Occupational Therapy (MSOT)

Dominican University of California offers a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy degree for students entering at the graduate level.

Occupational Therapy Overview

Occupational therapists are licensed health professionals who help people of all ages, with and without disabilities, do the things that are important to them in their daily lives. Occupational therapists work in hospitals, clinics, schools, business, industry, and community settings, serving persons of all ages with developmental, physical, psychiatric, or behavioral disabilities. Occupational therapists also promote health and help prevent disease and disability through occupation-centered interventions and environmental adaptations.

Occupation is a universal human process with physical, social, temporal, and spiritual dimensions. Through active engagement in valued activities, humans evolve, change, and adapt to injury, illness, developmental delay, or less than optimal social conditions may require that humans modify their daily occupations to achieve satisfying lives. Occupational therapists help people regain function through occupation.

Occupational Therapy (MSOT) Curriculum Themes and Design

Curricular Themes

The following curricular themes articulate our beliefs about occupation and occupational therapy, and help shape the focus of our curriculum:

  1. Effective occupational therapy practice is occupation-based and client-centered.
    Occupations are freely chosen and unique to each individual or group served by the occupational therapists. Skilled occupational therapy practice is collaborative, creative, and client-centered.
  2. Excellent occupational therapy practice is research-driven and evidence-based.
    Effective occupational therapy practice is theoretically grounded, based on strong scientific evidence, and supported by research and scholarship.
  3. Psychosocial dimensions of human performance are fundamental to all aspects of occupation and occupational therapy practice.
    Inter and intrapersonal aspect of meaning, motivation, emotions, and relationships influence occupational behavior in all humans. Disruptions to normal occupational patterns elicit emotional and psychological responses that must be understood and addressed for effective therapy to take place.
  4. Social, cultural, and political contexts significantly shape occupational performance.
    Human occupations reflect diverse social and cultural roles, beliefs, values, and traditions. People’s occupations are shaped by the opportunities afforded or denied them in social, cultural, and political contexts. Understanding diverse cultural perspectives is an essential element of occupational therapy practice.
  5. Occupations take place in communities
    Occupations take place in communities. Community is a binding force in our society. In communities, we construct the meaning of our lives through engagement in occupations. Occupational therapists promote health, wellness and full community engagement for persons with and without disabilities.

Curriculum Design

The MSOT curriculum is a three-year course of study for individuals with a degree in another field. The concept of adaptation viewed as a continuum from exploration, to competence, achievement, and mastery, is used to organize the occupational therapy curriculum.

Year One: Exploration

Exploration of the profession of occupational therapy, including the history, philosophy, theory, and foundational concepts of the profession. Psychosocial aspects of occupation and occupations of adults and seniors are studied. Students begin Level One fieldwork, applying the knowledge gained in coursework to working with clients in community and clinical settings.

Year Two: Competence

Students continue gaining competence in diverse practice areas and settings including occupations of children and adolescents, and apply previously learned concepts of occupational performance, adaptation, clinical reasoning, and environmental modification to resolve problems for clients in community and clinical settings. At the conclusion of the Spring semester, students undertake their first Level Two fieldwork. Individual placements are determined with the fieldwork coordinator.

Year Three: Achievement

Students complete capstone and community program development projects. A professional issues course supports the students’ transition to practice. Special topics courses offer opportunities for increased breadth or depth in selected topics. Students complete a second Level Two fieldwork during the Spring semester, and a third fieldwork experience is strongly recommended.

Post-Graduation: Mastery

As students enter professional practice, they continue their professional development through continuing education and involvement in professional organizations at the local, state and national level. Mastery is achieved through professional practice, experience, reflection, and commitment.

Upon satisfactory completion of the occupational therapy curriculum and all required fieldwork experiences, students are eligible to take the national certifying examination offered by the National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). Occupational therapy is licensed in California and qualified individuals may contact the state licensing board for information on obtaining licensure. Please note that prior felony convictions may affect the ability to become certified or licensed.

The Occupational Therapy Program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). For more information, contact:

ACOTE

c/o AOTA

4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200

Bethesda, MD 20814-3449

Tel: (301) 652-6611

www.aota.org

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon graduation from the occupational therapy program at Dominican University of California, the student will:

  1. Possess knowledge based on a broad foundation in the liberal arts and sciences that will support an understanding of occupations across the lifespan and in varied settings with diverse populations.
  2. Articulate an understanding of the history and philosophy of occupational therapy, and the role of occupation in promoting health and preventing disease and disability.
  3. Understand and apply theories of human occupation as they relate to the profession of occupational therapy.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to use standardized and non-standardized assessment instruments and strategies to gain a comprehensive appreciation of client strengths and the need for occupational therapy services.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to design, deliver, and evaluate evidence-based, occupation and client-centered skilled interventions that promote optimal functioning for individuals and groups.
  6. Consider and value diverse social, educational, cultural, and political systems that influence the occupational health of individuals and communities.
  7. Apply principles of management and leadership to develop skills in the design and delivery of occupational therapy services in a variety of institutional and community settings.
  8. Demonstrate the ability to understand and apply research to support evidence-based practice and develop the knowledge base of the profession.
  9. Understand and demonstrate the ethics, values, and responsibilities of the occupational therapy profession, including self-directed learning, involvement in professional associations, and adherence to the Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics.
  10. Demonstrate the ability to apply previous knowledge to meet fieldwork requirements of the profession.

Occupational Therapy (MSOT) Progression and Course Sequence

Progression Requirements for Master of Science Program in Occupational Therapy

Students who achieve less than a ‘C’ (2.0) in any course are required to complete the course satisfactorily prior to graduation. Students must pass the clinical/fieldwork portion of all practice classes in order to pass the class. Additionally, students must achieve an average score of 73% in examinations of specified classes in order to pass the course. A student who fails to score a 73% average or above on the examinations in a course cannot receive a grade higher than a ‘C-’ (1.7) regardless of grades earned on written work or other course assignments. Students are allowed to repeat one academic course and one fieldwork course before being subject to dismissal from the program.

Additional Requirements 

  1. The Department of Occupational Therapy requires that students have a clear criminal background check prior to admission and throughout the academic program. Failure to meet this require may result in ineligibility to take the National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapy Exam  or licensure.
  2. Students must meet the following health requirements:  continuous health insurance coverage, current health examination, evidence of CPR certification, evidence of immunizations for or immunity to Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis (whooping cough): Hepatitis B, Rubella, Rubeola (Measles), and a clear tuberculin test prior to their first fieldwork placement in the second semester in the OT Clinical program.  All required documents must be submitted and/or updated annually to CastleBranch.com, by September 1st beginning in the first year.  Failure to meet these requirements may result ineligibility for some fieldwork experiences and a delay in graduation.

Please contact the OT Department prior to admissions if you are unable to meet the Background check or health requirements.

Occupational Therapy Course Sequence

  1. All courses in the occupational therapy major require admission to the major.
  2. All practice courses are sequential, and must be taken in order. Exceptions require permission from the academic advisor, instructor and Department Chair.
  3. Graduate students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 at all times while enrolled in the program. Students with a cumulative GPA below 3.0 for one semester will be placed on academic probation. A second semester of a below 3.0 cumulative GPA may result in program dismissal.
See the Occupational Therapy Student Handbook for other OT Departmental Policies.

Required Courses:

BIO 5800Advanced Human Neuroanatomy and Physiology

3.00 units

BIO 5805Advanced Human Neuroanatomy and Physiology Lab

1.00 unit

OT 5012Foundations of Occupational Therapy

3.00 units

OTL 5012Foundations in Occupational Therapy Lab

0.00 units

OT 5014Human Movement Analysis

3.00 units

OTL 5014Human Movement Analysis Lab

0.00 units

OT 5015Psychosocial Aspects of Occupation I

3.00 units

OTL 5015Psychosocial Aspects of Occupation I Lab

0.00 units

OT 5016Occupations of Children and Adolescents I

4.00 units

OTL 5016Occupations of Children and Adolescents I Lab

0.00 units

OT 5017/OT 4017Occupations of Adults and Seniors I

4.00 units

OTL 5017/OTL 4017Occupations of Adults and Seniors I Lab

0.00 units

OT 5018/OT 4018Occupational Therapy Fundamental Skills for Assessment and Intervention

2.00 units

OTL 5018/OTL 4018Occupational Therapy Fundamental Skills for Assessment and Intervention Lab

0.00 units

OT 5019Culture and Ethics in Occupational Therapy

3.00 units

OT 5020Assistive Technology in Occupational Therapy

3.00 units

OT 5103Occupational Therapy Community Program Development

3.00 units

OT 5104Educational Principles and Practices in Occupational Therapy

3.00 units

OT 5105Research in the Health Professions

4.00 units

OT 5110Integrative Capstone Experience in Occupational Therapy I

3.00 units

OT 5111Integrative Capstone Experience in Occupational Therapy II

2.00 units

OT 5112Integrative Capstone Experience in Occupational Therapy III

2.00 units

OT 5115Psychosocial Aspects of Occupation II

4.00 units

OTL 5115Psychosocial Aspects of Occupation II Lab

0.00 units

OT 5116Occupations of Children and Adolescents II

5.00 units

OTL 5116Occupations of Children and Adolescents II Lab

0.00 units

OT 5117Occupations Adults and Seniors II

5.00 units

OTL 5117Occupations of Adults and Seniors II Lab

0.00 units

OT 5118Occupations of Adults and Seniors III

2.00 units

OT 5120Professional Issues in Occupational Therapy

4.00 units

OT 5130Level II Fieldwork 1

6.00 units

OT 5131Level II Fieldwork 2

6.00 units

OT 52XXOT Special Topics 1

1.00 unit

OT 52XXOT Special Topics 2

1.00 unit

Recommended Electives

OT 5132Level II Fieldwork 3

6.00 units

Total Credit Hours: 80