Occupational Therapy / Master of Science

The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) program is designed to prepare students with the knowledge, skills and experiences necessary to provide services to children and adults with developmental, physical, cognitive, and psychological conditions across different practice settings. Occupational Therapists analyze how human and environmental factors influence a client’s performance and participation within the context of meaningful daily life activities, or occupations. Occupational Therapists design intervention strategies that establish, maintain, and restore motor, process, and communication interaction skills. Also, they modify environments and their client’s habits and routines to maximize performance, participation, and life satisfaction.

Occupational Therapy is grounded in models of practice that guide clinical and ethical decision making, and the critical evaluation of evidence as it relates to client outcomes. Occupational Therapists use systematic approaches and reflective practices to design assessment, intervention, and discharge plans for their clients. As members of the healthcare team, Occupational Therapists practice client-centered care and work in association with clients, caregivers, and other providers. Occupational Therapists are viewed as advocates for political and social change to benefit clients, communities, their profession, and the provision of healthcare. Occupational Therapists work in hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, public school systems, in-home patient care, private clinics, and community-based organizations.

The MSOT Program at Lewis University is a continuous, full-time, entry-level program designed to be completed over 7 consecutive semesters in 28 months. The classes run Monday through Friday between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM with some evening and weekend hours required for community based learning experiences.  The Lewis University entry-level occupational therapy master’s degree program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).

American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)

c/o Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE)

6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200

North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929.

(301) 652-AOTA


Students must complete 24 weeks of Level II fieldwork within 18 months following completion of the didactic portion of the program. 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).

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. A felony conviction may affect the program’s ability to provide the student with the necessary fieldwork opportunities due to required background checks and fingerprinting.

To be accepted for admission in the M.S. in Occupational Therapy program at Lewis University, ideal candidates will meet the following requirements:
  1. Baccalaureate degree in any field from a regionally-accredited institution of higher education; common majors include psychology, sociology, exercise science, education and biology.
  2. Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.25 (on a 4.0 scale)
  3. Prerequisite coursework with grade C or above completed within the last seven years in the following subjects: human anatomy & human physiology with lab, general psychology, lifespan development psychology, abnormal psychology, sociology, and statistics. An anatomy course with a cadaver lab and a course in medical terminology are preferred.
  4. GRE score of 300 (150 each for the verbal and quantitative sections); writing score of 4 or above preferred
  5. A minimum of 40 hours of volunteer or observation experience with an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant prior to application. More than one site recommended.
  6. Three recommendations (one recommendation must be from a supervisor in a work, internship, or volunteer setting; the remaining two should be from professional and/or academic references)
  7. Application for graduate admission to Lewis University submitted via the OT Centralized Application Service (OTCAS). The OT CAS opens in Mid-July.
  8. Interview, by invitation, based on review of application

  9. One spontaneous writing sample, obtained during interview

A balance of applicant experiences, attributes, and academic performance will be evaluated. Applicants that do not meet the GPA or GRE requirements, but who demonstrate strengths in other areas, may be considered. Other areas evaluated based on the applicant's OT CAS application include, but are not limited to: life experience, leadership experience, community service, written communication, service orientation, work experience, commitment to the Lewis University mission, research and scholarship experience, participation in extracurricular activities, and awards and recognition.

Advanced Placement and Transfer Credit
The Occupational Therapy Program does not accept advanced placement credit to meet prerequisite courses. The Occupational Therapy Program does not allow transfer of credit from other institutions to meet the MS in OT graduation requirements. Academic credit is not provided for applicants’ work, experiential, or volunteer experience.

International Students

If English is not your native language, applicants must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).


Submit your TOEFL scores to Lewis University (University code 1404)


Our program has higher minimum score requirements than the Graduate College. A total TOEFL score of at least 90 on the Internet-based version must be achieved to meet minimum qualifications for admission into the Occupational Therapy Program.

Good Academic Standing
See Good Academic Standing.

Program Progression
Because the program is full-time and didactic courses are offered in an intentional sequence and only one time per year, a course failure will require the student to "sit out" of the program until the course is offered again. Students are responsible for understanding how "sitting out" will affect their financial aid status. Students must successfully complete all course work in a given term in order to progress to the next term.

Academic Probation and Dismissal
See Academic Probation and Dismissal. In addition to this policy, a student who earns a grade of D in one didactic course will be placed on probation.

Incomplete Grade
See Incomplete Grade. Students in the MSOT program should not request a renewal of an incomplete grade.

Failed Fieldwork Rotations
If a student fails a fieldwork rotation for any reason, the course failure must be reviewed by the Program Director and the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator. A site placement to make up the failure is not guaranteed. The Graduate Council will review the circumstances leading to the failure and determine whether an additional placement is permitted. If granted an additional site placement, the student might be required to complete a remediation requirement prior to starting their next rotation. The remediation plan will be designed by the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator and faculty with expertise in the practice area. The Program Director will approve the remediation plan before it is implemented. Any fieldwork rotation following a failed rotation will be scheduled according to the Program’s established fieldwork rotation schedule. Should a student fail fieldwork a second time, the student will be dismissed from the MSOT Program.

Time Limitation
The program is designed to be completed in 28 months. The maximum time allotted to complete the program is 40 months. It is also required that all Level 2 fieldwork must be finished within 18 months of completion of the didactic portion of the program.

Graduation Requirements

See University Graduation Requirements Applicable to all Graduate Students. To complete the MS in Occupational Therapy degree, a student must also earn a minimum of 76 credit hours in the MSOT program of study.

Degree Offered: Master of Science
Total Credit Hours: 76

Degree Requirements

Program: MS-OCCT-5

Requirements List (76)

OTED-50000Foundations of Occupational Therapy




OTED-50200Occupational Therapy and Mental Health 1


OTED-50300Foundations of Movement for Occupational Performance


OTED-50400Foundations of Cognition for Occupational Performance


OTED-50500Analysis and Evaluation


OTED-50600Occupational Therapy and Pediatrics 1


OTED-50700Occupational Therapy and Rehabilitation 1


OTED-50800Evidence-based OT Practice 1


OTED-50900Occupational Therapy and Aging 1


OTED-51300Applied Biomechanics for Occupational Performance


OTED-60100Leadership and Advocacy


OTED-60200Occupational Therapy and Mental Health 2


OTED-60300Technology and the Environment


OTED-60600Occupational Therapy and Pediatrics 2


OTED-60700Occupational Therapy and Rehabilitation 2


OTED-60800Evidence-based OT Practice 2


OTED-60900Occupational Therapy in Aging 2


OTED-61200Level 1: Mental Health Promotion and Well-Being


OTED-61600Level 1: Pediatrics


OTED-61700Level 1: Adult Physical Health, Wellness, and Prevention


OTED-61800Capstone: Occupational Justice and the Community


OTED-62000Level 2 A


OTED-62100Level 2 B


Level 1 Fieldwork may require students to drive more than an hour from campus each way. Level 2 Fieldwork rotations may require students to relocate or drive more than one hour from campus each way. All students must be prepared to arrange and pay for transportation from their residence to a fieldwork site. Likewise, all students must be prepared to pay living and housing expenses, as well we parking fees associated with their fieldwork placements, when applicable.