Academic Catalog 2021-2022

Occupational Therapy

This is an archived copy of the 2021-2022 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

College of Health, Human Services, and Nursing

Program Description

Graduate studies in Occupational Therapy prepare students for a professional career focused on helping people achieve skills and utilize resources to live independent and meaningful lives. The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy degree is offered in consecutive trimesters and requires completion of a minimum of 78 credit hours of course work, a passing score on the comprehensive exam, and successful completion of 6 months of fieldwork (FW II A & B) (18 credits). Students enrolled in the MSOT degree program must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or above. Graduates of the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) degree program will be eligible to sit for the NBCOT examination to become a practicing occupational therapist. Once a successful examination score has been achieved the graduate will be qualified to apply to practice in the state of residence.

The Profession of Occupational Therapy

The practice of occupational therapy means the therapeutic use of everyday life activities (occupations) with individuals or groups for the purpose of participation in roles and situations in home, school, workplace, community and other settings. Occupational therapy services are provided to those who have or are at risk of developing an illness, injury, disease, disorder, condition, impairment, disability, activity limitation, or other participation restriction. Occupational therapy addresses the physical, cognitive, psychosocial, sensory and other related aspects of performance in a variety of contexts to support engagement in everyday life activities that affect health, well-being, and quality of life (AOTA, 2004).

Academic Advisement

Interested students should contact the Department of Occupational Therapy at (310) 243-2726 or visit for program specific details, application packet and additional information.

Pre-Admission Disclosure for Academic Programs Leading to Licensure or Credentialing

Admission into programs leading to licensure and credentialing does not guarantee that students will obtain a license or credential. Licensure and credentialing requirements are set by agencies that are not controlled by or affiliated with the CSU and requirements can change at any time. For example, licensure or credentialing requirements can include evidence of the right to work in the United States (e.g., social security number or tax payer identification number) or successfully passing a criminal background check. Students are responsible for determining whether they can meet licensure or credentialing requirements. The CSU will not refund tuition, fees, or any associated costs, to students who determine subsequent to admission that they cannot meet licensure or credentialing requirements. Information concerning licensure and credentialing requirements are available from Heather Kitching: WH A320 - (310) 243- 2726.


The 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. The AOTA telephone number is: (301) 652-AOTA.


Graduates of the MSOT Program are eligible to sit for the national certification examination for occupational therapists administered by the National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this examination, the graduate will be an Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR).


Graduates wishing to practice in the state of California must apply for a state license to practice. State license is based on successful completion of the NBCOT Certification Examination.

Credentialing Requirements

A felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to sit for the certification examination administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) or to attain state licensure. NBCOT's certification examination application contains character review questions that must be answered by all exam candidates applying for the certification examination. Applicants who answer "yes" to any of these questions must submit an explanation and official documentation regarding their background to NBCOT's Regulatory Affairs Department at the time of application to take the examination. This information will be reviewed by the NBCOT on an individual basis prior to determining exam eligibility.

To assist an individual who is considering entering an educational program or has already entered an educational program can have his or her background reviewed prior to actually applying for the exam by requesting an early determination review. The fee for this review is $100. If you have additional questions or would like additional information, you may contact the Credentialing Services at NBCOT, located at 800 S. Frederick Avenue, Suite 200, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877; (301) 990-7979. Contact

Admission to the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy Program

Applicants must submit two separate applications to the MSOT Program and to CSU Dominguez Hills. Applications to the program are accepted one time each year. Students planning to seek admission to the program should submit a complete application packet including all supporting materials to the OT office no later than September 15 preceding a spring semester admission to the program. Applications received after September 15 will be considered only if class space is available. For additional information about the admissions process for the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program, please contact the Department of Occupational Therapy at 310-243-2726 or refer to the website

Completed applications to the program and supporting documents should be sent (hand-delivered or mailed) to:

College of Health, Human Services, and Nursing
Department of Occupational Therapy
Welch Hall A 320
CSU Dominguez Hills
1000 East Victoria Street
Carson, CA 90747

Applications for admission to CSU Dominguez Hills must be completed on-line at

Admission Requirements

  1. A completed and awarded Bachelor of Arts or Sciences degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  2. Completion of the following prerequisites (must be within the last ten years):
    1. Human Anatomy with laboratory (3 Credits)
    2. Human Physiology with laboratory (3 Credits)
    3. Developmental Psychology or Human Development (Across the Lifespan) (3 Credits)
    4. Abnormal Psychology (3 Credits)
    5. Statistics (3 Credits)
      Note: Completion of a Medical Terminologies course is also required, but could be taken during the first semester in the program if not done prior to admission to the program.
  3.  A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in bachelor's degree and pre-requisite coursework.
  4. Completion of 80 hours of documented volunteer experience under the supervision of a registered occupational therapist.
  5. Three letters of recommendation: one letter from the occupational therapist supervising volunteer hours and two from professionals that can attest to student's ability to complete graduate coursework.
  6. A minimum combined Verbal and Quantitative GRE Scores1 of 286,  with required minimum scores of 140 on the Quantitative Reasoning and 146 on the Verbal Reasoning sections. A minimum Analytic Writing score of 4 is required.
  7. Attendance to an MSOT Information Session prior to applying to the program.
  8. Completed applications to both the CSUDH Graduate School and the Occupational Therapy Program.
  9. A personal interview with members of the Occupational Therapy Program Admissions Committee may be required.
  10. If accepted, completion of the CSUDH medical history questionnaire and physical examination with proof of required immunizations are mandatory.
  11. If accepted, student must sign up for any fieldwork management, background screening and/or compliance tracking systems being utilized by the program prior to admission.
  12. If accepted, student needs to display professional responsibility by becoming a member of both the state as well as national professional organizations in occupational therapy prior to the start of the program.

Note GRE scores must be within the last five years.


Students will be responsible for transportation and housing during Fieldwork Levels I and II and may be required to attend a Fieldwork II experience in neighboring states.


Uniforms or a CSUDH polo shirt are required during fieldwork. Laboratory coats may be required in some fieldwork settings. Purchase of a lab coat, school patch, CSUDH polo shirt/uniform and name tag are the responsibility of the student.

Health Insurance/Immunizations

Student must have evidence of health insurance and a record of current and past immunizations at the time of admission into the program.

Fingerprinting and Background Check

Students may be required to complete and submit a Live Scan Fingerprint and criminal background check as preparation for some Fieldwork Levels I and II. Many centers hosting Fieldwork students serve vulnerable populations that by law require the background check of all service providers and student affiliates. The results of the Live Scan will be held in strict confidentiality.

Physical Examination

Students admitted to the program will be required to supply evidence of a completed physical examination and immunization records. Physical exams can be completed by the family physician or Student Health Center if the student is a member of the student health program. A form will be provided at the time of admission into the program.

Program Objectives for Occupational Therapy

The objectives of the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy Program are to prepare therapists that:

  1. Demonstrate entry-level knowledge of the basic and clinical sciences and skills essential to the practice of occupational therapy;
  2. Use knowledge of how humans construct meaning and seek adaptation through occupation across the lifespan;
  3. Demonstrate mastery of entry-level professional clinical skills, specific to all areas identified in the Frameworks for Occupational Therapy Practice;
  4. Serve the needs of diverse and under-served populations with demonstrated sensitivity to psychosocial identity and cultural and ethnic heritage;
  5. Implement occupational therapy services that maintain health and wellness and remediate dysfunction;
  6. Apply principles and constructs of ethics to individual, institutional and societal problems and demonstrate competence in developing appropriate resolutions to these problems;
  7. Identify researchable problems, advocate for and participate in research, and incorporate findings into clinical practice;
  8. Provide scholarly contributions to the knowledge base of the profession through written and oral communication;
  9. Relate theory with practice and use research evidence to think critically about or adapt new and existing practice environments based on population needs and research evidence;
  10. Participate in advocacy and educational roles with patients and their families, students, and others in community and clinical settings;
  11. Serve as practitioners and leaders who can influence practice, education, and policy development;
  12. Assume leadership roles at the local, state, national and international levels in occupational therapy and in health professions;
  13. Achieve success in Fieldwork settings, the national board examination and become licensed to practice occupational therapy.