Feb 25, 2024  
2019-2020 School of Graduate Studies Catalog 
2019-2020 School of Graduate Studies Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Occupational Therapy, Direct Entry/Master of Science

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This program is designed for students who have earned a baccalaureate degree in another area of study and wish to become qualified as an occupational therapist. The focus of the direct entry master’s in occupational therapy is to prepare excellent practitioners who are dedicated to providing occupation-focused, client-centered, and evidence-based services and are committed to leadership in the field.  The program’s design is a part-time evening cohort model. 

This program meets the standards, skills, values and ethics requirements set forth by the Accreditation Council of Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).
Their address is:
ACOTE C/O Accreditation Department
American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200
Bethesda, MD 20814-3449
phone: 301.652.2682.

Graduates from the direct entry program meeting all requirements will be eligible to sit for the Occupational Therapy Certification Examination administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). Please note that any student who has been convicted of a prior felony may be considered ineligible by NBCOT to set for the NBCOT exam and may be unable to attain an OT license from the State Licensure Board.

Program Requirements

Grading Policy

Occupational Therapy students must successfully complete all graduate courses with a grade of B- or better. Students will have to wait a year (take an academic leave of absence) until the course is offered
again to repeat the course. Students are allowed to repeat no more than one course during their academic program.

Academic Standards

Good academic standing in the Occupational Therapy Department is defined as:

  1. Satisfactory academic performance
  •  Maintaining a grade of B- or better in all OT coursework (Students may return to good standing status by repeating courses described above and achieving grades of at least B- in repeated courses)
  •  Adherence to University and School policies, rules and procedures
  •  Professional Behavior that leads to professional competence end positive interpersonal and professional relations (Professional behaviors as defined on Professional Behaviors Assessment)

Failure to maintain good academic standing is grounds for academic probation or dismissal to be determined by the occupational therapy academic review committee.

Professional Behavior Policy

The goal of the SSU Occupational Therapy Department is to foster students’ progress in their professional development as they enter and proceed through the professional phase of the curriculum and move onto clinical practice, We expect that all students will be successful in all parts of their education, including the development of exemplary professional behaviors within the academic and clinical settings.

Just as there are standards and protocols established for students who require remediation for academic issues, a similar process for professional behavior issues has been established. The following procedure outlines the identification of a professional behavior issue, a plan for remediation, and the process leading to further action. Identification of targeted professional behaviors are described in the professional behaviors assessment tool (attached below). Students are expected to behave according to these standards during academic and clinical learning experiences. Faculty assess each students’ professional behaviors in every course using the professional behavior assessment tool. If an academic or clinical faculty member identifies and documents a serious concern(s) with a student’s professional behavior, then the following policies and procedures will be followed:

  1. The faculty member will meet with the student to identify the behaviors) through the Professional Behavior Assessment form and counsel the student to demonstrate behavior consistent with the professional standard,
  2. If, after step 1, the unprofessional behavior(s) continue and there is a failure of the Professional Behavior Assessment, then both the student and faculty member will meet with the Academic Review Committee (consisting of the department chair, the graduate coordinator, and the academic fieldwork educator) to establish a Professional Behavior Plan in collaboration with the student.
  3. The Professional Behavior Plan will include the following items:
  • A description of the specific behaviors that the student is expected to demonstrate.
  • The specific tasks that the student is expected to accomplish.
  • Time frames related to accomplishing the tasks and behaviors.
  • Repercussions for unsuccessful remediation or inability to meet the terms of the plan.
  • Who will monitor the terms of the contract.
  • How the terms of the contract will be monitored.
  1. The Academic Review Committee will meet again with the student, at a time stated in the plan, to determine if the student has successfully implemented the plan.
  2. Lack of compliance with program/university rules or procedures or inappropriate professional/ethical conduct at a level of greater magnitude than that considered to warrant a warning automatically triggers the implementation of a professional behavior plan.
  3. A Failed Professional Behavior Plan will result in:

Academic Probation

A student is placed on academic probation for a year for any one of the following°

  •  Failure to meet the terms of the Professional Behavior Plan designed as the result of a failed
  •  Professional behavior Assessment;
  •  Receiving a course grade less than B- in any of the occupational therapy courses;
  •  Lack of compliance with school/university rules or procedures or inappropriate professional/ethical conduct at a level of greater magnitude than that considered to warrant a warning.


A student may be dismissed from the program for any one of the following:

  • Academic probation status for more than one year at any time during the academic program;
  • Failure to meet the terms of a Professional Behavior Plan designed as the result of an academic probation;
  • Lack of compliance with program/university rules or procedures or inappropriate professional/ethical conduct at a level of greater magnitude than that considered to warrant probation;
  • Flagrant or intentional violations of the AOTA Code of Ethics, the University Code of Academic Conduct, and/or the University Code of Student Conduct.

The Professional Behavior Committee consists of the Department chair, Graduate Coordinator, and the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator



Because your undergraduate degree was not occupational therapy, there are prerequisites that must be completed with a grade of C or better by the beginning of the program in September. The exception is statistics – this course may be taken in the first semester of the program.     

  • Medical Terminology Course (Certificate)
  • BIO 200 & 201   Anatomy & Physiology I & II (8)
  • SMS 300   Kinesiology (3)
  • PSY 215   Abnormal Psychology (3)
  • PSY   Human Growth & Development (3)
  • SOC 201   Intro to Sociology or Intro to Anthropology (3)                          
  • BIO 400   Neuroanatomy (4)
  • MAT 247 Statistics (Math, Psych or Business) (3) Can take option OT course**
  • PHL 218  Ethics (any course) (3)

    Total Prerequisite Credits: 30

Total Credits: 93

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