Occupational Therapy, M.S.

Help individuals maximize their independence, satisfaction, and participation in everyday life activities at home, work, school and in the community.

NOTE: The OT CAS 2020-2021 application cycle is available beginning July 15, 2020.

Many individuals of all ages experience difficulties with daily life performance due to developmental or acquired medical conditions and disabilities, mental health concerns, social disadvantages or aging – but occupational therapy services can help them achieve their goals.

If you are a solution-oriented critical thinker who enjoys working collaboratively, occupational therapy may be a rewarding career choice.

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Curriculum Combines Education and Fieldwork

The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program provides students with the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to assist those with developmental, physical, cognitive, psychological, and sensory performance issues. Students who complete the program will be able to:

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  • Describe delivery models and systems used in settings where occupational therapy is currently practiced and where it is emerging as a service
  • Effectively communicate and work with professionals who provide care for individuals and populations
  • Apply therapeutic methods to help individuals participate in meaningful life roles and occupations at home, school, workplace, community, and other settings
  • Plan occupational therapy interventions to address performance issues in a variety of contexts and environments to support engagement in everyday life activities that affect physical and mental health, well-being, and quality of life
  • Apply occupational therapy theory and evidence to all aspects of client care
  • Demonstrate the ability to uphold ethical standards, values, and attitudes of the occupational theory profession while being intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, and socially responsible
  • Assume the distinct roles and responsibilities of the occupational therapist as an evidence-based practitioner, coordinator of care, supervisor, consultant, practice leader, and advocate

The coursework and fieldwork requirements provide opportunities for students to experience working with a range of ages in a wide variety of conditions and settings.

The 76 credit hour MSOT Program at Lewis University is a continuous, full-time, entry-level program designed to be completed over 7 consecutive semesters in 28 months. The classes run Monday through Friday between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM. Some community-based learning activities are scheduled during the evenings and on Saturdays.

Market Demand

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program, career opportunities for occupational therapists are expected to rise 18% by the year 2028. The median annual wage for occupational therapists  across the United States was $84,270 in May 2018 and the average annual salary in Illinois was just under $84,000.

It is predicted that occupational therapy will continue to be an important part of treatment for people with various medical conditions and disabilities, such as Alzheimer’s disease, autism, cerebral palsy, post-traumatic stress disorder, the loss of a limb, or stroke.

Why Lewis for Your Master of Science in Occupational Therapy Degree?

  • Ranked as one of U.S. News & World Report’s “Top Tier Colleges”
  • Small class sizes allows for high interaction with our experienced faculty
  • Strong relationships with local agencies for fieldwork experiences
  • Affordable program tuition compared to top competing schools
  • Opportunity to develop OT practice skills in mental health, rehabilitation, pediatrics, and older adult care

Life after Lewis

Graduates of the M.S. in Occupational Therapy program at Lewis University are qualified to work in various medical and non-medical settings, including:
  • Hospitals
  • Rehabilitation Facilities
  • Schools
  • In-Home Patient Care
  • Private Clinics
  • Community-Based Organizations

Admission Requirements

To be accepted for admission in the M.S. in Occupational Therapy program at Lewis University, candidates must meet the following credentials:
  • Baccalaureate degree in any field from a regionally-accredited institution of higher education; common majors include psychology, sociology, exercise science, education and biology.
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.25 (on a 4.0 scale)
  • Prerequisite coursework with grade C or above completed within the last seven years in the following subjects: human anatomy & human physiology with lab, general psychology, lifespan development psychology, abnormal psychology, sociology, and statistics. An anatomy course with a cadaver lab and a course in medical terminology are preferred.
  • GRE score of 300 (150 each for the verbal and quantitative sections); writing score of 4 or above preferred
  • A minimum of 40 hours of volunteer or observation experience with an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant prior to application
  • Three recommendations (one recommendation must be from a supervisor in a work, internship, or volunteer setting; the remaining two should be from professional and/or academic references)
  • Application for graduate admission to Lewis University submitted via the OT Centralized Application Service (OTCAS) and paid application fee

Students must complete Level II fieldwork within 18 months following completion of the didactic portion of the program.

A balance of applicant experiences, attributes, and academic performance will be evaluated. Applicants that do not meet the GPA or GRE requirements, but who demonstrate strengths in other areas, may be considered. Other areas evaluated based on the applicant’s OT CAS application include, but are not limited to: life experience, leadership experience, community service, written communication, service orientation, work experience, commitment to the Lewis University mission, research and scholarship experience, participation in extracurricular activities, and awards and recognitions.


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The entry-level occupational therapy master’s degree program has applied for accreditation and has been granted Preaccreditation Status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its Web address is www.acoteonline.org. The program must 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, all 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.