Jan 26, 2020  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Occupational Therapy, M.O.T.

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Phone: (540) 568-2399                                                                  
Website: http://www.healthsci.jmu.edu/occupationaltherapy/index.html

Interim Academic Unit Head
Dr. Kirk Armstrong

Graduate Program Director
Dr. Rachelle Dorne

Associate Professors
J. Wenos

Assistant Professors
A. Russell Yun

E. Richardson


Academic preparation for the occupational therapy profession currently occurs at the master's level. The Master of Occupational Therapy (M.O.T.) is a professional master's program designed to prepare students for entry-level practice. This program prepares students to be general occupational therapy practitioners.

One cohort of students is admitted each year. Classes begin in June. The design of the program is a 2.5 year model.

Applicants with a bachelor's degree must submit application directly to the Graduate School. Visit the following website for instructions: https://www.jmu.edu/grad/prospective/index.shtml  

Refer to the Occupational Therapy program website for current information: http://www.healthsci.jmu.edu/occupationaltherapy/index.html  

Application Deadlines

To be considered, applications must be submitted by the due date. Applications received after the deadline will only be considered if enrollment permits. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed; students should enter a plan for completing all prerequisite courses on the prerequisite sheet of the application.

Applications must be submitted online to the Graduate School. The application deadline is October 15, 2018.

At this time, the JMU M.O.T. program does not participate in the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS).

Check the JMU OT program website for updated information.

For additional information, contact the Occupational Therapy Program office at OTProgram@jmu.edu.

Admission Requirements

Admission is limited and competitive. Applicants applying to the program with a baccalaureate degree will enter the program directly as graduate students. Successful completion of 79 graduate credits will result in earning the M.O.T. degree.

Admission to the Occupational Studies Program closed with the 2017-2018 application cycle.  JMU students who are interested in occupational therapy are welcome to apply to the M.O.T. Program during or following the senior year.

To progress in the M.O.T. Program, occupational studies students must meet all of The Graduate School requirements and all academic and professional behavior standards within the Occupational Therapy program. In situations where there are concerns about a student's academic performance, (e.g. earning grades below a "B") or adherence to ethical or professional behavior standards, students may be dismissed, put on probation or conditionally accepted into the M.O.T. Program.

To be considered for admission to the M.O.T. program, prospective students must:

  • Have earned a bachelor's or higher degree from a regionally accredited university prior to classes beginning in June.
  • Earn satisfactory Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores in verbal, quantitative and writing sections. GRE scores should be submitted to the JMU graduate school. (Code 5392)
  • Submit an application and fee to and be admitted to the JMU graduate school.
  • Submit official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended.
  • Earn a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher.
  • Meet all prerequisite course requirements with a grade of "C" (2.0) or higher in the courses noted below. Anatomy and Physiology, the student must achieve at least a grade of "B" (3.0).
  • Applicants who did not attend JMU as undergraduates should review the course JMU prerequisite equivalency form on the OT website to obtain information about course requirements. Complete the form to request a formal review of courses taken to ensure the content is similar and can be substituted for the specific courses listed. JMU Prerequisite Equivalency Request Form, Transcripts and syllabi of the courses should be supplied for the review of content to JMU OT admissions. The admissions committee of the Occupational Therapy program will determine if the courses meet the prerequisite requirements. More details are listed on our website.
  • Applicants are advised to complete prerequisite courses prior to applying; however, many applicants have a few courses outstanding. Applicants are permitted to be completing prerequisite courses at the time of application; however they must;  
    • Show evidence of their ability to complete all prerequisite coursework prior to enrolling in the M.O.T. program (complete before last day of May).
    • Submit unofficial transcripts with completed fall prerequisite course grades by January 7 to OT Program.
    • Submit unofficial transcripts showing proof of enrollment in any outstanding prerequisites by January 7 .
    • In order to be considered, students are limited to having no more than three outstanding prerequisite courses during the spring semester of the year in which they plan to enroll.
  • Submit documentation verifying completion of a minimum forty observation hours. Hours must be completed with an Occupational Therapist. Observation Verification Forms available on the OT program website must be used. Applicants should ask therapists to use numerical ratings provided.
  • Submit three references using the JMU OT Reference Form; letters without the form will not be reviewed. Applicants should request recommendations from people who can provide information about them in a professional, work, volunteer, civic or academic environment. Applicants often submit references from employers, volunteer supervisors and instructors.
  • Submit a personal statement of 1,500 words or less. Refer to the JMU M.O.T. program website for specific instructions regarding this assignment.
  • Submit current resume.
  • Demonstrate proficiency communicating in English. If the student completed course work internationally, he/she must submit and official copy of the TOEFL or IELTS.

Attending a scheduled information session prior to applying is highly advisable.

Applicants should use the website to familiarize themselves with the JMU M.O.T. program, the curriculum and length of study.

Additionally applicants should be familiar with the tuition and fees associated with attending graduate school. It is the student's responsibility to budget for all their financial responsibilities including costs of living. In-state and out-of-state costs differ and are subject to change. For additional information contact the JMU Graduate School and Financial Aid office. 

While JMU's Occupational Therapy program does not require criminal background checks, drug screens, sex offender screens, credit checks, etc. as a condition of admission, applicants should be advised that in order to protect clients, multiple fieldwork sites do require students to complete these types of clearances prior to affiliating with these agencies. To remain qualified to participate in the M.O.T. program, students will be asked to pay for and complete these prior to starting their fieldwork.

Additionally, students and applicants should be advised that regulatory boards such as the NBCOT or state licensing boards require background checks as part of the credentialing process. Applicants may complete an early determination review through the NBCOT should they have concerns. Please go to www.nbcot.org for additional information.

In order to protect vulnerable clients, students will be required to demonstrate proof of vaccination or immunity to certain conditions. Many sites require proof of health insurance.

Students will need to complete CPR [American Heart Association] training prior to starting level I fieldwork and must keep credential active. Students may be required to obtain malpractice insurance for some sites.

Applicants must demonstrate computer competency information-seeking skills upon arrival on campus.

Applicants must demonstrate the ability to perform essential functions required of occupational therapists. Students will receive additional information about these during orientation. Should an applicant have questions prior to applying, he/she should contact the occupational therapy program directly at otprogram@jmu.edu.

Applicants may be completing prerequisite courses when they apply to the program but may have no more than three prerequisite courses left to complete during the spring semester following the submission of their application. All prerequisite courses must be completed prior to beginning course work in the M.O.T. program.

A visit to the JMU occupational therapy program is strongly recommended for candidates who plan to apply. Applicants should be familiar with the JMU M.O.T. program, the curriculum and length of study, as well as all financial responsibilities as an in-state or out-of-state student. Information sessions will be held for interested students. Call the occupational therapy program office for details.

Prerequisite Courses


OT Program Requirement Themes/Rules: JMU Course Equivalent
Cultural Anthropology (3 cr) Covers elements of culture &/ or diversity ANTH 195 Cultural Anthropology

Human Anatomy & Physiology (8 cr)



  • Human A & P
  • Must have lab
  • Combined A & P 1 & 2 OR
  • One Anatomy class
  • One Physiology class

BIO 270 Human Physiology

BIO 290 Human Anatomy

Medical Terminology (>1 cr)

Languages in medical model

  • Terms, roots, prefix, suffix
HTH 210 Medical Terminology
Research Methods (3 cr)

Engage in research process with human subjects

  • IRB proposal writing
  • Qualitative & quantitative designs
  • Data analysis

HTH 408 Research Methods 

Biomechanics or Intro to Physics

Take one

Biomechanical factors affecting movement

  • Classes with hands on (doing components)

HTH 441/KIN 407 Rehabilitative Biomechanics

PHYS 140 (+ Lab)

KIN 306 + Lab

Statistics Statistical procedures MATH 220 Elementary Statistics
Lifespan Development
  • Covers entire lifespan
  • Humans
  • Single/multiple course(s)
PSYC 160 Lifespan Development
Abnormal Psychology
  • Atypical psychological conditions
  • DSM
PSYC 250 Abnormal Psychology


Take one

  • Information about how social environment affects individuals

SOCI 110 Social Issues in a Global Context

SOCI 140 Individual in Society


These courses must be completed within the past seven years. Human Anatomy & Physiology must be completed with a minimum grade of "B" or higher, and applicants must earn a grade of "C" or higher in all other coursework. A grade of C- does not meet this criterion.

Application Evaluation Criteria

Candidates are evaluated through review of their written application. The following characteristics, skills and accomplishments are assessed:

  • Academic preparation (overall GPA, prerequisite GPA).
  • Personal statement (See program website for further information).
  • Communication skills.
  • OT Observation Verification Form. While 40 hours is minimum, many surpass this. (Students must complete hours at a minimum of two sites).
  • Three references using our Reference form, letters must include our form.
  • Thoroughness and timeliness of application submission (date and status of application material when received).
  • Level of commitment and desire to enroll in graduate occupational therapy education at JMU.
  • Professional behavior during the application process.


The mission of the occupational therapy program is to provide a well-rounded educational experience to students that will prepare them to effectively practice in a variety of service areas within today's health and human service arena. Each graduate will:

  • Possess a thorough understanding of occupation.
  • Be able to articulate and demonstrate the theoretical and practical application of occupational therapy.
  • Be comfortable and competent working with individuals in a variety of practice settings.
  • Be committed to continuous professional growth and the evolution and validation of the profession as human needs change.
  • Be able to systematically locate and evaluate available evidence-based literature to formulate assessment and intervention decisions to guide professional practice.

Faculty participating in the program will contribute through service and education to professional circles and the local community. They will maintain high standards of professional knowledge while offering quality education to students.

Occupational therapists work with individuals whose ability to participate in the occupations of life is disrupted or unable to develop due to injury, disease, developmental difficulties or environmental factors. Occupational therapy is a health and human service profession whose name is reflective of the time that it was formally founded (1917) when the term occupation collectively referred to activities people engage in throughout their day. Based on the centuries-old belief that there is health in doing, active client-centered participation is both the focus of the professional and its main avenue of intervention.

Occupational therapists work in hospitals (inpatient and outpatient programs), rehabilitation centers, early intervention programs, schools, mental health programs, home health care agencies, industrial medicine/rehabilitation programs, skilled nursing facilities, private practices, correctional facilities, shelters, community-based programs or at colleges or universities as faculty.

Program Policies

Academic Standards: Satisfactory progress for graduate students enrolled in the occupational therapy program is defined as earning a grade of "B" or 3.0 in all courses. Students who earn a grade of "C" will be referred to the OT Program Academic Review Committee. The Graduate School policies also apply.

Adherence to Professional & Ethical Codes of Conduct: As is the case within any professional program, students admitted into the occupational therapy program must agree to abide by and uphold professional and ethical codes of conduct. These include the JMU Honor Code and the NBCOT Code of Conduct.

Scheduling: The Occupational Therapy program is carefully designed as a full-time curriculum. The curriculum must be taken in the sequence and semester assigned. Exceptions are extremely rare and are made at the discretion of the OT Program Academic Review Committee.

Academic Fieldwork: These are assigned at the discretion of the academic fieldwork coordinator. Students are responsible for additional costs such as transportation and site requirements. Two types of academic fieldwork are completed in the Occupational Therapy Program.

  • Level I experiences are designed to expose students to different areas of practice. There are three of these embedded within the curriculum.
  • Level II experiences are full time, twelve week affiliations. These experiences are designed to prepare to be at entry level within the particular practice area.

Students should be advised that successful completion of the M.O.T. program does not equate to becoming credentialed as an occupational therapist. In order to become credentialed as an Occupational Therapist, students must be eligible to take the NBCOT exam and meet all criteria for obtaining license in their state of jurisdiction.


Effective December 6, 2013, the occupational program was granted full accreditation for a period of ten years (2012/13- 2022/23) by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).

Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education
4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200
Bethesda, MD 20824-3449
Phone: (301) 652-2682
Website: http://www.acoteonline.org

Occupational therapists must uphold professional codes of conduct. Additional information will be provided in the program. Go to NBCOT Professional Conduct for additional information.

With full ACOTE accreditation, graduates of the program may be eligible to register to take the National Certification Examination for the Occupational Therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). Students should be advised that NBCOT has instituted a formal background check procedure. Go to https://www.nbcot.org/ for additional information.

Satisfactory performance on this exam allows the graduate to become an Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR). This credential is required to apply for licensure at the state level.

Students are advised to check the requirements for OT practice at the state level for each state in which you wish to practice. You must be properly credentialed in the state in order to practice occupational therapy. The licensing and regulatory authority in Virginia is the Virginia Board of Medicine-Department of Health Professions.

Prior criminal charges as well as certain issues related to the Code of Conduct and background checks may affect the graduate's ability to sit for the NBCOT exam and/or attain state licensure.

National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT)
One Bank Street, Suite 300
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
Phone: (301) 990-7979
Website: www.nbcot.org

Virginia Board of Medicine
Occupational Therapy Advisory Board
Perimeter Center
9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300
Henrico, Virginia 23233-1463
Phone: (804) 367-4600
Website: https://www.dhp.virginia.gov/Default.htm

All of the following courses are required and must be taken in the sequence specified. Students must be enrolled full-time. Exceptions to this requirement are rare and are only granted by the program coordinator. Students must perform satisfactorily from an academic, professional, and ethical standpoint in a manner that is consistent with JMU Graduate School and Occupational Therapy Program policies.

Curriculum Overview

Total: 9 Credit Hours

Total: 12 Credit Hours

Total: 14 Credit Hours

Additional Information

Students enrolled in the program at the undergraduate level would receive a Bachelor of Science degree in health sciences at this time.

Total: 3 Credit Hours

Total: 13 Credit Hours

Total: 10 Credit Hours

Total: 9 Credit Hours

Total: 9 Credit Hours


Level II fieldwork must be completed within 24 months of completion of didactic course work.

Additional Information

Students would receive a master's of occupational therapy degree at December commencement once they conclude all academic and clinical course work.

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