Sep 28, 2023  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Occupational Therapy, M.O.T

The University of Southern Maine 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 ACOTE - Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education.

Mission Statement

The  Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) program develops entry-level occupational therapists who strive to be agents of change by understanding the sociocultural, political, and economic factors that influence the nature of occupation in society as well as the profession of occupational therapy.

Graduates of this program will be prepared to succeed in the health and community care contexts as ethical, socially responsible life-long learners. Graduates will understand their capacities as leaders while employing the skills of clinical reasoning, problem solving, and use of evidence to positively impact their clients, their communities, and their own lives.

Philosophy Statement

The MOT program at the University of Southern Maine is committed to excellence and the thorough academic preparation of entry-level occupational therapy practitioners. The program supports the development of reflective, skilled, evidence-based practitioners who can provide leadership and be a model for change. Learners construct knowledge based on the integration of academic content, active and engaged learning opportunities both in and outside of the classroom, life experiences within a sociocultural context, and the reflective analysis of all of the above. Learning and teaching is a collaborative process with peers and faculty, emphasizing respect for and value of critical thinking and clinical reasoning used to apply theory to practice. Learning is valued as a lifelong process.

Central to our curriculum is recognition that humans are occupational beings who engage in culturally meaningful activities (occupations) that are influenced by the context of their lives. Engagement in occupations is necessary for health and well being. It is the aim of this program to help students examine the meaning of occupation in healthy lives, as well as to understand how stress, trauma, disease, dysfunction, and environmental constraints impact occupational performance and participation. Students are encouraged to respect the uniqueness, dignity, and value of each individual, and to exemplify this by making the client and his or her needs central to the therapeutic process. In addition to working with individual clients, we recognize and support the stance of the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Commission on Practice that clients include “groups, organizations, persons, caregivers, and communities.”

The MOT program recognizes and supports occupation-based practice, which includes the importance of examining interactions among the client, his or her multiple contexts, and the occupations in which he or she engages. Through mutual respect, a strong theoretical and practice base, and collaborative and active teaching and learning, the MOT program at the University of Southern Maine graduates occupational therapy students who are well prepared to enter the occupational therapy profession.

For additional information, please visit the “How to Apply” page on the Department of Occupational Therapy website.

Program Requirements

Students in the Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) program will complete 68 graduate credits consisting of six semesters of coursework, including six months of full time fieldwork. All courses in the curriculum must be completed with a cumulative average of B or higher to earn the MOT degree.

Personal health insurance is required for all students in this program.

Students are required to complete three Level I Fieldwork experiences in psychosocial, community practice, and pediatric or adult population 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, twelve week long Level II Fieldwork experiences in two different settings.

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 that conviction may jeopardize potential board certification, the student 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).

Required Courses

Courses in the Master of Occupational Therapy program are integrative by design and so must be taken in a specific order.

Program Policies

In addition to the general policies described in the Academic Policies chapter, specific policies of this program are as follows.

Time Limit:

Unless applying for a part time option, the program’s academic work is designed to be completed within six 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.

Grade Policy:

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 repeated course, they may 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 may be dismissed from the program. A student may not be placed on probation more than once.

Transfer Policy:

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.