Occupational Therapy (MSOT), Master of Science Degree

Program Location
Center for Graduate Studies
Program Credits
96 Credits
Program Length
6 Trimesters, 90 Weeks
Time to Complete
24 Months
*Program length may vary.

Program Mission: Our mission is to develop caring and competent entry-level generalists who are lifelong learners and who can develop into advocates and leaders for the Occupational Therapy profession in diverse local and global communities. Through a student-centric and inter-professional curriculum, the students will be prepared to be reflective practitioners by applying principles of evidence-based practice, research, and critical thinking to facilitate the well-being of consumers through engagement in valued occupations and as it relates to health promotion, prevention, and wellness.

Program Objective: West Coast University’s Occupational Therapy Program is based on the belief that all humans are occupational beings in nature, and in the healing power of occupation whereby humans can influence their own health status. Occupational engagement and thus occupation-based interventions are therefore the central theme of the curriculum.

Program Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of the program the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy students will be able to:

1. Design and implement client centered care that is inclusive of cultural values, beliefs and needs.

2. Demonstrate effective communication skills to function effectively as a member of an inter-professional health care team.

3. Support all clinical decision making with evidence based practice.

4. Create interventions with a central focus on occupation as the means and end of the profession’s philosophy.

5. Employ health promotion and wellness in all interactions with individuals, communities and populations.

6. Defend and advocate for health care change.

Admission Requirements

A student applying for admission to a graduate program at West Coast University must:
  1. Submit a completed application for admission and pay $75 application fee through WCU and OTCAS and submit transcripts by the deadline.  
  2. Meet the program admissions requirements.
  3. Submit a copy of official transcripts through OTCAS.
  4. Participate in a qualitative admissions interview arranged by a University Admissions Advisor.  
  5. Complete and enrollment agreement if accepted into the program.  
International students - Due to the fieldwork requirements of the MSOT program, the program can only admit students who are US citizens or Permanent Residents.  

Program specific application requirements and prerequisites:

  • Have obtained a bachelor’s degree (with a minimum 3.0 GPA) from an accredited institution.
  • Application can be submitted during enrollment in an undergraduate degree program or during completion of prerequisite course work. Anticipated completion dates of course work has to be submitted with the application. Note: In order to be considered for admissions to a specific start date, all course work must be completed and final documentation must be submitted by the corresponding deadline (i.e. for Fall admission the deadline for course completion and submission of final documentation is May 1st; for Spring admission the deadline for course completions and submission of final documentation is September 1st.)
  • Medical terminology course required. (1-2 credits)
  • Applicants who earned a bachelor’s degree in a non-English speaking country must have verification of the following scores within two years of intended enrollment:
    • An Internet Based TOEFL (iBT) score of 90 with no less than 20 on each sub-score; or
    • An IELTS of 6.5 with no less than 6 on each band score.
  • Students whose native language is English and/or students with a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. college or university are exempted from this examination.  
  • Applicants must have obtained an overall 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA) of program prerequisite courses (from accredited universities) within the last ten years.

Required prerequisite courses:

  • Two (2) English and or communications courses (1-2 credits earned from each).
  • Two (2) courses in the humanities or social sciences (Anthropology; Philosophy; Religion; Ethics; Cultural studies; Group Dynamics - 3 credits earned from each).
  • One (1) Statistics course. (3 credits)
  • One (1) course in Human Anatomy plus Lab (3 credits).
  • One (1) course in Physiology plus Lab (3 credits).
  • One (1) course in Human Development or Lifespan (3 credits).
  • One (1) course in Abnormal or Behavioral Psychology (3 credits).

Student should have:

  • Basic computer skills in Microsoft Word and PowerPoint.
  • Three (3) references: 
  • Two (2) occupational therapists; one (1) faculty member / advisor.
  • A minimum of 40 volunteer or observation hours obtained from an occupational therapy setting of choice.
  • Full-time devotion to this program is highly recommended; any employment can interfere with the successful completion of this program. 

  • In order to be considered, all program specific admissions requirements and prerequisites must be met by the following deadlines:  
    • Fall classes (begins in September) – May 1st
    • Spring classes (begins in January) – September 1st 
  • The University reserves the right to deny admission to applicants if the admissions requirements are not successfully met.  The denial of admissions is final and may not be appealed.

  • Candidates - Once the applicant becomes an eligible candidate, a $500 deposit (Cashier’s Check or Money Order only) is required as part of the acceptance to the MSOT program offered at WCU.  This requirement will also be mentioned in the acceptance letter from the Occupational Therapy Department. 

    Health Insurance Requirement - Students enrolled in the MSOT program will be required to provide evidence of health insurance prior to participation in fieldwork.  Participation in fieldwork is required to complete the program. 

MSOT Transfer Credit Evaluation

Transfers of credits within the university will be considered on a case by case basis. Students wanting to transfer credits from other Occupational Therapy programs are allowed a maximum of 18 transfer credits for the WCU MSOT degree.

MSOT Candidate Deposit

Applicants that are conditionally accepted to the MSOT program will be required to submit a $500.00 good faith payment for a Seat Deposit. The Seat Deposit will be credited to your program costs. The University will retain a maximum of $175.00 of this deposit should you cancel your enrollment within seven calendar days (excluding holidays) of enrollment or by the seventh calendar day of the first term, whichever is later. The seat deposit is fully refundable if you are not admitted as a result of your background check. Deposits may be paid by money order or cashier's check made out to West Coast University.

For specific graduation requirements, please see the MSOT Graduation Requirements.


Program Information and Disclosures

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy Program Accreditation Disclosure

The entry-level MSOT Program at WCU received accreditation in December 11, 2014 from 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. ACOTE's telephone number c/o AOTA is 301-652-2682, and their web address is acoteonline.org. Program 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,  states require licensure to practice; however, state licensure is 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.

More information about the NBCOT examination process is available at: www.nbcot.org.

California Board of Occupational Therapy (CBOT) Disclosure

Graduates who wish to practice in California must apply with the California Board of Occupational Therapy to be issued licensure to practice in the state of California.

For more information about OTR license application requirements, please visit the California Board of Occupational Therapy at www.bot.ca.gov/.

Health Insurance Requirement

Students enrolled in the MSOT program will be required to provide evidence of health insurance prior to participation in fieldwork.  Participation in fieldwork is required to complete the program. 

MSOT Curriculum

The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program is offered on a Trimester system, with 3 trimesters a year.  Students may complete the MSOT program in a total of 6 trimesters over 2 years (24 months).  These trimesters are labeled as follows:

MSOT Trimester 1 | 2nd week of January each year

MSOT Trimester 2 | Last week of April each year

MSOT Trimester 3 | 1st week of September each year

*Note: New students will be enrolled in Trimesters 1 or 3 onlyNew students will not be enrolled into Trimester 2. 

Core Occupational Therapy Courses

OCC 510Foundations of Occupation and Occupational Therapy


OCC 511Occupations across the Lifespan


OCC 512Introduction to Fieldwork I


OCC 513OT Evaluation and Screening I


OCC 514Introduction to Research


OCC 515Basic Patient Care Skills


OCC 516Integrated Physiology and Anatomy


OCC 520AOccupational Performance in the Older Adult


OCC 520BSkills Lab: Older Adult


OCC 521Fieldwork I – Older Adult


OCC 522OT Evaluation and Screening II


OCC 523Brain, Behavior and Occupation


OCC 524Movement Analysis in Occupation


OCC 525Evidence-based Practice I


OCC 526Occupations in Practice


OCC 531AOccupational Performance in the Adult


OCC 531BSkills Lab: Adult


OCC 532Fieldwork I – Adults


OCC 533Evidence-based Practice II


OCC 534Preparatory Methods I


OCC 535Assistive Technology


OCC 541AOccupational Performance in Children and Adolescents


OCC 541BSkills Lab: Children and Adolescents


OCC 542Fieldwork I – Children and Adolescents


OCC 543Introduction to Fieldwork II


OCC 544Preparatory Methods II


OCC 545Occupational Wellness


OCC 546Professional Management and Leadership


OCC 551Preparation for Professional Practice


OCC 552Fieldwork II-A


OCC 562Fieldwork II-B


Total Credit Hours:96.0

MSOT Program Costs

For program costs, please see the Graduate Tuition and Fees section.