Admission to the master of occupational therapy program is competitive and limited to 36 spaces. The program seeks applicants who have a bachelor's degree in a field other than occupational therapy with a record of academic achievement and who are committed to employing interdisciplinary approaches and strategies in the study of occupational therapy.
The program also seeks candidates who are committed to self-development as a necessary foundation for assisting others. Academic coursework and clinical experiences require that students be available throughout the day and some evenings. A part-time option is also available where students may complete their academic work in three years. In addition to four semesters of academic coursework, students are required to complete six months of full-time fieldwork in an occupational therapy setting.
Students should submit an on-line application to: Office of Graduate Admissions, USM, P.O. Box 9300, Portland, ME 04104-9300. The deadline for completed applications is October 1st for matriculation the following fall semester.
The following criteria are used in the selection process:
Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university.
A cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or a B average is highly recommended. If you have a graduate degree, your graduate cumulative GPA will be used. If your cumulative GPA is not 3.0 or better, the likelihood of acceptance is significantly diminished. Your application will not be considered if you have a cumulative GPA lower than 2.75.
Prerequisite courses: Either as part of your baccalaureate degree or subsequent to receiving it, you must have completed the following courses or have a plan to complete them with a grade of B (3.0) or better. All of the science prerequisites must have been taken within six years prior to the fall semester for which you are applying. If science courses were completed with a B or better more than six years ago, you may do one of the following: 1) use more current upper division courses in the discipline to satisfy the requirement, 2) retake the course, or 3) take a CLEP or equivalent exam if one is available. If you have questions regarding the prerequisite requirements, contact the MOT director.
| Statistics (such as MAT 120D or SBS 328 or equivalent)**
| College Algebra (such as MAT 108 or equivalent)*
| Intro to Sociology*
| or an upper level SOC or SBS course
| Abnormal Psychology or Psychopathology***
| Human Growth and Development or Developmental Psychology (Life span course)**
| Intro to Physics with lab (or Biomechanics at LAC)
| Human Anatomy and Physiology I***or equivalent
| Human Anatomy and Physiology II*** or equivalent
| Medical Terminology
* There are CLEP exams available for these courses.
** There are DANTES exams available for these courses.
*** There are Excelsior College Exams available for these courses.
Students may apply to the program even if not all of the prerequisite courses are yet completed.
If you have not already completed the English and math course requirements, please register to take Lewiston-Auburn College's placement exam in reading, writing, and math. The exam will determine whether you need to take any developmental courses in preparation for the college level math and English courses.
All applicants must complete a 2- 3 page essay as part of the admission package. Within this essay you must introduce yourself, describe why you are interested in Occupational Therapy, and outline the strengths and experiences you bring to the Occupational Therapy profession.
All applicants must complete a minimum of 15 hours of job shadowing or work experience with an occupational therapy practitioner. An evaluation form, found in the application materials must be submitted.
All applicants who meet the above requirements will be scheduled for an interview.
Completion of the application requirements does not guarantee admission into the program. Admission will be based on a comparative evaluation of applicants' materials as they relate to academic achievement, writing skills, and interviewing. If two or more applicants are otherwise equally qualified, additional consideration will be given for work experience in a related field (e.g., education, recreation, or other health related profession).
Admission decisions will be made based on the applicant's performance on all criteria above .The admissions committee will inform the applicant of that decision within one month of acceptance.
Upon being acceptance, students must submit documentation that they are in good health as evidenced by a physical examination, including specific immunizations, prior to beginning the fall semester (See Health Requirements below). Forms will be sent with acceptance letters.
The MOT admission deadline is October 1st prior to the fall semester to which one is applying. Unconditional acceptance to the MOT program will be extended only to students who are competitive and who have submitted documentation that all of their requirements have been completed at the time of their application. Successful candidates who are in the process of completing prerequisite courses will receive conditional acceptances until all their requirements have been completed. Full-time students must have completed all prerequisites before the start of classes in September, while part-time students may take until the following fall to complete select courses. Students must select those courses in collaboration with the MOT program director.
Jump Start Option
Students may complete their undergraduate and graduate education in five (5) years by selecting this option. Students who identify as MOT jumpstarters and who are matriculated into an LAC undergraduate program or the Health Science program in Gorham must apply to the MOT program in fall of their junior year. They must complete the following by August of the year they plan to enter the program:
- USM Core curriculum requirements;
- Academic major requirements; and
- MOT prerequisite requirements.
The Jump Start option does not guarantee admission to the MOT program. Students must qualify in the same manner as any other applicant to the MOT program. Contact the Student Success Center for an advising appointment or more information at (207) 753-6536.
In addition to the general policies described in the Academic Policies chapter, specific policies of this program are as follows.
Unless applying for a part-time option, the program's academic work is designed to be completed within five semesters of being admitted to the program. To ensure continuity of application of academic concepts and to meet accreditation standards, all fieldwork MUST be completed within 24 months following completion of academic preparation.
All courses in the occupational therapy curriculum must be completed with a minimum of B- (2.67) in order to carry graduate credit. If a student receives a grade below B-, the student must repeat the course in the next semester that it is offered. Because occupational therapy courses are only offered once a year, it will be necessary for the student to receive permission from the faculty committee in order to take any other courses in the curriculum prior to repeating the course. A student is only permitted to repeat a course one time. If a student gets a grade below B- in a repeated course, he or she will be dismissed from the program.
Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in each semester in order to progress in the program. A student whose grade point average falls below a 3.0 in the first, second, or third semester will be placed on academic probation and will have one semester to bring the grade point average up to at least a 3.0. Students who fail to do this will be dismissed from the program. A student may not be placed on probation more than once.
Any student whose cumulative GPA is below 3.0 in their final semester will be dismissed and will not be permitted to graduate. Students must also demonstrate satisfactory professional behaviors. Unsatisfactory ratings of professional behaviors in two semesters may result in termination from the program.
The MOT Program abides by the transfer policy outlined in the graduate catalogue. In addition, all transfer courses must be evaluated by the MOT Program Director to determine whether they meet the content requirements of the appropriate ACOTE standard. Only those courses which meet the standards will be accepted for transfer.
ACOTE and NBCOT:
The MOT program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, P.O. Box 31220, Bethesda, MD 20824-1220. AOTA's phone number is (301) 652-AOTA. 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) and will be eligible to practice. Most states require licensure in order to practice. In Maine, the license is based upon initial certification from the NBCOT certification examination. NBCOT is located at 800 S. Frederick Ave., Suite 200, Gaithersburg, MD 20877-4150.
Students must comply with the University's immunization requirements. In addition, students must comply with the MOT program's health policy requirements and any additional requirements of those health care agencies to which they are assigned for clinical practice. Students must show evidence of completion of the following immunizations:
- Lab test (titer) providing immunity to:
- Chicken Pox
- Hepatitis Vaccine (three doses) and Hepatitis titer
Student health records must be on file with University Health Services and the MOT program prior to entry into clinical courses. Health insurance, equal to or better than the USM Student Health Insurance Basic Plan, and CPR certification is required prior to beginning clinical coursework.