Department of Occupational Therapy (MC 811)
1919 West Taylor Street
Chicago, IL 60612-7250
Campus Location: 311 AHSB
Program Codes: 20FS1511MS (Professional/Entry-Level MS); 20FS5000OTD (OTD)
Telephone: (312) 996-3051
Web Site: http://www.ahs.uic.edu/ot/
Head of the Department: Yolanda Suarez-Balcazar
Director of Graduate Studies: Elizabeth Peterson (Professional/Entry-Level MS); Joy Hammel (OTD)
The Department of Occupational Therapy offers a Master of Science (MS) degree for students who have a bachelor’s degree in another subject. This course-only program prepares students to be eligible for a national certification examination and for practice as an occupational therapist. The MS program has been fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). The ACOTE office at AOTA is located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, P.O. Box 31220, Bethesda, MD 20824-1220. AOTA’s telephone number is (301) 652-AOTA, and its website is http://www.aota.org.
The Department of Occupational Therapy offers a Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) degree that prepares students to fulfill roles as advanced practitioners, educators, and leaders or managers. Students ordinarily choose a primary and secondary area of focus.
Two PhD programs are available to students who wish to complete advanced preparation for research. These programs are in the areas of Disability Studies and Kinesiology, Nutrition, and Rehabilitation. Please refer to the Disability Studies section of the graduate catalog for a description of the PhD in Disability Studies and the Kinesiology, Nutrition, and Rehabilitation section for that program.
Applicants must obtain supplemental application materials from the department or Web site. MS applicants must apply at otcas.org. Applicants are considered on an individual basis. In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, applicants must meet the following program requirements
- Baccalaureate Field Any field, no restrictions. Baccalaureate degree in any field plus completion of the following prerequisites
with a grade of C or above prior to enrollment: one introductory course in anthropology or sociology (equivalent to ANTH 101 or SOC 100); two courses in psychology—child psychology or child development (equivalent to PSCH 320) and abnormal psychology (equivalent to PSCH 270); one course in statistics (equivalent to PSCH 343); one course in human physiology with laboratory, covering all structures and functions of the body (minimum of four semester hours); and one course in human anatomy with laboratory for a minimum of 4 semester hours (laboratory with 30 hours of human cadaver lab study required). A two-course sequence in human anatomy and physiology is acceptable if it includes the cadaver laboratory (equivalent to KN 251 and 252). A cadaver lab is offered at UIC for accepted students who have not yet completed this requirement.
Grade Point Average At least 3.00/4.00a calculated on the last 60 semester (90 quarter) hours toward the first bachelor’s degree and subsequent course work.
Tests Required GRE General. It is recommended that the applicant score at least at the 50th percentilea on each section: verbal, quantitative and analytical writing. There is no minimum score required.
- Minimum English Competency Test Score
- TOEFL 550 (paper-based); 80, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Speaking 20, and Writing 21 (iBT Internet-based TOEFL), OR,
- IELTS 6.5, with subscores of 6.0 for all four subscores.
- Letters of Recommendation Three required.
- Personal Statement Required.
- OT observation/volunteer work: A specific number of hours of observation or volunteer work are not required; however, it is recommended that applicants have at least 50 hours of experience with an occupational therapist prior to application. Many applicants have over 200 hours of OT observation or volunteer experience.
If prerequisites were completed more than 3 years prior to beginning occupational therapy course work, it is highly recommended that the applicant review a current text prior to enrollment so he or she has up-to-date knowledge. If prerequisites were completed more than 8 years ago, it is recommended that the applicant retake the course(s) or complete an intensive self-study prior to enrollment. If the anatomy course was completed more than three years prior to beginning the occupational therapy courses, or if a grade of C was earned in the anatomy course, a 30-hour human cadaver lab will be required. This lab will be offered at UIC across the fall and spring semesters of the first year, and includes 30 contact hours.
- Prior Degrees The OTD is a post-professional degree and therefore all students must have either an earned entry-level occupational therapy credential (bachelor’s or master’s level) or be currently enrolled in the UIC Professional Master of Science degree in the Department of Occupational Therapy.
- Students who have earned a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy must complete a minimum of 90 hours. Students who have already earned a graduate degree can receive 32 credits toward their OTD, upon approval of the Graduate College. With this approval, students would be required to complete 58 credits to complete the OTD. Additional graduate credits that have not been applied to a previous degree can also be transferred, up to a maximum of 14 credits, upon approval of the OTD Admissions Committee and the Graduate College. Any additional transfer credits would reduce the 58 credit requirement. At minimum, 44 credits will be required for the OTD if all transfer credits are approved. The OTD Admissions Committee reserves the right to determine the appropriateness of any graduate work completed by an applicant and may limit transfer credit.
- Grade Point Average A minimum of 3.00/4.00a for all work beyond the baccalaureate level and at least 3.00a for the final 60 semester hours (90 quarter hours) of undergraduate study.
- Tests Required GRE General; it is recommended that the applicant score at least at the 50th percentilea on each section: verbal, quantitative and analytical writing. There is no minimum score required.
- Minimum English Competency Test Score
- TOEFL 550 (paper-based); 80 with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Speaking 20, and Writing 21 (iBT Internet-based TOEFL), OR,
- IELTS 6.5, with subscores of6.0 for all four subscores.
- Letters of Recommendation Three references pertaining to the applicant’s academic skills, accomplishments, and potential for doctoral study are required.
- Personal Statement Each applicant is required to submit a 3–5 page statement addressing his or her goals for professional doctoral study and career development. A curriculum vitae is also required.
a Applicants who do not meet the GPA or GRE expectations, but who demonstrate strengths in other areas, may be considered.
In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, students must meet the following program requirements:
- Minimum Semester Hours Required 73.
- Course Work All MS students are required to successfully complete the following courses to meet graduation requirements and to be eligible to sit for the national certification examination (see below for details regarding certification): OT 500, OT 501, OT 502, OT 506, OT 507, OT 510, OT 511, OT 512, OT 515, OT 516, OT 519 (Fieldwork Level IA), OT 522, OT 523, OT 524, OT 526, OT 529 (Fieldwork Level IB), OT 535, OT 538, OT 548
(Fieldwork Level IIA), OT 549 (Fieldwork Level IIB, taken for 8 hours), OT 555, OT 564, OT 595.
- Comprehensive Examination None.
- Thesis, Project, or Course-Work-Only Options Course work only. No other options available.
UIC graduates are able 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.
- Minimum Semester Hours Required 90 semester hours beyond the baccalaureate. Credit may be awarded for other relevant graduate work completed at UIC or another accredited institution. Any credit will be determined on an individual basis by the OTD Admissions Committee and must be approved by the Graduate College. All students are required to earn a minimum of 58 semester hours in formal course work in the program.
- Course Work Core Courses (19 hours): OT 500, 510, 590, 595, and a minimum of 8 credits across 530, 531, or 532.
- Concentration Courses: Up to 20 hours are required, depending on the student’s route of entry into the OTD and whether graduate credit was transferred into the program. Students select a primary and secondary concentration from the following three options: Advanced Practice, Administration and Leadership, and Professional Education. The combination of courses for the concentration will be chosen by the student in consultation with the advisor and must be approved by the curriculum committee.
- Elective Courses: Students choose elective courses which may be taken from within and/or outside the department. The number of credits required will depend on the student’s route of entry into the OTD and whether graduate credits were transferred into the program.
- Field Examination Required.
- Thesis, Project, or Course-Work-Only Options Project required. No other options are available.
- Project: Students must complete 20 hours of OT 592.
Tuition and Fees
The total cost associated with either the Master of Science Degree program or the Doctor of Occupational Therapy program includes graduate tuition, the occupational therapy program tuition differential, fees and assessments. Information regarding all MS or OTD-related costs can be found at: (http://www.uic.edu/depts/oar/grad/tuition_grad.html). Fees include a general fee, service fee, health service fee, and a Chicago Transit Authority Fee. Also included is a health insurance fee which can be waived with proof of insurance. The assessments are for building maintenance, library upgrades and technology. Graduate tuition, the tuition differential, fees, and assessments are subject to change.