Occupational Therapy (MSOT), Master of Science Degree

Program Location: Los Angeles Campus Only

Program Trimester Credits: 96

Program Length: 6 Trimesters – 96 weeks

Program Mission: Our mission is to develop caring and competent entry-level generalists who are lifelong learners and who can develop into advocates and leaders for the Occupational Therapy profession in diverse local and global communities. Through a student-centric and inter-professional curriculum, the students will be prepared to be reflective practitioners by applying principles of evidence-based practice, research, and critical thinking to facilitate the well-being of consumers through engagement in valued occupations and as it relates to health promotion, prevention, and wellness.

Program Objective: West Coast University’s Occupational Therapy Program is based on the belief that all humans are occupational beings in nature, and in the healing power of occupation whereby humans can influence their own health status. Occupational engagement and thus occupation-based interventions are therefore the central theme of the curriculum.

Please see the MSOT Program Learning Outcomes Addendum for updated information.

Program Learning Outcomes:

  1. Provide client-centered care that is inclusive of cultural values, beliefs, and needs.
  2. Demonstrate effective communication skills to function effectively as a member of an inter-professional health care team.
  3. Incorporate evidence-based practice into clinical decision making.
  4. Provide interventions with a central focus on occupation as the means and end of the profession.
  5. Incorporate health promotion and wellness in all interactions with clients.
  6. Actively participate in and advocate for healthcare change.

Admission Requirements

Applicants for the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) Program must:

  1. Have obtained a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution within the last 10 years. 
    1. Application can be submitted during enrollment in an undergraduate degree program or during completion of prerequisite course work. A study plan with anticipated completion dates of course work must be submitted with the application.
    2. Applicants who earned a bachelor’s degree in a non-English speaking country or those who are not a US citizen or permanent resident, must have verification of the following scores within two years of intended enrollment:

      An Internet Based TOEFL (iBT) score of 90 with no less than 20 on each sub-score; or

      An IELTS of 6.5 with no less than 6 on each band score.

      Note: Students whose native language is English and/or students with a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. college or university are exempted from this examination.

  2. Medical Terminology course required. (1-2 credits)
  3. Applicants must have obtained an overall 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA) of program prerequisite courses.

    Required prerequisite courses:

    • Two (2) English and or communications courses (1-2 credits earned from each).
    • Two (2) courses in the humanities or social sciences (Anthropology; Philosophy; Religion; Ethics; Cultural studies; Group Dynamics - 3 credits earned from each).
    • One (1) Statistics course. (3 credits)
    • One (1) course in Human Anatomy plus Lab (3 credits).
    • One (1) course in Physiology plus Lab (3 credits).
    • One (1) course in Human Development or Lifespan (3 credits).
    • One (1) course in Abnormal or Behavioral Psychology (3 credits).

    Student should have:

    • Basic computer skills in Microsoft Word and PowerPoint.
    • Three (3) references: 
    • Two (2) occupational therapists; one (1) faculty member / advisor.
    • A minimum of 40 volunteer or observation hours obtained from an occupational therapy setting of choice.
  4. Application due dates:

    1. For Fall term starting in September – the application due date is May 1st of the same year.

    2. For Spring term starting in January – the application due date is September 1st of the prior year.

  5. Fulltime devotion to this program is highly recommended; any employment can interfere with the successful completion of this program.

MSOT Transfer Credit Evaluation

Transfers of credits within the university will be considered on a case by case basis. Students wanting to transfer credits from other Occupational Therapy programs are allowed a maximum of 18 transfer credits for the WCU MSOT degree.

MSOT Candidate Deposit

Applicants that are conditionally accepted to the MSOT program will be required to submit a $500.00 good faith payment for a Seat Deposit. The Seat Deposit will be credited to your program costs. The University will retain a maximum of $175.00 of this deposit should you cancel your enrollment within seven calendar days (excluding holidays) of enrollment or by the seventh calendar day of the first term, whichever is later. The seat deposit is fully refundable if you are not admitted as a result of your background check. Deposits may be paid by money order or cashier's check made out to West Coast University.

For specific graduation requirements, please see the MSOT Graduation Requirements.


Program Information and Disclosures

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy Program Accreditation Disclosure

The entry-level MSOT Program at WCU has applied for accreditation and has been granted Candidacy Status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 47wo Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is 301-652-2682. ACOTE's website:  www.acoteonline.org

Once accreditation of the program has been obtained, its graduates will be 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, most states require licensure to practice; however, state licensure are usually base on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. A felony conviction may effect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.

More information about the NBCOT examination process is available at: www.nbcot.org.

California Board of Occupational Therapy (CBOT) Disclosure

Graduates who wish to practice in California must apply with the California Board of Occupational Therapy to be issued licensure to practice in the state of California.

For more information about OTR license application requirements, please visit the California Board of Occupational Therapy at www.bot.ca.gov/.

Health Insurance Requirement

Students enrolled in the MSOT program will be required to provide evidence of health insurance prior to participation in fieldwork.  Participation in fieldwork is required to complete the program. 

MSOT Curriculum

The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program is offered on a Trimester system, with 3 trimesters a year.  Students may complete the MSOT program in a total of 6 trimesters over 2 years (24 months).  These trimesters are labeled as follows:

MSOT Trimester 1 | 2nd week of January each year

MSOT Trimester 2 | Last week of April each year

MSOT Trimester 3 | 1st week of September each year

*Note: New students will be enrolled in Trimesters 1 or 3 onlyNew students will not be enrolled into Trimester 2. 

Core Occupational Therapy Courses

OCC 510Foundations of Occupation and Occupational Therapy


OCC 511Occupations across the Lifespan


OCC 512Introduction to Fieldwork I


OCC 513OT Evaluation and Screening I


OCC 514Introduction to Research


OCC 515Basic Patient Care Skills


OCC 516Integrated Physiology and Anatomy


OCC 520AOccupational Performance in the Older Adult


OCC 520BSkills Lab: Older Adult


OCC 521Fieldwork I – Older Adult


OCC 522OT Evaluation and Screening II


OCC 523Brain, Behavior and Occupation


OCC 524Movement Analysis in Occupation


OCC 525Evidence-based Practice I


OCC 526Occupations in Practice


OCC 531AOccupational Performance in the Adult


OCC 531BSkills Lab: Adult


OCC 532Fieldwork I – Adults


OCC 533Evidence-based Practice II


OCC 534Preparatory Methods I


OCC 535Assistive Technology


OCC 541AOccupational Performance in Children and Adolescents


OCC 541BSkills Lab: Children and Adolescents


OCC 542Fieldwork I – Children and Adolescents


OCC 543Introduction to Fieldwork II


OCC 544Preparatory Methods II


OCC 545Occupational Wellness


OCC 546Professional Management and Leadership


OCC 551Preparation for Professional Practice


OCC 552Fieldwork II-A


OCC 562Fieldwork II-B


Total Credit Hours:96.0

MSOT Program Costs

For program costs, please see the Graduate Tuition and Fees section.