The Master of Occupational Therapy degree program at the KU Medical Center is a full-time, three-year course of study at the graduate level and includes academic, practicum, and fieldwork preparation. This program has been designed to provide students with skills necessary to work as an occupational therapist in a range of health care settings. Upon completion of this course of study, students will be eligible to take the national certification (NBCOT) examination to obtain occupational therapy licensure.  The last MOT class to enter will begin in summer of 2018. 

In the fall of 2019, we will launch our new, entry-level occupational therapy doctorate program. Students entering this program will receive an entry-level OTD and prepare students to work as an occupational therapist across a variety of settings. As with the MOT, students will be eligible to take the national certification (NBCOT) examination to obtain occupational therapy licensure.

The occupational therapy program at the University of Kansas is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education, 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449; (301) 652-6611. For more information, visit the ACOTE website at 

Applications for this program are accepted online and requires two parts to be completed separately. Like many entry-level programs across the country, KU uses the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS) as the first part of the application process. In the second part, supplemental materials are submitted to KU using a CollegeNet online application.

Detailed instructions on how to apply are posted on the Department of Occupational Therapy Education website. Application materials are accepted August 1-December 1 for the class entering the program in June of the following summer. All application materials must be received by December 1 for an application to be complete and qualified for review.

Admission requirements:

  • A bachelor's degree in any field from a regionally accredited institution is required and must be documented by submission of official transcript indicating the degree has been conferred before entering the program. Official transcripts from all course work taken at any institution also are required. Although an application may be submitted while course work still is in progress, the student's plan for completion prior to entering the program must be articulated as part of the application.
    Students with degrees from institutions outside the U.S. may be subject to transcript evaluation to verify the degree is equivalent to a U.S. degree and the student meets the minimum cumulative grade-point average requirement.
  • Applicants must possess a cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of at least a 3.2 on a 4.0 scale for his or her bachelor's degree program and specifically a 3.2 GPA on the specific prerequisite courses. Information documented on student transcripts will be used to calculate all grade point averages. Consistent with University of Kansas policy, the admissions committee will replace grades of classes that have been repeated.
  • The following prerequisite courses are required: abnormal psychology, human development, statistics, ethics, human physiology, and human anatomy with a lab.
    Specific requirements for prerequisite courses are as follows:
    • Each course (except labs) must be a minimum of three credit hours.
    • Students must complete prerequisite coursework before beginning the program.
    • A passing grade of "C" or higher is required in all prerequisite courses. A grade of “D” is not considered a passing grade.
    • Human Anatomy with lab must be completed within the last 5 years.
  • Applicants who are not native speakers of English, whether domestic or international, must demonstrate they meet the minimum English proficiency requirement.
  • A background check is required during the admission process; it may affect the student's eligibility to enter the program. This one-time fee must be paid directly to the company performing the background investigation. A drug screening may also be required. More information: School of Health Professions background check and drug screening policy.
  • Applicants must have completed a minimum of 40 hours of paid or volunteer work involving at least 50% of that time committed to working directly with individuals or populations with special needs. These hours must be accumulated within the last five years. Applicants can acquire the required 40 hours in a single setting or across multiple settings. Shadowing or observation hours are not required to be with an occupational therapist. "Working directly" can include talking to clients, assisting with activities, transporting patients, etc., but does not include office work, administrative tasks, or only observation/shadowing.
  • As part of the online application, applicants will submit a personal statement describing why occupational therapy is his or her chosen career, and how a degree in OT will support the applicant's personal and professional goals. This statement should include an explanation of how personal, professional, and educational background and experience has prepared the applicant for this career decision and a future in occupational therapy.
  • Applicants will also submit a 500-word (or less) statement of interest in which he or she provides information about the reasons why the MOT degree program at the University of Kansas is of interest. Unlike the personal/professional statement submitted to OTCAS about occupational therapy as a profession, this Interest statement should be specifically about the KU's occupational therapy program.
  • Three separate references are required and should be written by a professional, advisor, instructor, supervisor, coach, or other adult contact who can attest to the applicant’s potential success in the MOT program and future contributions to the occupational therapy profession. At least one letter of recommendation must be from an academic reference.
  • All accepted students must submit copies of current, valid CPR and First Aid certifications prior to the program start date. CPR certification must be from the American Heart Association and confirm the Healthcare Provider designation covering the entire lifespan (infant, child, and adult).
  • Applicants who have been convicted of a felony should be aware of the fact that application for licensure, certification, or registration will be subject to review and additional information may be requested. Based on the review process, denial of licensure, certification, and/or registration may occur and subsequent opportunities for employment may be compromised.

Applicants will be assessed based on these requirements.  Admission requirements are subject to change. Students beginning course work in the summer term of 2018 will be governed by the 2017-2018 academic catalog. Students entering the MOT program in summer 2017 are governed by the 2016-2017 academic catalog. Other years’ catalogs».

The Master of Occupational Therapy degree program at KU is a full-time, three-year course of study at the graduate level and includes academic, practicum, and fieldwork preparation. This is an entry-level program that has been designed to provide students with skills necessary to work as an occupational therapist in a range of possible settings. Practicum and fieldwork experiences are offered throughout the Kansas City community, the state of Kansas and, in some cases, in states other than Kansas.

The National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy administers a national certification examination to graduates of accredited entry-level programs. All states require licensure or registration to practice; initial certification is obtained by completing the nationally administered, standardized examination. Students are eligible to take the national certification exam after completion of all program requirements.

Degree requirements:

  • Degree requirements are normally completed within 3 years of admission to the program.
  • Cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of at least a 3.0 for all KU graduate coursework.
  • Successful completion of a minimum of 83 credit hours.
  • Enrollment in a minimum of one (1) credit hour the semester the student will graduate.
  • Must maintain current, valid CPR status throughout the duration of the MOT degree program.  CPR certification must be from American Heart Association and be the Healthcare Provider designation covering the entire lifespan (infant, child, and adult).
  • Successful completion of the following courses:
    OCTH 601Human Anatomy6
    OCTH 602Orientation to the Occupational Therapy Profession3
    OCTH 605Theory and Practice in Occupational Therapy2
    OCTH 622Analysis and Adaptations of Occupations - I4
    OCTH 630Practicum - I2
    OCTH 635Lifespan Development from an Occupational Perspective4
    OCTH 645Contexts of Occupation2
    OCTH 655Neuroscience Analysis of Occupational Performance3
    OCTH 662Physical Considerations in Facilitating Occupational Performance4
    OCTH 670Practicum - II2
    OCTH 672Psychiatric Considerations in Facilitating Occupational Performance3
    OCTH 682Analysis and Adaptation of Occupations - II2
    OCTH 690Evaluation and Assessment of Occupational Performance2
    OCTH 704Planning and Intervention in Occupational Therapy2
    OCTH 710Service Management: Delivery Systems1
    OCTH 720Occupational Therapy Practice Models7
    OCTH 725The Research Process1
    OCTH 730Practicum III2
    OCTH 750Case-Based Clinical Reasoning2
    OCTH 755Issues and Trends Seminar1
    OCTH 760Professional Development and Leadership in Service Management3
    OCTH 765Family and Community Service Systems2
    OCTH 770Level II Fieldwork, Part 16
    OCTH 775Level II Fieldwork, Part 26
    OCTH 776Population-Based Clinical Reasoning3
    OCTH 783Evidence-Based Practice2
    OCTH 790Research Practicum and Professional Writing3
    Required elective course3
    Total Hours83
  • At some point during the program, each student must complete a 3-credit (minimum) required elective which is included in the total above. This is intended as an opportunity for students to expand their knowledge and exposure to other professions, skills, or areas of expertise.
  • Students have the option to pursue faculty-sponsored special projects in addition to the required coursework, by enrolling in OCTH 680 Independent Study.
  • Students are required to complete two Level II Fieldwork experiences. Enrollment in the OCTH 780 Elective Level II Fieldwork course is an opportunity for students to do an optional, third fieldwork in a speciality setting.

The department will provide a more program-specific handbook to each student upon their entry into the program.

Degree requirements and course descriptions are subject to change. Any courses taken as an equivalent must be approved by the Graduate Director and the Office of Graduate Studies. In most cases, use the catalog of the year student entered the program.  Other years’ catalogs».

The Master of Occupational Therapy degree program at KU is a full-time, three-year course of study at the graduate level and includes academic, practicum, and fieldwork preparation.

Year 1
OCTH 6016OCTH 6052OCTH 6452
OCTH 6023OCTH 6224OCTH 6624
 OCTH 6302OCTH 6702
 OCTH 6354OCTH 6723
 OCTH 6553OCTH 6822
  OCTH 6902
 9 15 15
Year 2
No classesOCTH 7042OCTH 7251
 OCTH 7101OCTH 7502
 OCTH 7207OCTH 7706
 OCTH 7302Required elective course3
 OCTH 7832 
 0 14 12
Year 3
No classes unless opt to take OCTH 780 Elective Level II FieldworkOCTH 7756OCTH 7551
 OCTH 7763OCTH 7603
  OCTH 7652
  OCTH 7903
 0 9 9
Total Hours 83

Students have the option to pursue faculty-sponsored special projects in addition to the required coursework, by enrolling in OCTH 680 Independent Study.

Students are required to complete two Level II Fieldwork experiences. Enrollment in the OCTH 780 Elective Level II Fieldwork course is an opportunity for students to do an optional, third fieldwork in a speciality setting.  Students choosing this elective option, complete during the Summer term Year 3.


Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy (MOT)

Because an entry level Occupational Therapy Degree signifies that the holder is eligible to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy exam and that the holder is prepared for entry into the profession of occupational therapy, our graduates must have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical, community, or school-based situations and to render a wide spectrum of occupational therapy services.  Therefore, all individuals admitted to the Master’s of Occupational Therapy (MOT) program at the University of Kansas Medical Center must have the following abilities and expectations with or without accommodations.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply to the program, and reasonable accommodation will be made for qualified applicants or students who disclose a disability. Candidates who indicate upon application or after acceptance to the program that they cannot meet an expectation listed will be reviewed further by the MOT Admissions Manager in collaboration with the ADA Panel for the School of Health Professions to determine if reasonable accommodations are likely to lead to successful completion of the MOT program and preparation for the certification examination. 

1.  Essential Motor Skills:

  • have gross motor skills to move freely and safely about the medical center and fieldwork sites.
  • perform moderately taxing physical work, often requiring prolonged sitting.
  • have balance and equilibrium necessary to do such things as move clients from bed to wheelchair or to manipulate parts of, or whole bodies of, simulated and real people of all ages.
  • have fine motor skills essential to perform such tasks as anatomical dissection, splint making, or maneuvering equipment.

2.  Essential Sensory Skills:

  • accurately perceive objects in the environment
  • accurately observe human performance. For example, the student must be able to discriminate between a safe and an unsafe environment and between therapeutic and non-therapeutic behavior and contexts.

3.  Essential Communication skills:

  • assimilate information from written sources (texts, journals, medical or school records, etc.).
  • obtain, comprehend, retain, and use new information presented in written formats.
  • independently complete assignments, tests, and professional documentation appropriately and in a timely manner and in appropriate format.
  • impart information so that it can be understood by others.
  • elicit information from instructors, peers, persons receiving services, family members, and supervisors.
  • follow verbal or written instruction in order to complete assignments.
  • note and respond to factual information provided by others as well as to the more subtle cues of mood, temperament and social responses.
  • communicate with others accurately, sensitively, effectively and succinctly.
  • communicate in a timely and situationally appropriate manner.

4.  Essential Cognitive Skills:

  • Clinical Reasoning:
    • make correct observations and have the skills of comprehension, measurement, calculation, reasoning, integration, analysis and synthesis. For example, the student must have the skills to conduct assessments accurately, compute test scores, analyze results and determine the impact of this information on intervention, while synthesizing a variety of input. 
    • recognize, label and categorize information to draw conclusions. Then the student must be able to question, analyze and judge the results of their conclusion.
  • Judgment:
    • demonstrate judgment in classroom; laboratory; and fieldwork settings which shows an ability to make mature, sensitive and effective decisions in appropriate situations
      relate appropriately to instructors, peers, supervisors and persons being served. For example, when provided with constructive feedback from an instructor or supervisor, the student will adapt behavior accordingly.
    • demonstrate professional behaviors, such as timeliness and regular attendance.

5.  Essential Behavioral/Social Skills:

  • exhibit professional behaviors and attitudes during their participation in the classroom and in clinical situations. This includes, but is not limited to, appropriate language, flexibility toward change and acceptance of responsibility for one’s own conduct.
  • exhibit a positive attitude toward persons being served, family members, peers and supervisors.
  • possess the emotional health necessary to effectively employ intellect and exercise appropriate judgment.
  • be flexible and creative to adapt to professional and technical change.
  • demonstrate professional attitudes and behaviors while experiencing heavy workloads (e.g., large number of tasks to complete in a limited amount of time), task related uncertainty (e.g. changes of schedule on short notice), and a distracting environment.
  • support and promote the activities of peers and health care professionals by sharing knowledge, eliciting input, and acting with empathy toward others.
  • be honest, compassionate, ethical, and responsible.
  • be forthright about errors or uncertainty.
  • critically evaluate his or her own performance, accept constructive criticism, and look for ways to improve.
  • evaluate the performance of fellow students, instructors, and clients and tactfully offer constructive comments.


KUMC Department of Occupational Therapy Education Professional Behaviors

The Department of OTE has adopted a structured format for teaching and assessing professional behaviors. Professional behaviors are attributes, characteristics or behaviors that are not explicitly part of the profession’s core of knowledge and technical sills but are required for success in the academic program, fieldwork and capstone experiences, and the profession. As such, we take your development in these behaviors as seriously as we do academic performance. The ten behaviors and definitions are as follows:

Critical Thinking: The ability to question logically; to identify, generate, and evaluate elements or logical argument; recognize and differentiate facts, appropriate or faulty inferences, and assumptions; and to distinguish relevant from irrelevant information. The ability to appropriately utilize, analyze and critically evaluate scientific evidence to develop a logical argument, and to identify and determine the impact of bias on the decision making process.

Communication: The ability to communicate effectively (e.g., verbal, non-verbal, writing and listening) for varied audiences and purposes.

Problem Solving: The ability to recognize and define problems, analyze data, develop and implement solutions and evaluate outcomes.

Interpersonal Skills: The ability to interact effectively with patients, families, colleagues, other health professionals and the community in a culturally aware manner.

Responsibility: The ability to be accountable for the outcomes of personal and professional actions and to follow through on commitments that encompass the profession within the scope of work, community, and social responsibilities.

Professionalism: The ability to exhibit appropriate professional conduct and to represent the profession effectively while promoting the growth/development of the OT profession.

Use of Constructive Feedback: The ability to seek out and identify quality sources of feedback, reflects on and integrates the feedback, and provides meaningful feedback to others.

Effective Use of Time and Resources: The ability to manage time and resources effectively to obtain the maximum possible benefit.

Stress Management: The ability to identify sources of stress and to develop and implement effective coping behaviors; this applies for interactions for: self, patient/clients and their families, members of the health care team and in work/life scenarios.

Commitment to Learning: The ability to self-direct learning to include the identification of needs and sources of learning; and to continually seek and apply new knowledge, behaviors and skills.