Occupational Therapy (Advanced Standing) (M.S.)

Occupational Therapy (Advanced Standing) (M.S.)

Occupational Therapy students working with members of a stroke survivors group

Why get a master’s degree in occupational therapy?

A master’s degree in occupational therapy (OT) will prepare you for a career supporting people in the daily activities that are important to them. A fast-growing field, occupational therapy provides opportunities to work with people of all ages in a range of clinical settings. Our accredited master’s degree program emphasizes the understanding that engagement in everyday activities fulfills social needs and gives meaning to life, and is essential to the development, adaptation and well-being of individuals,societies and populations. You’ll learn to evaluate, provide intervention, and monitor the outcomes of patients facing a variety of illnesses, injuries and disabilities, such as autism, traumatic brain injury, stroke, substance abuse and musculoskeletal injuries.

Why choose UNH’s occupational therapy program?

At UNH, you’ll gain valuable hands-on experience, integrating your knowledge and skills as you provide services with people in the community through academic courses and fieldwork. You’ll have opportunities to become involved with faculty research and scholarly projects, and you’ll also be supported by the educational, service and social opportunities of the Student Occupational Therapy Association on campus. Students in the B.S. OT Program enter the Advanced Standing M.S. program, having completed many professional courses, earning both degree programs in five and a half years. After completing your M.S. degree, you’ll be eligible to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy certification exam to become a registered occupational therapist.

Potential career areas

  • Acute care
  • Administration
  • Early intervention programs
  • Hand therapy clinics
  • Hospitals
  • In-patient rehabilitation centers
  • Mental health and substance abuse programs
  • Primary care settings
  • School settings
  • Skilled nursing facilities


Department of Occupational Therapy
Hewitt Hall, 4 Library Way
Durham, NH 03824

Phone: (603) 862-3221

Curriculum & Requirements

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.

Plan of Study for Advanced-Standing M.S.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
OT 854 Level II Fieldwork, I 8
OT 855 Level II Fieldwork Discussion 1
OT 865 Occupational Therapy Practice and Professional Reasoning 3
OT 875 Leadership in Occupational Therapy Systems of Practice 3
OT 886 Engagement in Research 3
Graduate elective 3 credits 3
Second Year
OT 856 Level II Fieldwork, II 8
OT 855 Level II Fieldwork Discussion 1
 Total Credits30

Occupational Therapy: Advanced Standing


Undergraduate Courses
OT 710OT Practice and Professional Roles4
OT 730
Assistive Technology for Enhancing Occupational Performance
and Assistive Technology for Enhancing Occupational Performance Lab
OT 741Human Occupation 14
OT 744Fieldwork and Professionalism - Level 11
OT 745Administration and Management for Occupational Therapy Practice4
OT 752
Human Movement and Environmental Effects on Everyday Occupations
and Human Movement Lab
OT 753Mind Body Systems: Neurologically-based Function and Dysfunction--Pediatric Conditions4
OT 757Mind Body Systems: Neurologically-based Function and Dysfunction--Adult Conditions4
OT 760
Psychosocial Evaluation and Intervention
and Psychosocial Evaluation and Intervention Lab
and Psychosocial Evaluation & Intervention Recitation
OT 762
Occupational Therapy Evaluation and Intervention for Children
and Occupational Therapy Evaluation and Intervention for Children Lab
and Occupational Therapy Evaluation and Intervention for Children Recitation
OT 763
Occupational Therapy Evaluation and Intervention for Adults
and Occupational Therapy Evaluation and Intervention for Adults Lab
and Occupational Therapy Evaluation and Intervention for Adults Recitation
OT 771
Enabling Participation in Community Groups
and Enabling Participation in Community Groups Lab
OT 785Research Methods and Application to Practice4
Graduate Courses
Advanced-standing students are required to earn 30 graduate credits, which includes 16 credits of fieldwork, in addition to 50 undergraduate credits that includes 2 credits of fieldwork, taken as part of the occupational science degree.
OT 854
OT 855
Level II Fieldwork, I
and Level II Fieldwork Discussion
OT 856
OT 855
Level II Fieldwork, II
and Level II Fieldwork Discussion
OT 865Occupational Therapy Practice and Professional Reasoning 13
OT 875Leadership in Occupational Therapy Systems of Practice3
OT 886Engagement in Research3
Select at least 3 credits of graduate-level elective course(s)3
Total Credits30

Elective Courses

OT 887Upper Extremity Rehabilitation and Splinting4
OT 888Application of Physical Agent Modalities in Occupational Therapy Practice3
OT 890Occupational Therapy and Sensory Integration4
OT #891Ergonomics for Occupational Therapy4
OT 831Introduction to Assistive Technology Principles2
OT 832Introduction to Assistive Technology Practices2
OT 833Assistive Technology and Physical Disabilities for Electronic Devices2
OT 834Assistive Technology and Physical Disabilities for the Home, Community and Employment2
OT 835Assistive Technology for Communication and Cognitive Impairments2
OT 836Assistive Technology and Vision and Hearing Impairments2
OT 889Using iPads to Support Children with Disabilities3
OT 866AMPS Training4
OT 895Readings and Research in Occupational Therapy1-6


Admissions decisions are made as applications are received. 

Applications must be completed by the following deadlines in order to be reviewed for admission:

  • Fall: Jan. 15 regular program; March 1 for Advanced Standing (UNH B.S./M.S. Students)
  • Spring: N/A
  • Summer: N/A
  • Special: N/A

Application fee: $65

Campus: Durham

New England Regional: CT RI VT

Accelerated Masters Eligible: No

New Hampshire Residents

Students claiming in-state residency must also submit a Proof of Residence form. This form is not required to complete your application, but you will need to submit it after you are offered admission or you will not be able to register for classes.


If you attended UNH after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester and UNH Non-Degree work. 

If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must request one official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. International transcripts must be translated into English. We accept transcripts both electronically and in hard copy:

  • Electronic Transcripts: Please have your institution send the transcript directly to grad.school@unh.edu. Please note that we can only accept copies sent directly from the institution.
  • Paper Transcripts: Please send hard copies of transcripts to: UNH Graduate School, Thompson Hall- 105 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824. You may request transcripts be sent to us directly from the institution or you may send them yourself as long as they remain sealed in the original university envelope.

Letters of recommendation: 3 required

Recommendation letters submitted by relatives or friends, as well as letters older than one year, will not be accepted.

Two letters of recommendation should address the applicant’s educational abilities and performance, while the third letter should address the applicant’s interpersonal and communication skills as observed in a volunteer or paid work setting.

Note: If applying to the Occupational Therapy: Advanced Standing (M.S.) program you only need to submit two letters, the third is waived.

Personal Statement/Essay Questions

Essays should integrate a discussion of the applicant’s experience working with people as a volunteer or employee, demonstration of a broad understanding of occupational therapy, and an explanation of personal interest and match for the profession.

Statements must be included with your submitted application.

Note: If applying to the Advanced Standing version of the program your personal statement simply needs to be a statement indicating you are an existing UNH student applying to the advanced standing program.


Applicants who are not in the UNH B.S. in Occupational Therapy program must submit a one-page resume that details academic, work, and related experiences.

Additional Department Requirements

Prerequisite Course Verification Form (required): The regular program requires that all applicants print and complete the OT Prerequisite Course Verification Form. All prerequisites must be completed at the time of application. Please email the form to the UNH Graduate School. If you have questions about using the form, please contact the OT program. Those applying to the Advanced Standing program, or current and recently graduated UNH B.S. in Occupational Therapy students, do not have to submit the prerequisite verification form.

Students who are currently in the UNH BS Occupational Science Program and applying to the Occupational Therapy Advanced Standing MS Program should talk with their academic advisor in the Occupational Therapy Department regarding any questions on the application process.

Important Notes

All applicants are encouraged to contact programs directly to discuss program specific application questions.

Professional Master’s Degree Track (e.g., those without a B.S. in Occupational Science): Please note that this is a highly competitive program with a very limited number of openings available.

Accelerated Master's Program: For those applicants interested in doing the accelerated masters program in Occupational Therapy be aware that the graduate-level courses taken during a student's senior year can only count towards the Certificate in Assistive Technology, and not the MS in Occupational Therapy degree. All applicants are encouraged to contact programs directly to discuss program specific application questions.

International Applicants

The University of New Hampshire recommends that international applicants who are living outside of the United States, and are planning on pursuing a research based degree, submit a preapplication form before submitting a full application. Your preapplication request will be carefully reviewed and a decision usually provided within 3 weeks. If your preapplication is approved then it is recommended you then submit a full application. If you are currently living in the United States (on a H1B visa, etc.), or you plan on pursuing a professional master’s degree, then you do not need to submit a preapplication.

Prospective international students are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examination scores. English Language Exams may be waived if English is your first language. If you wish to request a waiver, then please visit our Test Scores webpage for more information.

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