Become a skilled physical therapy practitioner and earn a wealth of clinical experience while still graduating in under six years through Saint Joseph’s direct entry physical therapy program. Enter as a first-year undergraduate or transfer student to earn a bachelor’s in exercise physiology or health science and continue on to your DPT without having to reapply.
BS to Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)
The Bachelor of Science in Health Science to Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) program at Saint Joseph’s University lets you earn a Health Science BS and an MOT in just 5.5 years — less time than the typical six to seven years it takes to get both degrees.
This accelerated MOT program is designed for undergraduate students who have a clear vision for their career in occupational therapy. Through our proven curriculum and diverse fieldwork experiences, you’ll master the skills and expertise required to practice as an occupational therapist. You’ll gain a strong foundation in the sciences and humanities, examine how disease and disability affect the way people live and learn how to work effectively with clients of all ages and backgrounds in a variety of health care settings.
As a direct-entry student, you will identify your career choice during the freshman admission process. From there, you will complete the pre-professional phase, which is a 3-year accelerated undergraduate program where you will obtain a Bachelor of Science in Health Science. If the progression standards are met, during your fourth year of study you will directly transition into the professional phase of the program, which is a 2.5-year graduate program where you will obtain a Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT).
You can enter this program as an incoming first-year student through our direct-entry admission pathway or as a transfer student. For undergraduate students interested in pursuing a direct-entry Doctor of Occupational Therapy (DrOT) program, we also offer an accelerated BS to DrOT.
What Sets Our Program Apart
Saint Joseph’s is one of only a handful of universities in the country to offer an accelerated pathway to the Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) for students entering directly from high school. You can get a master’s in occupational therapy with just 1.5 additional years instead of the traditional 2.5 additional years of training required after earning your bachelor’s degree. Jump start your career ahead of your peers and set yourself apart among healthcare companies seeking OT graduates.
After completing the 5.5-year BS to MOT program, you’ll be prepared to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) examination — an exam you’ll need to pass if you choose to obtain a license to practice occupational therapy in the U.S.
You can learn more about NBCOT program results across different institutions by visiting the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy’s website.
You’ll participate in clinical fieldwork experiences in a variety of health care settings beginning the first semester of your professional year (fourth year of program). This includes two 12-week level II fieldworks, working with patients of all ages from infants to the elderly.
You’ll also get to work in simulation and clinical labs housed inside Glasser/Woodland Hall — from a pediatric sensory lab to a home care lab — giving you a taste of working in a professional health care setting.
Our established curriculum allows you to take five OT intervention courses rather than the typical two or three offered by other OT programs. Courses are hands-on and cover:
- Contextual and rehabilitation approaches to interventions
- Developmental, psychosocial and cognitive issues
- Assistive technology
Interprofessional education (IPE) opportunities can be found as early as the first year of study. You’ll work with different health care professional students in the physical therapy, physician assistant and pharmacy programs at Saint Joseph’s, as well as with students in other academic institutions. You’ll also participate in medical mission trips with other healthcare professionals.
Top Four Reasons to Get an Occupational Therapy Degree
- OT is a growing, stable field. Employment prospects for OT are projected to grow 17% from 2020 to 2030 — much faster than the average 7% for all occupations. It also comes with a solid salary — the median salary for occupational therapists is $93,180 per year in 2022.
- You’ll make a difference. You’ll learn how to use therapeutic techniques and tools to help individuals of all ages regain and maintain their ability to perform everyday activities.
- OT is a flexible career path. You’ll get to work as an occupational therapist in diverse settings — from hospitals to schools — or enter other areas such as academia, technology and policy.
- You’ll have more job satisfaction. Occupational therapy is considered one of the best health care jobs in the U.S.
BS to MOT students attend class full-time and must complete 89 hours of coursework. They're also required to complete two level II fieldwork courses for a total of 24 full-time equivalent weeks off-site.
Courses in the BS to MOT program are delivered primarily onsite, with lab and fieldwork experiences required off-site in the community.
The tuition for direct-entry BS to MOT students entering fall 2023 is as follows.
- $51,140 - Year 1
- $51,140 - Year 2
- $51,140 - Year 3
- $45,750 - Year 4
- $45,750 - Year 5
- $30,500 - Year 6
*Pricing does not include room and board, health insurance or any professional, clinical or transportation fees. Visit our tuition & fees page for more information. Additionally, prices are subject to change annually.
Financial aid may be available to you to help offset the cost of your degree. Explore your options on our financial aid page.
The Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). ACOTE is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
More information can be obtained at:
c/o Accreditation Department
American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200
North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929
All states in the United States require a license to practice occupational therapy. Each state also has specific legislation describing the process for obtaining a license to practice and specific licensure application requirements.The primary criterion for obtaining a license in any state is passing the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy Examination (NBCOT). Learn more about OT licensure requirements and our NBCOT exam pass rates for the MOT program.
View required courses for this program in the academic catalog. Please contact us if you have any questions about the program curriculum.
Why Study Occupational Therapy in Philadelphia?
Here in Philadelphia, you’re in the heart of the health science industry, surrounded by more than 250 medical facilities. The city’s diverse population and rich health care employment opportunities offer a unique environment to gain OT experience in a variety of settings including hospitals, rehabilitation centers and long-term care residences.
BS/MOT Admission Information
How to Apply
- Apply online. Applications are free.
- Submit your official high school transcripts from all high schools you’ve attended. A list of senior year coursework must be present.
- Complete one of the Common Application essay prompts.
- Submit a letter of recommendation. Up to two additional letters may be submitted.
- Submit SAT/ACT scores. These are optional, but you can submit them if you feel they’ll strengthen your application.
All materials can be uploaded via the Saint Joseph’s application or the Common Application. Learn more about how to submit your application materials.
Our regular application deadline is March 1. Visit our undergraduate admission page to learn more about application deadlines.
If admitted as a direct-entry student, you can identify occupational therapy as your major field of study. No additional application is required to enter the professional phase of the program. To maintain guaranteed admission into the professional phase of the occupational therapy curriculum, which typically begins in May of the third year of study, you must earn a 3.00 cumulative GPA and a 3.00 prerequisite GPA by the end of your junior year.
Required High School Coursework Mathematics:
- Two years of algebra
- One year of geometry
- Higher-level math encouraged in senior year (trigonometry, pre-calculus, calculus)
- Three years of science with a lab
Visit our undergraduate admission page to learn more about required high school coursework for BS to MOT students.
How to apply
- Submit the transfer student application online
- Submit official college transcripts from each institution attended
- Submit official final high school transcript with date of graduation
- Submit Transfer Registrar’s Report — must be sent directly from the most recent college or university attended
- Learn more about Saint Joseph's transfer application process
If you are looking to transfer into the BS to MOT program before receiving your bachelor’s degree from another institution, you may transfer into the pre-professional years of the MOT program. Any remaining prerequisite courses will be taken at Saint Joseph’s. A maximum of sixty credits are transferable into the curriculum. Prerequisite courses require a minimum 3.0 GPA.
Please contact us for a list of prerequisite courses that you need to complete preceding enrollment at Saint Joseph’s. This list will be available on the Academic Catalog in mid-June. You can also visit our transfer admission page for information about transfer credit equivalencies or contact us if you have any questions.
If you’re applying as an international student, you must provide proof of English Language Proficiency and Certification of Finances along with your application. Check the undergraduate admission page for more information about the application process and additional requirements for international students.
Frequently Asked Questions
Occupational therapy is a health profession focused on helping clients develop the functional capacity to live independently; care for personal needs; and participate in work, school or community activities.
Occupational therapists assist people in getting back into the flow of life. You’re vital in providing new solutions to doing everyday tasks and to preserving people’s independence as their physical abilities change. As an occupational therapist, you may work in a hospital, community health center or in social services. You can also pursue a career as an educator, trainer or researcher.
The BS to MOT program focuses on molding clinicians who can directly enter into patient care after passing the national board examination. The BS to DrOT program also offers preparation to become a clinician and provides additional training in research, leadership and advocacy. Students who have an interest in academia, conducting research, or becoming leaders in the clinic or in the profession often seek out the DrOT degree to adequately prepare them for these types of career paths. While the DrOT curriculum requires an individual faculty-mentored research project, the MOT does not.
While students will be asked to identify their track/concentration (MOT or DrOT) as freshman, they will have the opportunity to switch tracks/concentrations during their third year of study if progression standards are met and there is adequate space and resources in their preferred track.