To qualify for the Master of Occupational Therapy, students must complete 83 credit hours of required course work, in the sequence described below. In order to progress through the program, students must earn a grade of “C” or better in each required course and remain in good academic standing. A graduate student is in good academic standing when his or her cumulative GPA is 3.0 or above. Occupational therapy students are placed on academic probation for one term if their GPA falls below 3.0. Students on probation must achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 the following term, to continue in the program. Students who receive a grade below a C in any class are withdrawn from the program. Students may petition the Chair to repeat a failed course the following year.
Level I and Level II Fieldwork are integral to the program’s curriculum, and successful completion of fieldwork courses is a requirement for graduation.
Level I Fieldwork is a part-time (16 hours per week) summer placement in a facility that serves clients with psychosocial and/or intellectual disabilities. Its goals are to introduce students to clinical routines, help students understand the needs of clients, and provide opportunities for applying knowledge to practice.
M.O.T. students also complete two terms of Level II Fieldwork (a total of 24 weeks full-time or the equivalent) under the supervision of a credentialed occupational therapist. Level II fieldwork placements are typically in hospital, nursing home and school settings. They provide in-depth experience in delivering occupational therapy services to children, adults and elders.
Fieldwork assignments are arranged by the director of clinical education for the Department of Occupational Therapy in collaboration with the student. Students are placed in facilities throughout Southwestern Virginia and are responsible for providing their own transportation and housing. Health and safety requirements, including a physical examination, proof of health and liability insurance, drug screening and a criminal background check, must be met before a student may begin a practicum or fieldwork assignment with clients.
No letter grades are issued for Level I or II Fieldwork because fieldwork performance is evaluated using national criteria on a Pass/Fail basis. All Level II Fieldwork must be successfully completed within 24 months after required coursework has been completed.
A preliminary comprehensive examination is required of all M.O.T. students in the fifth term of the program and must be successfully completed before the student begins Level II Fieldwork. A final comprehensive examination is required in the seventh term and must be successfully completed at least two weeks before graduation. Comprehensive examinations include a written component and a demonstration of clinical skills and are scored by a committee of three occupational therapists. A candidate who fails an examination may request re-examination within the timelines specified above.
Additional Information About Policies and Procedures
Students should refer to the other sections of this catalog and to the Occupational Therapy Student Handbook posted on the Department of Occupational Therapy website to become familiar with university and department policies about student support services, advising, tuition and fees, withdrawal and refunds, grievances and complaints, human subject research, student conduct and health and safety issues.