Occupational Therapy Assistant

Program Type
Undergraduate Major
Bachelor of Science (BS)
Modes of Study
Blended;In Person

Tuition & fees

Costs include tuition, fees, & other costs such as books. See cost details

Financial aid

On average, 92% of enrolled students who file a FAFSA receive an offer. 91% of offers include scholarships, grants, waiver, and/or work-study. Explore aid

Program duration

Typical completion time: 4 years. Flexible options may save time. Explore options


SAT & ACT scores optional. Early action & year-round admissions. View application process & deadlines

Program highlights

  • Prepare to work as an entry-level practitioner in a growing field, named to be among the best healthcare support jobs by US News and World Report.
  • Develop clinical skills through fieldwork in a variety of healthcare, community-based, and nontraditional settings.
  • Gain in-depth experience through a customized research project: Choose to focus on clinical practice skills, administration, leadership, advocacy, or education.
  • Prepare to sit for the national certification examination administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT).
  • Study in a program that aligns with the standards of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA): We offer the only Occupational Therapy Assistant bachelor’s program in the state of Maine.
  • Apply for Fall 2024: Our new program is open to students who plan to graduate in 2028 or later.
Two Occupational Therapy interns help a patient with stretching exercises.

Hands-on training

Build clinical skills during three fieldwork experiences. As you advance, you’ll work under supervision of a licensed Occupational Therapist. Our fieldwork education is closely governed by the standards of the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).

An occupational therapy student practices taking blood pressure.

Program requirements

Develop entry-level practitioner skills in clinical reasoning, assessment and evaluation, intervention, documentation, and the use of evidence-based practice through our comprehensive and holistic OTA program. Our coursework and fieldwork training prepares you for work in mental health settings, physical disability settings, pediatric settings, and management.

An occupational therapy faculty works with a child who sits on a swing in the OT clinic.

A broad career path

Prepare for an Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) position in a variety of settings such as mental health, physical disability, pediatrics, and management. You’ll also gain a strong foundation to pursue graduate study in the healthcare field.

A student in a graduation cap and gown gazes upward.

Scholarship opportunities

Scholarships offer valuable financial aid that doesn’t need to be repaid. You’ll be automatically considered for Merit Scholarships when you apply for admission by the deadline. Additional opportunities are available.

A faculty member stands in front of a class with her hand rasied.

Engaged, dedicated faculty

Our faculty are committed to the success of our students. Faculty research areas include hoarding disorder, pediatric mental health, and the effects of sensory room use on stress in students.

Three students walk down the sidewalk of our Portland campus on a sunny day.

Considering transferring to USM?

Our new OTA major begins in Fall 2024 for students on track to graduate in Spring 2028, or later. If you are transferring from another four-year university or community college, our knowledgeable Admissions Counselors will help you explore your options.

Get the best of each campus

During your first and second years, you will take courses on our Portland and Gorham campuses. In your third and fourth years, you’ll transition to our Lewiston campus, where you can take advantage of a comprehensive suite of clinical learning facilities.

Learning spaces

Our Lewiston campus features a dedicated pediatric clinic space with sensory integration equipment. A separate space for adults includes modalities and exercise equipment, and a lab space with a kitchen and bathroom to practice activities for daily living.

OTA licensure

As a graduate of our program, you will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion, you will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) and eligible to practice.

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Next steps

Our helpful admissions counselors are here to answer your questions about the admissions process, our academic programs, and student support services. We also invite you to explore the many ways to visit campus or to engage with us through online experiences.

Get info
The baccalaureate-degree-level occupational therapy assistant program has applied for accreditation and has been granted Candidacy Status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its web address is www.acoteonline.org. The program must have a preaccreditation review, complete an on-site evaluation, and be granted Accreditation Status before its graduates will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapy assistant administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). 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.
Students must complete 16 weeks of Level II fieldwork as well as a baccalaureate project within 12 months following the completion of the didactic portion of the program.