The College of Health Sciences' Occupational Therapy Program is designed to help you build a career as a thoughtful, self-directed, and caring professional therapist. You will be providing important adaptive services to patients to help them regain their independence in home, community, and clinical practice settings, and our faculty will work with you to develop the independent judgment, leadership, and self-directed practical skills to provide patient-focused, compassionate care. We will help you make meaningful, ongoing contributions to society as a member of tomorrow's healthcare team.

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Fast Facts



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

General Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75
  • Successful completion of prerequisite courses

Length of Program

27 months, full-time

Typical Class Size


2019 Class Profile

  • Female: 92%
  • Male: 8%
  • Average Age: 24
  • Average Overall GPA: 3.5
  • Class Size: 39
  • Top Home States: Arizona (36%), and California (23%).  The following states were also represented: Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.

Occupational Therapist Professional Responsibilities

  • Evaluation and treatment
  • Screening and education
  • Consultation
  • Research
  • Administration

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 Spring Quarter of the second year, and the Fall Quarter of the third year.

2014-2016 Graduation Rate

Graduation Year

Student Entering/Graduating

Graduation Rate













National Certification Exam Scores

To view the percentage of new graduates who passed the NBCOT examination for the past years, click on the secure link, below.  Please note that Arizona data from 2013 and 2014 was incorporated into the data reported for the Illinois campus.

Career Opportunities

According to the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT)*, the top ten areas of practice for primary OT employment are:

  • Skilled Nursing Facilities

  • Pediatrics

  • Rehabilitation

  • School Systems

  • Acute Care

  • Geriatrics

  • Home Health

  • Orthopedics

  • Mental Health

  • OT Professional Education and/or Research

*NBCOT. (2012). Practice Analysis of the Occupational Therapist Registered Executive Summary., accessed 1/22/2019.

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 Arizona), 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 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 examination or attain state licensure.

US Employment Projections

Employment of occupational therapists is expected to increase by 24 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the Internet at, accessed 1/22/2019) 

Median Annual Salary

The median annual salary of occupational therapists was $83,200 in 2017. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook,  on the Internet at, accessed 1/22/2019) 

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 the prospective student.
  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:
    1. Academic achievement
    2. Oral and written communication skills
    3. Articulation of the domain and scope of OT practice
    4. Community service
    5. Leadership in extracurricular or other activities
  6. Completion of a first aid course within three years prior to enrollment.
  7. Current certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) Level C/Health Care Provider or Basic Life Support of the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross. Students are responsible for maintaining CPR certification at this level while enrolled in the program.
  8. Demonstration of a people or service orientation through community service or extracurricular activities.
  9. Motivation for and commitment to health care 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 the 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 higher (Grades of C- are not acceptable).

Course Sem Hrs Qtr Hrs
Human Anatomy*#34
Human Development34
Abnormal Psychology34
Social and Behavioral Science34

*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.

Additional courses in the sciences and mathematics are also 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.

Application Deadline

Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis. Students are advised to complete their application files as early as possible to ensure timely consideration. Applicants are required to submit their applications to OTCAS by February 1st.

Additional Application Information

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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 for the healthcare team and as integral practitioners in the healthcare 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 client 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 intervention 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. Such a 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 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, healthcare, 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 a curriculum model that is based on:

  1. Intentionally sequenced courses that develop the knowledge required to progress through the curriculum and successfully provide care to improve occupational performance;
  2. Repeated translation and integration of knowledge into new contexts, and to develop increasing depth and complexity, in the competencies required for occupational therapy practice;
  3. Occupation-focused intervention, recognizing the therapeutic value in occupational engagement as a change agent in therapy as well as the ultimate outcome of the therapy;
  4. Client-centered intervention as a means to address unique aspects of individuals, and to empower them to play an active role in directing their own therapy;
  5. Opportunities for both individual and group work that provides active assimilation of new and prior knowledge, exposure to diverse viewpoints and different perspectives, while developing an individual sense of self-efficacy, mastery, and professional growth;
  6. Simulated and authentic learning encounters that provide a means by which new knowledge and skills are assimilated into "live" practice, providing opportunities to test professional judgement, evaluate knowledge and skills, and self-reflect on performance.

Planned Program Improvements

Curricular revisions implemented in 2017 are being reviewed and refined for the incoming class of 2019.



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

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.

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