Occupational Therapy (MS)

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The Master of Science (MS) in Occupational Therapy program provides an opportunity to acquire entry level knowledge and professional skills, to build critical thinking skills, and to develop clinical research skills in a health profession based on occupational performance. The academic curriculum has been designed to expose students to the influence and impact of occupation, culture, systems, and disabilities on the provision of occupational therapy. As a graduate of the program, you will be able to guide individuals in understanding how their ability to perform daily activities affects their ability to take part in home, school, work, and community life. Guided by the values and ethics of the profession, you will be able to effectively evaluate and provide intervention for clients’ occupational needs, problems, and concerns. You will be a part of a community where faculty and students engage in and promote scholarly inquiry and service in support of the health and wellness of the Rio Grande Valley.

The MS in Occupational Therapy program considers for admission those applicants who possess the academic and professional promise necessary for development as competent, caring members of the health care community. To select these candidates, a competitive admission framework has been established. Within this competitive admission framework, multiple criteria are used to select the most qualified candidates from an applicant pool that exceeds the number of seats available. Interested individuals are advised to complete their application as early as possible to ensure timely consideration.

  • Why UTRGV?

    • Ranked #79 among 300+ national universities by Washington Monthly in 2018
    • Accredited, cutting edge degree program
    • Experienced, dedicated faculty
    • Affordable tuition (ranked #1 in net price among natinal universities by Washington Monthly in 2018 and #3 most affordable university in America 2018 by BestValueSchools.com)
    • Demonstrated student success in research, professional certification and career advancement
  • Admission Requirements

    Step #1: Submit a UTRGV Graduate Application at www.utrgv.edu/gradapply. The university application fee of $50 ($100 for International Applicants) can be paid online by credit card or electronic check (in the online application). All application fees are nonrefundable.

    Step #2: Request your official transcripts to be sent electronically to gradapps@utrgv.edu or mailed to:

    The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
    The Graduate College
    Marialice Shary Shivers Bldg. 1.158
    1201 W. University Drive
    Edinburg, TX 78539-2999

     
    *Please Note: If you are a graduate of UTPA, UTB/TSC, or UTRGV you do not need to request an official transcript to be sent to the Graduate College.

    Step #3: Apply to Occupational Therapist Centralized Application Service (OTCAS)

    The UTRGV Occupational Therapy program uses the Centralized Application Service of Occupational Therapy Schools (OTCAS) for students applying to the program. All applicants to the OT program are required to submit their application to OTCAS with all required materials by the February 1st application deadline. Please refer to the OTCAS website for instructions on submission of the OTCAS application materials. Materials to be submitted to OTCAS include application, official transcripts, letters to the reference, and personal statement. The official GRE scores are sent to the UTRGV Graduate College but are self-reported on OTCAS.

    Review and Submit all Program Requirements:

    • Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or a recognized international equivalent.
    • Undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0.Official transcripts from each institution attended (must be submitted directly to UTRGV).
    • Personal statement addressing (a) why you select OT as a career;    (b) how an OT degree relates to your immediate and long-term professional goals, and (c) describe how you’re personal, educational, and professional background will help you achieve your goals.
    • Three letters of recommendation from professional or academic sources.
    • GRE General Test. Minimum scores: 150 Verbal, 140 Quantitative,2.5 Analytical Writing. GRE test scores are valid for 5 years. A waiver of the GRE requirement will be granted to applicants who show proof of completing a graduate degree (master’s or doctoral).
    • Documented volunteer hours or experiences.
    • Cleared Criminal Background Check
    • Submission of application to OTCAS.
    • Personal interview.
    • Signed FERPA Consent allowing community-based Occupational Therapists to evaluate application materials.
    • Specified undergraduate coursework completed within 5 years of the February 1st application deadline with a grade of C or better and 3.0 GPA on all prerequisite coursework.

     o Anatomy & Physiology I (Lecture & Lab)

     o Anatomy & Physiology II (Lecture & Lab)

     o Basic Statistics

     o Psychology of Lifespan

     o Abnormal Psychology

     o Anthropology or Sociology

     o Biomechanics

     o General Physics I (Lecture & Lab)

     o Technical Writing

     o Medical Terminology

    Additional requirements for domestic applicants who attended foreign universities:

    • TOEFL or IELTS Language Proficiency Test with minimum scores: 550 on paper-based, 213 on computer based, or 79 on Internet-based for the TOEFL; 6.5 for the IELTS. TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for 2 years. For additional information, visit the Additional Documents for Domestic Applicants who Attend Foreign Universities section of our website.
    • Certified English translation of educational records.

    Additional requirements for international applicants:

    • TOEFL or IELTS Language Proficiency Test with minimum scores: 550 on paper-based, 213 on computer based, or 79 on Internet-based for the TOEFL; 6.5 for the IELTS. For additional information, visit the English Proficiency Exam section of our website.
    • Certified English translation of educational records.
    • Financial   Documentation  showing sufficient funds to cover all expenses (living and academic) for the first year of study. For additional information, visit the Financial Documentation section of our website.
    • Immigration  documents, including a current copy of your valid passport. For additional information, visit the Immigration Documents section of our website.

    UPDATE ON INTERNATIONAL ADMISSIONS FROM U.S. IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT:

    • SEVP regulations prohibit the issuance of a Form I-20 based on conditional admission, effective July 13, 2016. University officials can only issue a Form I-20 when students have met all standards for admission for the program of study listed on the Form I-20. These standards for admission include any English proficiency requirements.

    Important Information

    In keeping with the University of TexasRio Grande Valley policy, the Department of Occupational Therapy Admission Committee does not discriminate against any individual on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, origin, sex, age, disability, veteran status, previous major, or college attended.

    Applicants who have a felony conviction are advised that the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) may bar persons with a felony record from taking the certification examination and the Texas Board of Occupation Therapy Examiners may deny person with a felony record a state license to practice. Please contact the National Aboard for Certification in Occupational Therapy and the Texas Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners regarding their requirements for certification following graduation.

    In signing your admission application to the Graduate College, please ensure that all information given on your applications Is complete and correct and that misrepresentation or omission of information on this application and/or credentials is cause for denial of admission to the program, and that you have read and understand the following statement: “Persons convicted of felonies may be unable to sit for the occupational therapy certification examination” (NBCOT).

  • Program Contact

    Program Coordinator: Dr. Shirley Wells

    Phone: (956) 665-2475

    Office: Edinburg Campus, SWOT 1304

    E-Mail: Shirley.wells@utrgv.edu

  • Deadlines

    Fall Spring Summer I Summer II
    Application Deadline: February 1 N/A N/A N/A
     
  • Course Requirements

     
    Required Courses 59
    OCCT 6101: Tools and Analysis in Occupational Therapy (10 weeks) 1
    OCCT 6102: Health Promotion and Prevention 1
    OCCT 6103: Practicum (10 weeks) 1
    OCCT 6202: Health, Illness and Disability 2
    OCCT 6203: Health Policy and Ethics 2
    OCCT 6301: Human Occupation 3
    OCCT 6302: Foundations of Occupational Therapy 3
    OCCT 6303: Research Methods in Occupational Therapy 3
    OCCT 6304: Systems Impacting Occupational Performance 3
    OCCT 6305: Clinical Anatomy and Biomechanics 3
    OCCT 6306: Clinical Neuroscience 3
    OCCT 6307: Theories of Occupational Therapy 3
    OCCT 6308: Evaluations and Assessments 3
    OCCT 6309: Qualitative Research in Occupational Therapy 3
    OCCT 6401: Intervention I –Psychosocial Health 4
    OCCT 7101: Research Project(May be taken up to 4 times) 1
    OCCT 7302: Management of Occupational Therapy Services 3
    OCCT 7303: Population Based Research 3
    OCCT 7304: Occupational Therapy Skills – Adult 3
    OCCT 7310: Occupational Therapy Skills – Pediatrics 3
    OCCT 7401: Intervention II –Pediatrics 4
    OCCT 7402: Intervention III –Adults 4
     
    Fieldwork Courses 12
    Must take 12 hours of the following, selecting either sequence A or B:
     
    OCCT 7305: Field Studies in Occupational Therapy – A (May be taken up to 4 times) 3
    OCCT 7601: Field Studies in Occupational Therapy – B (May be taken up to 2 times) 6
     
    Total graduate hours for degree: 71
     
    Practicum and Fieldwork Experiences
    A minimum of one 10 week practicum (Level I) and the equivalent of 24 weeks of fieldwork (Level II) experience are required of all Master's students in Occupational Therapy. All students admitted to the OT program should expect to take at least one fieldwork experience outside the Rio Grande Valley. The practicum (Level I) is taken throughout the academic coursework component of the program and the fieldwork (Level II) experiences is after successful completion of all academic coursework and requirements.
     

    Course Descriptions

    OCCT 6101: Tools and Analysis in Occupational Therapy (10 weeks)               [1‐0]

    Provides students with hands‐on skills with a variety of common tools used in occupational therapy and development of activity analysis skills. Course Attributes: Exempt from 3peat processing, Exempt from 6 drop processing. Field Placement Insurance.

    Prerequisites: OCCT 6301, OCCT 6303, OCCT 6305, OCCT 6306, OCCT 6307.

    OCCT 6102: Health Promotion and Prevention              [0‐1]

    Using customary public health theories and approaches, students will analyze elements of health promotion and prevention for individuals, groups, and populations with regard to occupations, quality of life, well‐being, and health.

    Prerequisites: OCCT 6203, OCCT 6303 OCCT 6304.

    OCCT 6103: Practicum (10 weeks)              [0‐1]

    A field based experience with a minimum of 40 clock hours of supervised experience in a clinical or community setting. Include regular scheduled meetings with faculty for individual and group supervision. Students will be able to observe, describe, and analyze human performance across the life span within the context of everyday life.

    Prerequisites: OCCT 6203, OCCT 6301, OCCT 6302, OCCT 6304, OCCT 6305, OCCT 6306. Course Attributes: Field Placement Insurance.

    OCCT 6202: Health, Illness and Disability              [2‐0]

    This course examines health, illness and disability in relation to occupation, activities and social participation which affect occupational performance. Explore concepts of health and disability.

    Prerequisites: OCCT 6301, OCCT 6304, OCCT 6305, OCCT 6306, OCCT 6401.

    OCCT 6203: Health Policy and Ethics              [2‐0]

    An examination and analysis of health policies, models and fiscal systems, and health ethics as they are related to health and disability, using state, national and international resources. Prerequisites: Acceptance into the MS in OT program.

    OCCT 6301: Human Occupation              [2‐3]

    A study of the relationship between human occupation and health through the life span. This course will emphasize occupation in the context of social participation as it relates to the health and culture of individuals. Prerequisite: Acceptance into the MS in OT Program.

    OCCT 6302: Foundations of Occupational Therapy              [3‐0]

    An introduction to occupational therapy. It surveys the history, philosophy, theoretical concepts and clinical methods and techniques that support the practice of occupational therapy. This course emphasizes the origins, beliefs and values of occupational therapy across the continuum of time, sociopolitical factors and health systems.

    Prerequisite: Acceptance into the MS in OT Program.

    OCCT 6303: Research Methods in Occupational Therapy               [3‐0]

    An introduction to basic concepts and terminology in scientific inquiry and their application in interpreting published research as it impacts on evidence‐based practice. Students will identify and examine examples of evidence that supports the relationship between human occupation and health, including various methodologies using quantitative designs.

    Prerequisite: Acceptance into the MSOT Program.

    OCCT 6304: Systems Impacting Occupational Performance              [3‐0]

    The study of systems theories as they relate to occupation, health and culture. Using principles of systems theory, students will examine the roles and functions of occupational therapy, in the context of local and regional environments, some of which will be health related. The impact on home, work, and community systems will be explored. Components of the environment (psychological, social, physical and natural) will also be studied.

    Prerequisite: OCCT 6301.

    OCCT 6305: Clinical Anatomy and Biomechanics              [2‐3]

    The examination and analysis of the structure, function and development of biological and physical systems that support occupational performance and their effects on human function. Emphasis is given to the anatomical, kinesiology, and biomechanical function of the human body. (This course must be passed with a grade of B or better in order to proceed.)

    Prerequisites: Acceptance into the MS in OT program.

    OCCT 6306: Clinical Neuroscience              [2‐3]

    Examination and analysis of the contribution of the structure, function and development of neurological systems as support for occupational performance and their effect on human function. (This course must be passed with a grade of “B” or better in order to proceed.)

    Prerequisite: OCCT 6305.

    OCCT 6307: Theories of Occupational Therapy              [3‐0]

    Analysis of occupational therapy theories with regard to concepts of body structure/function, activities, social participation and environmental context.

    Prerequisites: OCCT 6301, OCCT 6302.

    OCCT 6308: Evaluations and Assessments               [3‐0]

    Examination of the process of evaluation and assessment of individuals in occupational therapy. Topics will include the use of standardized and non‐standardized assessments, psychometrics of assessments, and scoring and interpretation of results.

    Prerequisites: OCCT 6302, OCCT 6303, and/or concurrently with OCCT 6307

    OCCT 6309: Qualitative Research in Occupational Therapy               [3‐0]

    A study of qualitative research methods as they apply to occupational therapy. Students will pursue a research question suitable for scholarly project in collaboration with faculty scholars.

    Prerequisites: OCCT 6203, OCCT 6303.

    OCCT 6401: Intervention I – Psychosocial Health               [3‐3]

    Using a client or community centered approach within a system model, students will understand and design interventions for mental health disorders and psychosocial issues which affect occupational performance. The plan will include rationale for selection of appropriate theories, assessments and interventions as well as methods for delivery of services. Includes a 40 hour field‐based practicum. (This course must be passed with a grade of “B” or better in order to proceed).

    Prerequisites: OCCT 6203, OCCT 6301, OCCT 6302, OCCT 6305, and/or concurrently with 6306 or OCCT 6307.

    OCCT 7101: Research Project              [1‐0]

    The student will work under the direction and supervision of a faculty member on an applied research project. A minimum of 25 clock hours per credit hour is required. Repeatable up to 4 times.

    Prerequisites: OCCT 6203, OCCT 6301, OCCT 6303, OCCT 6305, OCCT 6306, OCCT 6307, OCCT 6309 and consent of instructor.

    OCCT 7302: Management of Occupational Therapy Services              [3‐0]

    The application of principles of management and systems in the provision of occupational therapy services to individuals and organizations.

    Prerequisites: OCCT 6101, OCCT 6103, OCCT 6203, OCCT 6302, OCCT 6304, OCCT 6307, OCCT 6401, OCCT 7401, and/or currently with OCCT 7402.

    OCCT 7303: Population Based Research               [3‐0]

    Introduction to population‐based research methods. Focus on the basic concepts, methods, and nomenclature of epidemiology and the application of these concepts and methods to current public health problems. The grant writing process will also be explored and applied.

    Prerequisites: OCCT 6102, OCCT 6203, OCCT 6302, OCCT 6303, OCCT 6304, OCCT 6307, OCCT 6309.

    OCCT 7304: Occupational Therapy Skills – Adult              [0‐3]

    Provides students with hands‐on experiences designed to explore intervention strategies and methods related to the treatment of adults and the elderly. Includes skills training and a 40 hours field‐based practicum. (This course must be passed with a grade of B or better In order to proceed).

    Prerequisites: OCCT 6101, OCCT 6202, OCCT, 6203, OCCT 6305, OCCT 6306, OCCT 6308, OCCT 6401, OCCT 7401, and/or concurrently with OCCT 7402.

    OCCT 7305: Field Studies in Occupational Therapy – A              [0‐3]

    The equivalent of 12 weeks part‐time advanced field experience. Student must achieve a passing score on the NBCOT practice exam during the final semester.

    Prerequisites: Successful completion of all academic coursework and passing score on the academic comprehensive exam.

    OCCT 7310: Occupational Therapy Skills – Pediatrics              [3‐0]

    Provides students with hands‐on experiences designed to explore intervention strategies and methods related to the treatment of infants, children and adolescents. Includes skills training and a 40 hours field‐based practicum. (This course must be passed with a grade of B or better in order to proceed.)

    Prerequisites: OCCT 6101, OCCT 6202, OCCT 6203, OCCT 6305, OCCT 6306, OCCT 6307, OCCT 6308, OCCT 6401, and/or concurrently with OCCT 7401.

    OCCT 7401: Intervention II – Pediatrics               [3‐3]

    Using a client‐centered approach within a systems model, students will understand and design interventions for infants, children and adolescents. The plan will include a rationale for selection of appropriate theories, assessments and interventions as well as methods for delivery of services. (This course must be passed with a grade of B or better in order to proceed).

    Prerequisites: OCCT 6101, OCCT 6202, OCCT 6305, OCCT 6306, OCCT 6307, OCCT 6308, OCCT 6401.

    OCCT 7402: Intervention III – Adults              [3‐3]

    Using a client or community center approach within a social system, students will understand and design interventions for adults and the elderly. The plans will include rationale for selection of appropriate theories, assessment and interventions as well as methods for delivery of services. (This course must be passed with a grade of B or better in order to proceed).

    Prerequisite: OCCT 6101, OCCT 6202,OCCT 6305, OCCT 6306, OCCT 6307, OCCT 6401, OCCT 7310, OCCT 7401.

    OCCT 7601: Field Studies in Occupational Therapy – B              [0‐6]

    The equivalent o, f 12 weeks full‐time advance field experience. Student must achieve a passing score on the NBCOT practice exam during the final semester.

    Prerequisite: Successful completion of all academic coursework and passing score on the academic comprehensive exam.