Occupational Therapy Admission and Program Standards
Candidates for the entry-level Master’s degree program in Occupational Therapy include traditional and non-traditional students. Entry into the professional curriculum of the Master’s degree program can be accomplished in three different ways, depending on the academic status of the applicant.
- Candidates with Baccalaureate degrees can enter directly into the OT professional curriculum upon successful completion of admission requirements including prerequisite coursework.
- OTAs and other transfer students who do not have Baccalaureate degrees can apply for entry into the OT professional curriculum after successful completion of prerequisite courses and a mini - mum of 60 credits of Liberal Arts coursework, which include the College’s General Education Curriculum
- Other applicants may enter a three-year or a two-year OT pre-professional curriculum at Dominican College, which will provide general education and will meet all of the Occupational Therapy Master’s program prerequisites. After completing this pre-professional curriculum, students may apply for admission to the Master’s Program.
All candidates for the Occupational Therapy program must be admitted to the College through the Office of Admissions prior to initiating the admissions process for Occupational Therapy. After a candidate is admitted to the College, the Academic Studies Coordinators in the Occupational Therapy Program provide course advisement, course approval, and continuing guidance during the student’s provide course advisement, course approval, and continuing guidance during the student’s remaining prerequisite coursework and throughout the course of study in the Occupational Therapy program.
All applicants must complete the following prerequisites prior to admission to the OT Entry-Level Master’s program. Courses previously taken at other institutions may be transferred in except for the courses indicated.
- Anatomy & Physiology I, II
- Abnormal Psychology
- Topics in Physics/Physics
- Group Dynamics
- Kinesiology in Occupational Therapy Practice*
- Sociology General Psychology II or equivalent
- Developmental Psychology I and II or equivalent
- Introduction to Statistics or Psychological Statistics
- Quantitative Methods and Research Math 112 (if needed)
- Overview of OT Practice for OTAs*
- Introduction to OT Practice for non/OTAs*
*Must be taken at Dominican College
This statement of prerequisites is subject to amendment in two respects:
- Writing proficiency is critical in the profession of Occupational Therapy, and Dominican College is committed to providing its students with the kind of preparation that will assist them in the program and in their later careers; thus, all students are required to provide an on-site writing sample as part of the Program’s admission process. As a result, students may be required to enroll in one or more writing courses.
- The Anatomy & Physiology Challenge Examination is required for all applicants who took Anatomy & Physiology courses more than five years before application to the program at Dominican College. Students who fail this challenge exam will be required to take Anatomy & Physiology I and II.
Applicants must have a minimum G.P.A. of 3.0 and meet the following additional grade criteria:
- Science prerequisites require a minimum G.P.A. of 3.0, with no grade lower than a B- (2.7) for any individual science course.
- Other liberal arts prerequisites must be completed with no grade lower than a C (2.0) for any individual course and with the minimum G.P.A. of 3.0 for all coursework.
- Students must earn a B or better in OT 421, Introduction to OT Practice, or OT 431, Overview of OT Practice, and a B- or better in OT 532, Kinesiology in OT Practice, to be considered for admission into the Master’s program.
Applicants who have successfully completed the prerequisite coursework and have a minimum G.P.A. of 3.0 will be interviewed and/or participate in an orientation meeting with faculty members. All candidates should:
- Submit a two-page essay with an introductory cover letter addressed to the Program Director along with three recommendations, supporting their suitability for the OT profession and demonstrating their understanding of the field.
- Include documentation of volunteer experience in an OT department, professional work experience in OT or a related health field, and/or personal life experience resulting in significant exposure to the field of OT.
- OTAs applying for admission should submit documentation of one year of OTA work experience and initial N.B.C.O.T. certification (even if inactive) for OTAs. If the certification has been revoked, the applicant is ineligible for program admission.
- Candidates will be evaluated on the basis of their interview presentation, academic record, application essay, on-site essay, work experience, and letters of reference
Professional Curriculum and Academic Standards
Once a student is admitted, a minimum grade point average of B- (2.7) in Occupational Therapy courses must be maintained for each trimester in order to continue in the pr ogram, with no grade lower than a C (2.0). A grade of B- or lower places the student at risk. Students must comply with the standards and policies set forth by the College, the Occupational Therapy program, and the profession throughout their academic tenure. An advantage of a weekend course format is that it allows students to pursue educational goals while continuing their daily workplace arrangements. Students are cautioned, however, that long work hours are generally incompatible with success in the Program, which requires extensive study time, and that the Program cannot consider competing work obligations as a substitute for the maintenance of academic standards. In particular, it is a matter of policy that absence for more than the equivalent of one weekend will necessitate a nonpassing grade for any professional course.
Program of Study
The entry-level Master’s Occupational Therapy curriculum for students who have diverse (i.e., non-OTA) educational backgrounds requires the students’ participation in seven trimesters of academic work (a minimum of 65 semester hours). In recognition of their professional experience, the curriculum for students who are OTAs is taught over six trimesters and requires twelve fewer credits. Both program tracks require the completion of two three-month, threecredit clinical affiliations.
The student will enter the program with a basic knowledge in the liberal arts and specified prerequisites in the social sciences and natural sciences. A prerequisite course, Introduction to Occupational Therapy, will ensure that all diverse-background students have a basic understanding of the profession’s history, philosophy, and domains of concern. The prerequisite course Overview of OT Practice provides OTA students with a solid foundation in theory, clinical reasoning, and frames of reference to facilitate a successful transition from a technical level of knowledge and skill to professional-level education. The curriculum design incorporates a liberal arts foundation, a core of natural and social science courses, a sequence of professional courses, and fieldwork in Occupational Therapy. The program leads to a combined Bachelor of Science/Master of Science degree.
Students are eligible to sit for the certification examination administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) upon completion of the fieldwork experiences. However, a student’s ability to sit for the certification examination as well as obtain licensure may be affected if a student has “been charged with or convicted of a felony… (or) found by a court, administrative, or disciplinary proceeding to have committed negligence, malpractice, recklessness, or willful or intentional misconduct” resulting in harm to another.