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Graduate Catalog 2010

Admissions to the Entry Level Master of Science in Occupational Therapy Degree
Weekend Program

Belmont’s Master of Science in Occupational Therapy is offered in an accelerated format combining intensive weekend classes in Nashville each month with an online component supplementing classroom activities.  This is a demanding full-time program that builds on the education and skills that OTAs and PTAs working with occupational therapists have already accomplished.

The MSOT Weekend Program consists of six consecutive semesters (including summers). Classes are conducted online through Blackboard and every third weekend on Belmont’s campus. The academic program is based upon problem solving and collaborative learning. Through the integration of classroom experiences and clinical observation, the program blends theoretical understanding with the practical application of occupational therapy intervention, developing professional behaviors in the process.


The curriculum is delivered through a variety of lecture, lab and seminar formats, fieldwork experiences, and web-based instruction. As a student, you will be required to demonstrate proficiencies in problem solving, psychomotor, behavioral and clinical competencies as you progress through the program.

Program Admissions

The MSOT program is designed for practicing occupational therapy assistants (OTA) and, as space is available, practicing physical therapist assistants (PTA).  The entering class size is presently limited to 32 students admitted to the program each fall.  Applicants are encouraged to submit application materials well in advance of published deadlines.

Minimum Admission Requirements

1. Applicants must have at least one year of work experience as a fully credentialed occupational therapy assistant or physical therapy assistant working with an occupational therapist (OTR).

2. Candidates must have completed a minimum of 90 semester equivalent credits from a regionally accredited college or university. A minimum overall grade point average of a 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in coursework from the most recent 90 semester credits is required.

3. Candidates must achieve a grade of “B” or better on all prerequisite courses, each which must have been taken at a regionally accredited college or university. All prerequisite coursework must be completed by the end of the spring semester prior to enrollment and within the previous 8 years*. Preference is given to applicants who have completed all prerequisites prior to application. Required prerequisites include:

   • Human Anatomy & Physiology I with Lab (may also be satisfied with Human Anatomy with lab)

   • Human Anatomy & Physiology II with Lab (may also be satisfied with Human Physiology with lab)
   • Statistics (from a math department or psychology department)

   • Human Growth & Development (must cover the life span)

   • Introduction to Psychology

   • Introduction to Sociology or Introduction to Anthropology (either course will satisfy this requirement)

   • 6 semester credits of communication courses (includes courses in writing or public speaking)

* The Admissions Committee may waive the "8 year" requirement for some prerequisites if the applicant has been continually employed as an occupational therapy or physical therapy assistant since the completion of an OTA or PTA program. The Committee will consider such an appeal only after application for admission has been submitted to the MSOT program with all supporting documents.

4. At least one of the two recommendations required for application must be from a licensed occupational therapist.

5. Candidates must complete a personal essay answering the questions listed on the application.

6. Candidates who are physical therapy assistants must demonstrate familiarity with occupational therapy through completion of a minimum of 50 hours of observational, volunteer or work experiences with an occupational therapist (OTR).

Application Procedures
Applicants should review the Minimum Admission Requirements before beginning the application process. Applicants who do not meet these standards will not be considered for admission. In addition, applicants should review the following information linked on the admissions pages of the OT website:

   • The Distance Learning Model Self-Assessment to be certain they have the skill set required for the program.
   • Important Admission Dates for application deadlines and other important dates.

The School of Occupational Therapy receives applications for admission through an online application form linked on the OT website.  Among the information collected through the online application form is:

   • An application essay

   • The names of two references who will submit recommendations, one who must be an occupational therapist

   • Academic information

   • For PTA's, details of at least 50 hours of observation

In addition, applicants must submit official transcripts from all universities and/or colleges attended. Applicants from colleges and universities abroad are also responsible for having their transcripts evaluated by a credential evaluation service such as World Education Services (WES).

Interview Invitations

Eligible candidates will be invited to campus for an interview with a faculty member. The admissions process is competitive and only a select number of applicants are invited to interview. Please see the Important Admission Dates page for when interview days are scheduled.


Required After Acceptance

Candidates accepted into the MSOT program will be required to be certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR for infant, child and adult) and first aid training prior to enrollment. In addition, they will be required to submit results of a criminal background check and must comply with immunization requirements. The School of OT retains a copy of each student's record to verify health and immunization compliance and to satisfy any requests from fieldwork site administrators. These requirements are not only for the health and safety of our students but also for the safety of the patients they will be serving outside the university. Instructions and forms on completing these requirements will be communicated during the summer preceding the first semester.


Students in the MSOT program must have a laptop computer that includes wireless connection to the internet. Access to local high-speed internet is strongly recommended to download large files and view videos in this program. Access to a scanner is also strongly recommended as students will need to submit program materials to faculty and staff throughout the program. A distance learning platform, Blackboard, is used for on-line coursework. Since technology is constantly evolving, technology requirements will be updated annually, so students should check with updated requirements before purchasing new computer software or hardware.


The Occupational Therapy Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. AOTA's phone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its Web address is

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). Most states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.