Sep 26, 2021  
2004-2005 Springfield College Undergraduate Catalog 
2004-2005 Springfield College Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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Occupational Therapy Dual Degree Program

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(undergraduate degree in a related major, followed by a master’s degree in occupational therapy) 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 rehabilitation and disability studies, psychology, biology, art therapy, dance, and general studies (occupational therapy concentration). 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. The professional portion of the program begins in the student’s fourth year and continues on into the fifth, or graduate year, including two summers. 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. 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. and will qualify the student to sit for the examination given by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc.  Passing this examination is required to practice occupational therapy.

Admission to the Program
Candidates must have a rigorous background in the sciences and mathematics; coursework in psychology and sociology or anthropology is recommended. Documentation of experience in occupational therapy or other human service endeavors is also mandatory. 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

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,

Download an Occupational Therapy Program Checksheet


I. General Education Program

To integrate the humanics philosophy into their lives, Springfield College students engage in the search for knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of values through a variety of courses in the sciences and humanities. In addition to those General Education courses, students must complete 6 s.h. of Writing-Across-the-Curriculum (WAC) courses. For more information see the General Education Program and WAC courses. In the major requirements listed below, selected courses which fulfill General Education categories are marked with an asterisk; selected WAC courses are marked with a “W”.

II. Undergraduate Major Requirements

Students complete requirements for their undergraduate major. (Some departments may modify requirements or available concentrations to accommodate the occupational therapy preprofessional courses.)

III. Occupational Therapy Preprofessional Requirements (43-44 s.h.)

V. Program Standards

Students will be expected to maintain performance standards required for their undergraduate major as they progress through their undergraduate years. In addition, they will also be required to follow the standards outlined in the Occupational Therapy Student Manual, which include both academic requirements and professional behaviors. Academic requirements include the following:

1. A 3.000 average in the OT preprofessional social sciences.
2. A 3.000 average in the OT preprofessional physical sciences.
3. A 3.000 average in other occupational therapy preprofessional requirements.
4. A 3.000 overall GPA.

Before continuation into the professional portion of the occupational therapy program (after approximately five semesters or 85 s.h.), students will be reviewed by the Occupational Therapy Review Committee to determine if all standards have been accomplished.

Clinical Education Courses
Several courses include fieldwork experiences, allowing students numerous opportunities to work with occupational therapy clinicians and clients throughout the greater Springfield area. In addition, the Occupational Therapy Department has fieldwork contracts with over 300 sites throughout the United States where students may engage in the 3-week and 3-month long fieldwork experiences. It is the responsibility of the student to absorb expenses and plan logistics related to these experiences, including travel, living arrangements, uniforms and liability insurance.

Minimum Competencies
It is also the responsibility of the student to meet the requirements of the Occupational Therapy Program Minimum Competencies as described in the Occupational Therapy Student Manual, which is available upon request from the Admissions Office. These standards include, but are not limited to, skills in observation, communication, sensory and motor coordination and function, cognition, and behavioral and social attributes. All standards must be met for the student to continue through and complete the program. Requests for reasonable accomodations will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

VI. Sample Program by Year

Because the occupational therapy dual degree program can be completed with a variety of undergraduate majors, a sample undergraduate plan is not included. Year-by-year sample schedules for almost all of the approved undergraduate majors are available upon request from the Admissions Office or the Occupational Therapy Department. Combining other majors with occupational therapy is also possible; questions regarding these programs should be directed to the Admissions office. Students should meet with both their major advisor and their occupational therapy mentor before beginning the program and rou-tinely while pursuing the two degrees. Completing 17 to 18 s.h. each semester is strongly recommended. Suggested timing for preprofessional requirements and a sample plan for the professional requirements are noted below. Depending on the major selected or the fieldwork opportunities available, students may need to complete coursework or a practicum during one of their undergraduate summers.

Courses marked with an * fulfill or partially fulfill a General Education category. Courses marked with a w may fulfill a WAC requirement, depending on the year taken.

Preprofessional Requirements

A. First Year

B. Second Year

C. Third Year

Professional Component

D. Fourth Year - Fall Semester

Fifth Year - Spring and Second Summer Semester

  • Final Week Seminar on-campus; late June

VII. Advanced Senior Option

In addition to the dual degree program, the Occupational Therapy Department offers an advanced senior program. Qualified students may apply to the program in the second semester of their junior year. Students must complete an application packet, including a resume, references, and a personal statement. To be eligible for the advanced senior program, students must document that they have completed or will complete the following before the start of their senior year:

1. All requirements for a related undergraduate major.
2. 101 undergraduate s.h., including the General Education Program courses.
3. The occupational therapy prerequisites (see below).

A 3.000 overall minimum GPA and a 3.000 average for the occupational therapy prerequisites are also required. If accepted, students begin taking occupational therapy courses in their senior year. They graduate in May of their senior year with an undergraduate degree in a related major and an accelerated start to their graduate requirements.

The advanced senior program is designed for students who discover their interest in occupational therapy after their first years of baccalaureate study. The dual degree program is designed for students who have developed a career goal for occupational therapy before they enter college. The advantages of the dual degree include guaranteed admittance to the professional level of the program (as long as all program standards are met), the opportunity for students to work with an occupational therapy faculty mentor from their first entry into the College, and earlier exposure to occupational therapy coursework and practicums.

The occupational therapy prerequisites for the advanced senior program include the following courses or equivalents:

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