Occupational Therapy: Living Life to Its Fullest
The practice of occupational therapy means the therapeutic use of everyday life activities (occupations) with individuals or groups for the purpose of enabling participation in roles and situations in home, school, workplace, community, and other life settings. Occupational therapy services are provided for the purpose of promoting health and wellness to those who have or are at risk for developing illness, injury, or other impairment that could compromise their ability to participate in life roles and activities. Occupational therapy addresses the physical, cognitive, psychosocial, sensory, and other aspects of performance in a variety of contexts to support engagement in everyday life activities that affect health, well-being, and quality of life.
Specific occupational therapy services include administering and interpreting assessments designed to evaluate a client’s physical, cognitive, psychosocial, and occupational performance; identifying intervention goals with the client; teaching personal daily living skills as well as community integration skills; developing perceptual-motor skills and sensory integrative functioning; developing play skills and prevocational and leisure capacities; designing, fabricating, or applying selected orthotic, prosthetic, or assistive devices; using specifically designed activities to enhance functional performance; and evaluating and adapting occupational environments. These occupational therapy interventions may be provided to individuals, groups, or to society as a whole.
 Master of Science (Entry-Level)
The objective of the occupational therapy curriculum is to educate entry-level professionals who are competent and skilled to independently practice occupational therapy in a wide range of service-delivery models with emphasis placed on the development of collaborative and therapeutic relationships with clients, families, and other health and human service professionals. Moreover, they are prepared to generate and participate in research associated with the discipline of occupational science, as well as the practice of occupational therapy
The Occupational Therapy program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) in collaboration with the American Occupational Therapy Association. The address and phone number are
c/o Accreditation Department
American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200
Bethesda, MD 20814-3499
Phone: (301) 652-2682.
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
12 South Summit Avenue, Suite 100
Gaithersburg, MD 20877-4150
Phone: (301) 990-7979
[2.4] Course of Study
The curriculum leading to the Master of Science in 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 69 (non-thesis) to 73 (thesis) graduate credit hours, scheduled across a 24 month period. Within the course of study, the students are engaged in both classroom and fieldwork experiences at facilities in Arkansas and contiguous states. 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 contiguous states.
Students are responsible for their own transportation and living expenses throughout the program, including fieldwork assignments.
[2.5] Program Admission Requirements
Entry into the program is by application and competitive admission only. Students seeking admission to the professional program in occupational therapy must
- Complete baccalaureate degree.
- Complete online application through The Centralized Application Service for Occupational Therapy (OTCAS)
- Submit GRE revised General Test scores to UCA Graduate School.
- Possess a cumulative GPA of 2.75 minimum based on a 4.0 scale; possess at least a 3.0 GPA on last 60 hours of course work on a 4.0 scale.
- Complete online supplemental application for the Department of Occupational Therapy.
- For students who have not attended UCA, submit a non-refundable application fee of $50 directly to the Department of Occupational Therapy.
- Complete a minimum of 20 hour volunteer/observation experience under the supervision of one occupational therapist and submit a performance rating from this experience (form and specific instructions are available from the Occupational Therapy Department website: www.uca.edu/ot).
- Complete the following prerequisite course work with a grade of C or better. Students who have not completed all prerequisite courses may begin the application process for admission; however, completion of all prerequisites is required prior to application deadline.
Course (UCA and ACTS* course numbers in parentheses) Credit Hours Anatomy and Physiology I (BIOL 2406 [ ACTS: BIOL2404 ]) 4 Anatomy and Physiology II (BIOL 2407 [ ACTS: BIOL2414 ] 4 Physics (PHYS 1405 or 1410; for 1410: [ ACTS: PHYS2014 ]) 4 Medical Terminology (H SC 3123) 1 Sociology (SOC 1300 [ ACTS: SOCI1013 ]) or Anthropology (ANTH1302 [ ACTS: ANTH1013 ] 3 Abnormal Psychology (PSYC 4320) 3 Lifespan Development (FACS 2341) or Developmental Psychology (PSYC 2370 [ ACTS: PSYC2103 ]) 3 Statistics (PSYC 2330, SOC 2321, or MATH 2311; for MATH 2311: [ ACTS: MATH2103 ]) 3 Total Prerequisites 25
* ACTS is the Arkansas Course Transfer System. It applies to transfer of some lower-division undergraduate courses.
[2.6] Departmental Admissions Procedure
Entry into the program is by application and competitive admission only. Admission criteria include GPA, GRE scores, rated volunteer/observation experience, and personal interview. Candidates are ranked according to a formula based on overall GPA and GRE scores; top-ranked candidates are invited for an interview. Final ranking of candidates is based on the interview, GRE scores, volunteer/observation experience, and GPA. 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. Preference is given to Arkansas residents; admission of out-of-state residents is limited.
Applicants who believe that they have been treated differently from other candidates in admissions decisions are to contact the Occupational Therapy Chair 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
OTHY 6402 Art and Science of Occupation
OTHY 6503 Applied Anatomy and Kinesiology
OTHY 6317 Research I
OTHY 6404 Occupational Therapy Assessments
OTHY 6437 Conditions Influencing Occupational Performance
OTHY 6355 Applied Neuroscience
OTHY 6307 Theories in Occupational Therapy
OTHY 6102 Level I Fieldwork- Occupational Therapy Process
OTHY 6318 Research II OR OTHY 6175/6275/6375/6475 Thesis (for 1–7 credits; minimum of 7 credits required)
OTHY 6321 Administration and Management
OTHY 6438 Evaluation and Intervention Planning
OTHY 6190 Formative Competency Seminar
OTHY 6510 Holistic Interventions Birth to Young Adult
OTHY 6511 Holistic Interventions Adult to End of Life
OTHY 6103 Level I Fieldwork- Evaluation and Intervention
OTHY 6191 Summative Competency Seminar
OTHY 6175, 6275, 6375, 6475 Thesis (see above)
OTHY 6621 Level II Fieldwork – Rotation I
OTHY 6631 Level II Fieldwork – Rotation II
OTHY 6309 Population and Community-Based Programming
OTHY 6192 Transition to Occupational Therapy Practice
 Graduate Courses in Occupational Therapy (OTHY)
Follow this link for OTHY course descriptions: course link.