Feb 25, 2020  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
    
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog

Occupational Therapy (M.S.)


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Cathy Felmlee Shanholtz, OTD, M.Ed., OTR/L, CLA, Program Director
Health Professions Building, 1775 North Sector Court, Suite 265-A, 540-678-4313
Scholar Plaza, Loudoun, 44160 Scholar Plaza, Suite 100, Leesburg, VA 20176

The mission of Shenandoah University’s Division of Occupational Therapy is to prepare students for a future in the field of occupational therapy in three primary ways. We prepare students to passionately discover new knowledge, which requires them to be self-reflective and lifelong learners. We prepare them to be critically thinking practitioners, serving clients who live in diverse local and global communities. We transform them into professionals who understand the importance of ethics, leadership and service.

Occupational Therapy Program

The Occupational Therapy Program is fully 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 is (301) 652-AOTA. Graduates are eligible to apply for the NBCOT Certification Examination for Occupational Therapist Registered OTR®. Graduates must answer each of the following questions on the examination application:

  • Have you ever been charged with or convicted of a felony?
  • Have you ever had any professional license, registration or certification revoked, suspended or subject to probationary conditions by a regulatory authority or certification board?
  • Have you ever been found by any court, administrative or disciplinary proceeding to have committed negligence, malpractice, recklessness or willful or intentional misconduct, which resulted in harm to another?

If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” the candidate must submit documentation to NBCOT’s Regulatory Affairs Department, 12 South Summit Avenue, Suite 100, Gaithersburg, MD 20877-4150; (301) 990-7979, which will determine eligibility. Upon passing the examination, occupational therapists are able to use the trademark OTR.

Graduation from an accredited professional program, passing the NBCOT Certification Examination and freedom from felonies and other legal infractions are the qualifications for licensure or registration to practice in most states. Students must check with specific states for laws regarding the right to practice.

Admission Requirements

The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy offers a graduate program delivered in a hybrid format, meaning much of the content is delivered online. Students come to campus one day per week for the face-to-face portion of their courses and all fieldwork experiences are completed on non-campus days and during normal working hours. Additionally, students are expected to engage in hands-on experiences in their home communities as directed by faculty. The learning model requires students to think critically and act professionally in independent, interpersonal and community-based problem-solving experiences.

Admission requirements include: a 3.0 grade point average, a bachelor’s degree, completion of prerequisite courses with minimum grade of “C,” a writing sample, and two references from two of these three people: a licensed occupational therapist OTR (not an assistant), a professor or an employer. In addition, applicants must supply documented evidence of a minimum of 40 hours of observation under qualified occupational therapists in practice. For additional information, check the website at www.su.edu/ot.

Applications must be completed through the OTCAS system and qualified applicants will be contacted for onsite interviews with faculty.

Criminal Background Checks

Prior to beginning health professional courses, a student is required to authorize and submit to a criminal background check, including sex offenses and crimes against minors and fingerprinting. Some students may also be expected to submit to random drug testing required by clinical practice sites. Non-compliance with the criminal background checks and/or drug testing policies may be cause for dismissal from the program. See Academic Policies section for details.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) requires a minimum of 75 credit hours of occupational therapy courses for graduation. Students must begin coursework in the fall semester of the year they gained acceptance into the program. Full-time students must progress through the program within four years including fieldwork. Progression is based on the following: satisfactory completion of all course prerequisites before beginning coursework each semester; completion of all coursework with grades of “C” or better; maintenance of a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average (GPA); satisfactory evaluation on Professional Development Plans in each semester of the curriculum; payment of all university tuition and fees; maintenance of health, clinical safety and security requirements, including CPR, physical examinations and criminal background checks.

Students who receive grades of “D” or “F” in a course are not permitted to take any new courses in the program and are placed on academic probation until all required work has been successfully completed. Courses may be repeated only once. Failure to successfully complete the designated requirements within two semesters results in termination from the program. Students who receive grades of “D” or “F” in more than two courses are dismissed from the program.

OT 628 Basic Level One Fieldwork  and OT 638 Bridge Level One Fieldwork  experiences are completed on non-campus days and during normal working hours. OT 640 Level Two Fieldwork  and OT 641 Level Two Fieldwork  is a full-time experience completed during normal working days and hours. Either OT 640 Level Two Fieldwork  or OT 641 Level Two Fieldwork , may be repeated once. Students who fail Level Two Fieldwork more than one time are dismissed from the program. All admitted students are required to review the SUDOT Fieldwork Handbook regarding specific policies.

In addition to policies and procedures of the university as identified in this catalog and the Student Handbook, occupational therapy students are responsible for reading, understanding, and implementing the policies and procedures found in the Division of Occupational Therapy Student Handbook.

Full-time Course Sequence


Subtotal: 16 credits


Subtotal: 16 credits


Subtotal: 15 credits


Subtotal: 16 credits


Semester Five and Six (Summer-Fall)


June Through November (continues right after Semester Four):

  • OT 640: Level II Fieldwork (6 credits) Begins after Semester Four of the OT Program.

    Typically begins the middle of May and ends August (12 week rotation)​

  • OT 641: Level II Fieldwork (6 credits) 

    Typically begins August or September (depending on the second rotation) and is also 12 weeks.

Subtotal: 12 credits


December: Students participate in one week of reflection and integration of learning before graduation in mid-December. A portion of that time will be on-campus.

Total: 75 credits


*Each scholarly inquiry course leads to the completion of a final research project. A final research project is a research proposal designed to test the effectiveness of an occupational therapy intervention. The SU faculty is committed to advancing the profession by teaching students to develop and test their therapeutic programs. It is believed that the important task of validating practice requires greater attention to program development, evaluation and testing.

**All Level One Fieldwork experiences are completed on non-campus days and during normal working hours.

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