Occupational Therapy students doing research in the MARC

Doctor and Master of Occupational Therapy

Our programs offer a rigorous education in both the basic sciences and in occupation-based practice, including working in three clinical labs with clients. Graduates learn advanced skills and research as well as advocacy methods and often progress rapidly to leadership positions in the field.

Campus Location

Format

  • On Campus

Program Duration

  • Three Years

Deadlines

Prepare to Lead in a Vibrant and Rewarding Occupation

Occupational therapists make a significant and positive impact on the quality of life of their clients. In this incredibly rewarding career, you will assess and treat people of all ages with sensory, cognitive, psychological, and physical difficulties—helping them to develop or re-gain important life skills. This might mean helping an individual learn to live and thrive independently or assisting someone to return to their daily routine after an injury or surgery. 

SMU’s entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) and Master of Occupational Therapy programs focus on treating the whole person. Our rigorous education combines basic science and occupation-based practice. You’ll have plenty of hands-on experience starting in your first year, including participating in simulation labs and working with clients in the community participant labs. As an occupational therapist, you’ll need to communicate and partner with other health professionals. To prepare you for this collaboration, you’ll share courses with physical therapy students and experience other cross-disciplinary learning opportunities. 

Occupational therapy is a fast-growing, in-demand field, with opportunities in settings that include hospitals, rehabilitation centers, social services agencies, and schools. Our alumni are highly sought after and 100 percent found employment within a year of graduation in recent years.

Options for Master’s or Doctoral Degree in Occupational Therapy

In 2016, SMU transitioned the Master of Occupational Therapy program to the entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy program, in response to the American Occupational Therapy Association's policy shifts to encourage the development of more doctorally prepared occupational therapists. With the repeal of this mandate, The SMU Department of Occupational Therapy has decided to offer both the master of occupational therapy (MOT) degree and the doctor of occupational therapy (OTD) degree starting in the fall of 2020. The repeal of the national mandate for occupational therapy education to move to solely doctoral entry by 2027 has provided us with the option of continuing with the Master’s program. Applicants can determine which program fits best for their specific circumstances and can decide which program more fully meets their goals for the future at the time of acceptance into the program. We recognize that the decision of which program to enter will be based on many factors and we will spend time during the interview process explaining both options to more fully inform our future students. Samuel Merritt University's Department of Occupational Therapy is proud to be fully accredited for both the MOT and OTD degrees

While we recognize the importance of a doctoral degree in the field to develop advanced skills, we understand that each student has different factors to consider in their decision (professional plans, length of program, cost, and personal factors) and that allowing a choice will more fully meet each student's needs as well as the profession's needs.

The majority of the courses will be taken together as a cohort of both MOT and OTD students with some separate courses required for each degree cohort. The OTD students will have one additional semester to meet the requirements of their degree. We will present the specific differences to all applicants we interview during the interview process to more fully inform each applicant of the differences.

 

What We Look For

  • A desire to serve others
  • A curiosity about how other people see things
  • Background in a variety of undergraduate disciplines
  • Completion of prerequisites
  • A strong desire to become an occupational therapist
  • An ability to articulate the unique contributions of occupational therapy to the health care team
  • An understanding of how the role of occupational therapy differs from that of other health care disciplines
  • The ability to articulate why you wish to entrust SMU with your professional education

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Requirements and Program Information

The OTD is an entry-level doctoral degree designed for someone who has already earned a baccalaureate with a major in any area. Applicants will be evaluated for admission based upon the following criteria:

  • Baccalaureate from a regionally accredited institution and all prerequisites completed with a grade of “C-“ or better by the end of the spring term prior to entry.
    • Biology must be completed prior to application and Physics must be completed before the end of the fall term prior to entry.
  • Minimum recommended cumulative GPA of 3.0 for the last 60 semester units. All coursework (including repeated classes) will be averaged.
  • Minimum recommended science GPA of 3.0. All science coursework (including repeated classes) will be averaged.
  • Evidence of 40 to 70 hours (minimum) work or volunteer experience demonstrating an understanding of the occupational therapist's role and maturity in career choice. The hours are recorded in OTCAS in a similar format to a resume. There is no verification process or SMU form to submit.
  • Three letters of reference are required. The first should be from a person who has known you in an academic or professional setting. The second letter must be from an occupational therapist who has supervised you as a paid or volunteer worker in an active clinical setting. The third letter may be from an academic, professional, or clinical source. All letters are to be submitted as part of the application through OTCAS. 
  • Results of an in-person interview.

2018 OT Admitted Student Profile

2018 OT Admitted Student Profile
Applicants218
Admitted65
Seats Available42
GPA in last 60 semester units
(Range for middle 50% of admitted students)
3.51-3.85
GPA in science coursework
(Range for middle 50% of admitted students)
3.19-3.77

All prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of "C-" or better. All prerequisites must be completed by the end of the spring term prior to the start of the program, except Biology and Physics which must be completed sooner (see notes below). Additionally, it is recommended that no more than two or three prerequisites be in progress during the spring. The department strongly prefers that all prerequisites are completed by the fall term prior to entry. Preferential admission will be given to applicants who have completed all academic prerequisites at the time of the interview.  

We accept online, hybrid, and on-campus classes from regionally accredited institutions. Classes may be taken at any regionally accredited institution such as community colleges, CSU, UC or private institutions. In California, the accrediting body is WASC Senior College and University Commission.

Please see the Prerequisite Course Resources section below for helpful information regarding prerequisites.

Prerequisite Requirement, Semester or Quarter Units

English Composition/Critical Thinking, any two English courses may be used to meet this requirement. University writing courses used to meet writing/English general education requirement for bachelor degree are also acceptable, 6.0 Semester or Quarter Units

General Psychology, general or an introductory course in psychology is acceptable, 3.0

Abnormal Psychology, abnormal or psychopathology course is acceptable, 3.0

Developmental Psychology, lifespan psychology course is preferred. Course work in child, adolescent, or adult psychology may also be used to satisfy this requirement, ​​3.0

Statistics, introductory statistics/quantitative method course offered by any department is acceptable, 3.0

Social Science Elective I & II, any two courses in sociology, anthropology, ethnic studies, psychology, or cultural studies departments are acceptable. For psychology courses, courses already required for admission cannot be used to satisfy this requirement as well, 6.0

General Biology, any biology course is acceptable, lab is not required. Anatomy and physiology cannot be used to meet this requirement. Note: Course must be completed at the time of application, 3.0

Physics, introductory or conceptual course is acceptable, lab is not required. Note: Course must be completed no later than the end of the fall term of the application year, 3.0

Three-Dimensional Skill/Craft, in a medium such as woodworking, sculpture, ceramics, sewing, jewelry making, leatherwork, tile mosaics, crocheting/knitting/macramé, candle/soap making or metalwork can be used to meet this requirement. Note: The following skills/crafts are not acceptable: painting, drawing, graphic design, photography, playing an instrument, and other two dimensional areas. Portfolios are no longer accepted, 3.0

Human Anatomy, introductory course is acceptable, no lab required. The first course of a combined anatomy and physiology course series can be used to satisfy this requirement. Note: Course is highly recommended, but not required. Preference will be given to applicants who have completed this course at the time of application, 3.0

Human Physiology, introductory course is acceptable, no lab required. The second course of a combined anatomy & physiology course series can be used to satisfy this requirement. Note: Course is highly recommended, but not required. Preference will be given to applicants who have completed this course at the time of application, 3.0

Public Speaking, any speech course is acceptable. Note: Course is highly recommended, but not required.

AP Credit
AP exam scores are only acceptable if the course(s) is clearly notated on OTCAS and/or University transcript.

Challenge Exams
A challenge exam may be taken in lieu of coursework. All challenge exams must be noted on the OTCAS application.

Interviews

Students are selected for an interview based upon the content of the application they submit to OTCAS. Not all candidates who meet minimum qualifications will be granted an interview. An on-campus interview is required to be selected for admission. Phone or web interviews are not acceptable.

A maximum of 150 applicants will be interviewed each year for the program. Interviews are generally held on two Saturdays in December and January and are held on the Oakland campus.

Students who need disability accommodations may request them by emailing Elisa Laird-Metke at drc@samuelmerritt.edu. Please give as much notice as you can to allow time to set them up. Further information about the Disability Resource Center can be found here. 

Technology requirement for the program

In the Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program, no courses are taught solely online. Numerous courses include requirements for participation in online discussion forums and to access course learning materials via Course Management Systems (Canvas) and therefore access to a computer is required. All students will be trained in the use of Canvas. Only one course, OT 709 Introduction to Professional Documentation, is primarily delivered online. This course first meets on campus for four hours, and the remaining nine hours of content (including 30 hours of readings and assignments) is delivered online during the first summer.

GRE Scores

Results from the GRE exam are not required or considered for admission into the OTD program.

Internationally Educated Applicants

Students educated abroad may apply for admission. Regardless of previous professional training and academic degrees earned, Samuel Merritt's OTD curriculum must be completed in its entirety.

If your education was not part of a U.S. based study abroad program, all international academic transcripts must be evaluated by a U.S. evaluation service that is a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluations Services (NACES) for degree, course content, semester unit equivalencies and cumulative GPAs prior to the application deadline. The evaluation must be sent to OTCAS as part of the application.  Information on NACES may be found at www.naces.org.

TOEFL

The need for the Test Of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) will be assessed based on information provided by the applicant on the application for admission. If the TOEFL is required, applicants must achieve a minimum score of 100 (Internet Based Test). Scores must be submitted during the application process.

Samuel Merritt University allows applicants to take classes online provided the courses are from a regionally accredited institution like the institutions listed below. The regional accreditation board for California schools is the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). Please verify accreditation with the institution prior to signing up for classes as credit will not be granted from non-accredited schools.

This is a resource shared by multiple programs, please see the program-specific websites for the listing of required courses.

California Virtual Campus: Online database of California College and University online/telecourse offerings. Search by subject or school name.
Course Atlas 
California State University 
University of California Extension Programs 

Southern University of Health Sciences

  • General Chemistry I & II
  • General Biology I & II
  • Physics I&II
  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Microbiology

University of Minnesota 

University of New England 

  • Microbiology
  • Anatomy Statistics
  • Medical Chemistry I and II (Inorganic Chemistry)
  • Microbiology
  • Organic Chemistry I and/or II
  • Anatomy
  • Medical Physiology
  • Statistics

Louisiana State University 

  • BIOL 1001/102 Biology
  • ENGL 1001 English Composition I
  • PSYC 2000 Introduction to Psychology
  • ANTH 1003 Cultural Anthropology
  • CMST 2010 Interpersonal Communication
  • ENGL 1001, 1002 English Composition I, II
  • SOCIO 2001 Introduction to Sociology
  • PSYC 2070 Lifespan Developmental Psychology
  • PSYC 3082 Abnormal Psychology

UC Berkeley Extension 

  • Intro to Statistics xB2 or xBW2(online)
  • General Chemistry I/Lab x19A and x19.1B
  • General Chemistry II/Lab x19B and x19.1B
  • General Human Anatomy x104 & Human Anatomy Lab x108
  • Introduction to Physiology xB32 or xBW32 & Physiology Lab x406.1 (online)
  • Introduction to Medical Microbiology x111 Microbiology Lab x491.1

Colorado State Online Plus 

  • BMS 300 – Principles of Human Physiology (4 cr.)
  • BMS 320 – Virtual Laboratory in Physiology (2 cr.)
  • BMS 310 – Anatomy for the Health Professions (4 cr.)
  • MIP 300 – General Microbiology (3 cr.)
  • STAT 311 – Statistics for Behavioral Sciences I (3 cr.)

Challenge/College Level Examination Resources

The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) is a group of standardized tests that assess college-level knowledge in several subject areas. Many colleges grant credit to students who meet their minimum qualifying score. Qualifying scores vary by school but are typically 50. The tests are useful for students who have obtained knowledge outside the classroom, such as through independent study, job experience, or cultural interaction. CLEP also offers international and homeschooled students the opportunity to demonstrate their proficiency in subject areas and bypass undergraduate coursework. (Information from College Board’s website-see below)

College Board Examinations (CLEP) 

Thomson Prometric DSST Examinations 

 

The OTD program can be completed in three years, including summers. During the second year, you’ll complete a six-month internship. Here is a look at the required courses and suggested timeline: For full course descriptions, please see our University catalog

Year One
Fall Semester (15 Units) 
OT701 - Integrative Seminar I  1.0
OT710 - Anatomical and Physiological Basis for Human Occupation  5.0
OT711 - Foundations of Occupational Therapy  3.0
OT712 - Theories of Inquiry and Research Methodology  3.0
OT719 - Human Occupation Throughout the Life Span  3.0
Total units  15.0

Spring Semester (16 Units) 
OT702 - Integrative Seminar in Occupational Therapy Practices II  1.0
OT713 - Introduction to Psychopathology  1.0
OT715 - Guided Research Seminar  1.0
OT716 - Therapeutic Media, Materials and Processes  2.0
OT717 - Interpersonal and Interprofessional Communication  2.0
OT718 - Functional Neuroscience (3 Units)  3.0
OT720 - Theories of inquiry and research II 2.0
OT727 - Kinesiology and Biomechanics  4.0
Total units  16.0

Summer Semester (4 Units) 
OT709 - Introduction to Professional Documentation  1.0
OT721 - Introduction to Fieldwork I  3.0
Total units  4.0

Year Two
Fall Semester (18 Units) 
OT703 - Integrative seminar III  1.0
OT722 - Guided Research Seminar  1.0
OT723 - Capstone project exploration  2.0
OT724 - Conditions of Human Dysfunction  3.0
OT726 - Theory and Practice in Psychosocial Dysfunction  4.0
OT728- Administration and Management  3.0
OT732 - Advanced Clinical Practice (Pediatrics)  4.0
Total units  18.0

Spring Semester (15 Units) 
OT704 - Integrative Seminar in Occupational Therapy Practices 4  1.0
OT729 - Theory and Practice in Physical Dysfunction  4.0
OT730 - Research Synthesis Project  1.0
OT731 - Occupational Adaptations and Introduction to Modalities  3.0
OT736 - Advanced Clinical Practice (Adults)  4.0
OT735 - Capstone planning  2.0
Total units  15.0

Summer Semester (6 Units)
OT740 - Fieldwork Level II  6.0
Total units  6.0

Year Three
Fall Semester (6 Units)
OT741 - Fieldwork Level II  6.0
Total units  6.0

Spring Semester (10 Units)
OT733 - Health Promotion and Wellness  2.0
OT750 - Capstone project development  3.0
One of four electives - Advanced Clinical Focus:    2.0

  • OT743 - Advanced Clinical Focus - Cognition
  • OT744 - Advanced clinical focus - Hands
  • OT745 - Advanced clinical focus - Geriatrics
  • OT746 - Advanced clinical focus - Pediatrics

OT752 - Advanced Leadership  3.0
Total units  10.0

Summer Semester (9 Units)
OT754 - Capstone experience project  6.0
OT755 - Capstone experience project report  3.0
Total units  9.0

The MOT program can be completed in seven semesters. Here is a look at the required courses and suggested timeline: For full course descriptions, please see our University catalog

Year One
Fall Semester (15 Units) 
OT610 - Anatomical and Physiological Basis for Human Occupation 5.0
OT611 - Foundations of Occupational Therapy 3.0
OT612 - Theories of Inquiry and Research Methodology 3.0
OT619 - Human Occupation Throughout the Life Span 3.0
OT601 - Integrative Seminar in Occupational Therapy practices I 1.0
Total units  15.0

Spring Semester (14 Units)
OT602 - Integrative Seminar in Occupational Therapy Practices II 1.0
OT613 - Introduction to Psychopathology 1.0
OT615 - Guided Research Seminar 1.0
OT616 - Therapeutic Media, Materials and Processes 2.0
OT617 - Interpersonal and Interprofessional Communication 2.0
OT618 - Functional Neuroscience 3.0
OT627 - Kinesiology and Biomechanics 4.0
Total units 14.0

Summer Semester (4 Units)
OT621 - Introduction to Fieldwork I 3.0
OT609 - Introduction to Professional Documentation 1.0
Total units 4.0

Year Two

Fall Semester (18 Units)
OT603 - Integrative Seminar in Occupational Therapy Practices III 1.0
OT622 - Guided Research Seminar 1.0
OT624 - Conditions of Human Dysfunction 3.0
OT626 - Theory and Practice in Psychosocial Dysfunction 4.0
OT628 - Administration and Management 3.0
OT634 - Professional Development Seminar 2.0
OT632 - Advanced Clinical Practice (Pediatrics) 4.0
Total units 18.0

Spring Semester (15 Units)
OT604 - Integrative Seminar in Occupational Therapy Practice IV 1.0
OT629 - Theory and Practice in Physical Dysfunction 4.0
OT630 - Research Synthesis Project 1.0
OT631 - Occupational Adaptations and Introduction to Modalities 3.0
OT636 - Advanced Clinical Practice (Adults) 4.0
OT633 - Health Promotion and Wellness 2.0
Total units 15.0

Summer & Fall Semesters (12 Units)
OT640 - Fieldwork Level II 6.0
OT641 - Fieldwork Level II 6.0
Total units 12.0

 

You will join a program and an interprofessional health sciences University community made up of a diverse student body and faculty, all dedicated to transforming the experience of health and health care for diverse populations. You will have multiple opportunities for hands-on, active learning during the classroom portions of the curriculum. These innovative learning experiences occur early and often, building on your strengths and challenging your growth as you become an occupational therapist.

Simulation-Based Learning
High integration of simulated and standardized patient immersive active learning experiences are strategically placed throughout our curriculum, starting early and continuing often, in order to situate learning in realistic clinical scenarios prior to full-time clinical education experiences. The Occupational Therapy program uses SMU's accredited Health Sciences Simulation Center (HSSC) for many of these hands-on learning opportunities. Students have lab sessions in the HSSC training rooms to gain familiarity with hospital-based equipment and students have simulated or standardized patient interactions, where actors realistically portray patients. In small groups, students practice patient encounters in a realistic manner, review their interactions via live and recorded video/audio, and debrief the experience with faculty and student observers to learn from their successes and mistakes. Explore SMU’s Health Sciences Simulation Center in more depth

Community Participant Labs 

Students have the hands-on opportunity to work directly with members of the community who have diagnosed conditions in our three Community Participant Labs (CPL). These include the pediatric CPL and the Adult CPL. In addition, students work directly with those with psychosocial challenges at community mental health sites, during several off-site rotations embedded into the curriculum of the Psychosocial course. Students contribute to our community’s health as part of your course work. Learn more about Community Participant Labs at SMU.

Advanced Technology
Our students get a deeper look at human motion in SMU’s Motion Analysis Research Center (MARC). Through the use of motion capture technology and 3D Kinematics, students have opportunities to develop a greater understanding of balance, biomechanics, and the impact of different interventions on movement.  Discover all the MARC has to offer students and their learning

What is Fieldwork?

Fieldwork is an integral part of the professional education of occupational therapists. During fieldwork, you will have the opportunity to apply and integrate academic learning. You will be supervised by fieldwork educators who are occupational therapists or other professionals, to gain hands-on experience in a variety of settings. Examples of fieldwork sites include hospitals, outpatient clinics, community-based health programs, and schools. 

Fieldwork education at SMU is designed in accordance with the standards established by the Accreditation Committee for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). 

Learn more about Occupational Therapy Fieldwork

Application Fees
Application fees are payable to the Central Application Service for Occupational Therapy (OTCAS). Samuel Merritt University does not charge an additional admission fee.

Non-Refundable Deposits and Fees
Students offered admission pay a non-refundable tuition deposit of $350 to secure their seat in the class.

Application fees and tuition deposits are non-refundable, whether or not the student withdraws in the first week of the term.

Tuition Calculator
There is a tuition calculator that provides a detailed summary of annual tuition, all fees for the program, and a cost estimator for the entire program.

Tuition Calculator

Your Occupational Therapy graduate education at Samuel Merritt University is an important and valuable investment in your future.  Not only will you have the opportunity to pursue a rewarding career in health care, Samuel Merritt University graduates have a loan default rate of less than one percent.  This means that students who borrowed to attend Samuel Merritt University have found employment in their chosen field that allows them to pay off their loans. 

The Occupational Therapyprogram is proud to offer a variety of ways to assist in funding your education including scholarships, work study and student loans. The first step in applying for financial aid at SMU is to submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The OTD program offers scholarships and an assortment of resources for funding opportunities outside of the program. Most scholarships are awarded on the basis of financial need. A limited number are awarded for academic merit. Scholarships for Occupational Therapyinclude:

  • Sharon Clark Diaz
  • Employee Campaign
  • Marshall Steele, Jr.
  • Hitchcock Heydman
  • Henry & Bernice Bigge
  • Faculty Scholarship
  • Alumni Scholarship
  • Elks of the Year
  • William Breslin

WICHE – Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.  WICHE grants are available for students from certain geographical areas of the country.  More information is available at the WICHE website, www.wiche.edu.

Your Financial Aid Package at Samuel Merritt University is personalized to you.  We develop your financial aid package using guidelines set by the Department of Education and the estimated costs of each program.

In addition to the cost of tuition, books and fees, financial aid can also cover other indirect educational costs, so the total cost of attendance includes:

  • Books and Supplies
  • Room and Board
  • Transportation
  • Personal Expenses
  • Other fees as determined by program/college

Once you receive your financial aid package, check this budget against your actual living expenses and we can make necessary adjustments to meet your needs.

Detailed information about financial aid, budgeting, total cost and application processes are available on the webpage.

https://www.samuelmerritt.edu/admissions/affording-smu/financial-aid-and-scholarships

We realize that the financial aid process can be difficult and overwhelming.  We are here to help.  Financial Aid staff can assist with budgeting, understanding your awards and understanding the process.  The SMU staff is committed to each and every prospective student and enrolled student.  We have an open door policy and are available via phone or email.

finaid@samuelmerritt.edu or 510-879-9200

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 to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. A felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to sit for the NBCOT Certification examination or attain state licensure. Individuals convicted of a felony may not be eligible for certification or licensing in Occupational Therapy.

Students are urged to contact the appropriate certification or licensure agency for further information. 

The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy
12 South Summit Ave., Suite 100
Gaithersburg, MD 20877-4150
301-990-7979
fax: 301-869-8492
 

Licensure Exams, Graduation, and Employment Rates

Licensure Pass Rates (First-Time Takers Only)
2018 Pass Rate (NBCOT)      97%
2017 Pass Rate (NBCOT)      100%
2016 Pass Rate (NBCOT)      100%

Graduation Rate*        
2015-2016 Cohort      89%
2014-2015 Cohort      97%
2013-2014 Cohort      95%   

*% of Entering Master's Program Cohort that Graduated Within 150%  of Expected Time           

Employment Rate in the Profession (within six months of graduation)**
2016-2017 graduating class      92%
2015-2016 graduating class      87%
2014-2015 graduating class      94%

**Employment data only includes graduates who responded to SMU Alumni Survey; employment rate not necessarily representative of graduates who did not respond to SMU Alumni Survey.

These handbooks contain information and policies relevant to OTD and MOT students and are companions to the Samuel Merritt University Catalog and Student Handbook. This handbook contains the policies and procedures for the OTD or MOT program for which you will be responsible.

 

Pass Rate (for the MOT graduates – we will not have OTD pass rates until 2019)

The total number of graduates who passed the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) certification examination for 2016–2018 was 110 out of 111, which is a pass rate of 99%. During the three year period, the program had 111 graduates. For our most recent year, 2018, the pass rate was 97% (of 37 test takers, 36 passed). The total number of graduates for 2018 was 37. The website for all OT program pass rates is located at: https://secure.nbcot.org/data/schoolstats.aspx

Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) Address:

4720 Montgomery Lane
Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449

Phone:

301-652-AOTA

Website:

www.acoteonline.org

Program                                                                                            Accreditation Status                       Last Visit         Next Visit

Entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)           Full accreditation                                2018               2023/2024

Entry-level Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)  Full accreditation until 6/30/2027        2018                     n/a

 

 

Cognitive Learning Skills

The student must demonstrate the ability to:

1. Conceptualize a sequential progression of tasks and/or standardized testing and make objective conclusions based on the test results.

2. Apply critical thinking in the creation, development, generalization and implementation of adaptations to normative methods of behavior and function.

3. Demonstrate an understanding of the basic anatomical structures and physiological mechanisms that underlie conditions of human dysfunction and occupational performance.

4. Analyze the sequential steps, cognitive skills and motor performance of specific functional tasks relevant to the safety, environment and developmental life tasks of a patient/client. This analysis should also take into account ethnic background, gender and cultural variables.

5. Select constructive activities suited to an individual's current physical capacity, intelligence level, and interest, so as to upgrade the individual to maximum independence, prepare for activities of daily living and appropriate life tasks, assist in restoration of functions and/or aid in adjustment to disability.

6. Assess and identify cognitive and functional deficits, and determine adaptive or compensatory methods of functioning.

7. Apply critical reasoning and independent decision-making skills.

8. Assess patient/client safety and maintain or create safe environments during specific tasks, to enhance patient/client independence in a variety of potential environments.

Psychomotor Skills

The student must demonstrate the following skills:

1. Sitting: Maintain upright posture.

2. Standing: Student-controlled activity employable during lecture, clinical instruction and laboratory time.

3. Locomotion ability to:

a. Get to lecture, lab and clinical locations, and move within rooms as needed for changing groups, partners and work stations.

b. Physically maneuver in required clinical settings, to accomplish assigned tasks.

4. Manual tasks:

a. Lifting ability sufficient to maneuver an individual's body parts effectively to perform evaluation and treatment techniques.

b. Manipulate common tools used for screening tests and therapeutic intervention of the individual.

c. Demonstrate the ability to safely and effectively guide and facilitate patient/client movement skills and motor patterns through physical facilitation and inhibition techniques (including ability to give time-urgent verbal feed bac).

d. Manipulate or guide another person's body in transfers, ambulation, positioning and assisted or facilitated trunk, head and limb movement.

e. Manipulate bolsters, pillows, plinths, mats, assistive/adaptive devices, and other supports or chairs to aid in positioning, moving, or treating a patient/client effectively.

g. Competently perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) using guidelines issued by the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross.

5. Gross motor ability to participate in recreational or movement activities that may involve tossing, catching, weight shifts, reaching, balancing on equipment, etc.

6. Small motor/hand skill usage ability to:

a. Legibly record/document evaluations, patient care notes, referrals, etc. in standard medical charts in hospital/clinical settings in a timely manner and consistent with the acceptable norms of clinical settings.

b. Demonstrate or complete activities or tests with adequate degree of fine motor dexterity.

c. Sense changes in an individual's muscle tone, skin quality, joint play, kinesthesia, and temperature to gather accurate objective evaluative information in a timely manner and sense that individual's response to environmental changes and treatment.

d. Legibly record thoughts for written assignments or tests.

7. Visual acuity to:

a. Read patient/client charts or histories in hospital/clinical setting.

b. Observe even the slightest aberrations of patient/client motor performance during tasks/tests.

8. Hearing or ability to receive and:

a. Effectively respond to oral requests/instructions from patients and team members.

b. Interpret the language used to communicate lectures, instructions, concepts, narratives, questions and answers.

c. Auscultate for internal body sounds, e.g., heart, bowel, lungs.

9. Communication ability to:

a. Effectively communicate with team members.

b. Articulate detailed instructions to patients, caretakers, family or other clinical personnel.

10. Self care ability to:

a. Maintain general good health and self care in order not to jeopardize the health and safety of self and individuals with whom one interacts in the academic and clinical settings.

b. Arrange transportation and living accommodations for/during off-campus clinical assignments to foster timely reporting to classroom and clinical center.

Affective Learning Skills

The student must be able to:

1. Demonstrate appropriate, affective behaviors and mental attitudes to ensure the emotional, physical, mental, and behavioral safety of the patient/client in compliance with the ethical standards of the American Occupational Therapy Association.

2. Sustain the mental and emotional rigors of a demanding educational program in occupational therapy that includes academic and clinical components that occur within set time constraints, and often concurrently.

3. Acknowledge and respect individual values and opinions in order to foster harmonious working relationships with colleagues, peers, and patients/clients.

Why choose the Entry-Level OTD program?

You'll be trained in clinical practice, research, leadership, and advocacy.

9:1

Student-Faculty Ratio

Your education is personalized.

3

Community Participant Labs

SMU's students provide community outreach in the form of occupational therapy and direct hands-on experience to area adults and children.

100%

Pass Rate

OT students' pass rate on the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) from 2015-17.

Make a Difference

Our Doctor of Occupational Therapy program is hands-on from the start. Students build clinical and collaborative skills and engage with the community in ways that change people's lives.  

Faculty

Our OTD faculty are dedicated to training students to become occupational therapists who help their patients live healthier and more fulfilling lives. Our faculty are recognized experts in clinical reasoning, functional cognition, stroke care, and the best practices in teaching and learning of graduate health professions students.

kate-hayner

Kate Hayner

EdD in Counseling Psychology, MA in Clinical Psychology, BS in Occupational Therapy, BS in Behavioral Psychology Associate Professor
gordon-giles

Gordon Muir Giles

PHD Clinical Psychology, Diploma of the College of Occupational Therapists Professor
chi-kwan-shea

Chi-Kwan Shea

PhD, MS, BS Professor
ciara-cox

Ciara Cox

PhD, MS, BA Assistant Professor