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About the Program
Occupational therapy is a dynamic health care profession that promotes expertise in meaningful daily activities. Occupational therapists work with clients and families to promote wellness, prevent illness or injuries, and to restore function or adaptation skills. The term “occupation” refers to activities in which individuals participate in their daily lives. OT’s ability to foster a client’s performances in self care tasks, work or school performance, to drive, to participate in leisure activities, or to maintain home environments are examples of common occupations. The activities individuals’ value helps to define who they are and the quality of their lives. Occupational therapists work with clients and their families to promote health, restore performance, roles, responsibilities, to remediate limitations to independence, and to adapt for impairments or disabilities. OT services assist clients and their families to:
- Prepare a homemaker with paralysis to perform household tasks and meal preparation using modifications, adaptive devices or assistive technology.
- Educate an older adult with a stroke to dress, bathe, and eat again.
- Help a young adult with emotional adjustment issues to cultivate school or work skills, develop effective coping strategies, to participate appropriately in social interactions, and to manage individual roles and responsibilities.
- Assist children and their teachers and family members to foster improvement in sensory processing, balance, or motor skills to improve learning, writing, and socialization.
OTs often lead interdisciplinary health care teams in a variety of health and community based systems.
Occupational therapists are employed in hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, developmental-delay centers and mental health facilities, public school systems, home health agencies, private practice, industry and the community.
The field offers rapid advancement into supervisory and administrative positions for therapists with advanced experience and education. Growing opportunities exist in private practice, consultation, research and higher education.
After recently being ranked No.18 in Laurence Shatkin’s, Ph.D., “150 Best Recession-Proof Jobs” (JIST, 2008), U.S. News & World Report named occupational therapist #7 on its list of Best Healthcare Jobs 2013. This is the third consecutive year occupational therapy has received this honor.
The GRU Occupational Therapy program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). All OT students must complete Level II fieldwork within 24 months after completing academic preparation. Graduates of accredited programs may take the national certification examination for occupational therapists administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT). Graduates who pass this exam are registered occupational therapists. Most states, including Georgia, require licensure to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT examination. A felony conviction may preclude taking the exam or obtaining state licensure.
For additional information, contact:
c/o Accreditation Department
American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200
Bethesda, MD 20814-3449
National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT)
12 South Summit Avenue
Gaithersburg, MD 20877-4150
GRU Graduate Application Fee: Please check the Office of Admissions website: http://www.gru.edu/Admissions/
Applicants should complete the Graduate Admissions Application and the supplemental form for the Department of Occupational Therapy.
Application Deadline: Application files must be completed by January 15th to be considered for Fall Entry. Applications are considered complete when all official transcripts, completed reference forms, and official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score reports are received by GRU.
Applications are reviewed as they are received- highly qualified applicants may be invited for interviews prior to application deadline; thus, early application is strongly encouraged. Applications and supporting materials received after the program deadline may be considered on a space-available basis only.
MINIMUM requirements for admissions consideration:
- A grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) on all previous college work and an average of at least 2.5 on math and science courses are required for consideration.
- Test takers who took the GRE prior to August 1, 2011 were scored on the old scoring scale of 200-800. The minimum score requirement of 900 total (combined Verbal and Quantitative Scores) will continue to be used for those who took the GRE prior to the scoring changes. Test takers who took the GRE after August 1, 2011 are scored on the new scoring scale of 130-170. The minimum score of 290 total (combined Verbal and Quantitative Scores) will be required for those who took the GRE after the scoring changes.
- Applicants do not need to complete a baccalaureate degree prior to admission into the OT program. Prior to enrollment, the applicant must have completed a minimum of 90 prerequisite hours at an accredited institution.
- Professional behavior recommendations from three individuals are required, at least two of these recommendations must be from Occupational Therapists. The third reference should be able to attest to the applicants academic abilities.
As part of the online application process, applicants provide the names and current email addresses for three individuals they have asked to serve as their referees. Once the online application is submitted, each referee will receive an email notification directing him/her to the online site where he/she can complete the reference form and submit his/her letter of recommendation. To change a referee after the application has been submitted, the applicant is instructed to log into his/her CollegeNet account and update the name and current email address for the referee. Status updates of your referees’ submissions will be provided to you directly from CollegeNet.
- A minimum of 60 hours of observation with an occupational therapist is required. Additional volunteer work, community service, and leadership activities are strongly encouraged.
- Interviews are a mandatory part of the application process and are by invitation only. Interview results will be factored into the final committee decision for admission.
- Applicants whose first language is not English must submit official TOEFL scores. A minimum score of 213 on the computer-based exam or 550 on the paper exam is required for admission consideration.
Program Specific Requirements
- Applicants do not need to complete a baccalaureate degree prior to admission into the OT program. Prior to enrollment, the applicant must have completed a minimum of 90 prerequisite hours at another accredited institution including completion of specific required prerequisite courses as outlined by the Department. These courses will be counted toward the applicants’ 90 hours of college credit. Qualified applicants will be invited to attend a mandatory interview session which includes group problem solving activities, a writing sample, and personal interview with faculty members.
- Basic understanding of medical terminology is required as part of the occupational therapy curriculum. This requirement can be met by taking a course prior to enrollment or by completion of a self-paced module by the end of the first semester.
- Computer literacy, particularly word processing, and use of multimedia presentation software is expected of all students at the time of admission.
- The Department of Occupational Therapy Admissions Committee selects the applicants who seem best qualified for the profession and the program from among those who submit a complete admissions packet. Incomplete packets will not be reviewed by the committee. It is the applicants responsibility to ensure that their admission packet becomes complete and that all necessary documents have been submitted. Admission is based on all elements of the application including the applicant’s prior academic performance at the college level, volunteer or related experience, references assessing professional behaviors and academic skills, writing skills, Georgia residency and veteran status. The interview session is also factored into the committee’s decision.
- GPA: The Department considers qualified applicants to have an overall GPA of 3.0 or above, and a math/science GPA of 2.5.The Department may consider candidates with lower GPA based on extenuating circumstances, test scores (GRE), strengths in other areas, or other factors. In such rare situations the student may be admitted on probation.
- GRE: The Department considers qualified applicants as having an overall GRE score of 290 or above on the revised GRE, or 900 or above on GRE examinations taken prior to August 1, 2011. Applicants with GRE scores MAY be considered based on extenuating circumstances, grade point average, strengths in other areas, and other factors. In such rare situations the student may be admitted on probation.
- Observation Hours: The Department considers 60 hours as the minimum number of hours to be spent with an Occupational Therapist. Additional hours are strongly recommended in a variety of therapy settings.
- Volunteer work: Although not required, the Department emphasizes volunteer work, community service, and leadership activities. Highly qualified applicants will have extensive involvement in one, or more, of these areas.
Technical Standards and Disclaimer of Certification and Licensure
The National Board for Certification for Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) will require applicants to answer questions concerning felony history. This information is then available to states with Licensure. The Georgia Regents University Department of Occupational Therapy Program assumes no responsibility for ineligibility for sitting for the NBCOT certification examination or the denial of licensure in states in which there are such requirements. For further information please contact the:
National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapy, Inc. 800 S. Frederick Avenue, Suite 200 Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877-4150 Telephone: (301) 990-7979
Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy 237 Coliseum Drive Macon, Georgia 31217-3858 Telephone: (478) 207-1620
In addition to demonstrating personal characteristics appropriate for a health professions career, students must satisfy general and specific technical standards for this program. All applicants are strongly encouraged to read and attest to the GRU Department of Occupational Therapy’s Technical Standards and the following Disclaimers of Certification and Licensure. All students admitted into the MHSOT program must sign these documents prior to enrollment. Visit http://www.georgiahealth.edu/alliedhealth/ot/standards.html to review these requirements. An integral part of the OT curriculum is successful completion of fieldwork experiences throughout the program. All OT students must consent to a criminal background check in order to have access to fieldwork sites. Prior criminal history may impact the student’s ability to be cleared for client contact, thus jeopardizing successful completion of the program.
GRU participates in all federal student aid programs as well as state and private programs. GRU helps students fund their education through grants, scholarships, loans, a service commitment program and/or employment.
When to Apply
Application files must be complete by January 15th to be considered for Fall entry. Applications are considered complete when all official transcripts, completed reference forms and official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score reports are received by GRU.
Applications are reviewed as they are received. Highly qualified applicants may be invited for interviews prior to the application deadline; thus, early application is strongly encouraged. Applications and supporting materials received after the program deadline may be considered on a space-available basis only.
How to Apply
Apply online at www.gru.edu/Admissions, or contact:
Office of Academic Admissions
170 Kelly Building–Administration
Georgia Health Sciences University
Augusta, Georgia 30912
Toll free: 800-519-3388
Prerequisites for Occupational Therapy
The Department of Occupational Therapy requires completion of 90 college-level semester hours prior to admission to the program. Required courses are identified below, as well as suggested courses to complete the 90-hour requirement.
|English Composition I
|English Composition II
|College level math: College Algebra, Mathematical Modeling, Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus or Calculus
|Anatomy w/ lab or Anatomy & Physiology w/ lab
|Chemistry w/ lab
|Physics w/ lab
|Kinesiology (Biomechanics, Exercise Physiology, or additional Anatomy & Physiology may be substituted)
|Introduction to Psychology
|Human Growth & Development (Developmental Psychology or Development Across the Lifespan)
|Sociology or Anthropology
|Speech or Communications
|Ethics, Philosophy, or Religion
|Suggested Courses to Complete 90 Hours
|Additional Sciences: Biology, Kinesiology, Exercise Physiology, Chemistry II, Physics II, Anatomy & Physiology II, Neurosciences, Physical Science
|Humanities: Communications, Foreign Language, World Literature, Philosophy, Art or Music Appreciation or History, Logic, Religion, Creative Writing
|Health and Wellness: (PE courses are not accepted) Nutrition, First Aid and Safety, Healthy Living
|Social Sciences: Additional Psychology and Sociology courses, American Government, additional History or Anthropology, Counseling, Cultural Diversity
|Basic Computer Courses: (Demonstration of computer proficiency in word processing, search engines, and presentation software is expected of all students at the time of admission)
* Medical Terminology is no longer required prior to admission; however, those applicants who are accepted will need to complete an online module prior to completion of 1st semester at GRU if not taken as a credit-based course.
Estimated Tuition and Fees
For estimated tuition and fees, please see the Financial Information section of this catalog.