Occupational Therapy in Downers Grove

College of Health Sciences

Occupational Therapy lab


Fast Facts



Master of Occupational Therapy (M.O.T.)

General Requirements

Length of Program

27 months, full-time

Class Size


2014-2015 Class Profiles

Occupational Therapist Professional Responsibilities

Fieldwork Placements

Occupational therapy students are provided a number of different clinical experiences during the course of the program.  Level I rotations are concurrent with the academic program.  Level II rotations are full time for 12 weeks each during the Summer and Fall Quarters of the third year.

2012-2014 Graduation Rate

Total Number of Program GraduatesGraduation Rate

National Certification Exam Scores

The three-year pass rate for the National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy Examination is 97%. To view the percentage of new graduates who passed the NBCOT examination for 2014, click on the secure link, below:         https://secure.nbcot.org/data/schoolstats.aspx

The pass rate average for all U.S. schools was 85% for 2012, 93% for 2013, and 100% for 2014.

Career Opportunities

Occupational Therapists provide evaluation and intervention, education, consultation, management, wellness and prevention services. According to the American Occupational Therapy Association*, occupational therapists work in Skilled Nursing Facilities, Pediatrics, Rehabilitation, School Systems, Acute Care, Geriatrics, Home Health, Orthopedics, Mental health, OT Professional Education and/or Research.

*American Occupational Therapy Association, http://www.AOTA.org

Licensure Requirements

Occupational Therapy is a registered and/or licensed profession in all 50 states. To become licensed to practice as an occupational therapist in most states (including Illinois), a student must graduate from an ACOTE-accredited or approved educational program and pass the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by NBCOT. Most states (including Illinois) require status as an occupational therapist registered (OTR) to become a licensed occupational therapist (OTR/L). Most states require licensure in order to practice. A prior felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to sit for the NBCOT Certification Exam or attain state licensure.

Job Placement 

100% of the students who graduated obtained positions as occupational therapists.

Time to Employment

Graduates obtain positions as occupational therapists within three months of completion.

US Employment Projections through 2022  

Employment of occupational therapists is expected to increase 29 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the the average for all occupations. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Occupational Therapists, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/occupational-therapists.htm, accessed 08/12/2014)

Median Annual Salary

The median annual salary of occupational therapists was $75,400 in May 2012. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Occupational Therapists, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/occupational-therapists.htm#tab-6, accessed 08/12/2014.)

Admission Requirements

Individuals applying for admission to the College of Health Sciences Occupational Therapy Program must submit documentation for the following minimum requirements before the academic year commences for the incoming class:
  1. Completion of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  2. A minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 on a 4.00 scale. Grades of C or better for prerequisite coursework; grades of C- are not acceptable.
  3. Completion of the minimum number of prerequisite courses in the prescribed subject areas at regionally accredited colleges or universities.
  4. Satisfaction of the standards set forth by the Admissions Committee (including documentation of academic and professional promise in prospective students).
  5. Completion of the Occupational Therapy Program's interview process. On-campus interviews are by invitation only.  Applicants are invited to an interview based on evidence supportive of excellence in:
    • Academic achievement
    • Oral and written communication skills
    • Articulation of the domain and scope of OT practice
    • Community service
    • Leadership in extracurricular or other activities
  6. Completion of a first aid course within the three years prior to enrollment.
  7. Current certification by the American Heart Association in Basic Life Support (BLS) for Health Care Providers.
  8. Demonstration of a people or service orientation through community service or extracurricular activities.
  9. Motivation for and commitment to healthcare as demonstrated by previous work, volunteer work, or other life experiences.
  10. Oral and written communication skills necessary to interact with clients and colleagues.
  11. Commitment to abide by Midwestern University Drug-Free Workplace and Substance Abuse Policy.
  12. Passage of the Midwestern University criminal background check.

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    Prerequisite Courses

    Students must complete these courses with a grade of C or better; grades of C- are not acceptable:

    Course Sem Hrs Qtr Hrs
    Human Anatomy*#34
    Human Development†34
    Abnormal Psychology34
    Social and Behavioral Sciences (Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology)34


    *The Anatomy and Physiology requirements may also be fulfilled by taking Anatomy and Physiology I and Anatomy and Physiology II, as some universities offer combined courses.

    #Human Anatomy must be completed successfully within 5 years of admission to the Program. The lab component with cadaver experience is strongly recommended.

    The Human Development course requirement refers to at least one course which includes the physical, social, and psychological development throughout the lifespan.

    Additional courses in the sciences and mathematics are recommended, including chemistry, physiology, physics, and biology.

    General education electives are also recommended to demonstrate competency in English composition, oral communication, problem-solving behavior, logic, and ethical theories.

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    Program Description


    The Occupational Therapy Program offers a curriculum leading to the Master of Occupational Therapy (M.O.T.) degree for qualified students. The full-time, continuous, entry-level master's curriculum is designed to deliver the academic and clinical education required to prepare students for their professional role as key members of the health care team, and as integral practitioners in the health care delivery system. The curriculum for the Master of Occupational Therapy degree is a continuous, full-time program, extending 27 months from matriculation to graduation. The maximum allotted time for completion of this program is 40.5 months. It is also required that all Level II fieldwork must be completed within 18 months of completion of the didactic portion of the program. The general education, professional training, experience, and personal character development of occupational therapists uniquely prepare them to respond to the needs of individuals who face challenges participating in their daily lives.

    The Master of Occupational Therapy Program offers a balanced combination of foundational, clinical, and research coursework designed to foster therapists who are self-directed, thoughtful, and caring professionals. The Program provides students with a balanced complement of coursework. Approximately half of the course credits are obtained from foundational courses in the sciences, occupational therapy theory, and research. The remaining credits focus on courses related to evaluation and interventions appropriate for various client populations (e.g., children, the elderly, etc.), specialized coursework in upper extremity intervention, and many opportunities for experiential (hands-on) learning. The practice courses facilitate students' application of content related to client evaluation and treatment using community-based and case-based learning opportunities. In addition to such preclinical learning opportunities, the fieldwork program is extensive and rich in the types of experiences offered to students. This strong curricular framework succeeds in preparing graduates who are ready – and able – to enter the profession of occupational therapy and to make a difference in the world.

    The Occupational Therapy Program is open on a competitive admission basis to applicants who have received a bachelor's degree in any field, but who have not completed an accredited occupational therapy program. The Program does not accept students who transfer from another Occupational Therapy Program. The curriculum is designed to prepare entry-level practitioners to provide occupational therapy services in the home, community, and clinical practice settings that require independent judgment, leadership, and self-directed practice. The educational experience provides the foundation for graduates to identify and contribute to effecting solutions to the major emergent health issues of our society and contribute to the academic and clinical education of future practitioners. It also is designed to prepare graduates for leadership and management roles in the profession. The graduate will be prepared to make meaningful, ongoing contributions to society, health care, and the profession through leadership activities and collaborative efforts with others in occupational therapy and interdisciplinary education, practice, and research.

    Program Objectives

    Upon completion of the Master of Occupational Therapy Program, graduates are expected to: 

    1. Provide evidence-based occupational therapy services in traditional and emerging areas of practice.
    2. Meet the occupational needs of individuals and populations through professional advocacy and leadership.
    3. Apply therapeutic use of occupations to support engagement in activities that promote health, well-being and quality of life.
    4. Sustain continued professional development through lifelong learning activities, and 
    5. Uphold the ethical standards, values and attitudes of the occupational therapy profession in order to sensitively meet  the occupational needs of a culturally and socially diverse clientele.

    These outcomes are accomplished through:

    1. A curriculum model based on intentionally sequenced courses that act as vital links between application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of knowledge, skills and attitudes.
    2. Critical application of current research and other forms of best evidence to improve occupational therapy practice and contribute to the body of related knowledge.
    3. Sequential implementation of simulated and authentic clinical experiences across the curriculum.
    4. Occupation-focused coursework and fieldwork experiences designed to facilitate critical and ethical reasoning, and 
    5. Opportunities for both individual and group work to develop leadership, team-building, and professional skills, behaviors and attitudes.

    Planned Program Improvements

    To maintain compliance with the 2013 Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE®) Standards, the Occupational Therapy Program has developed an additional Level I fieldwork rotation that has as its focus psychological and social factors that influence engagement in occupation. Each student takes this course during the second year in the program.



    The Midwestern University Occupational Therapy Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. ACOTE's telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its Web address is www.acoteonline.org

    Midwestern University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission/A Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC/NCA), 230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604-1413.

    Related Links


    MWU Occupational Therapy Program in Glendale

    Occupational Therapy as a Career

    American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)

    American Occupational Therapy Foundation

    National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT)

    World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT)