Degree Program

programThe entry-level Master of Science degree consists of research, theory, and concentrated didactic coursework; a thesis or non-thesis scholarly project; and a six-month fieldwork as requirements for graduation. Upon successful completion of 77 credit hours, including all didactic and fieldwork experiences, candidates can sit for the national certification examination administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) in order to become an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). This designation is necessary to practice as an occupational therapist. The timeframe for completion of the entry-level program is 2.5 years, which includes all didactic coursework, examinations, thesis or non-thesis requirements and fieldwork experiences. Students are required to complete all didactic coursework before beginning their fieldwork experience.

The entry-level Master of Science curriculum is designed to reflect graduate level demands in content, educational outcomes, and experiences. The curriculum follows a developmental progression where the organization of the learning experiences build on knowledge gained and mastery of educational outcomes. Throughout the curriculum students are exposed to five core themes:
  • Occupation and Human Performance
  • Critical Thinking and Clinical Reasoning
  • Diversity and the Underserved
  • Research and Scholarship
  • Professionalism and Leadership

Upon completion of the Entry-level MSOT degree program at Howard University, each graduate student will be prepared to:

  • Sit for the National Certification Board Examination in Occupational Therapy to become registered occupational therapist and to use the initials OTR (Occupational Therapist, Registered).
  • Practice as an entry-level occupational therapist in settings that encompass traditional and emerging models of health and wellness service delivery in program development and leadership, and within contexts that shape current and future healthcare policy.
  • Participate in scholarly activities including publications, presentations, scientific research and grant projects as a knowledgeable contributor to evidenced-based research design, data collection, and the literature review process.
  • Actively participate in professional and consumer organizations and advocate for underserved populations to improve health disparities, by promoting the role of occupation in the solution to human and social problems locally, nationally, and internationally.
  • Employ occupation-based theory and cutting-edge therapeutic strategies in assessment and service delivery to clients and consumers across the developmental spectrum as a critical thinker, problem-solver, and leader in the field of occupational therapy.
  • Give back to the profession and university through service and financial support.
  • Utilize effective and adaptive interpersonal, written and oral communication skills and strategies, reflective of cultural sensitivity and cultural competence, in interactions with clients, caregivers and colleagues.
  • Recognize practice-related ethical challenges, generate and implement strategies for resolution of ethical challenges that demonstrate understanding of and adherence to the Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics.