M.S. in Occupational Therapy
Occupational therapy is a dynamic health care profession that can provide you with
a personally satisfying career. Being competent, creative, caring, and compassionate
is part of the everyday work experience for occupational therapists who strive to
help others live productive and meaningful lives when injury, illness, or impairment
threatens independence and quality of life.
Click here to register now for our Virtual M.S. in Occupational Therapy Information Session - Thursday, October 19, 2023 at 12:00 p.m.
About the Program
The Stockton University Master of Science in Occupational Therapy Program is a two and one-half year entry-level professional program. It includes four semesters of course work, one short summer session, and two three-month Level II fieldwork rotations that must be completed within 24 months following completion of academic work to comply with current New Jersey licensure regulation.
If you are interested in a career in occupational therapy, the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy Program at Stockton University has many distinct advantages.
- Highly Affordable Tuition
- Graduate Assistantships & financial aid available
- The Faculty and Curriculum
- Dedicated faculty representing expertise in a variety of clinical practice areas
- Faculty-student ratio provides individualized attention and learning opportunities
- Innovative curriculum including case-based learning and service learning
- Variety of clinical training experiences available
- The Campus and the Resources
- New, state-of-the-art electronic classroom facilities
- Extensive collection of occupational therapy resources to enhance academic achievement
- Beautiful, scenic campus
To view comprehensive information about the MSOT program, including applicant information, mission, philosophy, and goals, the curriculum, continuation in the program, and graduation please visit the Stockton Bulletin.
Graduation rate for Stockton's MSOT Program students
(students typically receive their degrees in December, but participate in Spring commencement after their degree is conferred.)
|Number of Students Entering Program||Number of Program Graduates||Graduation Rate|
|Fall 2022/ Spring 2023||30||30||100%|
|Fall 2021/ Spring 2022||27||28||93%|
|Fall 2020/ Spring 2021||30||30||100%|
Mission of the Occupational Therapy Program
The mission of the Occupational Therapy Program at Stockton University is to help our students become competent and caring practitioners and lifelong learners. We are committed to helping our students develop the capacity for continuous learning based on the belief that human beings learn and acquire knowledge as unique individuals who engage in the educational process through personally held values, interests, and beliefs as well as individual drives to participate in desired occupations.
Learning occurs in a variety of curricular and co-curricular contexts/environments and requires the integration of cognitive, motor, perceptual, social, and sensory skills so individuals are prepared to apply knowledge in the dynamic environments of a diverse and multicultural society. The Program recognizes the diverse needs of students and faculty in learning the process and utilizes various pedagogical methodologies, including the use of technology and interprofessional educational experiences, to develop critical thinking and problem-solving, resourcefulness, scholarship, creativity, and intellectual achievement. Students emerge with integrated knowledge and skills to provide client centered, occupation-based, holistic occupational therapy services and understand the need to engage in lifelong learning.
The Occupational Therapy Program at Stockton University is also committed to the development of southern New Jersey through research and community service.
Philosophy of the Occupational Therapy Program
The philosophy of the Occupational Therapy Program at Stockton University is based on the philosophy of the profession as well as an articulated approach to human beings and how they learn based on the philosophy of occupational therapy education (AOTA, 2014).
The Occupational Therapy Program at Stockton University is based on the philosophy of the profession that describes occupation as the uniquely personal and meaningful activities that provide clients with a sense of personal identity and support participation in a variety of contexts/environments. Occupation is expressed uniquely in clients across the lifespan, along a developmental continuum, and within varied contexts. Occupational therapy is a profession that understands the primary importance of occupation in allowing clients to be productive, satisfied, and contributing members of society. When clients are prevented from participating in occupations due to biological, psychological, societal, or other environmental factors, dysfunction may occur. Occupation is utilized by the occupational therapist for both intrinsic and therapeutic purposes. Occupational therapists' understanding of the restorative, normalizing, and life-enhancing role of occupation enable clients to engage in occupation to support participation in context(s) (AOTA, 2017).
American Occupational Therapy Association (2014). Philosophy of occupational therapy education. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 69(Suppl. 3), 6913410052. http://dx.doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2015.696S17
American Occupational Therapy Association (2017). Philosophical base of occupational therapy. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 71(Suppl. 2), 7112410045. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2017.716S06
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The Stockton MSOT Program respects all people, regardless of ability, color, cultural background, gender identity, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. We strive to create an equitable, inclusive, welcoming environment free from bias in our program, University, community and the occupational therapy profession. Threaded throughout the MSOT curriculum students are exposed to individuals of varying backgrounds and abilities. We invite guest lecturers from a variety of backgrounds for student enrichment and seek to provide the best representation of society. Cultural and social competence is addressed in assignments throughout the curriculum including case studies and reflections focusing on systemic issues related to disparity in healthcare. Students are immersed in resources and education to achieve the MSOT Program’s mission of fostering competent and caring practitioners and lifelong learners to meet the occupational needs of diverse populations.
The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). ACOTE is located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, N. Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE's telephone number (301) 652-2682. The ACTOE website can be found at: http://www.acoteonline.org. Graduates of the program are 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, most 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.]
The process of learning is conceptualized in the curriculum as a sequential and developmental progression where learning occurs through a spiraling curriculum of knowledge construction and reconstruction. This involves learning about human occupation and development across the lifespan within the contexts following a developmental curriculum. Students learn foundational concepts and continue to build upon this knowledge to develop more advanced and complex skills.
Threads in Curriculum
- Foundational Knowledge
- Practice Skills
- OT Evaluation Across the Lifespan
- OT Intervention Across the Lifespan
- Professional Skills
Levels of the Curriculum
- Entrance with undergraduate knowledge and life experiences
- Understanding the foundational knowledge of occupational therapy
- Competency in clinical reasoning, evidence-based practice, research and interprofessional practice
- Advanced problem-solving skills
- Integration of knowledge and entry-level application to practice
- Application of knowledge and skills to provide client-centered, occupation-based, culturally relevant occupational therapy services.
Stockton Occupational Therapy Student Learning Outcomes
Students graduating from Stockton University's Master of Science in Occupational Therapy Program will possess expected professional behaviors of an entry-level occupational therapist as demonstrated by the following learning outcomes (numbers in parentheses refer to threads listed above)
- Demonstration of professional skills based on an understanding of the profession's ethics, practice framework, safety regulation, and standards of practice. (1,6)
- Effective articulation and utilization of occupation with individuals across the lifespan. (2, 3, 4, 5)
- Understanding of Occupational Therapy's history, philosophy, theoretical base, models of practice and frames of reference. (1)
- The ability to evaluate a client's occupationally relevant strengths and needs in occupations, performance skills, performance patterns, contexts, activity demands, and client factors to achieve health, well-being, and participation in life through engagement in occupations. (4)
- The ability to provide occupationally-based, evidence-based, and client-centered intervention. (2, 3, 5)
- Utilization of clinical reasoning that demonstrates problem solving, critical thinking, ethical reasoning, integration of knowledge, evidence-based practice, self-initiative and independent thought. (3, 4, 5)
- Understanding of the changing health care environment with a commitment to lifelong learning that will allow the provision of therapeutic and humanistic care to promote health and well-being as evidenced in the ability to organize and manage OT services. (3, 6)
- Utilization of effective verbal, nonverbal and written communication skills. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
- Utilization of appropriate professional and interpersonal skills to establish and maintain effective relationships with clients, caregivers and colleagues. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
- Utilization of knowledge pertaining to cultural, political, and economic differences when working as a member of an interprofessional team, in the role of supervisor, and in the client-therapist relationship. (6)
- Demonstration of entry-level research and presentation skills. (3)
- Competent use of technology for gathering and processing information. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
- Success in achieving personal satisfaction as an employed entry-level occupational therapist. (6)
- Satisfaction with educational experience gained at Stockton. (6)
MSOT Curriculum - 80 Credits
|Year 1- Fall (16 credits total)
||Year 1- Spring (20 credits total)|
OCTH 5101 Foundations of Occupational Therapy (4 credits)
OCTH 5110 Foundations of Motor Performance (4 credits)
OCTH 5115 Clinical Conditions Across the Lifespan (4 credits)
OCTH 5125 Professional Issues 1 (2 credits)
OCTH 5130 OT Group Process & Leadership (2 credits)
OCTH 5135 Advanced Motor Performance (4 credits)
OCTH 5140 Evaluation of Occupational Performance in Pediatrics (3 credits)
OCTH 5141 Pediatric Occupational Therapy intervention (4 credits)
OCTH 5145 Fieldwork Level 1 Concepts 1 (4 credits)
OCTH 5150 OT in Mental Health (4 credits)
OCTH 5160 Evidence Based Practice (4 credits)
|Year 1- Summer (4 credits total)|
OCTH 5165 Application of OT Theory (2 credits)
OCTH 5175 Professional Issues II (2 Credits)
|Year 2- Fall (18 credits total)
||Year 2- Spring (16 credits total)|
OCTH 6100 Evaluation of Occupation Performance in Adults (3 credits)
OCTH 6110 Adult OT Intervention (4 credits)
OCTH 6115 Fieldwork Level 1 Concept 1 (1 credit)
OCTH 6120 Advanced Adaptations & Assistive Technology (4 credits)
OCTH 6130 Foundations of General Practice (4 credits)
OCTH 6160 Clinical Research 1 (2 credits)
OCTH 6140 Evaluation of Occupational Performance in Older Adults (3 credits)
OCTH 6141 Older Adult OT Intervention (4 credits)
OCTH 6145 Fieldwork Level 1 Concepts II (1 credit)
OCTH 6155 Management of Upper Extremity Dysfunction (4 credits)
OCTH 6161 Clinical Research II (2 credits)
OCTH 6175 Professional Issues III (5 credits)
Year 2- Summer (3 credits total)
|OCTH 6910 Level II Fieldwork (3 credits)|
|Year 3- Fall (3 credits total)|
|OCTH 6920 Level II Fieldwork (3 credits)|
To remain in the program, students are expected to complete every course and maintain a GPA of 3.2 or above. If a student's cumulative GPA falls below a 3.2, the student will be notified of academic probationary status. The student will be granted no more than one probationary semester throughout the graduate program. Any student earning a D+ or below in a class will be required to repeat the class or will be dismissed from the program (GPA and potential to raise GPA in probationary semester will dictate this). Repeating a class will alter the sequence of the duration of the program. Depending on the timeline necessary for completing probationary requirements, graduation may be delayed. There may be the instance when a student cannot mathematically improve their GPA to 3.2 in one semester (i.e. probationary semester is during fieldwork level II semester when 3 credit FW experience occurs and GPA is too low to recover). In this instance, the student will be dismissed from the program. Also, a grade below a B- for three courses will warrant a dismissal from the program. Successful completion of all fieldwork experiences is a requirement for graduation. If a student fails 2 FW II experiences, they will be dismissed from the program.
MSOT Program Fieldwork
The American Occupational Therapy Association's document entitled The Standards for an Accredited Educational Program for the Occupational Therapist governs the length and type of clinical training required of students to receive the appropriate amount and type of clinical experiences needed to meet these Standards. These clinical training experiences may also be referred to as clinical affiliations and fieldwork and will occur in varied locations where occupational therapy services are provided or in community settings where an occupational therapy role is not yet established. In some cases, students will have the opportunity to learn in role-emerging practice areas to help identify where occupational therapists can improve health and well-being of a wider-range of people. The two different types of mandated fieldwork integrated into your academic experience at Stockton are level I and level II fieldwork. During level I fieldwork, students observe and may participate in the delivery of the occupational therapy services. Level II fieldwork begins after completion of the academic portion of the MSOT program. In the level II fieldwork, students gradually assume responsibility for client services at their fieldwork site under the supervision or support of a licensed practitioner.
At Stockton, level I fieldwork occurs in conjunction with specified courses and begins in the second semester of study. Level I fieldwork involves weekly experiences at a fieldwork site that relates to the course of study emphasized each semester. As an example, when studying occupational therapy as applied to children, students will go once a week to various locations where occupational therapy is provided to children or is being developed for children. In this manner, level I fieldwork provides students with the opportunity to correlate academic learning with practice-based experience.
At Stockton, level II fieldwork occurs after successful completion of all required academic coursework. Each student will be assigned two different level II fieldwork experiences. The length of each level II fieldwork affiliation is typically 12 weeks of full-time clinical experience. Participation in level II fieldwork is contingent upon sever factors including, but not limited to, student preparation, clinical site availability and suitability for clinical skill development. The general intent of level II fieldwork is to provide the broadest exposure to the field of occupational therapy with experiences across the lifespan and in a variety of settings or treatment models. Participation in level II fieldwork is designed to include experience in a traditional medical setting and a community-based setting where psychosocial, developmental, and physical disability evaluation and intervention occur. In addition, to the mandated level I and II fieldwork experiences, the Stockton MSOT program provides additional clinical experiences and community-based student learning experiences throughout the academic program. Given usual circumstances, failure to complete all Level II Fieldwork requirements with 24 months of completing academic coursework will result in dismissal from the program, except in circumstances including military deployment or other circumstances that are permitted by the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs.
Fall 2024: Verified in OTCAS by November 20, 2023
- Completion of a baccalaureate degree
- Cumulative 3.2 GPA or higher
- Completion of prerequisite coursework with a grade "B-" or better
|Prerequisite Courses- Must be completed with a "B-" or better. The Stockton course acronym and number that corresponds with the pre-requisite is provided for Stockton students. To view a list of all acceptable courses from New Jersey institutions of Higher Education, please click here.|
Anatomy & Physiology: Two semesters are required; at least one semester must have a lab. The B- must be obtained in the lecture portion if the lecture and lab are given separate grades. Choose an option.
Option 1: Anatomy and Physiology I for Health Sciences with a lab: BIOL1260 and Anatomy and Physiology II for Health Sciences with a lab BIOL 2260
Option 2: Human Anatomy with Lab (BIOL 2180/2185) and Principles of Physiology (BIOL 2150/2151)
***Beginning in the Fall 2020 application cycle (deadline in November of 2019), the anatomy courses MUST be completed within 4 years of application to the program.
Introduction to Psychology/ General Psychology (PSYC 1100)- MUST BE THE INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGY COURSE. We WILL NOT accept higher level courses as substitutions.
Psychopathology (PSYC 2211)
Life Span Development (Human Development or Development Psychology across the Life Span) or Human Behavior in the Social Environment (PSYCH 3322 or SOWK 1103). To meet this requirement, the course (or courses) must cover all stages of life span (infants through geriatrics) and various areas of development (cognitive, physical, and social).
Introduction to Anthropology or Introduction to Sociology (ANTH 1100 or SOCY 1100)- MUST BE THE INTRODUCTION TO ANTHROPOLOGY OR SOCIOLOGY COURSE. We WILL NOT accept higher level courses as substitutions.
Statistics or Applied Biostatistics (CSIS 1206 or HLTH 2305 or PSYC 2241 or PUBH 2330 or PUBH 2310) To meet this requirement, the course must cover statistical methods primarily and not research methods or simple math.
Please note that we no longer accept CLEP scores for pre-requisites for the MSOT program.
For course descriptions, please visit The University's Course Catalog.
You must submit an application through the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application System (OTCAS) Your OTCAS application must be verified by or prior to November 20th.
Your application to OTCAS must include:
- Official Transcripts from all schools attended (including Stockton)
- Three letters of recommendation required: One must be from a professor with whom you have taken a course, and the other two must be professional/academic references (no personal references accepted).
- Essay, resume, and any other additional information
- Documentation of 40 hours on the Volunteer/Work Hours Form (uploaded in the Documents section of CAS)
- For more details about this process, visit the OTCAS Instructions and FAQ page.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Stockton University Master of Science of Occupational Therapy Program is a two and one-half year entry-level professional program. It includes four semesters of course work, one short summer session, and two three-month Level II fieldwork rotations that must be completed within the 24 months following the completion of the academic work to comply with New Jersey licensure regulation.
No, the MSOT program is a full-time, on site program. Classes occur during the week. Most days students are in class from 8:30-5:30 with a break for lunch.
To matriculate into the MSOT program, you must already have a Bachelor's degree. However, students may apply in the final semesters before receiving a Bachelor's degree.
No, as long as you have completed the prerequisite requirements any Bachelor's degree may be considered. To view the list of prerequisite courses, please click on the "Admissions Criteria" tab at the top of this page.
No, all observations MUST be done specifically with an Occupational Therapist. In addition, the Volunteer/Paid Work/Clinical Hours Verification Form MUST be signed by the Occupational Therapist who you observed.
Your letters of recommendation must be completed by individuals who can attest to your academic excellence and/or work and volunteer experience and skills. Three letters of recommendation required (quantitative form is required, narrative in addition to quantitative form is optional). One must be from a professor with whom you have taken a course, and other other two letters must be professional/academic references. We do not accept references from personal friends or family members even if they are an Occupational Therapist (unless you have completed your observation hours with them) or other healthcare professionals. Your letters of recommendation go directly to OTCAS.
Yes, Stockton's MSOT 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, N. Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE's telephone number, C/O AOTA, is (301) 652-2682. The ACOTE website can be found at: http://www.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, most 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. Information about NBCOT or the NBCOT certification exam can be obtained at http://www.nbcot.org/.
To see the performance of our graduates on the NBCOT exam, please visit the following link: https://secure.nbcot.org/data/schoolstats.aspx. Stockton MSOT students typically officially graduate in December and take the NBCOT exam in the next calendar year.
Based on a survey of Stockton MSOT alumni graduating May/December 2021 (conducted 12 months after graduation), of the nine items rating level of job satisfaction, the majority of alumni indicated being "satisfied" (3.71 on a 5 point scale) with each of the items. Of the 17 items rating level of preparedness with competencies for the job, the majority of alumni chose "well prepared" (3.74 on a 5 point scale) for all of the items.
Based on a survey of employers of Stockton MSOT alumni graduating in 2020 and 2021 (conducted 12 months after graduation), employers rated our graduates an average of 3.6 on a 4.0 scale on 20 indicators of performance.
Stockton University is pleased to offer continuing education courses for occupational therapy personnel. Courses offered are convenient, affordable, and provide updated and useful professional information. To see current continuing education courses, please go to www.Stockton.edu/health-sciences/continuing-education.html.
Obviously this depends on individual circumstances. Applications to OT Programs across the country have risen dramatically in recent years and this is the case at Stockton, which makes the application process extremely competitive. Applicants may wish to have a strategy for obtaining their OT education elsewhere in case they are not admitted to Stockton.
The best source of written information about occupational therapy, the populations that occupational therapists serve and the focus of occupational therapy interventions is by visiting the website for the American Occupational Therapy Association at www.aota.org. There are many resources for students and consumers as well.
Beginning in the Fall 2020 application cycle (deadline in November of 2019), the anatomy courses MUST be completed within 4 years of application to the program. For example, if you are completing your application to be admitted in September 2020, you need to have taken A&P sometime in the four years prior (Sept. 2016 to Aug. 2020).
Mary Kientz, OTD
Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy
Chair of the M.S. in Occupational Therapy Program
OTD., M.S., University of Kansas; B.S., Elizabethtown College: developmental disabilities with focus on autism spectrum disorders, positive behavioral supports, community-based interventions, advocacy