VCU Bulletins

Occupational Therapy, Master of Science in (M.S.O.T.)

Dianne F. Simons, Ph.D., OTR/L
Assistant professor, director, M.S.O.T. entry-level program and graduate admissions chair
(804) 828-2219

Lawrencine Smith
Program manager
(804) 828-2219

Al Copolillo, Ph.D., OTR/L, FAOTA
Associate professor and chair
(804) 828-2219


Admission requirements summary

Occupational Therapy, Master of Science in (M.S.O.T.)

of entry:

Summer only

Dec 1 (Applications accepted between Aug 2 and Dec 1 by OTCAS.)

Special requirements:
The VCU Graduate School application, $50 application fee and an official copy of Graduate Record Exam scores from Educational Testing Service.

For more information about the M.S.O.T. program, please see the Department of Occupational Therapy website at

The Department of Occupational Therapy offers a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, a graduate educational program designed to prepare students for entry into the profession of occupational therapy. This program may be completed in seven consecutive semesters. Applications will be accepted from students who have completed at least three years of bachelor’s degree course work (90 semester credits), however students are advised to complete a four-year curriculum leading to a B.S. or B.A. degree. The program includes academic courses, research activities and a minimum of 24 weeks of full-time fieldwork.


The professional master’s degree program to become an occupational therapist is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education, 4720 Montgomery Lane, P.O. Box 31220, Bethesda, MD 20824-1220; telephone (301) 652-2682.

Student learning outcomes

SLO 1:  Meet foundational requirements 
As part of a broad foundation in liberal arts and sciences, including biological, physical, social and behavioral sciences, students will be able to employ logical thinking, critical analysis, clinical reasoning and problem solving to demonstrate oral and written communication skills, innovative use of computer technology, knowledge of human structure and function, awareness of social development, and use of statistics to interpret tests and measurements. Objectives B.1.1-B.1.11 in ACOTE Standards

SLO 2:  Basic tenets of occupational therapy 
Students will be able to understand and articulate the meaning and impact of occupation, its historical and philosophical significance to the profession, its role as a central construct in OT theory development, its relationship to the promotion of health and wellness and prevention of disease and disability. Recognizing the importance of activity analysis in the process of formulating intervention plans will be an emphasis for student learning. Objectives B.2.1-B.2.11 in ACOTE Standards

SLO 3:  OT theories, models and frames of reference 
Students will be able to describe and apply occupational therapy theories and models these and other theoretical foundations of evaluation and intervention and will demonstrate appreciation for the process of development of theoretical principles. Occupational therapy theories and models covered in the curriculum will include but not be limited to: the Model of Human Occupation Sensory Integration biomechanical and rehabilitation models motor control and movement recovery models Objectives B.3.1-B.3.6 in ACOTE Standards

SLO 4:  OT screening, evaluation and referral 
Students will be able to select appropriate tools, both standardized and non-standardized, for effective evaluation; analyze psychometric properties of assessment tools; evaluate occupational performance across all areas of occupation; distinguish between roles of occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants; make appropriate client referrals; interpret test results; and document services to assure accountability, reimbursement and need for services. Objectives B.4.1-B.4.11 in ACOTE Standards

SLO 5:  Intervention planning 
In accordance with the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework, students will learn to develop occupation-based intervention plans and strategies. Intervention planning will be based on information acquired via occupational profiles, evaluation of client factors — body function and structure strengths/weaknesses, performance patterns, contextual issues, activity demands and performance skills. Students will be able to choose appropriate therapeutic activities, learn the value of therapeutic use of self, modify environments, incorporate assistive technologies, fabricate needed orthotics, and train clients in areas of mobility and transfer, feeding and eating, and activities of daily living. Students will educate clients as needed and safely use superficial thermal and mechanical modalities as preparatory measures to improving occupational performance. Objectives B.5.1-B.5.28 in ACOTE Standards

SLO 6:  Context of service delivery 
Students will demonstrate knowledge of the variety of contexts that affect and are affected by occupational therapy service delivery. They will be able to compare and contrast differences in service delivery systems, including health care, education, community and social systems. They will be able to discuss the impact of socioeconomic and political influences on occupational therapy and the need to respond to system changes to create opportunities and avoid pitfalls in education, research and practice. Objectives B.6.1-B.6.6 in ACOTE Standards

SLO 7:  OT management 
Students will be able to describe and demonstrate how practice settings affect service delivery and management of services; awareness of how federal and state laws guide service delivery; understanding of the requirements for licensing and certification, documentation, and reimbursement; and the essential nature of competency-based procedures for legal and ethical supervision of personnel and fieldwork students. Understanding of program needs, service delivery optional and effective staffing procedures will be discussed. Objectives B.7.1-B.7.10 in ACOTE Standards

SLO 8:  Understanding and consuming Research 
Students will be able to articulate the importance of knowledge development for the profession; locate, critique and interpret research evidence; apply research literature to practice; use basic statistics and qualitative research methods; demonstrate knowledge of the research process; and implement some aspect of research methodology. Discussion of grant writing, proposal development, research dissemination and translation, and research report writing will be included. Objectives B.8.1-B.8.9 in ACOTE Standards

SLO 9:  Professional ethics 
Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the American OT Association’s code of ethics; the importance of membership in professional organizations; the value of supporting and educating other professions about OT; the importance of ongoing professional development; the threat and avoidance of liability issues; conflict resolution; contractual service provision; and ethical supervision. Objectives B.9.1-B.9.13 in ACOTE Standards

SLO 10:  Fieldwork 
Through a carefully coordinated process of fieldwork, students will be able to apply concepts learned in the classroom to practice settings under careful supervision of trained and qualified occupational therapy practitioners. Gradation of time spent, responsibilities and expectations placed on students will be provided through assignment, first to fieldwork level 1 and then to fieldwork level 2 experiences across a wide range of settings and practice areas. Upon completion of all fieldwork requirements, students will be prepared to take the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) examination, thereby qualifying them for state licensure and practice of occupational therapy at the entry level. Objectives B.10.1-B.1.22 in ACOTE Standards



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Last update: 11/12/2013

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