MOT in Occupational Therapy
USM's Lewiston-Auburn College offers a professional, entry-level Master's degree in Occupational Therapy for people who hold a baccalaureate degree in a discipline other than occupational therapy. The Master of Occupational Therapy program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).
Occupational Therapy (OT) is a health and human services profession that recognizes humans as occupational beings. People define who they are by what they do, or by the occupations in which they engage. Occupational therapists use meaningful occupation or activities as intervention to help people of all ages maximize wellness and perform the skills they need to participate as fully in society as possible. OTs intervene with people who are experiencing varying degrees of activity impairment as a result of developmental, physical, psychological, cognitive, or environmental dysfunction. As an OT, you will assist people in developing, compensating for, or regaining the skills necessary for participation in meaningful life roles and skills of self-care, work, and leisure.
Graduate entry-level occupational therapy education builds upon the previous education and experience of the student by providing a sequential course of professional study that stresses active, independent inquiry, critical thinking, strong communication skills (oral, nonverbal, written, and electronic), problem solving, clinical reasoning, and professional behaviors. Realizing that consumers may receive occupational therapy services in a wide variety of settings, students are exposed to practice in hospitals, other health institutions, schools, community agencies and centers, and other facilities where potential clients may be served.
For additional information, please visit the "How to Apply" page on MOT's website.
Students in the Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) program will complete 80 graduate credits consisting of 7 semesters of coursework, including 6 months of full time fieldwork. All courses in the curriculum must be completed with a cumulative average of B or better to earn the MOT degree. The Course Sequence Guide for full and part time students can be found under the Additional Information section of the MOT website.
Students are required to complete three Level I Fieldwork experiences with one each in mental health, community practice, and pediatric or adult settings. The Level I Fieldwork is completed concurrently with the semester in which the relevant coursework is taken. Students are also required to complete two separate, 12 week long Level II Fieldwork experiences in two different settings.
Personal health insurance is required for all students in this program. Students may select the university insurance coverage or a private company as long as the coverage meets that of the University policy.
As part of Level I and II fieldwork placements, students will be required to complete an annual criminal background check and fingerprinting as part of their requirements. If a student has been convicted of a felony and is uncertain if his or her conviction may jeopardize potential board certification, he or she should participate in NBCOT's Character Review Process and should complete the Early Determination Review to determine eligibility to sit for the NBCOT exam (required for licensure). Students should also check with the Maine State Licensure Bureau regarding eligibility for certification and licensure in the state.
Students are required to become members of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).
ACOTE and NBCOT:
The Master of Occupational Therapy program at the University of Southern Maine 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 12 South Summit Ave, Suite 100, Gaithersburg, MD 20877.
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 seven 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. The time limit for completion of the MOT program is dated from the date of first matriculation and ends at five years.
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 not offered every semester, it may be necessary for the student to take a leave of absence from the program until the required course is offered again. A student is only permitted to repeat one course. If a student receives a grade below B- in a second 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 any 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 any two semesters or twice in one semester will result in termination from the program.
The Master of Occupational Therapy program abides by the University of Southern Maine transfer policy as outlined in the graduate catalog. 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 standards. Only those courses which meet the standards will be accepted for transfer.
Admission to the Master of Occupational Therapy program is competitive with limited spaces each fall. 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 and a half years. Full time coursework consists of seven consecutive semesters of academic coursework, including six months of full-time fieldwork in an occupational therapy setting.
Students should submit a USM Graduate Application online. Students may also apply through OTCAS. The deadline for completed applications is October 1st for matriculation the following fall semester. Admissions details and criteria are available at the How to Apply page on MOT's website.
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 such areas as academic achievement, writing skills, and interviewing.
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 acceptance 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 be allowed additional time to complete select prerequisite courses.
- Minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale is required for interviews
- GRE scores are not required
- Prerequisite courses must be completed at a regionally accredited college or university
- Prerequisite courses must be passed with a grade of B or higher
- Equivalency exams may be taken in place of certain courses if a grade of B was not achieved. Please see the Office of Prior Learning Assessment’s webpage for more information on specific course offerings
- Completion of prerequisite courses as follows:
- Medical Terminology 1-3 credits
- Neuroscience 3 credits
- Introduction to Sociology 3 credits
- Developmental Psychology 3 credits
- Statistics 3 credits (taken within 6 years of applying)
- Abnormal Psychology 3 credits (taken within 6 years of applying)
- Introduction to Physics with Lab 4 credits (taken within 6 years of applying)*
- Anatomy & Physiology I with Lab 4 credits (taken within 6 years of applying)*
- Anatomy & Physiology II with Lab 4 credits (taken within 6 years of applying)*
- *Online or simulated labs will be assessed at the discretion of the Program Director
Application Procedures and Required Materials
Deadline Date: Priority deadline is October 1st for entry into the fall semester of the following year. Final deadline is February 1st.
Applicants are required to provide the following materials:
- USM Graduate Application: Online Application Students may also apply through the Centralized Application Service for Occupational Therapy Programs: OTCAS. The OTCAS portal opens for applicants in mid-July.
- USM Application fee: The USM application fee is waived for all applicants. OTCAS requires its own set of fees for utilizing this service (including the USM application fee). Applicants applying through OTCAS will pay all associated fees directly through the OTCAS program.
- Transcripts: Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, excluding the seven campuses of the University of Maine System (UMS transcripts are accessible to USM). A transcript is official when sent directly from the institution.
- International College transcripts: In additional to an official copy of the transcript, an official evaluation of college-level transcripts from a NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) approved transcript agency is required
- Resume: Submit a resume or CV that outlines professional, volunteer, and community experience
- Personal Statement Essay: Explain why you selected occupational therapy as a career and how an Occupational Therapy degree relates to your immediate and long-term professional goals. Describe how your personal, educational, and professional background will help you achieve your goals. Statement length: 3-5 pages.
- Letters of Recommendation: Recommendations should be from individuals who are qualified, through direct experience with your academic or professional work, to comment on your ability to undertake graduate study and your chosen profession.
- Three letters of recommendation are required. As part of the online process, applicants will be prompted for the names and email addresses of three recommenders. Each individual will receive an electronic recommendation form to complete directly from the university.
- TOEFL or IELTS: Students whose first language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and submit official scores as part of the application process. See additional information below regarding test scores.
Where to send transcripts and application materials
If applying through the USM Graduate Application, official transcripts and other supporting documents can be sent to:
Application Processing Center
University of Southern Maine
P.O. Box 412
Bangor, ME 04402-0412
If applying through the Centralized Application Service for Occupational Therapy Programs (OTCAS), please submit all materials directly to OTCAS.
OTCAS Transcript Processing Center
P.O. Box 9120
Watertown, MA 02471
Colleges and universities that participate in electronic submission of transcripts can send official transcripts to firstname.lastname@example.org. Resumes, essays, and other documents can also be sent to email@example.com.
For a transcript or recommendation to be considered official, it must be sent by the institution or the person writing the recommendation.
In addition to the standard application materials, international students must also provide the following materials:
- College transcript evaluation: official course-by-course evaluation of college-level transcripts from a NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) approved transcript analysis agency
- Declaration of Finances form accompanied by the appropriate financial documentation
- International students whose first language is not English may be required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and submit official scores as part of the application process. Only applicants with TOEFL scores of 79 or higher on the internet-based test, 550 or higher on the paper-based test, or 213 or higher on the computer-based test; or IELTS scores of 6.5 or higher will be considered for admission to a graduate program.
English Proficiency Test Scores
Official English proficiency examination scores are required from international applicants and/or applicants whose primary language is not English, unless the applicant has received a degree from an English-speaking institution. The University of Southern Maine accepts the following score reports sent directly from the testing agency. TOEFL scores of 79 or higher on the internet-based test, 550 or higher on the paper-based test, or 213 or higher on the computer-based test; or IELTS scores of 6.5 or higher will be considered for a graduate program
Courses in the Master of Occupational Therapy program are integrative by design and so must be taken in a specific order. The Course Sequence Guide for the current academic year can be found under the Additional Information section of the MOT website.
Required courses are as follows (full time courseload):
OTH 501 Occupational Therapy Foundations 3 cr
OTH 502 Introduction to Occupation 3 cr
OTH 503 Reflective Practitioner 3 cr
OTH 506 Contextual Considerations 3 cr
OTH 514 Fundamentals of Human Anatomy and Movement Lecture 3 cr
OTH 515 Fundamentals of Human Anatomy and Movement Lab 1 cr
OTH 504 Research and Evidence Based Practice I 3 cr
OTH 505 Impact of Mental Health on Occupational Perf. Part I Lecture 3 cr
OTH 508 Impact of Mental Health on Occupational Perf. Part I Lab 1 cr
OTH 507 Ethics and Occupational Justice 3 cr
OTH 509 Level I Fieldwork: Mental Health/Psychosocial Practice 1 cr
OTH 520 Neuroscience for Occupational Therapists Lecture 3 cr
OTH 521 Neuroscience for Occupational Therapists Lab 1 cr
OTH 510 Level I Fieldwork: Community Practice/Evidence Based Practice 1 cr
OTH 512 Research and Evidence Based Practice II 3 cr
OTH 603 Occupational Performance: Adulthood Part I Lecture 3 cr
OTH 606 Occupational Performance: Adulthood Part I Lab 1 cr
OTH 511 Level I Fieldwork: Populations 1 cr
OTH 518 Impact of Mental Health on Occupational Perf. Part II: Group Process 3 cr
OTH 602 Applied Kinesiology and Exercise Physiology Lecture 3 cr
OTH 609 Applied Kinesiology and Exercise Physiology Lab 1 cr
OTH 604 Occupational Performance: Infancy-Adolescence Part I Lecture 3 cr
OTH 607 Occupational Performance: Infancy-Adolescence Part I Lab 1 cr
OTH 605 Management in Occupational Therapy 3 cr
OTH 614 Occupational Performance: Adulthood Part II Lecture 3 cr
OTH 617 Occupational Performance: Adulthood Part II Lab 1 cr
OTH 615 Occupational Performance: Infancy-Adolescence Part II Lecture 3 cr
OTH 619 Occupational Performance: Infancy-Adolescence Part II Lab 1 cr
OTH 620 First Level II Fieldwork 6 cr
OTH 608 Reflections on Practice 1 cr
OTH 616 Professional Presentations 3 cr
OTH 699 Advanced Topics in Occupational Therapy 2 cr
OTH 621 Final Level II Fieldwork 6 cr