Occupational Therapy

[1] Occupational Therapy: Living Life to Its Fullest

Occupational therapy practitioners help people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. They use a holistic and customized approach to evaluations, interventions, and outcomes to help a child with disabilities participate in school and in social situations, assist a person recovering from injuries to regain skills, aid older adults to stay as independent as possible, and offer specialized support and services to people of all ages and in all circumstances that only occupational therapy can provide. Occupational therapy interventions may be provided to individuals, groups, communities, or to society as a whole.

[2] Doctor of Occupational Therapy

[2.1] Mission

The mission of the University of Central Arkansas Occupational Therapy Program in implementing a clinical doctorate in occupational therapy (OTD) is to develop leaders, advocates, researchers, and skilled practitioners competent in providing OT services to individuals and populations who are limited by physical or psychosocial situations that compromise independence and wellness. Graduates are prepared to practice in a variety of service delivery models, and to develop productive interpersonal and therapeutic relationships with clients, families, communities, populations, organizations, and other health and human services professionals.

The program is committed to promoting student awareness and appreciation of different cultural and social value systems. Student sensitivity is cultivated through the improved awareness of self and appreciation of diversity among client populations. The program seeks to instill in students a sense of self direction, discernment, and a desire to assume active responsibility for leadership, advocacy, clinical research, advanced clinical skills, and education.

In addition to educating competent practitioners, leaders, and advocates, the program strives to have a strong positive influence on the profession throughout the state and region, by assisting in the development of new knowledge in the science of occupation and in conducting and disseminating clinical research that establishes the efficacy of OT services.

[2.2] Accreditation

The entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program 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), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its Web address is www.acoteonline.org. 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). See §2.3.

[2.3] Certification

Graduates of the program are eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). Upon successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an occupational therapist, registered (OTR). In addition, most states require licensure to practice as an occupational therapist. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensures. For further information, the address and phone number for NBCOT are

NBCOT
12 South Summit Avenue, Suite 100
Gaithersburg, MD 20877-4150
Phone: (301) 990-7979

[2.4] Course of Study

The curriculum leading to the Doctor of Occupational Therapy requires prior completion of a baccalaureate degree from a USDE- recognized regionally accredited college or university. Moreover, completion of 25 hours of prerequisite course work (grade C or better) is required. Prerequisite courses may be completed at UCA or at another regionally accredited college or university. Students who plan to complete prerequisites at another university are strongly urged to contact the Occupational Therapy Program Advisor to assure course equivalency.

Students are admitted to the program via a competitive admission process. Students who are admitted will complete 112 graduate credit hours, scheduled across a 36 month period. Within the course of study, the students are engaged in both classroom and fieldwork experiences at facilities in Arkansas and across the US. The first level of fieldwork assignments occur in concert with on-campus course work. Advanced levels of fieldwork assignments involve full time placement at two different fieldwork sites across a 6 month period. At this level, students may again be placed at facilities in Arkansas or across the US. In addition, a 640 hour doctoral residency program will serve as an integral part of the program’s curriculum and will include in-depth experiences in clinical skills, research skills, administration, leadership, program and policy development, advocacy, education, and/or theory development.

Students are responsible for their own transportation and living expenses throughout the program, including fieldwork assignments and doctoral residency.

[2.5] Program Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission, candidates must complete a baccalaureate degree and meet the specific prerequisite requirements of the UCA Department of Occupational Therapy. Students may pursue the bachelor’s degree in any chosen field of study at UCA or from a USDE-recognized regionally accredited college or university. Moreover, completion of 25 hours of prerequisite course work is required. Prerequisite courses may be completed at UCA or at another regionally accredited college or university. Students who plan to complete prerequisites at another university are strongly urged to contact the Occupational Therapy Program Advisor to assure course equivalency.

Students enrolled in the occupational therapy program must perform certain essential functions in order to participate in and complete program requirements. A list of these essential functions and the departmental policy is available at uca.edu/ot/.

All prospective students should review the document “UCA Department of Occupational Therapy Essential Functions” and the departmental policy prior to applying for admission to the program.

[2.5.1] Prerequisite Course Work

Department of Occupational Therapy: Pre-requisite Course Work with University of Central Arkansas course numbers. Prerequisite courses taken elsewhere must be approved in advance by the Occupational Therapy Program Advisor.

Course (UCA and ACTS* course numbers in parentheses)Credit Hours
Anatomy and Physiology I (UCA: BIOL 2406; ACTS: BIOL2404)4
Anatomy and Physiology II (UCA: BIOL 2407; ACTS: BIOL2414)4
Physics (UCA: 1405 or 1410; ACTS [for 1410]: PHYS2014)4
Medical Terminology (UCA: H SC 3123)1
Sociology (UCA: SOC 1300; ACTS: SOCI1013) or

Anthropology (UCA: ANTH 1302; ACTS: ANTH1013)
3
Abnormal Psychology (UCA: PSYC 4320)3
Lifespan Development (UCA: FACS 2341) or

Developmental Psychology (UCA: PSYC 2370; ACTS: PSYC2103)
3
Statistics (UCA: PSYC 2330 or SOC 2321 or MATH 2311; ACTS [for MATH 2311]: MATH2013)3

* ACTS is the Arkansas Course Transfer System. It applies to transfer of some lower-division undergraduate courses.

[2.6] Application Process

The Doctor of Occupational Therapy (Entry-Level) program has strict admission requirements and enrollment limitations. Acceptance is by specific application and competitive admission only. A new class begins each fall semester.

Two options exist for admission to the program. Regardless of admission option, all applicants are required to complete the online application through the Occupational Therapist Centralized Application Service (OTCAS) at www.otcas.org by January 15th of the year of planned enrollment.

[2.6.1] Freshman Admission

Declaration of Intent: Intent to pursue the option for Freshman Admission must be completed with the Department of Occupational Therapy Program Advisor by November 1 of the freshman year.

Students who begin study at UCA as a freshman will be admitted into the occupational therapy program if they meet and maintain specific performance standards and criteria. Actual enrollment in the occupational therapy program will occur after completion of the baccalaureate degree if performance standards and criteria are maintained.

To maintain Freshman Admission status, the applicant must

  • Take all coursework at UCA.
  • Attend three SPOT (Students for Pre-Occupational Therapy) meetings each year (12 total meetings in 4 years).
  • Maintain at least a 3.7 cumulative GPA every semester and a 3.5 GPA for all occupational therapy prerequisite course work.
  • Submit GRE revised General Test (August 2011) scores to UCA Graduate School and OTCAS. UCA institutional GRE code 6012 and OTCAS GRE code 7416; score at least 150 on Verbal, 150 on Quantitative, and 4 on Analytical Writing sections.
  • Complete a minimum of 20 hours volunteer/observation experience under the supervision of one licensed occupational therapist; (form and specific instructions are available from the Department of Occupational Therapy website: uca.edu/ot/).
  • Complete a baccalaureate degree at UCA by May of the year of planned enrollment.
  • Complete all prerequisite course work by the end of the fall semester prior to the spring OT program application deadline (January 15th of each year).

No interview is required of applicants entering the graduate OT program under Freshman Admission. Contact the UCA Occupational Therapy Program Advisor for more details regarding Freshman Admission.

[2.6.2] Regular Admission

Application deadline: January 15th of the year of planned enrollment

Those applicants not using the Freshman Admission or those who were not able to maintain performance standards and criteria for Freshman Admission must complete an application for Regular Admission. The deadline for Regular Admission is January 15th of the year of planned enrollment.

To be eligible for Regular Admission, by the application deadline, the applicant must:

  • Complete baccalaureate degree by May of year of planned enrollment
  • Complete the online application through the Occupational Therapist Centralized Application Service (OTCAS) at www.otcas.org. Application must be verified by February 19.
  • Submit GRE revised General Test (August 2011) and GRE Analytical Writing scores to UCA Graduate School and OTCAS. UCA institutional GRE code 6012 and OTCAS GRE code 7416.
  • Possess a cumulative GPA of 2.75 minimum based on a 4.0 scale or possess at least a 3.0 GPA on the last 60 hours of course work on a 4.0 scale.
  • Complete a minimum of 20 hours volunteer/observation experience under the supervision of one licensed occupational therapist; the therapist must submit a performance rating from this experience (form and specific instructions are available from the Department of Occupational Therapy website: uca.edu/ot/).
  • Complete all occupational therapy (OT) prerequisite course work, with a grade of C or better, by the end of the fall semester prior to the spring graduate OT program application deadline (January 15th of each year). OT prerequisite coursework 10 years old or older will not be accepted.

NOTE: All college work must be submitted regardless of when completed or the nature of the course work. Work experience is not calculated into the satisfaction of admission requirements.

All applications of candidates who meet qualifications for Regular Admission are reviewed by the OT Admission Committee. Applicants are ranked according to a formula based on overall GPA and GRE scores; top-ranked candidates are invited to a mandatory interview scheduled in March. The interview is used to assess such factors as the ability to present oneself professionally, ability to use verbal and nonverbal communication appropriately, and to express knowledge about the profession of occupational therapy. Final ranking of candidates is based on the interview, GRE scores, volunteer/observation experience, and GPA. The top 48 applicants invited to enter the program are notified in late April. In addition to the selected candidates, a ranked alternate list is established. Individuals may be chosen from the alternate list to replace applicants who decline their appointment at any time, up to the date of enrollment.

Applicants who believe that they have been treated differently from other candidates in admissions decisions are to contact the chairperson of the Department of Occupational Therapy for information about the appeals process. All appeals must begin at the department level.

[2.7] Tuition and Fees

Occupational therapy students pay UCA general registration and other mandatory fees plus combined health science and departmental fees of $14 per credit hour and a lab fee of $5 per credit hour each semester.

Information on tuition and other mandatory fees is available from the UCA Office of Student Accounts. Fees are subject to change.

[2.8] Professional Courses

Required courses for the program are listed below in curriculum sequence order:

OTHY 6323 Professional Foundations of Occupational Therapy
OTHY 6324 Art and Science of Occupation
OTHY 6110 Doctoral Seminar I: Service Learning
OTHY 6403 Applied Human Anatomy
OTHY 6303 Human Movement and Performance
OTHY 6317 Research
OTHY 6404 Occupational Therapy Assessments
OTHY 6326 Conditions Influencing Occupational Performance
OTHY 6120 Doctoral Seminar II: Problem- and Solution-Based Learning
OTHY 6355 Applied Neuroscience
OTHY 6307 Theories in Occupational Therapy
OTHY 6102 Level I Fieldwork: Occupational Therapy Process
OTHY 6112 Level I Fieldwork: Analysis of Human Occupational Performance
OTHY 6321 Administration and Management
OTHY 6438 Evaluation and Intervention Planning
OTHY 6190 Formative Competency
OTHY 7317 Applied Research I
OTHY 6510 Holistic Interventions Birth to Young Adult
OTHY 6511 Holistic Interventions Adult to End of Life
OTHY 7318 Applied Research II
OTHY 6103 Level I Fieldwork: Evaluation and Intervention
OTHY 6104 Level II Fieldwork Seminar
OTHY 6V51 Level II Fieldwork Rotation I
OTHY 6V71 Level II Fieldwork Rotation II
OTHY 6309 Population- and Community-Based Programming
OTHY 7319 Applied Research III
OTHY 7311 Leadership and Communication in Healthcare
OTHY 6310 Occupational Therapist as Educator
OTHY 7320 Contemporary Issues and Advocacy in Occupational Therapy
OTHY 7310 Doctoral Seminar III: Planning & Development
OTHY 7330 Occupational Therapy Practice for Children, Youth & Families
OTHY 7340 Occupational Therapy in Rehabilitation and Disability
OTHY 7360 Advanced Occupational Therapy Practice in Mental Health
OTHY 7220 Doctoral Seminar IV: Transition to Practice
OTHY 7V50 Doctoral Residency

[3] Graduate Courses in Occupational Therapy (OTHY)

Follow this link for OTHY course descriptions: course link.