assignments are consistently completed on time.
  • Takes the initiative to make up missed assignments and classes.
  • Demonstrate evidence of honesty and  integrity in doing his/her own work.

Interpersonal Skills:

  • Interact effectively with patients and clients, families, colleagues, other health care professionals, and community members
  • Cooperative and  tactful with peers and instructors.
  • Exhibits self-confidence.

Problem Solving Skills:

  • Recognize and define problems, analyze data, develop and implement solutions, evaluate outcomes
  • Question logically, identify, generate and evaluate elements of logical argument
  • Recognize and differentiate facts, appropriate or faulty inferences and assumptions and distinguish relevant from irrelevant information.
  • Utilize, analyze and critically interpret evidence to develop  a logical argument
  • Solicit and identify quality sources of feedback, reflect on and integrate feedback, provide meaningful feedback to others
  • Adopts behavior based on feedback from faculty/peers.
  • Shows evidence of the ability to manage change and disruptions to a schedule in a professional manner.

commitment to learning:

  • Self direct learning and continually seek and apply new knowledge, behaviors and skills
  • Identify sources of stres san dimplemetn effective coping behaviors in relation to self, patient/clients and their families, members of team and in life balance
  • Demonstrate emotional stability
  • Presents a “professional appearance”.
  • The student interacts professionally with peers, clients, speakers and faculty.

Curricular Requirements

Program Required Courses  


OTR 505 - Foundations of OT 3
OTR 520/520L - Functional Kinesiology & Anatomy 4
OTR 503 - Biopsychosocial Dimensions of Older Adults 3

OTR 503L - OT Interventions w/ Older Adults (includes level I fieldwork)

OTR 522 - Communications, Culture & Group Process 2
OTR 513 - Biopsychosocial Dimensions of Mental Health & Wellness 3
OTR 513L - OT Interventions in Mental Health & Wellness 0
OTR 515 - Biopsychosocial Dimensions of Adults 3
OTR 515L - OT Interventions w/ Adults (includes level I fieldwork) 2
OTR 502 - Occupational Analysis 3
OTR 524 - Applied UE Interventions 2
OTR 526 - Integrative Practice w/Adults 3
OTR 621 - Health Care Management & Administration 3
OTR 611 - Biopsychosocial Dimensions of Children & Youth 3
OTR 611L - OT Interventions w/ Children & Youth (includes level I fieldwork) 2
OTR 614 - Therapeutic Use of Self & Group Intervention (includes level I fieldwork) 2
OTR 610 - Integrative Practice w/Children & Youth 3
OTR 628 - Research Methods & Design 3
OTR 601 - Fieldwork IIA 6
OTR 602 - Fieldwork IIB 6
OTR 619 - Evidence Based Practice Seminar 3
OTR 630 - Essentials for Practice in OT 3
OTR 640 - Neuro-occupation 3
OTR 650 - Leadership/Advocacy within Delivery Systems 3
Student must take one (1) of the following: 605, 606, 607, 608,  641, 642, 665 or an approved elective from another department  
OTR 605 - Special Interest Practice Seminar 3
OTR 606 - Cognitive Neurorehabilitation 3
OTR 607 - Hand Therapy 3
OTR 608 - Advanced School Based OT 3
OTR 641 - Advanced Applied Motor Control 3

OTR 642 -Applied Mental Health Practice and Leadership


OTR 665 - Inter-Professional Experience with Older Adults

Approved elective 3
Total 73

Clinical Experiences
Students complete Level I Fieldwork experiences as part of didactic courses in a variety of community and medical settings. This experience reinforces class concepts. Students are supervised by qualified personnel including occupational therapists, teachers, social workers, public health nurses, and physical therapists.

Level II Fieldwork emphasizes the application of knowledge by providing the student with an in-depth experience in delivery of occupational therapy service to patients/clients. Students complete two full time level II fieldwork experiences, each is 3 months long.

The expenses incurred for room and board during these internships, and travel to and from them, are the responsibility of each student. Students may complete fieldwork at any approved location.

The requirements for Level II fieldwork include:

  • A minimum of six months (24 weeks, full time) of Level II Fieldwork experience, preferably with at least three months on a full-time sustained basis;
  • Completion of all fieldwork experience no later than 18 months following completion of academic preparation;
  • Supervision provided by a registered occupational therapist with at least one year of experience.

Learning Outcomes

The OT Department’s goal is to develop competent, compassionate practitioners and scholars. 

Upon completion of the Occupational Therapy curriculum, the student will be able to:

  • Foundations
    • Have acquired, as a prerequisite, a breadth and depth of knowledge in the liberal arts and sciences
    • Have an understanding, awareness, and appreciation of social, global and cultural  issues.
    • Be prepared as a generalist with a broad exposure to models and systems of current and emerging occupational therapy practice.
  • Occupation across the Lifespan
    • Articulate and apply evidence-based occupational therapy for people of all ages.
    • Demonstrate entry-level competence in person-centered and occupation-based practice across the lifespan.
  • Communication and Leadership
    • Commit to uphold the ethical standards, values, and attitudes of the occupational therapy profession.
    • Differentiate roles and responsibilities within occupational therapy.
    • Perform as a competent and compassionate inter-professional practitioner.
    • Demonstrate effective professional communication and leadership skills.
  • Critical Thinking in the OT process
    • Demonstrate effective critical thinking/clinical reasoning/interpersonal reasoning in occupational therapy practice.
    • Advocate for occupational therapy services and for/with the recipients of those services.
  • Scholarship and Research
    • Commit to engage in lifelong learning.
    • Commit to the utilization and promotion of evidence-based practice.
    • Synthesize information from research and knowledge bases to support practice.
    • Participate in professional and/or inter-professional growth and dissemination of research and knowledge.

Financial Information

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fees for subsequent years may vary. Other expenses include books and housing. For more information regarding tuition and fees, please consult the Financial Information section of this catalog.

Graduation Requirements

Students must successfully complete all courses prior to graduation and fulfill all curriculum requirements.

Notice and Responsibilities Regarding this Catalog

This Catalog documents the academic programs, policies, and activities of the University of New England for the 2014-2015 academic year. The information contained herein is accurate as of date of publication May 30, 2014.

The University of New England reserves the right in its sole judgment to make changes of any nature in its programs, calendar, or academic schedule whenever it is deemed necessary or desirable, including changes in course content, the rescheduling of classes with or without extending the academic term, canceling of scheduled classes or other academic activities, in any such case giving such notice thereof as is reasonably practicable under the circumstances.

While each student may work closely with an academic advisor, he or she must retain individual responsibility for meeting requirements in this catalog and for being aware of any changes in provisions or requirements.

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