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University of Pittsburgh    
2019-2020 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
    
 
  Apr 18, 2021
 
2019-2020 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Department of Occupational Therapy


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Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)

The Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) Program is an entry-level educational program, which prepares students for careers as occupational therapists.

The OTD Program is a three-year (9 term) professional course of study including fieldwork, a capstone project, and an experiential preceptorship.

Admission to the OTD Program is only available on a full-time basis. The OTD Program begins the first week in June of each year.

*The entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree 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. Graduates of the OTD Program are eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). In addition, all states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.

The OTD Program requires that students complete fieldwork education, and an experiential preceptorship at facilities external to the University of Pittsburgh. PLEASE NOTE: All OTD students are required to obtain the following annually - PA criminal record check, PA child abuse history clearance, PA DHS and PA DOE fingerprint background checks, personal health insurance, health screening, drug screening, influenza vaccination, CPR/AED training, and first aid training.

*On 8/16/2019, the following accredidation information was updated in the published catalog. In an effor to provide accurate information the update was made on 8/21/2019.
*On 1/23/2020, the following accredidation information was updated in the published catalog. In an effor to provide accurate information the update was made on 1/23/2020.
**On 1/23/2020, the following accredidation information was updated in the published catalog. In an effor to provide accurate information the update was made on 1/23/2020.

Admission Requirements and Application Process
Baccalaureate Degree

Students are admitted into the OTD Program after successful completion of a baccalaureate degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (based on a 4.00 scale).

Prerequisite Courses

Complete the following prerequisite courses within the past 5 years with a minimum grade of B and a minimum GPA in these prerequisites of 3.00 (based on a 4.00 scale).

  • Human Anatomy & Physiology (with a laboratory component), 8 credits    
  • Lifespan Human Development, 3 credits     
  • Psychopathology/Abnormal Psychology, 3 credits     
  • Statistics, 3 credits   

    Note: AP credits are not accepted as fulfillment of prerequisite courses

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

GRE ® General Test scores within the past 5 years (at or above the 50th percentile preferred). GRE scores must be sent to the “University of Pittsburgh OTCAS” using institution code 1894. Visit the GRE Web site for more information about the GRE.

Experience in Occupational Therapy

Complete a minimum of 40 hours of volunteer or paid work experience. These experiences should occur in at least two different occupational therapy practice areas (e.g., children and youth/pediatrics, health and wellness, productive aging/geriatrics, rehabilitation, mental health, work/industry, home care).

Letters of Recommendation

Submit three letters of recommendation attesting to the applicant’s academic and professional abilities (including one from an occupational therapist and one from a college-level instructor). Letters of recommendation are submitted through the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS).

Self-Evaluation Essays

Demonstrate evidence of graduate level writing skills in responses to Pitt-OT essay questions, and a personal statement, discussing your strengths, skills, and experiences that will contribute to your success in the OTD Program and your professional goals for becoming an occupational therapist. All essays are submitted through OTCAS.

Technical Standards/Essential Skills

Attest to satisfactory performance of the technical standards/essential skills required for successful completion of the OTD curriculum. Students admitted to the OTD Program must review the Technical Standards and submit a signed form at the time of matriculation.

OTD - Technical Standards   

Application Information

All applicants must apply to the OTD Program online using the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS). To learn more about the OTCAS application process and to create an OTCAS account, please visit the OTCAS portal

Applicants are encouraged to apply early in the application cycle, which begins in mid-July each year. Prerequisite courses must be completed by January 1. Official transcripts must be sent directly to OTCAS. Letters of recommendation are submitted electronically through OTCAS. The deadline for applying to the OTD Program is February 1; however, applicants are encouraged to apply before this deadline as the Department of Occupational Therapy begins reviewing complete and verified applications in November for the program starting the following June. Applications are reviewed when all materials, including transcripts and letters of recommendation, have been received and verified by OTCAS and GRE scores are available. OTCAS uses a verification process that can take several weeks. OTCAS will verify your documents before releasing them to the University of Pittsburgh. Applicants should confirm their status as verified with OTCAS.

For questions about the receipt, processing, and verification of an application, please contact OTCAS Customer Service at 617-612-2860, otcasinfo@otcas.org.

International Applicants
  • Academic Credential Evaluations  - The Academic Credential Evaluation must include a course by course evaluation and be submitted with your application to OTCAS. If an international applicant has earned an undergraduate or graduate degree in the United States, the Academic Credential Evaluation is not required.
  • Verification of English Language Proficiency - Applicants for whom English is not their first language must take the iBT (the Internet-based version) of the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System), or have a master’s degree from an English-speaking university. The minimum TOEFL score accepted is 90 and the minimum IELTS score is Band 7.0. TOEFL scores must be sent electronically through Educational Testing Service (ETS) to institution code 2927. IELTS scores must be mailed to the Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Pittsburgh, 5012 Forbes Tower, Pittsburgh, PA 15260.

The School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences has specific requirements for international applicants.  

PLEASE NOTE. Applicants who already have a baccalaureate degree in occupational therapy and are interested in obtaining a master’s degree should apply to the Master of Science (MS) in Occupational Therapy Program.

Master of Science (MS) in Occupational Therapy

The Master of Science (MS) in Occupational Therapy is a one-year (3-term) graduate program housed within the Department of Occupational Therapy. This advanced practice program is designed for those with a baccalaureate degree in occupational therapy.

Post-professional graduate studies in this field enable occupational therapists to pursue advanced skills in clinical practice, management, education, research, or health and disability policy.

Admission Requirements and Application Process

Qualified applicants for the Master of Science (MS) Program in Occupational Therapy must meet the following admission requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy. For international students, a bachelor’s degree or diploma must be from a school/university approved by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) in the year that the applicant graduated and/or national governmental institutions that approve/accredit occupational therapy programs to grant a degree in occupational therapy (e.g., Ministry of Health).
  • Minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00 (based on a 4.00 scale).
  • Evidence of graduate level writing skills in a self-evaluation essay that discusses goals, strengths, skills, and experiences that will contribute to success in the program and in the profession. The essay should also include a brief statement discussing interest in the field of study and reasons for applying to the University of Pittsburgh.
  • Documented evidence of knowledge of rehabilitation through previous paid work experiences, internships or field experiences, or volunteer work experiences.
  • Three letters of recommendation, preferably from individuals who have taught the applicant in an academic setting and/or supervised clinical activities. Letters of recommendation should address academic, professional and personal attributes, and potential for successful graduate education.
  • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended. For international students, original or certified (notarized) copies of all original language academic records (mark sheets, transcripts) from all postsecondary institutions attended. Where the official original documents are issued in a language other than English, certified English translations must also be submitted. Certified copies of the original certificates or diplomas awarded at the completion of studies must also be submitted.
  • Interview (personal or virtual) with the MS Program Director and at least one other faculty member from the Department of Occupational Therapy. 

In addition, internationally educated students will be required to provide:

  • An Academic Credential Evaluation.
  • An official score report (from ETS) of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A minimum score of 550 on the written test, 213 on the computer-based test, or 80 on the internet-based test is required from all applicants whose native language is not English and/or who have not completed an academic degree from a college or university in the U.S. where the method of instruction is English. International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores are also accepted. The minimum IELTS score is 6.5. Exemption can be applied for:
    1. applicants who have completed an undergraduate or graduate degree from a regionally accredited institution in the U.S., or
    2. citizens of a country where the official language is English.
Application Information

All applicants must:

  • Complete the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences ApplyYourself online application;
  • Submit the application fee of $50 (U.S.); and
  • Submit required documents (Admission Requirements).
Application Deadlines

Applications are accepted for enrollment beginning in the Summer term only (May). The deadline for submitting the application and all materials is February 1.

For information about our program, please contact the Department of Occupational Therapy at OTpitt@shrs.pitt.edu.

Doctor of Clinical Science (CScD) in Occupational Therapy

The Doctor of Clinical Science (CScD) Program in Occupational Therapy provides doctoral level training in advanced practice and clinical education. The CScD Program offers five areas of concentration: Master Practitioner (Geriatric, Musculoskeletal, Neurologic, or Pediatric Practice), and Clinical Education. Core courses focus on assessment, intervention, evidence-based protocols and guidelines, and data-based decision making. Each core course is paired with a colloquium or clinical rotation that provides students with mentored opportunities to apply their skills in the appropriate setting. Cognate courses focus on theory, evidence, and data collection in the student’s chosen area of concentration.

Admission Requirements and Application Process

The CScD in Occupational Therapy is an advanced practice doctoral degree designed for occupational therapists who are seeking advanced knowledge and skills. There are no prerequisite courses for this degree however, applicants must have an entry-level baccalaureate or master’s degree in occupational therapy from a program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) or approved by the World Federation of Occupational Therapy (WFOT).

Occupational Therapists with Baccalaureate Degrees

Occupational therapists with a baccalaureate degree in occupational therapy, and no additional graduate degrees, should apply to the Master of Science (MS) in Occupational Therapy. Credits in the MS program will satisfy the requirements for the first 30 credits of the required 72 credits of the CScD Program.

Occupational Therapists with Master’s Degrees

Occupational therapists with 1) an entry-level master’s degree in occupational therapy, or 2) a baccalaureate degree in occupational therapy and an advanced master’s degree in occupational therapy (or another field) may be able to transfer up to 30 credits from their master’s degree, providing that these credits meet requirements in the CScD curriculum.

All Applicants

In addition to the admission requirements, applicants must provide evidence of:

  • National certification in occupational therapy (NBCOT) or eligibility
  • Pennsylvania state licensure in occupational therapy or eligibility
  • Minimum cumulative graduate GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 point scale
  • Graduate level writing skills in an essay that addresses (a) rationale for pursuing an advanced practice doctorate, (b) chosen area of concentration, and (c) how the program is likely to change the applicant’s practice
  • Professional skills and conduct, collegiality, oral and written communication skills, and leadership through two letters of recommendation
Application Information

All applicants must:

  • Complete the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences ApplyYourself online application;
  • Submit the application fee of $50 (U.S.);
  • Submit required documents (Admission Requirements).
International Applicants
  • An Academic Credential Evaluation.
  • An official score report (from ETS) of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A minimum score of 550 on the written test, 213 on the computer-based test, or 80 on the internet-based test is required from all applicants whose native language is not English and/or who have not completed an academic degree from a college or university in the U.S. where the method of instruction is English. International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores are also accepted. The minimum IELTS score is 6.5. Exemption can be applied for:
    1. applicants who have completed an undergraduate or graduate degree from a regionally accredited institution in the U.S., or
    2. citizens of a country where the official language is English.
Application Deadlines

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis for students intending to start the program in July of the same calendar year.

For More Information

Contact the Department of Occupational Therapy at (412) 383-6620 or OTpitt@shrs.pitt.edu.

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)

The Department of Occupational Therapy now offers a Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) Program.

The Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) Program is only available to candidates with a University of Pittsburgh Freshman Guarantee for Occupational Therapy who began undergraduate studies at the University of Pittsburgh in Fall of 2016.  Candidates with Freshman Guarantee status should contact the Department of Occupational Therapy at OTpitt@shrs.pitt.edu or 412-383-6620 to inquire about the MOT application process.
 
The MOT Program prepares students for entry-level practice as occupational therapists. The MOT 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.

Graduates of the Program are eligible to sit for the National Certification Examination for the Occupational Therapist, administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this examination, the graduate will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). In addition, most states require licensure to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT Certification Examination or obtain a state license.

PLEASE NOTE: The MOT Program requires that students complete fieldwork education at facilities external to the University of Pittsburgh. All MOT students are required to obtain the following annually - PA criminal record check, PA child abuse history clearance, PA DHS and PA DOE fingerprint background checks, personal health insurance, health screening, drug screening, influenza vaccination, CPR/AED training, and first aid training.

*On 1/23/2020, the following accredidation information was updated in the published catalog. In an effor to provide accurate information the update was made on 1/23/2020.

Admission Requirements and Application Process
Admission Requirements

The MOT Program is only available to candidates with a University of Pittsburgh Freshman Guarantee for Occupational Therapy who began undergraduate studies at the University of Pittsburgh in Fall of 2016. 

Baccalaureate Degree

Students are admitted into the MOT Program after successful completion of a baccalaureate degree and successfully maintaining the Freshman Guarantee requirements.

Prerequisite Courses

Complete the following prerequisite courses with a minimum grade of C:

  • Human anatomy & physiology (with a laboratory component), 4 credits    
  • Behavioral sciences (psychology, sociology, and/or anthropology), 6 credits
  • ​Statistics, 3 credits   

    Note: AP credits are not accepted as fulfillment of prerequisite courses

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

Complete the GRE ® General Test. Please arrange to send your GRE scores to the University of Pittsburgh using institution code 1894. Visit the GRE Web site for more information about the GRE.

Experience in Occupational Therapy

Complete a minimum of 20 hours of volunteer or paid work experience in at least two different occupational therapy practice areas (e.g., pediatrics, geriatrics, medical rehabilitation, psychiatric rehabilitation, home healthcare, school system).

Letters of Reference

Submit three letters of reference (one from an occupational therapist, and preferably one from a college-level instructor). Letters of Reference must be submitted directly to the Department of Occupational Therapy by the recommender. References can be emailed to OTpitt@shrs.pitt.edu or mailed to:

Department of Occupational Therapy
Bridgeside Point I
100 Technology Dr., Suite 350
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Self-Evaluation Essays

Demonstrate evidence of graduate level writing skills in an essay (personal statement), discussing your strengths, skills, and experiences that will contribute to your success in the MOT Program and your professional goals for becoming an occupational therapist.  The Self-Evaluation Essay is submitted to the Department of Occupational Therapy with the application. 

Technical Standards/Essential Skills

Attest to satisfactory performance of the technical standards/essential skills required for successful completion of the MOT curriculum. Students admitted to the MOT Program must review the Technical Standards and submit a signed form at the time of matriculation.

Technical Standards/Essential Skills  

Application Information

Applicants to the MOT Program apply by contacting the Department of Occupational Therapy at OTpitt@shrs.pitt.edu and requesting an application. 

The MOT Program begins in June each year. To be considered for admission your application must be submitted by October 15. Prerequisite courses must be completed by January 1. The Department of Occupational Therapy begins reviewing complete applications and offering admission in November for the program starting the following June. Applications are complete when all materials, including letters of recommendation, have been received and GRE scores are available. 

Official transcripts must be sent directly to the Department of Occupational Therapy at:

Department of Occupational Therapy
Bridgeside Point I
100 Technology Dr., Suite 350
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

For questions about the receipt, and processing of your application, please contact OTpitt@shrs.pitt.edu

Program Requirements

The MOT Program is a two-year professional course of study requiring 78 credits, including fieldwork education. The MOT Program begins in June each year.

Certification

Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the National Certification Examination for the Occupational Therapist, administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT). After successful completion of this examination, the graduate will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). In addition, most states require licensure to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. A felony conviction may prevent a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT Certification Examination or attain a state licensure.

Contact Information

Department of Occupational Therapy
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Bridgeside Point I
100 Technology Dr., Suite 350
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
412-383-6620
Fax: 412-383-6613
E-mail: OTpitt@shrs.pitt.edu

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