University Bulletin 2018-2019

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Occupational Therapy (MS)

Requirements For The Master Of Science Degree In Occupational Therapy Credit Hours
The Master of Science degree program consists of the following courses:   
OT 500  Occupation in Context  3
OT 502  Occupational Development I 3
OT 503  History and Philosophy of OT 3
OT 504  Neuroscientific Basis of Occup Perf 3
OT 505  Scientific Inquiry I 2
OT 506  Research Design I 1
OT 510  Theoretical Foundations of OT - W 3
OT 512  Occupational Development II - W 3
OT 517  Occupational Evaluation I 3
OT 519  Professional Dev Seminar I 2
OT 520  Occupational Intervention I 3
OT 521  Practicum I 1
OT 522 OT Int. I Lab  1
OT 523 OT Int. I CBL 1
OT 524  Biomed & Phenomenol Persp on Disability I 3
OT 525  Documentation 3
OT 527  Occupational Evaluation II 3
OT 530  Occupational Intervention II 3
OT 531  Practicum II 1
OT 532 Int. II Lab 1
OT 533 Int. II CBL 1
OT 534  Biomed & Phenomenol Persp on Disability II 3
OT 536  Management 3
OT 538  Group Dynamics 2
OT 539  Professional Dev Seminar III 2
OT 540  Occupational Intervention III 3
OT 541  Practicum III 1
OT 542 Int. III Lab 1
OT 543 Int. III CBL 1
OT 544  Musculoskeletal Assessment 2
OT 545  Scientific Inquiry II  2
OT 546  Supervision 2
OT 547  Research Implementation  1
OT 550  Level II Fieldwork (A)  6
OT 551 Practicum IV Psychosocial 1
OT 555  Level II Fieldwork (B)  6
OT 558  Technology & Environ Interventions in OT  3
OT 559  Professional Leadership  3
OT 570  Community-Based Intervention  3
OT 575  Advanced Professional Writing  2
OT 576  Research Publication  1
During the Summer and Fall semesters of the last year students participate in fieldwork education at special fieldwork sites affiliated with the program. Students should be prepared to relocate to two different out-of-town fieldwork centers during these two semesters.


Students admitted in the Occupational Therapy program will be charged a matriculation deposit of $300 required to secure a seat in the entering class. This amount is not refundable but will be applied towards tuition expenses after classes begin.
Students should be prepared for extra expenses associated with professional studies including books, local travel to and from fieldwork sites and out-of-town travel and living expenses during Level II Fieldwork assignments. Special lab fees are assessed for the following courses:

  • OT 500 Occupation in Context $30.00
  • OT 504 Neuroscientific Basis of Occupational Performance $70.00
  • OT 510 Theoretical Foundations of OT $30.00
  • OT 517 Occupational Evaluation I $50.00
  • OT 520 Occupational Intervention I $50.00
  • OT 527 Occupational Evaluation II $50.00
  • OT 530 Occupational Intervention II $50.00
  • OT 540 Occupational Intervention III $50.00
  • OT 544 Musculoskeletal Assessment $30.00
  • OT 545 Scientific Inquiry II $25.00
  • OT 550 Level II Fieldwork (A) $ 5.00
  • OT 555 Level II Fieldwork (B) $ 5.00
  • OT 558 Technology and Environmental Intervention in OT $50.00
  • OT 559 Professional Leadership $25.00

Retention Policies

In accordance with the Policies of the University of South Alabama Graduate School:

  1. A minimum overall 3.0 GPA on all work attempted in the student's specific program of study is required. A maximum of two courses with the grade of "C" may be counted toward a degree program.
  2. Any term in which a graduate student drops below a 3.0 GPA, the student is placed on probationary status and has a period of two terms to attain a 3.0 GPA or be dismissed from the Graduate School.

In addition, the following Departmental Retention Policies apply:

  1. Students in the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy degree program are required to achieve a minimum grade of "C" in each course in the occupational therapy curriculum. This minimum grade of "C" reflects only the letter grade since many courses will require an 80% or 90% competency in order to be considered passing level.
  2. A student who receives a grade below "C" will be academically dismissed.
  3. Any combination of nine (9) semester hours of grades of "C" in OT courses will result in academic dismissal.
  4. If for any reason a student must withdraw from the occupational therapy program, re-admission will require approval of the department chairperson and the Dean of the Pat Capps Covey College of Allied Health Professions.
  5. All occupational therapy coursework taken prior to Level II Fieldwork must be successfully completed with a grade of "C" or better and a minimum GPA of 3.0 in order for a student to be eligible to proceed with Level II Fieldwork.
  6. Level II Fieldwork will be graded as Pass/Fail using the criterion scores developed by the American Occupational Therapy Association. A student will be allowed to withdraw from fieldwork, without penalty, under special circumstances, for example, a serious illness/newly acquired disability. Withdrawal from Level II Fieldwork requires the recommendation of the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator and the permission of the Department Chairperson. All repeat fieldwork experiences must be completed within one year.
  7. If a student fails a Level II Fieldwork course (OT 550, OT 555), a "U" or unsatisfactory will be recorded as the grade. IF the student is permitted to repeat the Level II Fieldwork course, the student may be required to complete remediation tasks prior to repeating the course. The Academic Fieldwork Coordinator will schedule the repeated fieldwork at the earliest available time, but no later than 12 months following completion of all other academic requirements. A student failing to satisfactorily complete two out of three attempts of the 12 week fieldwork placements (OT 550, OT 555) shall be dismissed from the program.

Note: In some semesters, courses may not start and/or finish during the regular University beginning and ending dates for the semester. For example, one course may start at the beginning of a semester and finish at the semester midpoint, while another course starts at the midpoint of the semester and finishes at the semester's end.


The Department of Occupational Therapy MSOT 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 20814. ACOTE's phone number is (301) 652-6611 (x2914). Graduates of the program 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). Most states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of NBCOT Certification Examination. A felony conviction may adversely affect a graduate's ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.

Department of Occupational Therapy Staff    
(251) 445-9222
Chair Donna A. Wooster, PhD.
Associate Professor Wooster
Assistant Professors Hall, O'Connor, Taylor
Instructors Deacy, Thompson

Department of Occupational Therapy web site

Occupational Therapy is a health care profession devoted to providing skilled treatment that helps individuals achieve independence in all aspects of their lives. Occupational therapists work with persons with acute and chronic physical, psychosocial, mental and developmental disabilities. An occupational therapist may aid in the growth and development of premature babies; create a learning environment for physically and mentally challenged children; adapt home environments for persons with stroke, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury and other disabilities; or create activities that are designed to restore mental health for persons with emotional, mental, or substance abuse problems. Occupational therapy focuses on "skills for the job of living" which includes all of the necessary skills for individuals to "live life to its fullest" and lead independent and satisfying lives.

The Master of Science degree program in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) is an entry-level professional program designed to enable the student to develop advanced critical reasoning skills and to prepare the graduate for professional practice in a variety of settings. Graduates will also have the capability of assuming responsibilities in the areas of administration, program development, consultation and research in occupational therapy.

The program consists of 95 semester hours and is seven consecutive semesters in length. This includes 24 weeks of full-time Level II Fieldwork as required by accreditation standards. Level II Fieldwork is available in a variety of medical and community sites representing a diverse range of learning opportunities for students. All Level II Fieldwork must be completed within 12 months following completion of academic requirements.

The program is designed to accommodate applicants who have a baccalaureate degree in another field.

Criteria for admission

A new class of MSOT students begins each year in the fall semester. All applicants must apply to OTCAS (Occupational Therapy Central Application Service) and submit a supplemental application to the OT program. Applications are available in July each year for fall of the following year. Supplemental applications with appropriate processing fees should be submitted directly to the Occupational Therapy Department. Selected applicants, who meet all academic admission requirements, may be invited for an interview. Students offered admission may choose to guarantee a seat by submitting a matriculation fee (applied toward tuition) or be placed on the alternate list. All students accepted to the program must complete a criminal background check. Admission is contingent on the background check being clear of criminal charges.

The candidate is expected to satisfy the following minimum criteria for admission:
• Completion of a Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university by June 1 of the year of admittance.
• Completion of all prerequisite courses with a grade of “A” or “B” by application deadline.
• A minimum 3.0 (A=4.0) overall cumulative GPA; minimum 3.0 GPA in the prerequisite courses; minimum 3.0 GPA in the last 60 hours of coursework taken.
• Minimum of 25 documented OT observation hours.
• Minimum GRE score of 290 on combined verbal and quantitative sections, and 3.0 writing score reported from same exam date.

Program Prerequisite Courses ALL applicants must complete:
Abnormal Psychology – 3 hrs
Life Span Development Psychology – 3 hrs
Anatomy & Physiology I – 4 hrs
Anatomy & Physiology II – 4 hrs
Statistics – 3 hrs
Kinesiology (biomechanics) or Physics – 3 or 4 hrs

Note: AP and CLEP credits are not accepted for any prerequisite courses.

Applications will be reviewed for academic qualifications on receipt of application, processing fee, transcripts and GRE results. Selected applicants who meet all academic admission requirements may be invited for personal interviews.

Admission is offered to the top students who apply after consideration of the admission score.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to observe occupational therapy practice in a variety of settings. A minimum of 25 documented OT observation hours are required. Documentation forms for observation are included in the application packet. 

These forms may also be downloaded from the university web site at or may be obtained from the occupational therapy department.

Core Performance Standards, which are fundamental tasks that must be performed to successfully complete the program, have been outlined and are available on the website or upon request from the program.

Applicants who are interested in whether courses from other universities will meet prerequisite requirements may contact the department by e-mail for an unofficial review of their course descriptions.