The MS–OT program is a two-year professional program designed to prepare students for practice. It is accredited by the Accreditation Council on Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE—4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814). At the master's level, two years of didactic classroom learning is followed by 24 weeks of supervised fieldwork experiences in a variety of settings. This program meets the requirements for OTR certification set by the National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapy (NBCOT).
The occupational therapy program resides in the Department of Kinesiology and offers two graduate professional programs, an entry-level master of science (MS–OT) and a post-professional doctor of occupational therapy (OTD) for therapists with earned Masters degrees. Occupational therapists interested in pursuing advanced research training may also apply to the M.S./Ph.D. in Kinesiology–Occupational Science Track. The purpose of the graduate programs is to prepare clinicians, researchers, and teachers who possess a solid foundation in both the theoretical and applied aspects of the disciplines of occupational therapy and science.
Applicants for all graduate programs must complete a UW–Madison Graduate School application.
M.S. in Occupational Therapy (Professional)
Admission to the entry-level professional program in occupational therapy requires:
- Bachelor's degree (or equivalent) from a regionally accredited school of higher education by the start of the program
- Transcripts from each college, university, or technical college attended showing work completed and in progress
- Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores
- Documentation of paid or volunteer experience in at least two different settings serving persons across the lifespan with physical, behavioral or mental health disabilities
- Direct observation of Registered Occupational Therapists, or Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants, providing services is highly recommended
- Minimum of three letters of recommendation
- Personal statement responding to prompts provided on the graduate application
- At least a "C" or better in the following prerequisite courses or their equivalent:
|PREREQUISITE COURSES (UW-Madison or comparable) *|
|Lifespan Development 1 (one of the following): 1||3|
|Development of the Young Child|
|Human Development in Infancy and Childhood|
|Lifespan Development 2:||3|
|Development from Adolescence to Old Age|
|Basic Statistics for Psychology|
|Anatomy & Physiology: 2||6-8|
|Human Anatomy Laboratory|
|Physiology (with Lab)|
Further guidelines for acceptable prerequisite coursework may be found here.
Applicants who complete a lifespan/human development course should complete a second course in child or adult development.
Applicants may complete 6–8 credits (two semesters) of combined anatomy and physiology (with lab) to fulfill both the anatomy and physiology prerequisite
Graduate School Admissions
Graduate admissions is a two-step process between academic degree programs and the Graduate School. Applicants must meet requirements of both the program(s) and the Graduate School. Once you have researched the graduate program(s) you are interested in, apply online.
Graduate School Resources
Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and processes related to funding.
Financial assistance, sometimes available to graduate students in occupational therapy, consists of scholarships, fellowships, and teaching, project or research assistant positions. Financial assistance is limited; opportunities vary by program and from year to year. Students who are considering applying for financial support should see the OT Program Tuition, Scholarship & Financial Aid webpage for further information.
Minimum Graduate School Requirements
Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.
MODE OF INSTRUCTION
|Face to Face||Evening/Weekend||Online||Hybrid||Accelerated|
Mode of Instruction Definitions
Evening/Weekend: These programs are offered in an evening and/or weekend format to accommodate working schedules. Enjoy the advantages of on-campus courses and personal connections, while keeping your day job. For more information about the meeting schedule of a specific program, contact the program.
Online: These programs are offered primarily online. Many available online programs can be completed almost entirely online with all online programs offering at least 50 percent or more of the program work online. Some online programs have an on-campus component that is often designed to accommodate working schedules. Take advantage of the convenience of online learning while participating in a rich, interactive learning environment. For more information about the online nature of a specific program, contact the program.
Hybrid: These programs have innovative curricula that combine on-campus and online formats. Most hybrid programs are completed on-campus with a partial or completely online semester. For more information about the hybrid schedule of a specific program, contact the program.
Accelerated: These on-campus programs are offered in an accelerated format that allows you to complete your program in a condensed time-frame. Enjoy the advantages of on-campus courses with minimal disruption to your career. For more information about the accelerated nature of a specific program, contact the program.
|Minimum Credit Requirement||61 credits|
|Minimum Residence Credit Requirement||16 credits|
|Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement||Half of degree coursework (31 credits out of 61 total credits) must be completed graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide (https://registrar.wisc.edu/course-guide/).|
|Overall Graduate GPA Requirement||3.00 GPA required.|
|Other Grade Requirements||The Graduate School requires students maintain a graduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) for courses numbered 300 and above (excluding research) to receive a degree. Conditions for probationary status may require higher grades. Grades of Incomplete are considered to be unsatisfactory if they are not removed during the next enrolled semester.|
|Assessments and Examinations||No formal examination specific to the M.S. is required. Curricular requirements (all didactic courses) must be passed, in conformity with GPA and grad requirements.|
|Language Requirements||No language requirements.|
|ANATOMY 622||Human Anatomy-Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy||6|
|OCC THER 610||Professional Skills I: Professional Practice in Occupational Therapy||2|
|OCC THER 611||Professional Skills II: Communication & Interpersonal Skills in OT||2|
|OCC THER 612||Professional Skills III: Organization and Management in OT Practice||3|
|OCC THER 613||Professional Skills IV: Community-based OT Practice||2|
|OCC THER 620||Occupational-based Theory and Practice||2|
|OCC THER 621||Assessment of Occupational Participation||3|
|OCC THER 622||Infant and Childhood Occupations and Therapeutic Interventions||4|
|OCC THER 623||Adolescent and Young Adult Occupations and Therapeutic Interventions||4|
|OCC THER 624||Middle and Late Adulthood Occupations and Therapeutic Interventions||4|
|OCC THER 625||Level-I Fieldwork: Infants and Children||1|
|OCC THER 626||Level-I Fieldwork: Adolescents and Young Adults||1|
|OCC THER 627||Level-I Fieldwork: Middle and Late Adulthood||1|
|OCC THER 629||Medical Lectures for Occupational Therapy||2|
|OCC THER 640||Applied Neuroanatomy for Allied Health Professionals||3|
|OCC THER 662||Level II Fieldwork A||6|
|OCC THER 664||Level II Fieldwork B||6|
|OCC THER 671||Scientific Inquiry in OT I: Evidence-Based Practice.||2|
|OCC THER 672||Scientific Inquiry in Occupational Therapy II: Research Design and Methods||2|
|OCC THER 673||Scientific Inquiry in OT III: Data Collection and Analysis.||3|
|OCC THER 674||Scientific Inquiry in OT IV: Scientific Writing for Publication||2|
The MS–OT has a prescribed curriculum of 61 credits, with potential for electives. See Curriculum on the OT website.
Graduate School Policies
The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.
Graduate Program Handbook
The Graduate Program Handbook is the repository for all of the program's policies and requirements.
Graduate Work from Other Institutions
With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 15 credits of graduate course work from other institutions. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master's degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.
No credits from a UW–Madison undergraduate degree are allowed to count toward the degree.
UW–Madison University Special
With program approval and payment of the difference in tuition (between special and graduate tuition), students are allowed to count no more than 15 credits of course work numbered 300 or above taken in UW–Madison University Special student status. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master's degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.
The Graduate School regularly reviews the record of any student who earned grades of BC, C, D, F, or Incomplete in a graduate course (300 or above), or grade of U in research credits. This review could result in academic probation with a hold on future enrollment or in being suspended from the Graduate School. See Probation on the Graduate School website.
ADVISOR / COMMITTEE
All students must have an assigned advisor to meet UW information management needs, and accordingly, and of its own volition, the department assigns an advisor to each student. Assigned advisors in the M. S. in Occupational Therapy (MS–OT) program are graduate research or clinical faculty. To ensure that students are making satisfactory progress toward a degree, the Graduate School expects them to meet with their advisor on a regular basis.
CREDITS PER TERM ALLOWED
Master's degree students who have been absent for five or more consecutive years lose all credits that they have earned before their absence. Individual programs may count the coursework students completed prior to their absence for meeting program requirements; that coursework may not count toward Graduate School credit requirements.
Level II fieldwork must be completed within 24 months of completion of coursework.
Graduate School Resources
Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career.
- (Foundational Knowledge) Demonstrate an understanding of the physical, psychological and contextual substrates of human occupation in typical and nontypical development.
- (Foundational Knowledge) Discuss the role of personal and environmental factors on involvement in daily activities and community participation.
- (Foundational Knowledge) Critically examine and apply theories associated with the science of human occupation and models of interprofessional practice to service delivery.
- (Foundational Knowledge) Demonstrate knowledge of one's own role and those of other professions to appropriately assess and address the needs of clients and populations served.
- (Scientific Inquiry and Theory Development) Articulate current problems facing the profession of occupational therapy in an interprofessional context with respect to theory, knowledge and practice.
- (Scientific Inquiry and Theory Development) Identify and critique current knowledge, theories and evidence to inform practice.
- (Scientific Inquiry and Theory Development) Demonstrate necessary skills for designing a scholarly proposal that includes a research question, relevant literature, samples, design, measurement and data analysis.
- (Scientific Inquiry and Theory Development) Participate in scholarly activities that evaluate professional practice, service delivery, and/or professional issues.
- (Practice Reasoning and Decision Making) Appropriately assess clients' participation in daily life activities and employ an interprofessional approach to determining clients' needs within the context of family and society.
- (Practice Reasoning and Decision Making) Identify factors within the environment that influence participation in home and community life.
- (Practice Reasoning and Decision Making) Plan for discharge in collaboration with the client and family and terminate occupational therapy when appropriate.
- (Professional Conduct) Articulate the values of the occupational therapy profession.
- (Professional Conduct) Work with individuals of other professions to maintain a climate of mutual respect and shared values.
- (Professional Conduct) Describe the varied roles of the occupational therapist as practitioner, educator, researcher, and entrepreneur,
- (Professional Conduct) Establish appropriate therapeutic relationships with individuals, groups, organizations and systems,
- (Professional Conduct) Use effective interpersonal communication and demonstrate effective and culturally sensitive group communication.
- (Professional Conduct) Demonstrate use of safety precautions with the client during the process of practice.
- (Professional Conduct) Demonstrate knowledge of legal and ethical issues related to care in health, education, and community settings.
Graduate Faculty: Professors Benedict (OT Program Coordinator), Edwards; Associate Professor Larson; Assistant Professors Ausderau, Pickett, Travers. Links to faculty webpages, instructors and program staff are listed here.
Accreditation status: Accreditation. Next accreditation review: 2017–2018
|Year of Exam||UW-Madison Graduates: First Attempt||National: First Attempt|
Note: The table shows pass rates on the national certification exam. Licenses are awarded at the state level.