Occupational Therapy Program Requirements for Advanced-Standing MS Students
UNH students who are in the BS program in occupational therapy enter into the Advanced-Standing MS Program to complete a MS Degree in Occupational Therapy to be eligible to enter the profession of occupational therapy. Because they have completed some of the professional courses, they earn their MS Degree in Occupational Therapy in three semesters, including fieldwork. The Occupational Therapy Master's Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. Their phone number is (301) 652-AOTA; and website: www.acoteonline.org.
Academic Standards and Policies
In order to be awarded a MS degree in Occupational Therapy from UNH, students must maintain an overall GPA of 3.0, earn a minimum of B- in all required occupational therapy courses, with no more than 8 credits of B- or lower in OT courses (700 level or above). Students must also pass all level I fieldwork requirements and receive a passing criterion score on the American Occupational Therapy Association Fieldwork Performance Evaluation for the Occupational Therapist for both 12-week Level II fieldwork experiences. Students must meet professional behavioral standards, which are explained in detail in the OT Department Policy and Procedure Manual, provided to all occupational therapy students during their first semester.
Because curriculum review and revision is undertaken annually, occupational therapy faculty work closely with students during academic advising sessions and share information about any policy and requirement changes during registration periods as well as throughout the academic year. Students are expected to take an active role in verifying expectations and requirements and should check with their departmental advisers each September for updated policies and requirements. Program requirements and policies for retention in the major are posted annually in the OT Department Policy and Procedure Manual, which is available on the OT department’s organization site on MyCourses.
Students will participate in a variety of off-campus and fieldwork experiences throughout the course of study and are covered with basic personal liability insurance through UNH for all practical components of the curriculum. Students are responsible for transportation to fieldwork sites and other off-campus learning experiences. Students are responsible for meeting the health and criminal record clearances established by their fieldwork sites and off-campus learning sites. Proof of immunization such as poliomyelitis, rubella, H1N1, and hepatitis B may also be required. For Level II fieldwork, health insurance and a physical examination, including a tuberculin test, are required. All fieldwork experiences are scheduled in centers approved by the Department of Occupational Therapy and with whom active Memoranda of Understanding with UNH exist.
After successfully completing all Level II fieldwork requirements and academic work, students are awarded a Master of Science Degree in Occupational Therapy. They are then eligible to sit for the National Board Certification Examination in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). Consistent with NBCOT expectations, students must sit for the certification examination within two 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 state licensure.
Curriculum and schedule: Most classes will be scheduled during weekdays during the day and into early evening. Some courses require experiential, off-campus learning in addition to required off-campus level II fieldwork experiences. The level II fieldwork experiences are full time for a total of 24 weeks and are planned collaboratively with the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator.