MSOT Program FAQ
- How do I know if OT is the right career for me?
Occupational Therapists work in hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, public school systems, in-home patient care, private clinics, and community-based organizations. As valued members of the healthcare team, occupational therapists provide services to children and adults with a variety of conditions that impact their physical and mental health. The focus of occupational therapy is on helping people to engage in meaningful everyday life activities.
You can learn more about occupational therapy by observing an occupational therapist, or exploring the website of our national organization, www.aota.org for more information.
- When is the application deadline?
Our early application deadline is November 1st and our final deadline is March 1. Files will be reviewed in the order in which they are received. Unfortunately, we aren’t able to give consideration to applications that are missing required admission criteria at the time of submission. In order to meet the March 1st deadline, you should plan to submit your application to OTCAS in February. It can take OTCAS a few weeks to process your application.
- How much does the program cost?
Our tuition and fees can be found here.
- How long does the program take?
The 76 credit hour MSOT Program at Lewis University is designed to be completed over 7 consecutive semesters in 28 months.
- Can I enroll part time?
This is a full-time program. Classes typically run Monday through Friday between 8:00am and 5:00pm. Some community-based learning activities are scheduled during the evenings and on Saturdays.
- Is your program accredited?
The Lewis University entry-level occupational therapy master’s degree 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. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its web address is acoteonline.org.
Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR).
In addition, all states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure. Additionally, students must complete 24 weeks of Level II fieldwork within 18 months following completion of the didactic portion of the program.
- I work as a rehabilitation aide/ABA therapist/special education program assistant/personal assistant for someone with a disability. Can I count my work experience for volunteer hours?
Paid work experience should be listed under the Employment section on your OTCAS application.
- I volunteered at a rehabilitation setting and observed a physical therapist. Can I count this time for volunteer hours?
You should list all volunteer experience in your OTCAS application. Volunteer hours supervised by a physical therapist or another non-OT professional should be listed under the Volunteer/Enrichment section on your OTCAS application. Volunteer and/or observation hours supervised by an occupational therapy practitioner (i.e., OTR or COTA) should be listed under the Observation Hours section of your OTCAS application.
- I took AP General Psychology and I have a Psychology major. Do I need to take General Psychology again?
We do not accept AP coursework to fulfill prerequisite requirements. However, higher level Psychology courses may be substituted for General Psychology based on a transcript review.
- I am finishing up my prerequisite courses and my grades won’t be posted by the time I submit my application. Will my application still be reviewed?
Courses planned or in progress prerequisite courses must be listed on your transcript and your OTCAS application so that we can verify your intent to complete them at the time of our review. You will be able to submit final grades for coursework that is in progress. However, all coursework must be completed with satisfactory grades and degrees conferred (when applicable) by the time you would begin classes in the OT program.
- I repeated one (or more) of the prerequisite courses to get a better grade. Will my higher grade be counted?
The highest grade you received in a prerequisite course will be counted to meet the prerequisite course requirement.
- I took some prerequisite courses more than 7 years ago. Do I need to take them again?
Prerequisite course must be taken within 7 years of starting the occupational therapy program. In some cases, students may have more current related coursework that can be substituted for prerequisite courses. This is determined on an individual basis and only after a transcript review.
- Can I transfer credits from another occupational therapy program?
We are not accepting transfer credits at this time.
- One of the course that I’d like to use for a prerequisite has a different title than the ones that are listed on your website. How can I know if Lewis will accept this course?
If you are unsure about whether or not a certain course will meet our prerequisite requirements, please contact Nancy Wiksten, OT Admissions Counselor, for a transcript review. She can be reached at WiksteNa@Lewisu.edu.
- Will my application be reviewed if my GPA score is lower than the program’s requirement?
A balance of applicant experiences, attributes, and academic performance will be evaluated. Applicants that do not meet the GPA requirements, but who demonstrate strengths in other areas, may be considered. Other areas evaluated based on the applicant’s OT CAS application include, but are not limited to: life experience, leadership experience, community service, written communication, service orientation, work experience, commitment to the Lewis University mission, research and scholarship experience, participation in extracurricular activities, and awards and recognitions.
- What resources should I look to when writing my essays?
In addition, to high quality writing, the committee is looking for a compelling story and wants to understand how they view OT, what brought them to OT, and how might they use their degree in the future. Some applicants benefit from checking out the consumer resources posted on the American Occupational Therapy Association website (www.aota.org). In terms of the Lewis essay, the committee is very interested in understanding how the applicants see themselves and their future practice as an OT fitting in with our Mission. We also look to see what attracted the applicants to Lewis in the first place. Our Mission is located here: http://www.lewisu.edu/welcome/mission.htm
- I live out of state. Will I have to come in for an interview?
No. Interviews can be conducted on ZOOM..
- I applied to the program last year and didn’t get in. What can I do to increase my chances of getting accepted this time around?
The MSOT Program Admissions Committee is faced with the difficult task of selecting a relatively small number of individuals to admit from a large and generally well-qualified pool of applicants. Unsuccessful applicants may sometimes improve their chances for admission in a subsequent year by improving retaking courses, improving their Graduate Record Exam score, enhancing their understanding of the profession through additional observations, or rewriting their essays. However, these suggestions do not in any way guarantee future admission.
- If I get accepted to the MSOT program, do I need health insurance?
Yes. Proof of current health insurance is required in order to participate in any clinical education experience. Failure to maintain comprehensive health insurance will result in immediate withdrawal from the clinical site and a failing grade in the clinical education class. The student will be financially responsible for all medical bills and co-payments as a result of injuries or health issues that arise from participation in clinical education experiences.
- Do I need to demonstrate proof of immunizations for fieldwork placements?
- Yes. Proof of immunity is required in order to participate in any clinical education experience. All students must submit proof of an influenza vaccination and QuantiFERON TB Gold blood test each fall semester. In addition, students must submit immunization records or blood titers for COVID 19, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, and rubella prior to the first Level I Fieldwork. Additional vaccines or medical records may be required by individual fieldwork sites. Students are responsible for complying with all fieldwork site requirements. Students are financially responsible for all costs associated with meeting these requirements.