Jul 14, 2024  
Catalog/Bulletin 2021-2022 
Catalog/Bulletin 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Occupational Therapy, MOT

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Applicant Advising

The Master of Occupational Therapy program conducts Information Sessions from January to June and October and November for individuals interested in applying for admission. These group sessions include an orientation to the Master of Occupational Therapy program and information on admissions procedures. Information sessions are conducted at 1:00pm on the First Friday of the months mentioned above. Persons interested in attending an Information Session are asked to contact the Department of Occupational Therapy to let them know that they are planning on coming to a given session (see address and telephone number below).

Department Occupational Therapy
Nursing & Allied Health Professions Building
8th Floor
LSU Health Sciences Center
1900 Gravier Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
(504) 568-4302


Admission to the Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) Program is on a competitive basis. Requirements for admission are listed below. Meeting the following requirements does not guarantee admission into the program.

  1. Completion of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  2. Completion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) with a minimum score of 150 on the verbal, 141 on the quantitative, and 3.5 on the analytical writing subsections of the GRE. The GRE must be taken within the past five years
  3. Completion of prerequisite courses prior to enrollment in the program
  4. Applicants must acquire a minimum of 40 hours of verified observation or volunteer experience in occupational therapy. As few as one occupational therapist (OTR) at one site and as many as four therapists at four different facilities can be used to complete the 40 hours. A Documentation of Experience form, which is included in the application, will need to be completed by each supervising occupational therapist to verify hours of contact. If four therapists are visited to accrue the 40 hours, then four Documentation of Experience forms will need to be submitted.
  5. Applicants must have a minimum overall cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.8 (based on a 4.0 scale) for their undergraduate degree, and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 for prerequisite courses.
  6. A grade of “C” or better is required for all prerequisites courses.
  7. Completion of an application is required. Completion of an essay, other written work, or an interview may be required.
  8. Computer literacy is required of all students in the program. Specifically, students are expected to be proficient in word processing, spreadsheet management, internet navigation, and e-mail procedures.
  9. CPR Certification through the American Heart Association must be valid while enrolled in the program, but is not required for application to the program.
  10. Students are required to have background checks and drug screens as part of their matriculation and fieldwork requirements.

Prerequisite Courses

  • Abnormal Psychology [3 Credits]
  • Anatomy with Anatomy Lab [4 Credits]
  • Chemistry (General or Inorganic) [3 Credits]
  • Human Development across Lifespan * [3-6 Credits]
  • Human Physiology (Lab is recommended, but not required) [3 Credits]
  • Sociology [3 Credits]
  • Statistics (Inferential) [3 Credits]

Total: 22-25 Credits

*3 credits if the lifespan is covered in one semester course; 6 credits if a separate child development course and an aging course are taken to cover lifespan development.

*The Department of Occupational Therapy is not obligated to accept challenge credits in lieu of prerequisite courses.

Strongly Recommended Courses (but not required): Computer Science, Medical Terminology, Public Speaking, Technical Writing, and Philosophy.

Scholastic Requirements and Statements of Satisfactory Academic Progress

  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for graduation.
  • The minimum scholastic requirement for course work is a grade of C. However, no more than 13 credit hours of C grades may be counted toward a degree. In courses designated Pass/Fail or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory, a grade of Pass or Satisfactory is required.
  • Students receiving greater than 13 credits of C may be dismissed from the program.

Method of Application

The department of Occupational Therapy participates in The Centralized Application Service for Occupational Therapy (OTCAS).  Students interested in applying to the program will apply online using the OTCAS application.  The deadline for applications is June of each year.  Please visit the OTCAS website http://portal.otcas.org/.  All application materials should be sent directly to OTCAS with the exception of official GRE scores and Documentation of Experience.  These documents should be sent to LSUHSC School of Allied Health Professions Office of Student Affairs.  Contact information can be found on the website:  http://alliedhealth.lsuhsc.edu/Admin/StudentAffairs.aspx.  Qualified applicants may be asked to participate in an interview process.  A new incoming class is enrolled each January.

Technical Standards for Occupational Therapy

The school is committed to enabling student with disabilities to complete the course of study of our program by means of reasonable accommodations consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). These technical standards articulate the expectations and requisite abilities considered essential for occupational therapy students to become primary providers of occupational therapy services. All students admitted into this program should be able to demonstrate these abilities at the time of admission and at all times during matriculation. If accommodations are needed by a student to perform the technical standards, he or she must notify the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at (504) 556-3403 after being accepted into the program.

The major function of an Occupational Therapist (OTR) with registered certification is to provide occupational therapy services including evaluation, intervention planning, implementation, and review; discharge planning; outcomes assessment; and related documentation and communication.

The following technical standards describe the essential eligibility requirements for participation and progression in the occupational therapy curriculum. Standards cover observation skills, behavioral and social skills, communication, psychomotor skills, and cognitive skills. It is the expectation of the Department of Occupational Therapy that students engage at all times in client-centered, occupation-based services in a safe, professional and compassionate manner. These skills are necessary for successful transition into the clinical world of the occupational therapist.

Observation Skills

  1. Students must be able to achieve the required competencies in the classroom setting from a variety of educational experiences in both basic arts and sciences and clinical settings.
  2. Individuals must accurately observe human performance, discriminating between a safe and an unsafe environment and between therapeutic and non-therapeutic behavior and contexts.
  3. Individuals must perceive, assimilate, and integrate information.
  4. Individuals must demonstrate adequate functional use of visual, tactile, auditory, and other sensory and perceptual modalities to enable such observations and information acquisition.

Communication Skills

  1. Effective communication is critical for students to build relationships with faculty, fellow graduate students, coworkers, clients, and their significant others in the student’s various roles of learner, colleague, consultant, and leader.
  2. Individuals must be able to gather, comprehend, utilize, and disseminate information effectively, efficiently, and according to professional standards.
  3. Communication should be comprehensible by patients, professionals, and laypersons.
  4. Individuals must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and colleagues, including individuals from different cultural and social backgrounds; this includes, but is not limited to, the ability to establish rapport and communicate with others.
  5. Individuals must demonstrate the ability to observe, recognize and understand non-verbal behavior.
  6. Individuals must participate in group and face-to-face discussions/presentations in a clear, organized, and professional manner.

Intellectual/Conceptual Skills

  1. Students must demonstrate critical thinking skills so that they can problem-solve creatively, master abstract ideas, and synthesize information presented in academic, clinical and fieldwork settings.
  2. Individuals must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, process, integrate, synthesize, apply and retain facts, concepts, and data.
  3. Individuals must develop and exhibit a sense of Professional ethics, and also recognize and apply pertinent legal and ethical standards.
  4. Individuals must be able to combine separate pieces of information or specific answers to problems to come up with logical explanations for why seemingly unrelated events occur or are utilized together.
  5. Individuals must use ingenuity and imagination in solving novel, ill-defined problems in complex, real-world settings.


  1. Students must possess the motor functions needed to manipulate tools or handle clients in a variety of settings, under a variety of conditions.
  2. Individuals must demonstrate the physical strength and coordination to safely handle and move clients; perform medical procedures, or direct clients in various practice settings according to the needs of their discipline.
  3. Individuals must perform physical activities that require considerable use of arms and legs and moving one’s whole body, such as climbing, lifting, getting up and down from the floor, balancing, walking, bending, stooping and handling of material and people. Standing and sitting for long periods of time are also necessary. This includes being able to apply physical restraints, and to lift, push and pull at least 50 pounds for routine transfers from varying surfaces, and be able to manually adjust equipment found in the occupational therapy clinical setting.
  4. Individuals must possess adequate fine motor skills to be able to manipulate small objects, manage scissors, fabricate splints, and utilize tools /activities.
  5. Individuals must tolerate being in close physical proximity and in physical contact with others.

Behavioral & Social Skills

  1. Students must demonstrate emotional stability and acceptable communication skills, and be capable of developing mature and effective interpersonal relationships with other students, health care workers, clients and their significant others that inspire trust and respect and exceptional therapeutic use of self.
  2. Individuals must be able to tolerate the physical, mental, and emotional academic and clinical workloads and to function effectively under stress.
  3. Individuals will be able to adapt to changing environments, display flexibility, and function in the face of the uncertainties inherent in the clinical and academic setting.
  4. Individuals must demonstrate the ability to self-reflect and understand why they respond/think/feel in the way that they do and then self-correct, if necessary. Openness and responsive to feedback is considered essential for success.
  5. Individuals will safely perceive and navigate varied environments and communities.
  6. Individuals must exhibit the ability and commitment to work collaboratively and professionally with individuals and groups in an intense setting to meet the needs of people of diverse cultures, age groups, socioeconomic groups and challenges without bias and in a harmonious manner.
  7. Individuals must support and promote the activities of peers and health care professionals by sharing knowledge, eliciting input, and acting with empathy toward others.
  8. Individuals must demonstrate compassion; integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills; interest and motivation are all personal qualities that are critical.

Professional Responsibilities

  1. Students must exhibit the ability to meet the challenges of any academic, medical or clinical situation that requires a readiness for immediate and appropriate response without interference of personal or medical problems.
  2. Students have the responsibility to attend and be able to travel to and from classes and clinical assignments on time, and possess the organizational skills and stamina for performing required tasks and assignments within allotted time frames.
  3. Individuals must have the ability to perform problem-solving tasks in a timely manner and prioritize and organize multiple workload needs, completing required work within the specified due dates.
  4. Students will take initiative to direct their own learning as evidenced by the ability to prepare in advance, utilize resources before asking for help and independently explore additional information. Students must be able to take responsibility for their actions and outcomes.
  5. Students need to work cooperatively and collaboratively with other students on assigned projects, and participate willingly in a supervisory process involving evaluation of other students and their own abilities and reasoning skills via giving and receiving feedback, as well as looking for ways to improve.
  6. Students must adhere to policies of the university, their program, and clinical sites. This includes matters ranging from professional dress and behavior, to attending to their program’s academic schedule.
  7. Students must demonstrate knowledge of and commitment to the code of ethics of their profession and behavior that reflects a sense of right and wrong in the helping environment.

Academic Standards

Scholastic Requirements and Statement of Satisfactory Academic Progress

Refer to general section for the School of Allied Health Professions under Graduate Professional Scholastic Requirements and Provisions for Academic Progression.  Further academic requirements for students enrolled in the Department are outlined in the Department of Occupational Therapy Student Handbook titled “Master of Occupational Therapy Scholastic Requirements and Provisions for Academic Progression”.  In order to be eligible to continue enrollment in the curriculum, the student must satisfy all School and Department Academic Requirements.


In addition to costs for fees and required items listed in the sections of HEALTH SCIENCES CENTER FEES AND TUITION and ADDITIONAL EXPENSES of the School, other expenses may be incurred by students while enrolled in the program. For example, students are required to pay for background checks and drug screens as part of the matriculation process and a laboratory fee of no more than $60 per semester may be required. Expenses related to transportation and living away from campus during Fieldwork Experience I and II rotations may be incurred. In addition, each student is required to purchase individual malpractice insurance during these rotations. If a more extensive criminal background check or drug screen is required by a Fieldwork site, the student will be responsible for incurred costs.

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