- Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)
In the fall of 1993, the West Virginia Board of Trustees approved the establishment of a new master’s degree program at WVU, leading to an entry-level master’s degree in occupational therapy. WVU accepted its first students into the professional program in the fall semester of 1996. The academic and fieldwork program requires three years to complete. Prior to application, students are required to complete approximately fifty to fifty-five hours of prerequisite courses, which in most instances will take two years to fulfill.
The Profession of Occupational Therapy
Occupational therapy is a health and rehabilitation profession which provides services to people of all ages, and addresses physical, cognitive, psychosocial, sensory, communication, and other areas of performance in various contexts and environments in every day life activities that affect health, well-being, and quality of life (AOTA, 2004). Occupational Therapy is a caring profession designed to help people regain and build skills that are important for health, well-being, security, and happiness. The purpose of occupational therapy is to help individuals achieve a maximum level of independence and function through engagement in occupation in order to lead independent, productive, and satisfying lives. The focus is on assisting and enabling individuals to develop the capacity to function in all activities (occupations) of daily life, including self-care, work, and leisure. Hence the name occupational therapy.
Occupational therapists work in schools, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, home health agencies, skilled nursing homes, and private practice.
WVU’s Division of Occupational Therapy has been granted accreditation status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, M.D. 20814-3449. ACOTE’s phone number, c/o AOTA, is (301) 652-AOTA. The OT program at WVU was initially awarded accreditation in 1998 and awarded re-accreditation in 2013. The next scheduled onsite visit for accreditation will be in 2023-2024. ACOTE information may be accessed at www.acoteonline.org.
Graduates of the program are able to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy Inc. (NBCOT). The address for NBCOT is: National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc., 12 South Summit Avenue, Suite 100, Gaithersburg, MD 20877-4150. For more information, NBCOT can be contacted at (301) 990-7979 or at http://www.nbcot.org/. After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an occupational therapist, registered (OTR). Most states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note: A felony conviction may impact a graduate’s ability to take the NBCOT examination and/or obtain a state license. For further information on NBCOT’s Character Review Program, interested parties can obtain information from the licensing board in that particular state.
Prospective students, applicants, and interested parties can review program data results for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam at: https://secure.nbcot.org/data/schoolstats.aspx
What to Expect
Like many professional programs, the curriculum in the entry-level master’s occupational therapy program is fairly fixed and intense. The first professional year, which begins in the summer, will include courses in basic sciences relevant to the profession and practice of occupational therapy along with introductory professional courses. The second and third professional years will deal more specifically with training in occupational therapy theory and practice as administered across a wide variety of settings. The professional curriculum includes two off-campus, full-time clinical experiences known as Level II Fieldwork. Students are financially responsible for transportation, housing, and meal expenses related to clinical assignments. Students in the program are required to participate in the School of Medicine’s laptop computer purchase lease-to-own program, which provides each student with a state-of-the-art computer that contains course and program-relevant software.
All OT coursework must be completed with a grade of "C" or higher. Further, OT students must maintain an OT coursework GPA of 3.0 or higher while in the OT Program.
Students in the OT Program must complete all didactic coursework and all fieldwork within a period of five years after commencing the occupational therapy program. Furthermore, all Level II Fieldwork must be completed within eighteen months following completion of academic coursework while remaining within the five-year time frame.
Normally, students apply to the program during their second year of college. They must have a minimum of fifty to fifty-five hours of college credit which includes the prerequisites. Students who already have a degree in another field are also eligible to apply. All applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Minimum GPA of 3.0, including overall GPA and prerequisite GPA, is required (a higher GPA may be necessary given the competitive nature of the program).
- Minimum of sixty (60) hours of volunteer experience with at least two licensed occupational therapists (Students should contact the Division of Occupational Therapy to determine the type of experience required. Students should keep a record of dates/hours, locations, and names of supervising occupational therapists. Forms to record volunteer/ shadowing experiences can be found online at http://medicine.hsc.wvu.edu/ot )
- Recommendations are required from two Occupational Therapists who supervised the volunteer/shadowing experience. These OTs must be from 2 different clinical facilities. Specific recommendation forms are available at the time of application within the on-line application packet.
- All but two prerequisite courses must be completed by the end of the semester of application (normally, second semester of sophomore year) is required. All OT prerequisite courses and WVU GEF courses must be completed by June 1st prior to starting the OT Program.
- *Note: Some OT prerequisite courses have their own course specific prerequisites. For example, physics courses at WVU require that students have completed college algebra and trigonometry. Students must check with those departments for specifics.
- IMPORTANT NOTE: Applicants must have completed all but a maximum of 2 OT prerequisite courses by the end of their Fall semester prior to the close of the Spring application period. Those applying to the OT Program will not be considered in the application review process if they are taking more than two OT prerequisite courses in the Spring semester prior to their anticipated start of summer classes in the OT Program. In other words, for those applying to the WVU OT Program, all but a maximum of two OT prerequisite courses must be fully completed by end of the Fall semester. Thus, applicants who are taking three or more OT prerequisite courses in the Spring semester will not be considered for acceptance into the OT Program. Applicants must plan on taking no more than two OT prerequisite courses in the Spring semester prior to the summer start of the Program for which they are applying. This requirement does not apply to WVU non-OT prerequisite general education (GEF) course requirements. Note: Courses with a required lab, including those courses that have labs with a separate course number, may be considered one course for purposes of this requirement, i.e., a course plus its lab equal one course. Students are strongly urged to contact the Division of OT for clarification or if they have any questions on this requirement.
Application forms are available online on the program homepage at medicine.hsc.wvu.edu/ot Questions regarding application materials may be directed to The Division of OT at (304) 293-8828 or to the OT Program Academic Advisor at (304) 293-1690. Application materials are traditionally available November 15 through February 15. The deadline for submission of application materials is typically February 15. The official deadline will be posted on the occupational therapy website and printed in the admissions packet.
Course information for the master of occupational therapy degree can be found on the following website: http://medicine.hsc.wvu.edu/ot
General Education FOUNDATIONS
NOTE: Some major requirements will fulfill specific GEF requirements. Please see the curriculum requirements listed below for details on which GEFs you will need to select.
|General Education Foundations|
|F1 - Composition & Rhetoric||3-6|
|Introduction to Composition and Rhetoric|
and Composition, Rhetoric, and Research
or ENGL 103
|Accelerated Academic Writing|
|F2A/F2B - Science & Technology||4-6|
|F3 - Math & Quantitative Skills||3-4|
|F4 - Society & Connections||3|
|F5 - Human Inquiry & the Past||3|
|F6 - The Arts & Creativity||3|
|F7 - Global Studies & Diversity||3|
|F8 - Focus (may be satisfied by completion of a minor, double major, or dual degree)||9|
|GEF Requirements 3 & 6||6|
|ENGL 101||Introduction to Composition and Rhetoric||3|
|ENGL 102||Composition, Rhetoric, and Research||3|
|or ENGL 103||Accelerated Academic Writing|
|WVUE 191||First Year Seminar||1|
|PSYC 101||Introduction to Psychology||3|
|PSYC 241||Introduction to Human Development||3|
|PSYC 281||Introduction to Abnormal Psychology||3|
|SOCA 101||Introduction to Sociology||3|
|or SOCA 105||Introduction to Anthropology|
|BIOL 101||General Biology||3|
|BIOL 103||General Biology Laboratory||1|
|BIOL 102||General Biology||3|
|BIOL 104||General Biology Laboratory||1|
|PHYS 101||Introductory Physics||4|
|STAT 211||Elementary Statistical Inference||3|
|*Select one of the following:||3|
|Principles of Human Communication|
and Human Communication in the Interpersonal Context
|PSIO 241||Elementary Physiology||4|
|or PSIO 441||Mechanisms of Body Function|
|OTH 201||Medical Terminology for Occupational Therapy||1|
|Undergraduate Occupational Therapy Courses|
|Minimum grade of C required.|
|Minimum GPA of 3.0 required|
|OTH 301||Professional Foundations||3|
|OTH 303||Functional Movement Across the Lifespan||2|
|OTH 304||Physical Impairment and Function 1||4|
|OTH 307||Neurobiologic Foundations||4|
|OTH 308||Evaluation Procedures||3|
|OTH 309||The Brain and Occupation in Occupational Therapy||1|
|OTH 310||Critical Reasoning in Occupational Therapy||3|
|OTH 321||Development Life Tasks||3|
|OTH 360||Research Methods in Occupational Therapy||3|
|OTH 384||Level 1 Fieldwork 1||2|
|OTH 361||Qualitative Research in Occupational Therapy||1|
|OTH 386||Level 1 Fieldwork 3||2|
|OTH 387||Level 1 Fieldwork 4||2|
|OTH 401||Physical Impairment and Function 2||4|
|OTH 405||Upper Extremity Rehabilitation||4|
|OTH 408||Physical Impairment and Function 3||3|
|OTH 416||Professional Decision-Making||2|
|OTH 417||Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics||3|
|OTH 419||Professional Values||3|
|OTH 430||Occupational Therapy in Mental Health||3|
|OTH 432||Occupational Therapy Interventions in Mental Health||3|
|OTH 435||Therapeutic Activity||3|
|OTH 440||Cognition and Perception in Occupational Therapy||2|
|OTH 480||Current Topics in Occupational Therapy||2|
|OTH Electives 300 Level or higher||9|
|* Students selecting COMM 100 & 102 will have to complete 9 hours of GEF: 3, 5 & 6.|
Bachelor of Arts in Human Performance and Health
Students are awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Performance and Health at the end of the senior year (year two in the OT program). In order to receive this degree, students must have successfully completed a minimum total of 124 hours of college credits, including completion of the GEF requirements.
Master of Occupational Therapy
The master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) degree is awarded upon completion of all required graduate work (typically the end of the third year in the OT program). Requirements for the MOT are found in the Graduate Catalog.
Suggested Plan of Study
& BIOL 103 (GEF 2)
& BIOL 104 (GEF 8)
|ENGL 101 (GEF 1)||3||ENGL 102 (GEF 1)||3|
|PSYC 101 (GEF 4)||3||PSYC 241 (GEF 8)||3|
|WVUE 191||1||SOCA 101 or 105||3|
|PSYC 281 (GEF 7)||3||PHYS 101||4||OTH Principles of Occ. Science||3|
|STAT 211 (GEF 3)||3||OTH 301||3||OTH Occ. Perf. Infant through Adolescence||2|
|OTH 201||1||Select 1 of the following (GEF 8):||3|
|OTH 303||2||OTH 307||4|
|OTH 304||4||OTH 308||3|
|OTH 360||3||OTH 310||3|
|OTH 435||3||OTH 321||3|
|OTH Anatomy/Kinesiology-OT||4||OTH 361||1|
|OTH 401||4||OTH 386||2|
|OTH 417||3||OTH 405||4|
|OTH 430||3||OTH 408||3|
|OTH 440||2||OTH 416||2|
|OTH 497||1||OTH 419||3|
|OTH 387||2||OTH 432||3|
|Total credit hours: 124|
Major Learning Goals
- Program content based on a broad foundation in the liberal arts and sciences. A strong foundation in the biological, physical, social, and behavioral sciences supports an understanding of occupation across the lifespan.
- The basic tenants of occupational therapy including its history, philosophy, foundation in occupation, and models of occupational performance.
- The process of screening, evaluation, and referral as related to occupational performance and participation that is culturally relevant and based on theoretical perspectives, models of practice, frames of reference, and available evidence.
- The process of formulation and implementation of the therapeutic intervention plan to facilitate occupational performance and participation that is culturally relevant; reflective of current occupational therapy practice; based on available evidence; and based on theoretical perspectives, models of practice, and frames of reference.
- Context of service delivery information and skills including the knowledge and understanding of the various contexts, such as professional, social, cultural, political, economic, and ecological, in which occupational therapy services are provided.
- Leadership and management skills including principles and applications of leadership and management theory.
- Promotion of scholarly endeavors including describing and interpreting the scope of the profession, establishing new knowledge, and interpreting and applying this knowledge to practice.
- Professional ethics, values, and responsibilities, including an understanding and appreciation of ethics and values of the profession of occupational therapy.
OTH 100. Introduction to Occupational Therapy Profession. 1 Hour.
Provides students with an introduction to the profession of occupational therapy including knowledge base, practice areas, professional education and professional organizations. Intended for pre- and non-majors.
OTH 201. Medical Terminology for Occupational Therapy. 1 Hour.
The study of medical terminology with a focus on how terminology is used in the field of occupational therapy.
OTH 301. Professional Foundations. 3 Hours.
PR: OTH student status. Introduction to fundamentals of professional behavior for the occupational therapist. Includes units on history, paradigms, communication, documentation, ethics, interdisciplinary teamwork, licensure requirements, and medical terminology.
OTH 303. Functional Movement Across the Lifespan. 2 Hours.
PR: OTH student status. Including acquisition of developmental patterns, motor control, motor skill acquisition. This course also provides an overview of the effects of normative processes of aging on neuromotor patterns in occupational performance.
OTH 304. Physical Impairment and Function 1. 4 Hours.
Introduction to disease and injury and its functional implications on OT treatment. Emphasis is placed on the impact of orthopedic and general disorders on performance in areas of occupation, remediation, or compensation of these impairments.
OTH 307. Neurobiologic Foundations. 4 Hours.
PR: OTH student status. Basic and clinical applications or neuroanatomy and neurology. Includes lectures on neurophysiological basis of physical and occupational therapy practice.
OTH 308. Evaluation Procedures. 3 Hours.
PR: OTH student status. Theory and practice in evaluation procedures used by therapists. Includes Manual Muscle Test, isokinetic muscle testing, and assessment of components of movement, posture, balance, and hand function.
OTH 309. The Brain and Occupation in Occupational Therapy. 1 Hour.
Introduction to brain-behavior relationships and the study of cognitive, behavioral, and perceptual impairments that accompany common adult neurological conditions. Emphasis is on these impairments and the manner in which they impact human occupation and societal participation.
OTH 310. Critical Reasoning in Occupational Therapy. 3 Hours.
An introduction to critical reasoning analysis, and review relevant to Occupational Therapy. Students will critically analyze research articles and editorials specific to Occupational Therapy, in combination with additional writing assignments.
OTH 321. Development Life Tasks. 3 Hours.
PR: OTH student status. Life-span human development across cognitive, psychosocial and neuromotor domains with particular emphasis on applications to physical or occupational therapy interventions. Includes focus on cultural influences in health and illness.
OTH 360. Research Methods in Occupational Therapy. 3 Hours.
PR: OTH student status. An introduction to principles of research methodology and data analysis in the realm of occupational science/occupational therapy. Includes a focus on scientific methodology, research design, data collection, data analysis, and ethical considerations.
OTH 361. Qualitative Research in Occupational Therapy. 1 Hour.
This course will introduce students to qualitative research methodologies, data collection and data analysis techniques within occupational therapy.
OTH 384. Level 1 Fieldwork 1. 1,2 Hour.
Clinical instruction in the occupational therapy process. OT documentation, basic measurement skills, experiences with people with disabilities, and participation in professional activities. (Grading will be pass/fail.).
OTH 385. Level 1 Fieldwork 2. 1,2 Hour.
PR: OTH student status. Optional third short-term fieldwork experience, minimum 40 hours. Student will assist in collaboration of learning objectives. (Grading will be pass/fail.).
OTH 386. Level 1 Fieldwork 3. 1,2 Hour.
PR: OTH student status. Students will be provided with fieldwork experiences in occupational therapy processes. (Grading will be pass/fail.).
OTH 387. Level 1 Fieldwork 4. 1,2 Hour.
Clinical instruction in the occupational therapy process, OT documentation, basic evaluation and assessment skills, experiences with people with disabilities, and participation in professional activities.
OTH 401. Physical Impairment and Function 2. 4 Hours.
PR: OTH 304 and OTH student status. Study of neurological injury and its functional implications on occupations. Emphasis is placed on evaluation of performance in areas of occupation and performance skills and remediation, or compensation of these limitations or impairments.
OTH 405. Upper Extremity Rehabilitation. 4 Hours.
PR: OTH student status. This course provides a holistic approach to occupational therapy evaluation and treatment of the upper extremity including common diagnoses and appropriate interventions, and splinting.
OTH 408. Physical Impairment and Function 3. 3 Hours.
PR: OTH 304 and OTH 401 and major status. Study of chronic neurological diseases and the functional implications on occupation. Emphasis is placed on evaluation and Occupational Therapy treatment in areas of performance skills, occupations and participation. Students complete the capstone client care experience.
OTH 416. Professional Decision-Making. 2 Hours.
PR: OTH student status. Students are provided with opportunities to develop critical thinking, clinical reasoning, and decision-making skills in occupational therapy. Emphasis is on autonomous practice and referral decisions.
OTH 417. Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics. 3 Hours.
PR: OTH student status. Overview of normative aging using an occupational therapy frame of reference. Common problems of seniors are discussed.
OTH 419. Professional Values. 3 Hours.
PR: OTH student status. An introduction to ethics and how it specifically applies to rural health and life in West Virginia. Students will be given an opportunity to explore their own conceptions of ethics in health care.
OTH 430. Occupational Therapy in Mental Health. 3 Hours.
PR: OTH student status. Clinical and functional science lectures pertaining to OT practice in mental health environments. Course includes introduction to occupational therapy clinical and functional assessment, and management protocols.
OTH 432. Occupational Therapy Interventions in Mental Health. 3 Hours.
PR: OTH student status. Occupational therapy interventions in mental health commonly used by occupational therapists in the field of mental health. Emphasis on group processes, life skills, reintegration strategies.
OTH 435. Therapeutic Activity. 3 Hours.
PR: OTH student status. Students will develop skills in performance component analysis, performance context analysis, and occupational performance analysis.
OTH 440. Cognition and Perception in Occupational Therapy. 2 Hours.
PR: OTH student status. Study of cognitive and perceptual impairments that accompany common adult neurological conditions. Emphasis is on application of occupational therapy assessment and treatment principles to understand the impact of impairments on functional performance and societal participation.
OTH 480. Current Topics in Occupational Therapy. 1-3 Hours.
PR: OTH student status. (Not to exceed 18 hours.) A seminar course designed to provide a forum for discussing the frontiers of the occupational therapy profession. Topics may include: research in progress, new developments, and salient professional issues.
OTH 493A-Z. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.
PR: Consent. Investigation of topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.
OTH 495. Independent Study. 1-6 Hours.
Faculty supervised study of topics not available through regular course offerings.
OTH 497. Research. 1-6 Hours.
Independent research projects.
- Randy P. McCombie - Ph.D., OTR/L (Loyola University of Chicago)
Chair, Program Director - Associate Professor
- Anne Cronin - Ph.D., OTR/L, FAOTA (University of Florida)
- Stephen D. Wheeler - Ph.D., OTR/L (Virginia Commonwealth University)
- Amanda Acord-Vira - M.O.T., OTR/L (West Virginia University)
- Amy Burt - M.O.T., OTR/L (University of Pittsburgh)
- Amy Wix - O.T.D., OTR/L (Chatham University)
Fieldwork Coordinator - Assistant Professor
- Brandy Brown - O.T.D., OTR/L (Chatham University)
- Donna Colaianni - Ph.D., OTR/L (Duquesne University)
- Diana Davis - M.A., OTR/L (West Virginia University)
- Garth Graebe - M.O.T., OTR/L (West Virginia University)