May 24, 2024  
Graduate Catalog 2018 - 2019 
Graduate Catalog 2018 - 2019 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Occupational Therapy, MOT

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School of Health Sciences

School of Health Sciences
Health Sciences 101
(216) 687-3567

Elizabeth Domholdt, Director, School of Health Science
Beth Ekelman, Graduate Program Director


Occupational Therapy, which began in 1917, is a health field that focuses on individuals’ ability to do their everyday occupations in self-care, work, and leisure (such as dressing, homemaking, working, and recreating). Its goal is to help people achieve their own unique, desired lifestyles. It requires getting to know individuals personally, understanding their goals, and identifying creative ways to allow them to reach their desired levels of independence and productivity. This work is highly personal and creative. In addition to working directly with clients, occupational therapists often consult with others important to the client about adapting the client’s lifestyle or environment. Occupational Therapists also design programs for themselves or others to implement, they speak on behalf of clients and their families, and they participate in research.

The occupational therapy program is accredited 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 Students must complete a minimum of 79 credits, including 24 weeks (940 hours) of full-time fieldwork in order to be eligible to sit for the national certification examination and to apply for state licensure. The fieldwork must be completed within 24 months after completion of the academic course work. The certifying body for occupational therapists is the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) ( Note: A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or to attain state licensure.

Faculty Research

The Occupational Therapy Program faculty has an outstanding record of research and publications.

Current faculty information can be located on the Cleveland State University Faculty Profile page.

Financial Assistance

A limited number of graduate assistantships (minimum of nine credit hours per semester) are available to full-time students for the second year of the Program. Assistantships may be in the form of a stipend. Assistants may be involved in departmental projects or work with individual faculty on specific research and teaching endeavors. Contact the School of Health Sciences at (216) 687-3567 or via email at for more details.

Admission Information

Admission to the program is limited to forty-five students. Applications are available electronically through the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application System (OTCAS) on or around July 18th of the year prior to admission. All applications, transcripts, and GRE scores must be submitted electronically through OTCAS no later than October 1st of the year prior to admission.

Admission Criteria

Students must have:

  1. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
  2. GRE Writing Test score of 3.5 or higher. Test scores taken within 5 years will be accepted.
  3. An overall grade-point average of at least 3.0 or a score at the 50th percentile or above in each area of the GRE.
  4. A minimum GPA of 3.0 in prerequisite courses, with at least two of the natural science prerequisites, and at least 4 of the 8 required courses (or their equivalent) completed prior to the application deadline.

Application Procedures

Students must submit an application to the MOT Program through the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Process (OTCAS).

Click here to begin application to the CSU MOT Program.

All transcripts, application fees, the program application, official GRE Test scores and other documents required to apply are submitted directly to OTCAS.

Students who are accepted into the Program will be asked to apply to the Cleveland State University College of Graduate Studies. Non-native English speakers must demonstrate proof of English-language proficiency. See Admission to the College of Graduate Studies for applicable policies and procedures. Students must complete all 8 required prerequisite courses (or their equivalent) with a grade of C or better by the end of the summer semester of the year of application.

Fifteen students who have graduated or are scheduled to graduate from the pre-occupational therapy track of the Bachelors of Science in Health Sciences Program before the Fall start date of the MOT Program will be selected competitively or via the Intent to Enroll Program (this ITE program is full with a waiting list and will be suspended in 2020) prior to acceptance of all other applicants.

Required Prerequisites

Pathology (HSC 381, if taken at Cleveland State). Introduction to medical diagnosis and treatment, covering basic concepts and nomenclature of pathology, major diseases of body systems, epidemiology, biopsychosocial concepts, pharmacology, infectious disease, cellular injury, tissue repair, enoplasia, genetic disorders, musculoskeletal disorders, nervous system disorders, and psychiatric disorders.

Physiology (HSC 422 and HSC 450 or BIO 422 and BIO 423, if taken at Cleveland State). Human or vertebrate physiology is recommended.

Human Anatomy (HSC 475 and HSC 457, if taken at Cleveland State). Human cadaver dissection or prosection is recommended.

Neurosciences (HSC 476 and 478, if taken at Cleveland State). Study of structure and function of human central and peripheral nervous systems, including vascular components and special senses.

Lifespan (PSY 223, if taken at Cleveland State). Examination of human development from infancy to old age preferred.

Abnormal Psychology (PSY 345, if taken at Cleveland State). Survey of major psychological disorders and their classification, etiology, and management.

Social Science Statistics (PSY 317 or Math 147 and 347 if taken at Cleveland State). Content should include measures of central tendency, correlations, t-tests, analysis of variance, nonparametric statistics, application of descriptive and inferential statistics to analysis and interpretation of data in the social sciences, and hypothesis testing.

Medical Terminology (HSC 203, if taken at Cleveland State). Evidence of completion of medical terminology course or self-study.

Although not mandatory, it is strongly recommended that applicants volunteer and/or work under the direct supervision of an occupational therapist in at least two areas of practice.

Requests for applications and advising appointments (also recommended) can be scheduled online (

Program of Study (79-81 credits)

The Master of Occupational Therapy curriculum consists of 79 to 81 credits, including 51 credits in the core area, 20 credits of fieldwork, 2 credits of service learning, and 6 to 8 credits of electives. A capstone research project is required as part of the core curriculum. The 28-month program begins fall semester. A part-time option is available for students who wish to complete the program in three years.

Students are required to select two elective courses as part of the required MOT academic course work. These courses are meant to enhance the students’ skills in practice administration and/or teaching.

Fieldwork (20 credits)

Electives (6-8 credits)

A list of approved elective courses are provided annually or students can seek advisor approval for electives courses not on the pre-approved list.

Graduate Certificate Programs

Some interdisciplinary graduate certificate programs are administered through the School of Health Sciences: Gerontological Studies; and Occupational and Physical Therapy in the Schools. Detailed information  about these programs can be found elsewhere in this Catalog; please refer to the index.

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