Undergraduate degree in a related major, followed by a master’s degree in occupational therapy. (Generally, students complete a minimum of 120 undergraduate credits and 50 graduate credits). Requirements are subject to change.
The occupational therapy dual degree program is a unique plan, allowing students interested in occupational therapy to complete, in five years, a bachelor’s degree in a related field and a master’s degree in occupational therapy. Students enter the dual degree program as first-year students and are simultaneously enrolled in a major related to occupational therapy. (Students who wish to apply to occupational therapy in their junior year should see Section VII below for a description of the advanced senior program.)
The selection of undergraduate majors approved for the dual degree program includes:
- art therapy
- rehabilitation and disability studies
Other majors related to occupational therapy that are of interest to the student may also be an option. (Students who do not have a particular interest in a separate major may wish to consider the general studies major with choices tailored to both occupational therapy and students’ unique needs.)
For the first four years of the dual degree program, students engage in courses required for their occupational therapy degree, their undergraduate degree, and the General Education program. Students are advised by both a faculty member from their undergraduate major and an occupational therapy faculty mentor from the beginning of their Springfield College experience. At the end of the fourth year, students graduate with a bachelor’s degree in their major and have also completed 40% of their required occupational therapy coursework. They then continue in graduate occupational therapy courses and fieldwork experiences that begin this fourth summer and are completed during June of their fifth year. Students also have the opportunity to develop a practice concentration at the end of their fifth year with the addition of elective courses and fieldwork. It is a challenging, accelerated program, but one that enriches students’ background experiences and provides them with two different degrees.
Throughout the occupational therapy program, students engage in a mix of classroom, laboratory, group project, and fieldwork experiences. Students become practiced in entry level occupational therapy theory, evaluation and treatment techniques, clinical reasoning, research, teaching skills, management skills, and teamwork. There is also an option for additional experience in the writing of a research project in an occupational therapy area of interest. Fully encompassing the College’s humanics philosophy, the occupational therapy program emphasizes that health and learning are best gained through an approach that unifies spirit, mind, and body. The typical Springfield College-trained occupational therapist displays both the unique empathy and the strong interpersonal skills necessary to be understood by clients, their families and healthcare professionals alike.
The occupational therapy component of the program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education of the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.¹ and will qualify the student to sit for the examination given by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc.² Passing this examination is required to practice occupational therapy.
Admission to the Program
Candidates must have a rigorous background in the sciences and coursework in psychology; sociology or anthropology is recommended. Documentation of experience in occupational therapy or other human service endeavors is also expected. January 15 is the deadline for the application, and February 1 is the deadline for all supporting documents. Later application packets will be reviewed on a space available basis. Transfer students from other colleges, as well as internal transfers, may also be accepted to the dual degree program on a space available basis.
For more information about the occupational therapy dual degree program, please contact the Occupational Therapy Department at (413) 748-3581 or the Admissions Office at (800) 343-1257. More information can also be found on our web site at www.spfldcol.edu/ot.
1 The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education of the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.; 4720 Montgomery Lane, P.O.Box 31220, Bethesda, MD 20824-1220; (301) 652-2682.
2 National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc., 800 S. Frederick Ave., Suite 200, Gaithersburg, MD 20877-4150, (301) 990-7979, www.nbcot.org.