Dec 05, 2021  
2021-2022 Academic Catalog 
    
2021-2022 Academic Catalog

Occupational Therapy Video

Occupational Therapy, MS



The SJSU Department of Occupational Therapy  offers the oldest accredited OT program in the CSU system. Founded in 1943, the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy degree program is designed for those who have already earned a baccalaureate degree in another field. The program of study enables students to obtain the education and degree necessary to be eligible to practice as an occupational therapist. Once the MS degree in Occupational Therapy is complete, including the successful completion of the OCTH 201A  and OCTH 201B  courses, the student is eligible to sit for the national certification examination. Successful completion of the examination qualifies the candidate to apply for national certification and state licensure.

The MS, Occupational Therapy program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE’s telephone number, c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its web address is www.acoteonline.org. NBCOT School Program Performance Data is also available.

See the department website for more information: www.sjsu.edu/occupationaltherapy.

Admission Requirements

The curriculum of the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy degree program is designed for those who have already earned a baccalaureate degree in another field. The program of study enables students to obtain the education and degree necessary to be eligible to practice as an occupational therapist. Once the MS degree in Occupational Therapy is complete, including the successful completion of the OCTH 201A  and OCTH 201B  courses, the student is eligible to sit for the national certification examination. Successful completion of the examination qualifies the candidate to apply for national certification and state licensure. Applications are accepted October 1 - February 1 for the subsequent Fall semester. It is important that students apply as early as possible.

University Admissions

Applicants must submit a complete graduate application by applying through the CSU Cal State Apply system and meet all the university admission requirements . Applicants apply separately to OTCAS and to the department to obtain admission into the Occupational Therapy program. See the GAPE Graduate Admissions website and this Catalog for general information about graduate admissions at SJSU.

Applicants from countries in which the native language is not English must achieve a minimum English-language proficiency test score as indicated on the Graduate Program Test Requirements webpage at GAPE. For TOEFL Requirements, see the Policies and Procedures  section, Graduate and Post-Baccalaureate Information .

Admission to Classified Graduate Standing

Prospective students must meet the following prerequisites. All prerequisite courses must be completed before acceptance into the program:

  1. Cumulative GPA of 3.0 (on 4.0 scale) in the last 60 semester units (or 90 quarter units) of coursework and a minimum grade of B or better for all prerequisite courses.
  2. Minimum of 80 hours of volunteer experience or equivalent paid work experience in 2 different types of therapeutic settings; 60 of the hours must be completed under the supervision of an occupational therapist. The additional 20 hours must be completed in a community service setting. Hours must be verified by a supervisor on the Evaluation Form for Volunteer Experience available on the Department of Occupational Therapy website; forms are submitted at the time of application.
  3. Completion of Student Information Form available on the OTCAS and subsequent submission of the first page of the OTCAS application form and the general essay from the OTCAS application directly to the Occupational Therapy department.
  4. Human Anatomy with human cadaver laboratory (virtual laboratory acceptable), 3 semester units or 4 quarter units. Course must be taken within 7 years of application to the program.
  5. Physiology with laboratory, 3 semester units or 4 quarter units.
  6. General psychology course, 3 semester or 4 quarter units.
  7. Introductory Sociology or Cultural Anthropology course, 3 semester or 4 quarter units.
  8. Abnormal Psychology course, 3 semester or 4 quarter units.
  9. College-level skills course which may be taken through adult education. The purpose of the course is to have students work with an artistic medium. Acceptable courses includes Ceramics, painting, weaving, graphic arts and woodworking. Previous work may be accepted as fulfilling this requirement at the discretion of the Admissions Committee.
  10. Statistics course, either an upper-division course offered by the departments of education, social sciences, psychology or division of health professions or a lower division statistics course that covers correlations and analysis of variance, 3 semester or 4 quarter units. Course must be completed within seven years of the application.
  11. Neuroanatomy - Course available online through SJSU Occupational Therapy program. Courses from other institutions may also be acceptable at the discretion of the Admissions Committee. Accepted list of courses available on the OT Program website. 3 semester or 4 quarter units.
  12. Evidence of an understanding of occupational therapy and defined career goals in relation to that profession as stated on the Student Information Form and/or accompanying personal written statements (see #3 above).
  13. Ability to write as demonstrated in the student information form (see #3 above), transcripts of all previous work submitted and any correspondence.
  14. The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is required. A combined minimum Quantitative and Verbal score of 297 is preferred. In addition, a minimum GRE verbal score of 153 is preferred and a minimum Analytical Writing score of 4.0 is desired; a score of 4.5 or higher in Analytical writing is preferred. Note: Scores must be sent to both the University and the Department of Occupational Therapy.
  15. Three letters of recommendation from former instructors, employers, supervisors, or other individuals knowledgeable about the candidate’s academic abilities, capacity for goal-directed behavior, and the ability to integrate and synthesize ideas. One letter must be from an academic instructor.
  16. Personal interview by the Graduate Committee may be requested. If so, the student will be notified. If transportation, cost, and time are prohibitive, a phone or online interview can be arranged.

All prerequisite courses must be completed before acceptance into the program. All transcripts must be sent to OTCAS in addition to the University. For current admission procedures, please visit www.sjsu.edu/occupationaltherapy.

These requirements exist for all prospective students holding baccalaureate degrees in other disciplines. The department reviews completed files and makes recommendations for acceptance or denial to the SJSU Admissions Office.

Requirements for Advancement to Candidacy

Matriculated graduate students must submit a Petition for Advancement to Graduate Candidacy a minimum of one semester prior to graduating. General university requirements for advancement to candidacy  are detailed in the Graduate Policies and Procedures section of this catalog. The University requires that all graduate students complete the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR)  as a condition for advancement to candidacy. For graduate courses that meet the GWAR, please refer to the Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations website at www.sjsu.edu/gape. Successful completion of OCTH 245 , including passing the final written paper in this course with a grade of “B” or better, fulfills the GWAR in this program.

Requirements for Graduation

University Graduation Requirements

Students must complete all residency, curriculum, unit, GPA, and culminating experience requirements as outlined in the Graduation Requirements  section of the Graduate Policies and Procedures .

In consultation with the department graduate coordinator, the candidate will develop and pursue a program of study. The candidate must successfully complete all requirements of the selected plan including the course work specified in the Master’s Degree Approval Program.

Occupational Therapy International Experience Requirement

To satisfy the Occupational Therapy Department international requirement, students must study abroad for at least nine days in an approved program. (Exemption from the study abroad portion of the requirement must be approved by the dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences on the basis of compelling individual life experiences or physical limitations. A relevant cross-cultural experience in the U.S. will be substituted). Specific details can be found on the college website.

Culminating Fieldwork Requirement

Following completion of the academic coursework (60 units), students must be enrolled in and complete two Fieldwork Courses, OCTH 201A  and OCTH 201B , prior to the University awarding the Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy.

Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement

At SJSU, students must pass the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) .

Culminating Experience

Plan B (Project)

Students in this program fulfill their culminating experience requirement with a Plan B (Project). The Comprehensive Master’s project requires critical analysis and synthesis of information gathered, crafted into a publishable paper with a poster and oral presentation. Students will enroll in 3 units of OCTH 295 - Advanced Research Methods in Occupational Therapy  which supports inquiry into advanced topics in occupational therapy practice, including theoretical and clinical problems.

Occupational Therapy International Experience Requirement

To satisfy the Occupational Therapy Department international requirement, students must study abroad for at least nine days in an approved program (exemption from the study abroad portion of the requirement must be approved by the dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences based on compelling individual life experiences or physical limitations. A relevant cross-cultural experience in the U.S. will be substituted). Specific details can be found on the college website.

Master’s Requirements (72 units)


Culminating Fieldwork (12 units)


Culminating Experience (3 units)


Total Units Required (72 units)


Upon completion of the degree requirements, the student must have achieved minimum candidacy and SJSU cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in order to graduate.