This is a five and a half year program in which students earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science and a master of science degree in occupational therapy upon successful completion of the program. The program is divided into two phases: a preprofessional phase in which students complete the General Education Program, core health science, occupational therapy, and related requirements, and the professional phase, which includes five semesters of graduate-level professional education and six months of level 2 fieldwork experience. Students enter the program as first-year students, or may be able to transfer in as sophomores. (Students who wish to apply to occupational therapy in their junior year should see the description of the advanced senior program below.)
For the first four years of the program, students engage in courses required for their undergraduate degree in health science, the General Education program, and their occupational therapy degree. Students are advised by an occupational therapy faculty member from the beginning of their Springfield College experience. At the end of the fourth year, students graduate with a bachelor’s degree in health science, already having completed one third of their required professional level occupational therapy coursework. They continue in graduate occupational therapy courses that begin this fourth summer and are completed in May of their fifth year, and then complete six months of full-time fieldwork. It is a challenging, accelerated program that prepares students well to enter a growing and vibrant profession at the required post-baccalaureate level.
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. 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 program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc., 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449, telephone (301) 652-2682, www.acoteonline.org.
Graduates of the program are eligible to sit for the National Certification Examination for the Occupational Therapist (National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, 12 South Summit Avenue, Suite 100, Gaithersburg, MD 20877, telephone 301-990-7979, www.nbcot.org). After successful completion of this exam, the graduate will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). Most states also require licensure in order to practice.
Admission to the Program
Candidates for admission to the Health Science / Occupational Therapy Program must provide evidence of a rigorous background in biological and physical sciences and mathematics, with a strong recommendation of additional courses in psychology, sociology or anthropology. Grades in these courses along with English course work should be a minimum of 3.0. Documentation of experience in occupational therapy or other human service endeavors is also expected. The candidate’s personal statement or essay should reflect an understanding of the field of occupational therapy and a personal fit with the profession. January 15 is the deadline for the application, and February 1 is the deadline for all supporting documents. Later applications will be reviewed on a space available basis. Transfer students from other colleges, as well as internal transfers, may also be accepted to the Health Science / Occupational Therapy program on a space available basis.
Degree(s): Bachelor of Science (B.S.) with a major in Health Science / Pre-Occupational Therapy
Master of Science (M.S.) with a major in Occupational Therapy
(a minimum of 120 credits at the undergraduate level)
(a minimum of 56 credits at the graduate level)
For more information about the Occupational Therapy Health Science 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.springfield.edu/ot
General Education Program (40 - 46 credits)
The General Education program at Springfield College is informed by its century-old Humanics tradition of educating the whole person in spirit, mind, and body, for leadership in service to humanity. These requirements have the goal of developing literate, thoughtful, socially responsible students, and instilling in them a spirit of inquiry into the nature of humankind and the universe. Towards those ends, the requirements emphasize and encourage: the acquisition of knowledge, understanding, and competency essential for the improvement of the human condition in a diverse society; a search for personal and spiritual values; and the development of an understanding and appreciation of physical well-being.
For specific requirements, see the General Education Program (40 - 46 credits) section.
A. Foundation Science Requirements
B. Social Science Requirements
C. Occupational Therapy Preprofessional Requirements
D. Occupational Therapy Professional Requirements (taken as an undergraduate)
E. Professional Science Requirements (taken as an undergraduate)
F. Strongly recommended PEAC courses
G. Occupational Therapy Graduate Course Requirements (see Graduate Catalog for more information)
III. Program Standards
Students are expected to maintain performance standards outlined in the Occupational Therapy Student Manual, which include both academic requirements and professional behaviors. Academic requirements for the first 3 years include the following:
A 3.000 minimum overall GPA.
A 3.200 minimum average in the foundation science requirements
A 3.000 minimum average in the social science requirements
A 3.000 minimum average in the Occupational Therapy preprofessional requirements
A 3.000 minimum average in the Occupational Therapy professional core requirements
A 3.000 minimum average in the Occupational Therapy professional science requirements
A grade of C or better
is required in all courses.
Review of a student’s academic standing is conducted at the end of each semester. Students who do not meet these standards are placed on academic probation, which allows them to continue in the program with the goal of reaching all standards within 1 or 2 additional semesters. Students who do not meet the standard after two semesters on probation are subject to dismissal from the program. After five semesters or 75 s.h., each student’s academic record is reviewed by the Occupational Therapy Review Committee to determine his or her eligibility to remain in the program. This is not meant to be a secondary application process, but a way of ensuring that all students have achieved the minimum standards necessary to complete a rigorous graduate level program. During the professional phase of the program (beyond 75 s.h.), students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 across all professional-level courses in order to remain in the program. Students may not proceed to Level 2 fieldwork or earn the master’s degree without a minimum overall graduate GPA of 3.000.
Clinical Education Courses
Fieldwork experiences are included within courses during each year of the program, 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 2-week and 3-month long fieldwork experiences during the professional component of the program. It is the responsibility of the student to cover expenses and plan logistics related to these experiences, including travel, living arrangements, uniforms or appropriate professional attire, health insurance, and any needed health certifications, background checks, and/or drug testing.
It is also the responsibility of the student to meet the requirements of the Occupational Therapy Program Essential Functions and Student Technical Standards 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 in and complete the program. Requests for reasonable accommodations will be addressed on an individualized basis, consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
IV. Other program options
A. Advanced Junior Program
The Occupational Therapy Department also offers an Advanced Junior Program for internal or external transfer students who have completed a minimum of 60 undergraduate college credits in a related area of study and have a significant amount of occupational therapy and/or human service experiences. Qualified students from outside the college as well as those on campus may apply to the program by January 1st of the year they plan to begin their program. Students must complete an application packet, including a resume, an experience worksheet, three references, and a personal statement. Both the experience worksheet and the personal statement must clearly demonstrate experiences related to occupational therapy or other human services and a mature understanding of the occupational therapy profession. To be eligible for the Advanced Junior Program, students must also have documentation of the following:
1. Occupational therapy or other human service experiences (minimum of 1 year equivalent of full time work).
2. Completed a minimum of 60 credits of undergraduate coursework with a 3.0 GPA or higher.
3. An associate’s degree or the completion of a majority of Springfield College’s General Education requirements.
4. Completion of at least several of the following occupational therapy prerequisites with a 3.0 or higher
- One or more of the following social sciences:
- Introduction to Psychology Credits: 3
- Introduction to Sociology Credits: 3
- Developmental Psychology or Child Development Credits: 3
- One or more of the following laboratory sciences:
- Anatomy and Physiology I Credits: 4
- Anatomy and Physiology II Credits: 4
- Chemistry with a laboratory Credits: 4
- The following courses are helpful (and may be required if there is little occupational therapy experience):
- Introduction to Occupational Therapy Credits: 1-3
- Abnormal Psychology Credits: 3
- Statistics Credits: 3
- Anatomy and Physiology I Credits: 4
- Anatomy and Physiology II Credits: 4
5. The ability to complete all of the following during their junior year:
- Any missing occupational therapy prerequisites.
- Any missing General Education requirements.
- Requirements for a major.
- Any electives necessary to reach 94 credits.
During the senior year, Advanced Junior students take 26 credits of 500-level professional courses (as part of their undergraduate degree), plus 5 credits of 600-level courses (which will be part of their graduate degree). They graduate in May of their senior year with an undergraduate degree in a related major and an accelerated start to their occupational therapy graduate requirements. Following completion of their bachelor’s degree, they continue with three semesters of graduate coursework and six months of occupational therapy fieldwork.
Advanced Junior students are expected to maintain the same program standards established for the Health Science Occupational Therapy major. These are outlined in section III above and in the student manual.
B. Advanced Senior Option
The Occupational Therapy Department also offers an Advanced Senior Program for Springfield College students who discover their interest in occupational therapy later in their baccalaureate study. Qualified students may apply to the program in the first week of February of their junior year. Students must complete an application packet, including a resume, references, and a personal statement and complete the Occupational Therapy Survey course (OCTH 101). To be eligible for the advanced senior program, students must also 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. All General Education requirements.
3. Occupational Therapy Survey (OCTH 101): Credits 3
4. The occupational therapy prerequisites or equivalents:
- BIOL 130 - Anatomy and Physiology Concepts I Credits:3
- BIOL 131 - Anatomy and Physiology Concepts II Credits:3
- BIOL 132 - Anatomy and Physiology Concepts I Lab Credits:1
- BIOL 133 - Anatomy and Physiology Concepts II Lab Credits:1
- Physical science elective Credits: 4 Chemistry or Physics strongly recommended
- PSYC 101 - Introduction to Psychology Credits:3
- PSYC 221 - Abnormal Psychology Credits:3
- SOCI 101 - Introduction to Sociology:3
- Developmental Psychology or Child and Adolescent Development
- Statistics -Credits: 3
5. A minimum of 8 hours observation of occupational therapy services
6. A 3-credit fieldwork in a human service setting is strongly recommended
A 3.000 minimum overall GPA, a 3.2 average for the physical/biological sciences, and a 3.000 average for all other occupational therapy prerequisites are required to apply. Acceptance is competitive and dependent on space in the program.
During the senior year, Advanced Senior students take 26 credits of 500-level professional courses (as part of their undergraduate degree), plus 5 credits of 600-level courses (which will be part of their graduate degree). They graduate in May of their senior year with an undergraduate degree in a related major and an accelerated start to their occupational therapy graduate requirements. Following completion of their bachelor’s degree, they continue with three semesters of graduate coursework and six months of occupational therapy fieldwork.
Advanced Senior students are expected to maintain the same program standards established for the Health Science Occupational Therapy major. These are outlined in section III above and in the student manual.
C. Professional Requirements
(taken by Advanced Junior and Advanced Senior students as part of their undergraduate program)