Occupational Therapy Program
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.
Please visit the "How to Apply" page on MOT's web site.
Students in the MOT program will complete eighty graduate credits consisting of seven semesters of coursework, including six months of full time fieldwork. All courses in the curriculummust be completed with a cumulative average of B or better to earn the MOT degree. The Course Sequence Guide can be found under the Additional Resources 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, 3-month long Level II Fieldwork experiences in two different settings of their choice.
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.
Students will be required to complete a current criminal background check and fingerprinting as requirements for Level I and II Fieldwork placements. Students with felonies must confirm with NBCOT and the Maine State Licensure Bureau regarding eligibility for certification and licensure.
Students are required to become members of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) and the Maine Occupational Therapy Association (MeOTA).
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 an online application. 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 web site.
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.
Upon being accepted, students must submit documentation including specific immunizations, beginning the fall semester (See Health Requirements below).
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 take until the following fall to complete select courses. Students must select those courses in collaboration with the MOT Program Director.
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 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 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 will 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 12 South Summit Ave, Suite 100, Gaithersburg, MD 20877.
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. Minimally, students must be prepared to show evidence of completion of the following immunizations:
- Lab test (titer) providing immunity to:
- Chicken Pox
- Hepatitis Vaccine (three doses) and Hepatitis titer
Health insurance, equal to or better than the USM Student Health Insurance Basic Plan, and CPR certification is required prior to beginning clinical coursework.