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The College of St. Scholastica

Helping others stay independent

Occupational therapists also provide education and training for wellness and prevention concerns. Occupational therapists work in schools, skilled nursing facilities, clinics, and hospitals, as well as alternative service delivery models (e.g., prisons, community mental health agencies and business/industry).

Fast Facts

  • Treat patients in the on-campus maurices Community Clinic, dedicated to interdisciplinary learning
  • Clinical experience. Four Level I (including two rotations in the on-campus clinic) and two Level II fieldwork experiences, plus additional in-class clinical experiences offer the chance to put your skills to work
  • Curriculum focuses on experiential learning and students participate in original research projects
  • A US News & World Report ranked top Health Grad School
  • 79 total program credits. Earn your degree in 2.5 years.

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The faculty and curriculum prepared me very well for the certification exam, as well as transitioning from student to Occupational Therapist.

Paul Marcoux, Alum

Degree Details

Tuition and Fees

Tuition: $876/credit*

Read the attached document for information regarding cost of attendance for the 2022-2024 tuition and fees or the 2021-2023 tuition and fees by year and total program costs.


* Tuition rates are for the 2022-23 academic year. Additional fees and costs for course materials may apply. Total program cost and completion time varies depending on transfer credits and individual program plans. Tuition rates are subject to change. View the 2021-2022 tuition rates.

Program Overview

The following information provides additional details about the MS in OT program. You will find Pass and Graduation rates as required by ACOTE, NBCOT Examination and Fieldwork Experience information.

Pass and Graduation Rates

For test data by school and state, visit NBCOT.

Graduation Data
Graduating Year 2019 2020 2021 3-Year Total
Students Entering/Graduating 36/34 36/36 36/35 108/105
Graduation Rate 94% 100% 97% 97% (average)

National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) Examination

Upon completion of all academic and fieldwork requirements of the Occupational Therapy Program, students are awarded a Master of Science (MS) degree. Graduates of the program are eligible to sit for the national certification examination for certification as occupational therapists. Most states require licensure to practice.

The exam is administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy. After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be a registered occupational therapist (OTR) and become eligible to practice occupational therapy. Most states require additional licensure. The graduates of the Occupational Therapy Department at The College of St. Scholastica have a high pass rate as shown below.

ACOTE® accredited occupational therapy and occupational therapy assistant educational programs satisfy the states’ educational requirements in all states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Students graduating from an ACOTE® accredited occupational therapy and occupational therapy assistant educational program are eligible to take the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) certification exam and apply for licensure in all states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. For more information regarding state qualifications and licensure requirements, please refer to the AOTA State Licensure webpage.

Curriculum

Visit our Catalog to view the program, course and degree requirements, and learning outcomes. Be sure to create your course plan in consultation with your advisor.

Scope and Sequence of the Occupational Therapy Curriculum

We aim to give students a solid foundation for implementing the occupational therapy process so they are prepared to enter a variety of practice settings. The scope of the occupational therapy curriculum is intentionally broad in order to prepare students to work with diverse client populations across the lifespan in a wide range of environments. Moreover, the curriculum is designed to familiarize students to traditional practice areas including: children and youth; health and wellness; mental health; productive aging; rehabilitation and disability; and work and industry. Emerging areas of practice introduced include low vision, driving, transitions for older youths, depression in mental health, and new technology for rehabilitation. The courses offer depth of content that progresses from understanding of fundamental facts and concepts to application in dynamic clinic scenarios fieldwork experiences. The curriculum is designed to prepare students by providing the depth of knowledge and skill to be competent entry-level practitioners.

The courses in the Occupational Therapy program’s curriculum are sequenced in a way that allows for integration of course content with experiential application in each semester. Each Level I fieldwork is integrated with content in courses that are occurring simultaneously and allow for application of learned information and the progression of knowledge translation, skill development, and independent clinical thinking. With the exception of summer sessions, semesters have been divided into session I and session II to allow students to focus on fewer courses at one time allowing for reflection about the complexities of clinical practice. Please see the curriculum schema for specific courses and when they appear in the curriculum.

More information about curriculum design.

Fieldwork Experience

Fieldwork is an opportunity for Occupational Therapy (OT) students to integrate occupational therapy theory and conceptual practice models with real client situations. Students are able to integrate the practice framework and occupational therapy skills that are acquired during the academic phase of the program into clinical practice in a structured and supervised environment. Students are also afforded the opportunity to practice and refine their interpersonal and communication skills with clients and colleagues, develop leadership skills, practice decision-making skills, problem-solve real client situations, and participate in evidence-based practice. Fieldwork is the transition or bridge from the academic environment to the world of practice as an occupational therapist.

Level I Fieldwork

Level I Fieldwork is integrated into the academic portion of the program. Students participate in four Level I experiences during the OT program with two of these experiences being in the on-campus Occupational Therapy Clinic. Students are encouraged to volunteer beyond the required fieldwork experiences to gain as much variety of experience as possible; either in the on-campus clinic or in the community. Students find that this allows them to expand their knowledge and practice skills and to develop a comfort level with clients from all practice areas.

Level II Fieldwork

Level II Fieldwork occurs when all academic requirements are met. Students are scheduled for two three-month experiences. This level of fieldwork allows the student, under the supervision of a Registered Occupational Therapist, to apply clinical reasoning, the Frames of Reference, the conceptual models, the Practice Framework and the academically acquired body of knowledge to the practice of occupational therapy. Students may complete their occupational therapy Level II Fieldwork in traditional, community-based, or emerging practice settings. They are expected to develop critical thinking and reflective practice, and to transition from the role of a student into the role of an entry-level OT practitioner.

Career Outlook

Occupational Therapy (OT) remains a dual-entry degree profession, which allows the choice between earning an entry-level Master’s degree or an entry-level Doctorate. The entry-level Master’s degree program at St. Scholastica offers a well-established, rigorous pathway to becoming a practitioner through state-of-the-art facilities with faculty engaged in scholarship and service in diverse ways. The OT program at St. Scholastica is cost-effective and takes less time when compared with an entry-level Doctorate degree.

Because of the one-on-one attention students receive and the “early and often” approach to hands-on learning, our graduates are in high demand. Graduate surveys indicate between 97% and 100% of graduates are employed as occupational therapists after one year. Many students have employment offers before graduation.

Where do Occupational Therapists work?

  • General, psychiatric, and pediatric hospitals
  • Public and private schools
  • Rehabilitation hospitals or centers
  • Colleges and universities
  • Home health agencies
  • Skilled nursing homes
  • Private practice

Growth Projections

Occupational Therapy is consistently ranked as one of the best jobs across the nation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for occupational therapists is expected to grow by 16% over the next decade, a rate much faster than average.

Accreditation

The Occupational Therapy Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).

AOTA
American Occupational Therapy Association
6116 Executive Boulevard
Suite 200
North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929
301-652-AOTA (2682)
www.acoteonline.org

The Health Science Center at BlueStone: A Beautiful Place to Learn

This program is located in the Health Science Center (HSC) at BlueStone, approximately one mile from the main St Scholastica campus in Duluth. The BlueStone development includes retail, restaurants, and housing in addition to the HSC. BlueStone Lofts, The Vue at BlueStone and BlueStone Flats offer convenient high-end housing options for students. The HSC includes state-of-the-art classroom space, a research laboratory, meeting rooms, faculty offices, and student lounge areas overlooking Lake Superior. The maurices Community Clinic is also located in the HSC, providing students with mentored hands-on learning opportunities and interdisciplinary training. The maurices Community Clinic serves uninsured and underinsured individuals from the Duluth community.

The Convenience of BlueStone Living
Connect with a BlueStone housing representative about on-site housing options.

Admission Information

Visit our admissions page for information about transcripts, online application, international admissions and financing.

Application Deadline

Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis via OTCAS for the June 2022 start date. Completed and verified applications will be accepted until May 15, 2022.

Process and Priority Review

The OT program uses the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS). To learn more about the application process and schedule, visit the OTCAS website. You’ll find information specific to our program listed under the Participating Programs link on the left side of the page, then select College of St. Scholastica.

All St. Scholastica students who apply to the Occupational Therapy Program will be given priority review. Priority review means that applicants who have earned a degree (or will earn a degree prior to starting the OT Program) from St. Scholastica will be reviewed prior to applicants with degrees from other colleges or universities. Priority review does not mean guaranteed admission.

Eligibility

Minimum Eligibility for Admission

All applicants to the Occupational Therapy Program at The College of St. Scholastica must meet the following minimum eligibility criteria in order for their application to be considered:

  • BA/BS degree from a regionally accredited institution. No specific baccalaureate major is required. Degree can be in progress at time of application but must be complete prior to matriculation.
  • Cumulative OR most recent 64 credit GPA of 3.0. The College will consider whichever is higher: cumulative GPA or most recent 64 credit GPA, as calculated by OTCAS.
  • Prerequisite GPA of 3.0. The prerequisite GPA is calculated separately using the highest grade received in required prerequisite courses.
  • Complete all prerequisites with a grade of 2.0 or better and within 10 years of application
  • Submit three letters of recommendation
  • Observation hours: competitive applicants will have explored a minimum of two clinical settings that address the needs of distinct patient/client populations. While no specific number of hours is required, applicants are expected to have researched the profession sufficiently to demonstrate that they are making a career choice based on a sound understanding of the profession of occupational therapy. Observations must be completed post-high school and entered into OTCAS. Successful completion of an introduction to occupational therapy course or healthcare careers course may substitute for direct observation hours. Here is another alternative option for observation hours Occupational Therapy Online Shadowing Experience, developed by Cheryl Lucas, Quinnipiac University may also substitute (use password: LucasQU).

Note: meeting minimum entrance requirements does not guarantee admission. The College of St. Scholastica follows the OTCAS method of calculating GPA. Interviews are not typically part of the admission process for the Occupational Therapy Program.

Scoring of Admission Criteria

Applications that meet the above minimum eligibility criteria will be reviewed and scored by members of the admissions committee using a rubric. Applicants are ranked based on both quantitative and qualitative criteria.  Quantitative measures include computed grade point average for all undergraduate work and prerequisite course work. Qualitative aspects of the application are scored by members of the admission committee.  Areas that receive scoring include:

  • letters of recommendation: provide three recommendation letters. It is suggested that at least one of the three letters of recommendation be from a professor who knows the applicant well enough to speak to her/his qualification for graduate school. It is also recommended that one or more letters of recommendation come from an occupational therapist or employer who can speak about the applicant’s work or volunteering experience with individuals who have a disability
  • applicants should submit evidence of exploring the profession sufficiently to demonstrate that they are making a career choice based on a sound understanding of the profession of occupational therapy. Applicants should consider the following when planning observations or researching the profession: observe various practice settings with distinctly different client populations (e.g., pediatrics and adult rehabilitation); observations must be completed post-high school and entered into OTCAS; all observations must be in a setting that offers the student the opportunity to shadow a registered/licensed occupational therapist. Applicants can also do this by completing an Intro to Occupational Therapy course or online shadowing experience.
  • previous experiences: applicants should provide details about their work history, community service, honors/recognitions, leadership, teaching, and participation in research activities as these are awarded additional points
  • personal essays: essays that follow the prompts with clear expression of ideas, good organization, and absence of writing errors are awarded additional points
Additional Information about Becoming an Occupational Therapy Student
  • A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure. An individual, who has a felony background and is considering entering an occupational therapy program, can have his or her background reviewed prior to actually applying for the exam by requesting an Early Determination Review.
  • Students who apply to the MS in OT program will be expected to perform a minimum number of Technical Standards and Essential Requirements.

Prerequisites

Five of seven required prerequisite courses must be complete (with a letter grade of C or better) at the time an application is submitted. The remaining prerequisites must be completed and grades submitted one week prior to our June start date.

  • General Psychology
  • Lifespan Development Psychology
  • Anatomy & Physiology I and II (or human anatomy and human physiology courses), labs preferred
  • An introductory Sociology or Anthropology course
  • Medical Terminology (minimum of one semester credit)
  • Statistics
  • An Introduction to Occupational Therapy course is strongly recommended. The admissions committee will view this as highly favorable
  • Courses in physics, pathophysiology, research methods and abnormal psychology are recommended.

Any prerequisite course taken for credit (pass/fail) in spring and/or summer of 2020 will be accepted; however, it will not count toward the prerequisite GPA. We encourage grades if there is an option between grades and pass/fail. Applications with prerequisite courses taken for credit will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

We will accept AP credits for General Psychology and Statistics only. To verify results, applicants must submit official CollegeBoard scores directly to St. Scholastica (not OTCAS) using the code 6107. We require a score of 3 or better to qualify; scores must be within 10 years from date of application. The OT Program does not give credit for work experience or credits taken while enrolled in another OT Program toward prerequisite or in-program courses.

Due to the high volume of interest in the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program at The College of St. Scholastica, the Office of Graduate Admissions does not review unofficial transcripts to determine the completion of prerequisite coursework. In most cases, course titles match. If you have specific questions about a particular course, please reference our transfer credit center to determine if the course meets the stated requirement.

*Any student may request a waiver of admission requirements through a written request to the Graduate Admissions Office. These requests must be received by the Graduate Admissions Office by Oct. 15 to allow ample time for review prior to the Nov. 15 application deadline. The Department Chair may determine prerequisite course equivalencies and grant waivers for time limitations without full Admission Committee involvement.  Other waiver requests may require a committee vote. Waiver of GPA and course grade minimum requirements will not be considered. The Department Chair notifies the applicant and the Graduate Admissions Counselor of waiver decisions in writing.

Transcripts

Official transcripts from every post-secondary institution attended or where credit was earned must be sent to OTCAS. Instructions are indicated on the OTCAS application.

Online Application

  1. Submit an OTCAS application (reference OTCAS for application instructions/requirements)
  2. In the OTCAS application, submit contact information for three people to submit recommendation information/letters on your behalf
  3. Applications completed by the Nov. 15 deadline will be forwarded to the Admissions Committee for review and an admissions decision
  4. The Occupational Therapy Admissions Committee may request interviews

Accepted Students

  • After you are emailed a decision regarding your application, please inform us of your decision (accept or decline the offer, if one is made) via the Intent to Enroll form linked in the email
  • Submit $500 non-refundable deposit
  • Submit Student Health Services forms, including the immunization form, through the my.CSS student portal/My Health/Forms

Meet Our Faculty

Experienced, Dedicated and Distinguished Educators

Expect to be heard, to be challenged and to be involved. St. Scholastica faculty are world-class scholars and experts in their field who invest in your success. Our values of community, respect, stewardship, hospitality and love of learning reflect our faculty’s commitment to lifting up others and celebrating our common humanity.