USM 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. They 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 OT’s website.
Students in the Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) program will complete 80 graduate credits consisting of seven 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 better to earn the MOT degree.
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 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).
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 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD, 20852-4929. The telephone number for ACOTE c/o AOTA is (301) 652-6611. The ACOTE website address is: www.acoteonline.org. 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 One Bank Street, Suite 300, Gaithersburg, MD 20878.
Courses in the Master of Occupational Therapy program are integrative by design and so must be taken in a specific order.
The following courses are required
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.
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.