Students in the entry-level master's program earn a master of science degree by completing 85 semester hours of graduate study. Generally, this program requires five semesters on campus including one summer, followed by six months of fieldwork. While most students complete the program in 28 months, some students choose to extend the program to three, four, or even five years in order to balance their schooling with work, family, or long commuting distances. Upon successful completion of the program, graduates are eligible to take the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy Examination and apply for state licensure in order to practice.
Occupational Therapy Graduate Entry Program Description
No matter which schedule they follow, the core academics and the fieldwork will prepare students to:
- Evaluate function/dysfunction, synthesize plans, implement treatments/interventions, and plan discharge services
- Consult and communicate effectively with clients, their families and healthcare personnel
- Analyze research, apply modern management techniques, and utilize standard reimbursement practices to maintain, improve, and develop effective occupational therapy practitioners
Occupational Therapy Graduate Entry Program Options
Part-time study in OT is possible until the start of fieldwork requirements. Although most courses are scheduled during the day, they are generally offered in blocks (i.e., one three-hour class per week as opposed to three one-hour classes), allowing students on extended curriculum sequences to attend classes two or three days a week.
Full time students are encouraged to limit themselves to a reduced level of on-campus work-study or outside work, or to consider a modified curriculum sequence.
Courses include Human Anatomy, Neuroscience I and II, OT Fundamentals, Fundamentals of Research, Performance, Dysfunction, and Adaptation in Infancy, Childhood, Adolescence, and Adults (I, II, III, & IV); and OT and Older Persons. First year professional level courses include a balanced mix of first year graduate students and fourth year dual degree students.
Occupational therapy students also have the distinct advantage of taking lab courses that promote interdisciplinary collaboration with physical therapy, athletic training, applied exercise science and communication disorder students.
Clinical courses include two, full-time internships of 12-week duration each, working in the field under the direction of experienced therapists. Such collaborative activities facilitate the learning of essential technical and clinical skills, critical problem solving techniques, leadership skills, and the development of self-confidence and professional identity.
The more than 300 fieldwork sites affiliated with the Springfield College OT Department extend across the country and offer a wide range of experiences with people with differing disabilities and conditions, with different treatment approaches, and in various practice settings.
Springfield College & OT
Fully encompassing Springfield College’s Humanics philosophy, the occupational therapy program emphasizes that health and learning are best gained through an approach that unifies spirit, mind and body. The typical Springfield College-trained occupational therapist displays both the unique empathy and the strong interpersonal skills necessary to be effective with clients, families and health care professionals alike.
Requirements for Admission
Springfield College selects its graduate students on the basis of leadership potential, character, intellectual ability, and academic standing. For admission with full graduate standing, a candidate must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale). Applicants who do not meet the GPA minimum will only be considered for probationary admission. Foreign students whose native language is not English must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants
COTAs who have earned bachelor’s degrees in other majors may apply directly to the entry level master’s degree program as graduate students. COTAs who have not completed bachelor's degrees may apply to enter the Health Science Occupational Therapy (HSOT) Program as undergraduates.
The entry-level master’s program in occupational therapy is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education of the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc., 4720 Montgomery Lane, P. O. Box 31220, Bethesda, MD 20824-1220;
Phone: (301) 652-2682
Graduates are eligible to sit for the national certification examination required to practice occupational therapy, offered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, 800 S. Frederick Avenue, Suite 200, Gaithersburg, MD 20877-4150;
Phone: (301) 990-7979.
Since 1992, Springfield College OT graduates have:
- Worked in schools, universities, government agencies, hospitals, rehab centers, and community-based settings, all over the United States and Canada
- Published articles in professional journals like The American Journal of Occupational Therapy.
- Presented at state and national conferences
- Enrolled in doctoral programs at universities from Florida to California
The Office of Graduate Admissions may be contacted at (413) 748-3225. You also call the Occupational Therapy Department Office (413) 748-3581 for further information. Graduate applications for Fall 2015 will be submitted via the OTCAS centralized application system, which will be available after July 17, 2014.