Occupational therapy students are required to complete Level I and Level II fieldwork experiences. Please refer to the Student Fieldwork Manual for more information on fieldwork. Level I fieldwork includes course-related experiences in community-based settings. Students also complete a one-week Level I fieldwork experience in a setting observing and assisting an occupational therapist.
Level II fieldwork provides the opportunity for students to integrate their knowledge and skills in two different OT practice settings under the direct supervision of an experienced occupational therapist. The department maintains fieldwork agreements with 600 settings nationwide. Level II fieldwork consists of two twelve-week fieldwork placements during the graduate year. At their fieldwork sites, students work closely with an experienced occupational therapist who serves as a mentor and supervisor.
Fieldwork experiences are scheduled in centers that are approved by the department. Students are responsible for meeting the health and criminal record clearances established by their fieldwork sites. In addition, students are responsible for transportation to off-campus fieldwork sites and other community learning experiences. Proof of immunizations such as poliomyelitis, rubella, and hepatitis B may also be required. For Level II fieldwork, health insurance and a physical examination, including a tuberculin test, are required.
After fieldwork and all academic work have been successfully completed, students earn their graduate degree, either a Master of Science Degree in Occupational Therapy or a Clinical Doctoral Degree in Occupational Therapy. They are then eligible to sit for the National Certification Examination in Occupational Therapy. Consistent with NBCOT expectations, students must sit for the certification examination within three years of completion of coursework and fieldwork. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination and/or obtain licensure.
Graduates from an accredited program are eligible to sit for the Certification Examination for the Occupational Therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be a certified occupational therapist (OTR). Most states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination.