Master of Science in Occupational Therapy


Kris Winston

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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.

Program Description

Occupational therapy is a health profession whose practitioners work with clients of all abilities across the lifespan.  The goal of occupational therapy intervention is to increase the ability of the person to participate in everyday occupations that include activities we need and want to participate in such as, mealtimes, dressing, bathing, leisure, work, education, and social participation. 

Occupational therapy practitioners work in a variety of settings some of which include hospitals, clinics, schools, rehabilitation centers, home care programs, community health centers, psychiatric facilities, and skilled nursing facilities.  With experience, practitioners might function in private practice, as a university faculty member, in administration, as a researcher, 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 and compassionate practitioners. Workshops, lectures, intervention labs, small group classes, and fieldwork experiences help students apply and integrate practice grounded in theory.

The graduate OT program within the 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, nutrition, health wellness and occupational studies,  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).

Curricular Requirements

Program Required Courses  

OTR 505 - Foundations in OT


OTR 520/520L- Clinical Kinesiology & Anatomy


OTR 503 - Biopsychosocial Dimensions of Older Adults


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


OTR 522 - Communication, Culture & Group Process


OTR 521 - Biopsychosocial Dimensions of Mental Health & Wellness


OTR 521L - OT Interventions in Mental Health & Wellness


OTR 515 - Biopsychosocial Dimensions of Adults: Adult Neurological and Orthopedic                           Rehabilitation


OTR 515L - OT Interventions w/ Adults (includes level I fieldwork)


OTR 502 - Occupational Analysis


OTR 525 - Applied Upper Extremity Interventions


OTR 529 - Integrative Practice w/Adults



OTR 621 - Health Care Management & Delivery


OTR 611 - Biopsychosocial Dimensions of Children & Youth


OTR 611L - OT Interventions w/ Children & Youth (includes level I fieldwork)


OTR 614 - Therapeutic Use of Self & Group Intervention (includes level I fieldwork)


OTR 610 - Integrative Practice w/Children & Youth


OTR 628 - Research Methods & Design



OTR 601 - Fieldwork IIA


OTR 602 - Fieldwork IIB



OTR 619 - Evidence Based Research Seminar


OTR 630 - Essentials for Practice in OT


OTR 640 - Neuro-occupation


OTR 650 - Leadership/Advocacy within Delivery Systems


Student must take one (1) of the following as offered:  

OTR 605 - Special Interest Practice Seminar


OTR 603 - Exploring Occupation


OTR 607 - Hand Therapy


OTR 608 - Pediatric Elective


OTR 641 - Applied Motor Control


OTR 642 - Applied Mental Health Practice and Leadership


OTR 665 - Inter-Professional Experience with Older Adults


Approved elective


Total 73

Fieldwork Experiences

Level I Fieldwork Students complete Level I Fieldwork experiences as part of instructional courses in a variety of community and medical settings. This experience reinforces course concepts. Students are supervised by qualified personnel may include 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 the fieldwork sites, 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 the didactic portion of the curriculum;
  • Supervision provided by a licensed occupational therapist with at least one year of experience.

Graduation Requirements

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

Academic and Technical Standards

WCHP Academic Policies

The Department of Occupational Therapy, the Westbrook College of Health Professions, and the University of New England are committed to offering a quality Occupational Therapy education program that complies with the evaluative criteria of the ACOTE (Accreditation Council of Occupational Therapy Education). The program provides learning experiences to enable graduates to achieve the outcomes required for the practice of Occupational Therapy.  Please refer to the WCHP Graduate Program Progression Policies and Procedures for detailed description of academic standards.

MSOT Technical Standards

Technical Standards for Occupational Therapy Program  

The following abilities and skills are necessary to engage in the Occupational Therapy Department 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 occupational 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 abilities 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.

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.

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.


There is no advanced standing.

Experiential Learning

No credit will be awarded to students for experiential learning.







Human Anatomy & Physiology2








Social Science (Sociology/Anthropology)4








Abnormal Psychology5




Human Development (Lifespan)




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




English Composition

(A maximum of 3 AP credits may be applied toward the English prerequisite only.)




1Prerequisite coursework and the Baccalaureate degree may 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. Transcripts for coursework and/or degrees completed in the Fall term prior to the MSOT program start must be submitted to OTCAS to be verified during the Fall Academic Update period.  Transcripts for coursework and/or degrees completed in the Spring term must be submitted directly to UNE’s Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions as soon as they are available.

2Anatomy & Physiology prerequisite: must have been completed within seven (7) years of matriculation (taken summer 2011 or more recentlyAnatomy 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 both 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.  

3Neuroscience prerequisite: the course should include: structure and function of the nervous system including both the central and peripheral nervous system, content related to the neural basis for movement and sensory functions (including content on sensory and motor pathways), and general cognitive functioning.  

4Social Science prerequisite: Applicants must have 3 credits of social science which might include sociology or anthropology that is focused on the study of society, human interactions/relationships, the structure and function of social institutions or organized groups, and culture.  

5Psychology prerequisite: total of 6 credits psychology, 3 of which must be abnormal psychology.


Applicants who meet the minimum requirements for application should understand that the average GPA for students accepted into the program are well above the minimum requirements. Just meeting minimum requirements does not guarantee an interview or acceptance.

  • Successful completion of a Bachelor’s Degree, in any major, from a US regionally accredited institution, prior to the start of classes in May
  • Successful completion of all prerequisite courses (listed above) with a "C" or better ("C-" grades are not acceptable)
  • Have earned and maintained a minimum overall cumulative GPA of 3.0 as calculated by OTCAS
  • Have a cumulative prerequisite GPA of 3.0 as calculated by UNE using the highest grade received for repeated courses
  • Courses in Medical terminology, college level Chemistry or Physics, and Introduction to Occupational Therapy are highly recommended
  • 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 and community training sites, students will be subject to criminal background checks prior to matriculation, with drug screening and finger printing required by individual clinical or community training sites, and throughout the OT program.  


Applications for admission are accepted through the Centralized Application Service for Occupational Therapy (OTCAS) only.   

  • Priority application deadline is October 13:  Applications electronically submitted to OTCAS on or before October 13, to be verified and sent to UNE on or before November 10 will be considered for invitation to interview in November and December. Decisions from these fall  interviews will be sent to applicants in early January 2018.
  • Final application deadline is February 15:  Applications verified and not received from OTCAS by November 10 will be considered for invite to interview January through March based on space availability
  • Applications must be submitted to OTCAS by the posted deadlines.  Students are encouraged to complete and submit applications as early as possible in the cycle, preferably by the priority deadline. The OTCAS application portal opens in early July for submission of applications.
  • The Occupational Therapy Admissions Committee will review the full OTCAS application taking student GPAs, related work or volunteer experience, personal statement, letters of reference, and the on-campus interview into consideration when making decisions for admission.
  • On-campus interviews are granted to qualified applicants by invitation only and are required for admission to the program.  
  • 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 Admissions.
  • 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 Admissions.  If the applicant cannot prove English Proficiency in another way, scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) are required and must be submitted as a part of the completed application.

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 in collaboration with the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions 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.

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.

Notice and Responsibilities Regarding this Catalog

This Catalog documents the academic programs, policies, and activities of the University of New England for the 2017-2018 academic year. The information contained herein is accurate as of date of publication April 28, 2017.

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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