Why study Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy is an allied health profession that promotes optimal health and function through facilitating successful and satisfying participation in the roles and everyday activities (occupations) that individuals want and need to do. Occupational therapists are client centered healthcare practitioners that use a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team. Consideration of an individuals physical, cognitive, psychological, social, and emotional abilities, as well as environmental impacts, are central to the occupational therapy evaluation and intervention process.

Occupational therapy services typically include:

  • an individualized evaluation, during which the client/family and occupational therapist determine the person’s goals, 
  • customized intervention to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach the goals, and
  • an outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or make changes to the intervention plan

Admission Requirements

Students applying for admission to the University of Cincinnati’s MOT program from other institutions or with degrees other than the University of Cincinnati’s pre-occupational therapy health sciences programs (HSBO-DL and HLSC-BO) must complete all undergraduate degree and prerequisite coursework prior to beginning the MOT program. All applicants seeking admission to the University of Cincinnati MOT program must have at least 75% of all prerequisite coursework completed or in progress at the time of application to be considered for admission.


OTA with BS/BA

UC Health Sciences Pre-OT & Other BS/BA Holders

Undergrad Overall AND Prerequisite Course GPA



Admissions Narrative Essay and Current Resume



Minimum of 40 hours occupational therapy observation in at least 2 settings

Not Required


Letters of Recommendation (minimum 2)



GRE General Test (Verbal and Quant.)

Not Required


TOEFL scores (if appropriate)



Applications for the MOT program will be completed using the University of Cincinnati Graduate School online application process. All applicants must show evidence of successful completion of an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution and MOT prerequisite coursework with a minimum GPA of 3.0. The admissions process is competitive so meeting minimum GPA requirements does not ensure acceptance into the MOT program. Applicants must also submit a current resume, a narrative admissions essay, and two letters of recommendation (non-family). For applicants who are licensed occupational therapy assistants (OTA's), at least one letter of recommendation must be from an occupational therapist supervisor. Applicants without clinical experience as an OTA will be required to complete a minimum of 40 observation hours in at least two occupational therapy settings. OTA applicants who have successfully passed the NBCOT Examination for the occupational therapy assistant, acquired clinical experience in occupational therapy practice, and established a history of baccalaureate prerequisite coursework will not be required to submit GRE General Test scores. For non-native speakers of English, TOEFL scores meeting the standard established by the University of Cincinnati Graduate School will also be required. In keeping with the MOT program objective to support the effort of occupational therapy assistants to obtain the necessary knowledge, skills, and credentials to practice as an Occupational Therapist, the program will attempt to ensure significant OTA representation in each cohort by blocking approximately 20% of eligible spots.

Prerequisite Course List

To determine if courses you've taken apply to the MOT prerequisites please use Transferology.com.. It can help with all of your college transfer equivalency needs. Transferology allows students to get information about course equivalencies, programs, courses and degree audits among a number of participating institutions.?

Content Area


UC Equivalent Courses 

Anatomy and Physiology



Minimum 6 semester credits - Can be taken as separate course or combined. Both anatomy and physiology content must include all human body systems. A gross anatomy lab is highly recommended but not required.




Neuroanatomy / Biological Psychology

Minimum 3 semester credits covering human brain structure and function. No lab required.

HLSC4020 (online)

PSYC2070 (online)




Minimum 3 semester credits covering the properties, effects, and therapeutic value of the primary agents in major drug categories

HLSC3014 (online)

Lifespan Development


Minimum 3 semester credits or a combination of coursework that covers the lifespan – physical, cognitive, emotional, and psychosocial human development

PSYC2040 (online)

(previously PSYC2005 & PSYC2007)

Abnormal Psychology

Minimum 3 semester credits. Coursework covering the spectrum of mental illness.

PSYC2051 (online)

Sensation / Perception

Minimum 3 semester credits covering stages of processing of the senses in human systems, such as visionauditoryvestibular, and pain senses.

PSYC2030 (online)


Minimum 3 semester credits - Basic college level statistics course.

STAT1031 (online)

Medical Terminology

Medical terminology course related to medical / health professions.

HLSC2012 (online)


Minimum 3 semester credits covering study of the structure and function of biological systems.

HLSC3020 (online)

Healthcare Ethics

Minimum 2 semester credits.


HLSC2011 (online)

English Composition

Minimum of 3 semester credits.



Sociology or Anthropology

Introductory course. Minimum of 3 semester credits




Introductory course. Minimum of 3 semester credits.



The following courses may be taken after acceptance into the MOT program but must be completed prior to beginning MOT coursework. They are offered online at UC through the College of Allied Health Sciences.

Introduction to Occupational Therapy


Minimum of 3 semester credits that includes content on the history of occupational therapy, AOTA Code of Ethics and Core Values, and Occupational Therapy Practice Framework.


Musculoskeletal Anatomy

Advanced level anatomy. Minimum 3 semester credits

HLSC2021C (online)

Occupational therapists provide preventative and rehabilitation services to individuals of all ages in areas related to successful and satisfying physical, sensory, psychological, social, cognitive, and behavioral performance in meaningful activities (occupations). Occupational therapists practice in a variety of settings including hospitals, outpatient clinics, schools, community-based programs, mental health facilities, and skilled nursing facilities. 

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics believes that job opportunities for licensed occupational therapists will be good across practice settings. It is projected that the number of job opportunities will be particularly higher in hospital, skilled nursing, and community settings as the number of elderly needing occupational therapy is expected to rise in proportion to the increase of the elderly population.

Students are responsible for ensuring that all administrative and academic requirements for graduation have been met. The Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) degree is awarded upon completion of all required graduate work (typically the end of the second year/sixth semester in the OT Program). The total number of credits hours of graduate occupational therapy work (including both academic and clinical fieldwork) is 84 credit hours. In addition, students must meet the following criteria:

  1. Completion of all University of Cincinnati admission, retention, and graduation requirements as outlined in the UC Graduate Handbook.

  2. Completion of all MOT required coursework, including 24 weeks of full-time fieldwork (minimum of 940 hours) a completed research project with presentation signed off by the faculty research advisor, MOT program Research Committee Chair, and MOT Program Director. All coursework counted towards the degree must be completed at the University of Cincinnati.

  3. Maintenance of a minimum of a 3.0 overall GPA with no MOT course below a grade of C (unless that course has been successfully retaken).

  4. All MOT program requirements must be completed within 4 years. Students extending beyond that period will be required to reapply and, upon admission, retake all MOT coursework and fieldwork.

Due to the sequential nature and learning goals of the MOT curriculum, all students admitted to the MOT program will be required to complete the full curriculum. The University of Cincinnati MOT program will not give credit for occupational therapy coursework completed at any other university toward the MOT degree. Transfer credit will only be considered for undergraduate prerequisite coursework. The program will also not give credit for any work experience toward the MOT degree.

For non-native speakers of English, TOEFL scores meeting the standard established by the University of Cincinnati Graduate School will also be required.

The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Accreditation of educational programs for the occupational therapist and the occupational therapy assistant is granted by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE®) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). ACOTE is recognized as the accrediting agency for occupational therapy education by the United States Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Accreditation by an agency recognized by the USDE is one of the conditions qualifying an educational institution or program (freestanding) to participate in federal funding programs. Placement on the list of recognized accrediting agencies also serves consumer interests by acknowledging an accrediting body’s ability to identify institutions or programs of quality.

UC has applied for accreditation and has been granted Candidacy Status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), and can be reach at:

4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200
Bethesda, MD 20814-3449.
Phone: (301) 652-AOTA

The program must have a preaccreditation review, complete an on-site evaluation, and be granted Accreditation Status before its graduates 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. A felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to sit for the NBCOT Certification Examination or attain state licensure.

The UC MOT Program’s Report of Self-Study was due March 1, 2019 with initial onsite accreditation visit scheduled for October / November 2019.

Contact Information

Ashley Sandburg
Health Sciences Building
3225 Eden Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45267
(513) 558-7477

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Program Code: 35MAS-OT-MOT